Superyacht Flag-State Gains Milestone Verifications

The Isle of Man’s ship registry has this week received three important international verifications.  They completed their IMO (International Maritime Organisation) voluntary member state audit with a positive report; were highly placed on the Paris MOU White List for Port State Control in Europe, and finally secured entry into the United StatesCoast Guard Qualship 21 Scheme.

Together they represent three very important measures which will be easily recognised by the international shipping community as a measure of the Isle of Man’s quality and commitment to its international maritime obligations.
The Isle of Man’s IMO audit was conducted during a week long process which looked in depth at the Isle of Man’s obligations in respect of its port state; coastal state; and flag state activities. A team of auditors appointed by the International Maritime Organisation were on the Isle of Man from 12 June to 21 June and is the first time such an audit has been carried out to assess the Island’s capabilities. The audit is voluntary at present but it is widely accepted that it will become mandatory very soon and provide IMO with an established framework to approve states to operate an international ship register. This audit therefore gives the Isle of Man the ‘green light’ to continue with its highly successful ship register. A very positive, yet balanced, report has been drafted, which indicates areas for improvement but also contains positive statements about some of the best practices in the Isle of Man and the quality of the fleet.
The Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Port State Control has released its statistics for the inspection of ships visiting European Ports. The Isle of Man has once again maintained its position in the top third of the White List, which recognises the quality of the fleet registered in the Isle of Man. Only by association with high quality shipping companies operating ships with a positive culture of safety and pollution prevention can this position be upheld.

TheIsle of Man has been admitted into the United States Coast Guard’s Qualship 21 Scheme; a scheme which recognises quality shipping in the 21st Century by analysing the safety performance of ships visiting U.S Ports. The Isle of Man is included in the Qualship 21 list produced this week along with only 15 other countries, out of the possible 130 states operating international registers. Once again this is an external benchmark which is very difficult to achieve but which shows the quality of the ships registered in the Isle of Man.

Dick Welsh, Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry said “When all three validations are taken together, they become a very definite endorsement by the international community that the Isle of Man is hitting all of its targets in terms of operating a quality flag, with a well resourced and professional maritime administration to back it up. I have to thank our clients, the ship operators, for operating and maintaining their vessels to our very high standards”. He went on to say “I am delighted for the team at the Ship Registry who work hard to make sure the Isle of Man’s quality reputation is upheld. The IMO audit team reported that the Ship Registry works as a ‘family’ and I believe this is one of our greatest strengths.”
Alex Downie MLC, the Department of Economic Development’s political member with responsibility for shipping said “This is great news for the Isle of Man. It is an endorsement from the International community for our Ship Register. The Isle of Man seeks only high quality business and our reputation has been upheld by these important accolades. I would like to congratulate the team at the Ship Registry for passing the audit and for maintaining their high standards.”