The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published its annual Shipping Industry Flag State Performance Table 2016/2017.
The ICS Table provides an annual overview of the performance of the world’s ship registers against a number of criteria, using data available in the public domain. ICS is keen to draw attention to the impressive number of positive indicators that are now being achieved by those flag states which are used by the vast majority of ship operators.
The purpose of this Flag State Performance Table is two-fold:
- To encourage shipowners and operators to examine whether a flag state has sufficient substance before using it.
- To encourage shipowners and operators to put pressure on their flag administrations to effect any improvements that might be necessary, especially in relation to safety of life at sea, the protection of the marine environment, and the provision of decent working and living conditions for seafarers.
ICS Director of Policy & External Relations, Simon Bennett, explained: “One thing the ICS Table has demonstrated for many years is the lack of substance to arbitrary distinctions that are sometimes made between the performance of open registers and so called traditional flag states. About two thirds of the world fleet is now registered with the eight largest ‘open registries’, all of which show impressive levels of performance. While they might have been relevant 20 years ago, the ICS Table continues to show that such distinctions are no longer helpful.”
The ICS Table assesses the performance of flag states using criteria such as Port State Control records, the ratification of IMO and ILO Conventions and participation at IMO meetings. It is intended as a tool to help to ship operators to engage in discussion with their flag administrations about areas of performance where improvement might still be necessary.
To view the “Shipping Industry Flag State Performance Table 2016/2017” please click on the image below:
Relevant article: ICS Updates the Flag State Performance Table 2015/2016
Relevant article: ICS Updates the Flag State Performance Table 2014/2015
Source: International Chamber of Shipping
I am rather puzzled by the purpose of this list. The ICS states that it is to encourage ship owners to provide decent working and living conditions on the registered ships and yet it has no criteria for compliance with UNCLOS which specifies this in Article 94. It also specifies that the company and flag state should have genuine link. If these criteria had been included, then most of the states would have a red square in this section. The compliance with the Vienna convention is not mentioned either probably for good reason.
The ratification of conventions is as meaningless as the intentions of the flag states to comply with them.
A benchmark of attendance at the IMO is surely rather hilarious. it would seem that a more beneficial one of compliance with the IMO conventions would have more relevance. Indeed, it may be better if many of these flag states avoided attendance and then so many good legislative proposals would not be blocked.
The Chamber also claims that this document is to encourage ship owners to put pressure on their flag administrations to effect be any improvements that may necessary, especially in relation to safety of life at sea.
The fact that we still have safety equipment so out of date and not fit for purpose, seafarers dying in enclosed spaces without any legislation shows that the ship owners are well versed in putting such pressure on. Unfortunately the pressure is in the wrong direction.
It is regrettable that the ICS has not made more use of its facilities to make a serious attempt to deal with the flagrant abuse of the flag state system by many countries that now sell their registrations like postage stamps with no intention or ability to comply with their responsibilities. A document such as this does nothing to produce the changes required and ensures that the industry can continue feeling satisfied that all is well. Except for those at sea of course.
Reblogged this on Mar Equinoccial and commented:
ICS Updates the Flag State Performance Table 2016/2017