Merchant shipping is subject to national, as well as international and European regulations. The Schepenwet [Ships Act] plays a central role in this respect. This legislation applies to all seagoing vessels flying the Dutch flag. It focuses on the safety of ships and their crews, their operations and their cargo. The Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport) monitors vessels flying the Dutch flag, foreign vessels, crews, shipping companies and classification societies. Vessels flying a foreign flag are regulated in accordance with the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control.