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Paris MoU Unveils Black, Grey & White Lists

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

28 June 2007

At its 40th meeting last month, the Paris MoU Committee approved the 2006 inspection results and adopted a new flag State performance list, which will take effect from 1 July 2007.

The “Black List” for 2006 contains 16 flags States, two fewer than last year. The 2006 “White List” includes 37 flag States, three more than last year.

A “hard core” of flag States remain on the Black List. Most of the flags that were considered “very high risk” in 2005 have retained this ranking. The poorest performing flags are still the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Albania, and Bolivia.

Taiwan, Turkey, Algeria and the Ukraine have moved from the Black List to the Grey List and will hopefully manage to further enhance this improvement. Belize and Morocco moved back to the Black List.

The White List represents those quality flags with a consistently low detention record. The United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland are placed highest in terms of performance. Azerbaijan has moved down from the White List to the Grey List.

New on the White List are Estonia, Switzerland and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Flag States with an average performance are shown on the Grey List. Their appearance on this list may act as an incentive to improve and move to the White List. At the same time, the report said that flag States at the lower end of the Grey List should be careful not to neglect control over their ships and risk ending up on the Black List next year.

The shortening Black list and growing White List suggests there is a movement towards quality flags, the report concluded.

A flag’s ranking is taken into account when targeting ships for inspection, and ships flying flags listed on the Black list are liable for banning from the region after multiple detentions.

A new feature in the Annual Report 2006 will be a table showing the performance of Recognized Organizations acting on behalf of flag States.

Det Norske Veritas, Registro Italiano Navale and Germanischer Lloyd are the recognized organizations topping the list for 2006.

The Register of Shipping (Korea, DPR), The Register of Shipping (Albania) and the International Register of Shipping (USA) have shown a poor performance and appear at the bottom of the list.

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.

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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