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UAE bans all ships flying fake Micronesia flag

The Federal Transport Authority in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued a circular banning all ships flagged by the Federated States of Micronesia.

“All ships flying Micronesian flag are banned from entering UAE waters and ports as Federated States of Micronesia does not have international ship registry therefore all ships/seafarers certificates issued under FSM are fraud, and FTA will not recognize or endorse such certificates,” the transport body stated.

In April this year Splash reported how around 300 ships had fallen for a scam, registering with a flag purporting to be Micronesia.

Transport bosses in the UAE have been busy of late identifying ships to ban from entry. Last month it banned all ships connected to India’s Varun after the Mumbai-based owner had abandoned a number of ships in the UAE.

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.


  1. This story has to make you laugh but it also makes you want to cry as well. UNCLOS permits any nation state to register ships, whether it has a coastline or not and whether it has the technical and legal capability to do so. Politically correct but quite insane as evidenced by the proliferation of shonky flag states and even shonkier class who are appointed as RO’s to issue trading certificates for quick cash. The IMO has no teeth so their so called ‘mandatory audits’ of these outlaw ship registries and their RO partners in crime are a farce. Now we have got to the stage where the criminals are not even bothering to cut a deal with a 3rd world autocrat to hijack his country’s flag for gain. Instead, they just trawl the IMO members list to find a country that’s not a member. They then set up a website and sell this flag to the next shipowner looking for a cheap register and flexible class who comes through the door. No investment in skills or infrastructure necessary. It’s brilliant, laughable, disgraceful and a serious poke in the eye for the IMO who reportedly raised no enquiries when visited by the purported delegation from Micronesia. All we need now is the Micronesian P&I Club!

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