FLAGS OF SHAME
Georgia, Indonesia and Kenya have been added to the flags of shame -
those with the worst performances - in the latest edition of the flag-state performance table.
The table, published by the Round Table of international shipping associations, awards a black blob for every non-compliance or inclusion in
port-state control blacklists and the three now have 12 or more (including a phantom black blob for the use of organisations not members of the
International Association of Classification Societies).
This puts them in the company of Albania (13 blobs), Bolivia (15),
Cambodia (12), Costa Rica (13), Democratic People's Republic of Congo (13),
Honduras (15), Madagascar (12), Mongolia (14)Sao Tome & Principe
(14), Suriname (15) and Syria (12).
At the other totally blob-free end of the spectrum are just Bermuda and
the Isle of Man, two flags in the Red Ensign group of UK-linked registers.
The UK itself, like other several other normally top-rated flags, suffers the ignominy of a single blob because of its failure to be included
in the US Coast Guard's "Qualship 21" list of approved flags.
The Qualship 21 flags are, as well as Bermuda and the Isle of Man:
Barbados (given two blobs by the Round Table), China (three blobs), Hong
Kong (one), Luxembourg (five), Marshall Islands (two) and Vanuatu (four).
Some may find it strange that one list of quality flags should include
some black-blobbed in another.
Intertanko, a Round Table member, said recently it plans to introduce a
flag condition to membership, based on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) scheme of flag-state audits, although this is still in an
embryonic stage and will be at first only voluntary.
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