Rogue flags on the rise

The Standard Club has warned members on the growing number of ships fraudulently registered as regulator International Maritime Organization (IMO) attempts to clamp down on the rogue practice.

The IMO has recently reported that 73 vessels were unlawfully flying the flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 91 vessels were illegally registered under the flag of Fiji and 150 vessels were unlawfully registered under the flag of the Federated States of Micronesia.

To address this challenge, IMO is developing a comprehensive database of registries on the publicly accessible area of GISIS.

The database will contain the names and contact details of the national governmental body/bodies, or authorised/delegated entities in charge of registration of ships. The database will also include information regarding countries which do not operate a ship registry, be it domestic or international.

The Standard Club has advised members to ensure Flag State Administration contact information is up-to-date, while prospective charterers should utilise the United Nations Security Council Sanctions List Search webpage and all parties should verify the relevant information relating to registries of ships in the ‘Contact Points’ module in GISIS.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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