International Registries, Inc. (IRI), the Maritime and Corporate Administrator of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, learned of its continued United States Coast Guard (USCG) Qualship 21 status last week. This marks the third consecutive year that the Marshall Islands Registry has maintained its listing status with the USCGâ€™s Qualship 21 initiative.
The Qualship 21 program was initiated by the USCG in January 2001 to motivate the industry to eliminate substandard shipping. This initiative provides positive rewards to high-quality ships from qualifying registries. These rewards range from a two-year certificate of compliance for tankers with less thorough mid-period exams to two years of limited Port State Control (PSC) oversight for freighters. In addition, qualified passenger ships receive public recognition for achieving this status.
With an average growth rate of 20% since 2001 in terms of gross tonnage, the Marshall Islands Registry closed the second quarter with over 1500 vessels at 36.2 million gross tons.