On the 5th of June 1998 during the Summit in Yalta, heads of the Member States – Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine has signed the Charter of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. Thus, the process of creation of the new international regional economic organization was concluded. Inauguration of the BSEC and its presentation at the world arena took place on the 1st of May 1999 after Parliaments of member states have ratified its Charter. On the 8th of October, 1999, at the 54th session of the UN General Assembly, BSEC was granted the Observer status with the United Nations Organization.
In accordance with its Charter, BSEC Member States cooperate with each other in the following areas:
- trade and economic development;
- banking and finance;
- transportation, agriculture and industry;
- health care and pharmaceutics;
- environmental protection;
- science and technology;
- exchange of statistic data and economic information;
- cooperation between custom and other cross-border bodies;
- contacts between people;
- fight against organized crime, turnover of illegal drugs, armament and radioactive materials, terrorism acts and illegal migration.
Each BSEC Member State holds sessional Chairmanship. The Chairmanship rotates every six months according to the English alphabetical order.
BSEC incorporate 12 Member States: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Observer status was granted to 13 countries: Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Tunisia, and USA, as well as to four international organizations: Energy Charter Secretariat, International Black Sea Club, Black Sea Commission (on Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution), and Commission of the European Communities.
BSEC sectoral dialogue partners: Great Britain, Hungary, Iran, Jordan, Japan, Montenegro, Slovenia and South Korea.
BSEC Member States have founded Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, aiming to effectively contribute to Black Sea Economic Cooperation process. On the 15th of July 2010, Mr. Andrey Kondakov, representative of the Russian Federation, assumed the duties of the BSTDB President.