Malta flag receives high rank in US ports for the first time

The policy of the Merchant Shipping Directorate within Transport Malta, that is the flag Administration of the Malta Ship Registry to work for quality is bearing fruit.

For the first time, in the history of the Malta Ship Registry, Malta has been recognised by the US Coast Guard under the QUALSHIP21 Initiative.

This is yet another very positive achievement for the Malta Ship Registry that earlier this year has ranked in the top 20 (17th place) performing flag States on the white list of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Current Flag Performance List 2022.

This is the second time that Malta registered such a positive achievement. The Paris MoU’s “white, grey, and black (WGB) lists are based on the total number of inspections and detentions over a 3-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in the period.”

These results follow the positive rankings the Malta Ship Registry has already received in the Tokyo MoU earlier this year. The Malta Ship Registry’s 2022 rankings by all three of the major port State control (PSC) confirms the Registry’s position as the quality registry.

The Malta Ship Register recognised for the first time under the USCG QUALSHIP21 Initiative – Quality Shipping for the 21st Century.

What is QUALSHIP 21?

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) efforts to eliminate substandard shipping have focused on improving methods to identify poor-quality vessels (targeting schemes). However, regardless of the score that a vessel receives in their targeting matrix, all foreign-flagged vessels are examined no less than once each year. This provides few incentives for the well run, quality ship.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of vessels are operated responsibly, and are typically found with few or no deficiencies. Under the USCG’s current policies, vessels operating at a higher-quality share nearly the same examination intervals as those vessels operating at lower-quality standards. These high-quality vessels should be recognised and rewarded for their commitment to safety and quality. Therefore, on January 1, 2001, the USCG implemented an initiative to identify high-quality ships, and provide incentives to encourage quality operations. This initiative is called QUALSHIP 21, quality shipping for the 21st century.

Qualifying Flag Administrations

For Flag Administrations to qualify for the QUALSHIP 21 program, they must:

• Not have a three-year detention ratio greater than 1.0%.
• Have at least 10 PSC examinations in the US in each of the previous 3 years.
• Submit a Self-Assessment of Flag Administration (State) Performance to the IMO and provide a copy to the US Coast Guard.
• Submit an Executive Summary from their Member State Audit Scheme audit to the US Coast Guard or submit a letter or email attesting to the fact that they have not yet undergone the audit but have submitted their request to be audited.

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