Maersk Reflags Ships UK -> US

LloydsList tells us:

AP MOLLER-Maersk is reflagging a number of containerships from the British to the US register, but insists it is not running down its UK fleet.

Four 4,400 teu vessels, including the 2000-built Greenwich Maersk, which has since been renamed Maersk Wisconsin, have been transferred to the US where they will be entered into the Maritime Security Program.

Another four smaller containerships are moving from the UK to the Brazilian register.

The Danish group’s UK subsidiary, Maersk Co, is one of the country’s biggest shipowners with a diversified fleet of over 100 vessels managed from the UK, of which about 80 are under the UK flag.

But Maersk and other UK-based owners have been warning recently that the country was putting its status as a leading maritime centre at risk through a number of unpopular fiscal moves.

For shipowners, a lack of certainty about the tonnage tax system has come in for criticism, together with the long wait for a decision from the government over officer training support.

But Maersk officials insist the reflagging of eight ships should not be interpreted as a rebuke or warning signal to the UK.

The vessels in questions were moved to other registers for commercial reasons, said Maersk Marine Services managing director Terry Cornick.

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Folks I know who work afloat for Maersk (US-flagged), Maersk has a “trickle down” philosphy, where the newest, best ships work under the home flag, then as they get older move to other good flags, all under the Maersk name, eventually ending up under FOC banners at the end of their life. The US is usually a 2nd or 3rd tier flag for them.