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Isle Of Man Shipping Register 'Best In World'

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

19 December 2006


The Isle of Man has the best shipping registry in the world in terms of safety, environmental and social factors, according to the Round Table of international shipping associations, which has published its annual Flag State Performance Table.

This year, the Isle of Man is in sole first position after sharing top spot last year.

The table is prepared annually by a round table of shipping organisations comprising: The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS); The International Shipping Federation (ISF); BIMCO, the worlds largest international shipping organisation; INTERCARGO, an international professional organisation representing most of the world’s dry cargo owners and operators; and INTERTANKO, an international professional organisation representing most of the world’s tanker owners and operators.

These organisations believe that it is essential that standards of safety, environmental and social performance are maintained and enforced by flag states, in full compliance with international maritime regulations.

The table uses a system of negative performance indicators against international requirements and obligations expected of a flag state. The Isle of Man is the only flag state which scored zero negative indicators in this year’s report.

At the other end of the spectrum, several states had twelve or more negative performance indictors, including: Albania, Bahrain, Bolivia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Honduras, Kenya, Kuwait, Madagascar, Mongolia, Sao Tome & Principe, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand and Tonga.

The table and accompanying guidelines are designed to encourage ship operators to examine whether a flag has substance before using it, and to encourage them to put pressure on their flags to effect any improvements that might be necessary. The guidelines list the responsibilities that a shipping company might reasonably expect of a flag state.

The Roundtable says that whilst it is shipping companies that have primary responsibility for the safe operation of their ships and the safety and welfare of their crews, the flag state plays a critical role with regard to the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment.

Commenting on the announcement, Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry, Dick Welsh stated:

“This is a welcome accolade. It is industry recognition for the Isle of Man shipping register, which continues to strive for the highest standards. Meeting our international commitments takes considerable effort from all the staff; effort that grows year on year and requires more resources as the international regulatory burden increases."

"This recognises our high standards, which when combined with the high level of service and customer focus employed by the team, makes the Isle of Man Ship Registry an obvious choice for high quality ship operators."

Alex Downie, Minister for Trade and Industry added:

“Once again, the Island’s Ship Registry has received international acclaim. The top position on the Flag state Performance Table sets the Isle of Man apart from its competitors as a high quality jurisdiction, meeting all its international obligations. It is the world’s best."


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