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Isle of Man Ship Registry "Best in World" 14 December 2006

The Round Table of international shipping associations has published its annual Flag State Performance Table. Once again the Isle of Man comes out top of the table. After sharing the top spot for the last two years, this year it is in sole first position, rating it the best ship registry in the world.

The table is prepared annually by a round table of shipping organisations comprising:

  • The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS);
  • The International Shipping Federation (ISF);
  • BIMCO, the worlds largest international shipping organisation;
  • INTERCARGO, an international professional organisation representing most of the world’s dry cargo owners and operators; and
  • INTERTANKO, an international professional organisation representing most of the world’s tanker owners and operators.

who believe it is essential that standards of safety, environmental and social performance are maintained and enforced by flag states, in full compliance with international maritime regulations.

The table uses a system of negative performance indicators against international requirements and obligations expected of a flag state. The Isle of Man is the only flag state which scored zero negative indicators in this year’s report.

It is an important benchmark for the international shipping industry. The table and its guidelines encourage ship operators to examine whether a flag has substance before using it, and to encourage them to put pressure on their flags to effect any improvements that might be necessary. The Guidelines list the responsibilities that a shipping company might reasonably expect of a flag state, and contain a flag state performance table, summarising factual information derived from the public domain.

Whilst it is shipping companies that have primary responsibility for the safe operation of their ships and the safety and welfare of their crews, the flag state plays a critical role with regard to the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment. It is the flag state that has overall responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of international maritime regulations for all ships ‘flying its flag’. Effective regulation by governments of the technical and social aspects of shipping is therefore vital to ensure safe, secure and pollution-free ship operations, and good employment conditions for seafarers.

The Director of the Ship Registry, Dick Welsh said;

“This is a welcome accolade. It is industry recognition for the Isle of Man shipping register, which continues to strive for the highest standards. Meeting our international commitments takes considerable effort from all the staff; effort that grows year on year and requires more resources as the international regulatory burden increases. This recognises our high standards, which when combined with the high level of service and customer focus employed by the team, makes the Isle of Man Ship Registry an obvious choice for high quality ship operators”.

The Hon Alex Downie, Minister for Trade and Industry, said;

“Once again, the Island’s Ship Registry has received international acclaim. The top position on the Flag state Performance Table sets the Isle of Man apart from its competitors as a high quality jurisdiction, meeting all its international obligations. It is the world’s best. As DTI Minister, I am delighted to have held responsibility for shipping over the last five years and to have worked with and supported the team at the Ship Registry. This is further recognition for their hard work over the years”.

The table is available on the internet at:

Note for Editors: The “Isle of Man Ship Registry” has been renamed from the “Isle of Man Marine Administration”. It remains a division of the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Trade and Industry and is the body responsible for the registration and regulation of ships in the Isle of Man; and the promotion of the Island’s shipping industry.

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