Interactive Flag State Performance Table Background information How to use this Table
BASED ON THE MOST UP TO DATE DATA AVAILABLE AS OF JANUARY 2019
squares suggest positive performance indicators, with potentially negative performance highlighted by RED
squares (although individual indicators should be considered within the context of the Table as a whole). For information about the criteria used, please refer to the sections below the table.
PORT STATE CONTROL
A simple means of assessing the effective enforcement of international rules is to examine the collective Port State Control record of ships flying a particular flag.
The three principal Port State Control (PSC) authorities are the countries of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the Tokyo MOU and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). All three authorities target particular flags on the basis of deficiencies and detentions recorded for ships flying that flag. The Table identifies flag states that feature on the Paris and Tokyo MOUs’ white lists and that have fully qualifed for the USCG’s Qualship 21 program, and those which do not appear on their respective black lists/ target lists. Ships whose flag states do not appear on PSC ‘white lists’ tend to be subject to a greater likelihood of inspections.
The Table now also identifies those flags whose ships suffered no detentions within a particular PSC region over the previous three years, but did not meet the relevant minimum requirement of inspections or arrivals to be included in the MOU white lists/ Qualship 21 program. In order to be identified in this way with respect to the Paris and Tokyo MOU white lists, a flag must have undergone at least one inspection in the previous three years. With the respect to the Qualship 21 program, a flag must have made at least three distinct arrivals in each of the previous three years. This is in alignment with the way in which the three PSC authorities present this information.
Flags which do not qualify for Qualship 21 have not been given red squares, as the list of flag states which qualify varies considerably from year to year and non-inclusion is currently not regarded by ICS as an indicator of potentially negative performance. The full criteria for PSC are explained in the Supplementary Information section below.
RATIFICATION OF MAJOR INTERNATIONAL MARITIME TREATIES
Ratification of international maritime Conventions does not necessarily confirm whether the provisions of these global instruments are being properly enforced. However, a flag state should be able to provide good reason for not having ratified any of the instruments referred to in the Table.
The Table refers to those ‘core’ Conventions, relevant to flag state responsibilities, which already enjoy widespread ratification and enforcement. The full criteria for the Conventions listed are shown in the Supplementary Information section below.
USE OF RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE IMO RO CODE
The IMO Code for Recognized Organizations (RO Code) requires flag states to establish controls over ROs conducting survey work on their behalf, and to determine if these bodies have adequate resources for the tasks assigned. The RO Code also requires flag states to submit data to IMO on the ROs authorised to act on their behalf.
The Paris and Tokyo MOUs on Port State Control submit an annual assessment to IMO entitled ‘Performance of Flag Administrations and Recognized Organizations’, which includes a list of flag states deemed by these PSC regimes to delegate survey work to underperforming ROs. The Table therefore positively indicates flag states which do not appear on this list and which have also submitted their RO related data to IMO in line with the RO Code.
AGE OF FLEET
A high concentration of older tonnage under a particular flag does not necessarily mean that this tonnage is in any way substandard. However, a flag which has a concentration of younger ships may be more likely to attract quality tonnage than a flag State with a high concentration of older vessels.
Calculations of ‘Average age’ are conducted through the IHS Maritime & Trade Sea-web Database, which is publicly available (subject to subscription). The average age is determined based on analysis of aggregated data of ships registered under a particular flag State.
As a positive indicator, the Table therefore shows the 90% of flags (among those listed) that have the lowest average fleet age (the bottom 10% of those listed having the highest average age). Nevertheless, it is strongly emphasised by ICS that the age of an individual ship is not an indicator of quality, and that the condition of an individual ship is ultimately determined by how it is maintained.
There are various reporting requirements concerning the submission of information by flag states to the IMO and ILO. Information covering the extent to which flags actually comply with these reporting requirements is not always available in the public domain.
However, as an indicator, the Table positively identifies flags that are in compliance with ILO reporting obligations, as well as flags confirmed by IMO to have communicated information demonstrating that full and complete effect is given to the relevant provisions of the STCW Convention (as amended in 2010) and included within the latest STCW 'white list' as approved by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee.
ATTENDANCE AT IMO MEETINGS
Although in itself not an indicator of their safety and environmental record, flag states that attend the major IMO meetings (Maritime Safety Committee, Marine Environment Protection Committee and Legal Committee) are thought more likely to be seriously committed to the implementation and enforcement of IMO rules.
Attendance at these meetings is also important to keep abreast of regulatory developments. The Table identifies flag states that have been represented at all meetings of these three major IMO committees, plus the biennial meeting of the IMO Assembly, during the two years previous to 1 January 2017.
IMO MEMBER STATE AUDIT
When governments accept to be bound by an IMO Convention they tacitly agree to incorporate it into their national law, implement it and enforce its provisions. The IMO Audit Scheme determines how effectively audited states adhere to all applicable mandatory IMO instruments covered by the Scheme. These audits became mandatory in 2016 and the Table positively indicates flag states reported to have already been audited.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for the shipowners, concerned with all regulatory, operational, legal and employment affairs issues.The membership of ICS comprises national shipowners’ associations representing all sectors and trades from 37 countries, covering more than 80% of the world merchant feet.