FOCs what are they?

What is the definition of FOC?:

Which ship registers are on ITFs list of FOCs?:

You notice you don’t see NIS or DIS on there, they are the same as some of the others.

Both NIS and DIS demands a “genuine link” of the actual owner with the flag state.
You don’t find Singapore on the list either for the same reason.
Isle of Man is a popular flag to use by many foreign Owners, but it is not on the list either.
It is in the Red Ensign Group however:
Until recently IoM was also an EU register.

PS> Norway, Denmark and Singapore are also full fletched shipping hubs, with all services from finance and insurance to management and crewing etc.

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I disagree, any owner can register with NIS, and you can use crew from any country. Then you would have to argue that Panama, GIS and Bahamas should not be on the list based on by some sort of Shipping hub. Also Bermuda and Cayman are red ensign, so your IoM statement doesn’t make sense either.

Many of the FOC registers are actually run by privately owned corporation in the US;UK, Singapore, Greece etc.

Some are both well known and well run, with good safety record, Financial and Maritime Law standard, worldwide Consular Services and good reputation in shipping circles.
These are favoured by reputable Owners/Managers.

Others have none of the above, but low tonnage tax and low entry requirements.
They are the ones that gives FOCs a bad name and are favoured by unserious and crooked operators.

Anybody have the time, or feel the urge, to research where the registers listed by ITF are actually operated from and by whom??

Here is the requirements for registering a ship in NIS:

Yes, provided the crew meet STCW license and training requirement.
Norwegian Safe Manning and adherence to ILO MLC’06 are required
Crew health certificates per Norwegian standard applies to vessel in NIS register.
Norwegian Labour Laws applies when it comes to work hours and rest periods etc.

PS> I did not decide which countries ITF put on their list, so why Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Gibraltar is on the list and IOM is not is beyond me too. (“Spoiled” Red Ensigns??)
Why are Faroes, GIS and FIS there??

OK, but why is this principally bad?
I know of a lot of countries being not really seriously good, and their politically controlled administrations are indeed in the the same category…

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I did not say it was bad, just a fact.
Did you read the rest of my post??

Exactly, lists are one person/organizations view, I would say that this list unfairly represents Flag States with no actual requirements to be on this list, or to get off. I would say payments to someone have something to do with this.

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• The ability and willingness of the flag state to enforce international minimum social standards on its vessels, including respect for basic human and trade union rights, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining with bona fide trade unions.
• The social record as determined by the degree of ratification and enforcement of ILO Conventions and Recommendations.
• The safety and environmental record as revealed by the ratification and enforcement of IMO Conventions and revealed by port state control inspections, deficiencies and detentions.

A good owner/operator is a good owner/operator and a good flag is a good flag. None of these are exclusive to closed registries or exclusive from FOCs

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Keep in mind this list was created by a Labour organisation so their viewpoint might be slightly skewed from that of a mariner. I can think of a few more that I would add to this list but in the end, why is being an FOC such a bad thing? In and of itself I don’t see where it is. What do you do as a flag is more important than what type of flag you are. I can see several flags listed here that have better safety records than the US for example.


When I was a Federal Great Lakes Pilot, it quickly became apparent that any vessel registered in Liberia was essentially run from a PO Box…

Xyz Shipping (or whatever company you choose)
80 Broad Str.
Monrovia, Liberia

Every. Single. Ship.

I imagine that once per day someone strolls to this address, picks up the mail, strolls home, and repackages correspondence into individual mailings to the actual owner. In 2000 I took a vessel from Duluth on down the lake and, I kid you not, it was owned by 3 doctors from New Jersey as a tax write-off…according to the Captain. Actual management of the vessel? Who knows?

80 Broad Str. Monrovia doesn’t even exist:

PS> I don’t know how many times I have posted this before.

Have you heard about 3rd Party Ship Management?:

Have you ever wondered why Liberia has a better safety record than US when it comes to shipping?? (They are not the only FOC to do so)

I have wondered why most US flag ships you see outside US waters are registered in Wilmington De.(??)
PS> Not US owned OSVs. They are mostly registered in Vanuatu. Have you wondered why??

Wow, I bet you are LOTS of fun at parties.

Humor/a touch of inventive wit? The point was yes, some doddering individual likely could go to this fictitious address, get the mail, etc.

Yes, 3rd Party…I did not climb up the ladder from the bum boat yesterday. Your attitude is what frosts a lot of people here. Find some humor in life, for pete’s sake. Everything is not an exercise in displaying your pedantic superiority over those of us lesser mariners from the US.

Well, I am an ignoramus wrt FOCs, but I can tell you why American corporations register in Delaware - that state has no corporate income tax.

I got enough humor for both of us, but my humor may not be understood by everybody, especially those who are looking for something to suite your point of view.

Oh I’m not surprised. (Actually, I knew that)
That is State Tax, not Federal Tax, right. (??)

BTW; That must be the ones that cannot register at 80 Broad Str. Monrovia for some reason.

PS> That will all change now when everybody will be forced to charge at least 15% corporate tax per G7 agreement. (Or will Delaware still be a US Tax haven??)

That’s state tax, not Federal (you can’t escape the Federales). Makes a big difference, though, which is why corporations that aren’t tied to the land locations (like a retail outlet) register in Delaware. Its also VERY popular with the corporations that are formed to own large yachts, for the same reason (also, annual corporate reporting is fairly minimal as well).

Oh yes you CAN:

Unh-huh… Neither you nor I are in Mr. Bezos’ financial category, so WE can’t escape the long arm of our respective Countries’ taxing. But the super-rich are not subject to these limitations - not only do they own the legislatures & executives who write the tax laws, they have accounting resources that are far superior to anything we could afford.
This is why it is so annoying when the class warfare nitwits start grinding on about “tax the rich” - what they really mean is “tax the middle class” - because the “rich” are not going to hang around and pay those taxes.

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