The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published its latest Flag State Performance Table providing an annual overview of the performance of the world’s flag states against a number of criteria such as port state control records, ratification of international maritime Conventions and attendance at IMO meetings.
The table, which is available for free from the ICS website, is mainly intended to encourage ship owners and operators to maintain an open dialogue with their flag administrations with respect to any improvements that might be necessary, ICS said.
“This year’s ICS Table continues to highlight the sound performance of all of the world’s major flag administrations, regardless of whether they are open registers or so called ‘traditional’ maritime flags,” said ICS Director of Policy & External Relations, Simon Bennett. “But in response to feedback from IMO Member States, our member national shipowner associations have agreed to some further refinements in order to make the Table as objective and useful as possible.”
In particular, flag states which do not qualify for the United States ‘Qualship 21’ program have not been given negative performance indicators in the latest ICS Table.
“The list of flag states qualifying for Qualship 21 now varies considerably from year to year. We therefore no longer currently view non-inclusion as being an indicator of negative performance,” Bennett explained. However, flag states that continue to qualify for the U.S. program are still given a positive performance indicator.
An important development in the previous 12 months is that participation by maritime administrations in the IMO Member State Audit Scheme became mandatory in 2016. ICS said it therefore intends to add a new field to address this for inclusion in its next Annual Table in 2018.