The NSHC is an integrant part of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), promotes the technical co-operation in the domain of hydrographic surveying, marine cartography and nautical information among the neighboring countries of the North Sea region.
The NSHC was established in The Hague, The Netherlands on 10 January 1962, at the initiative of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The first meeting was chaired by The Netherlands. Later France, Belgium, Iceland and, more recently, Ireland joined the Commission. The Commission´s first activities included agreeing on the publication of fisheries charts and the need for surveys outside territorial waters.