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More Flag States Reach Paris MOU White List

by Amanda Banks,, London

01 August 2006

Cyprus, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Malta are among the flag states that have attained the highest quality ranking following the Paris Memorandum on Port State Control's latest inspections.

The Paris MOU, which originated in 1982, consists of 22 participating maritime administrations and covers the waters of the European coastal States and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe. It aims at eliminating the operation of sub-standard ships through a harmonized system of port state control.

The Paris MoU “White List” represents quality flags with a consistently low detention record. Finland, France, Isle of Man, and the United Kingdom, are placed highest in terms of performance. Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta, Saudi Arabia and Spain are new to the White List. In all, the White List includes 34 flag states, 3 more than last year.

Meanwhile, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand have moved down to the “Grey List,” which represents flag states with an average performance.

Although there are no new flag states on the "Black List," a “hardcore” of flags continue to reappear and most flags that were considered “very high risk” in 2004 remain so in 2005. The poorest performing flags are still DPR Korea, Albania, Tonga and Honduras.

Belize, Panama and Romania have moved from the Black List to the Grey List.

According to the Paris MoU, the recent trend has seen the number of flags placed on the White List growing, while the number of flags on the Grey and Black lists is shrinking, indicating a movement towards quality flags.

Annually over 18,000 inspections take place on board foreign ships in the Paris MOU ports, ensuring that these ships meet international safety, security and environmental standards, and that crew members have adequate living and working conditions.

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