The utter meaninglessness of any flag a ship flies


For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.


Flag appears to matter to Maersk. They are re-flagging the Hamburg-Sud fleet to Danish and Singapore flag:


So are you going to dance on the grave of the German merchant marine now?


I’m not a dancer. I only posted a link to an article in Splash 24/7 without comment.


Surely all you need to do is get office space in Reston, Virginia.


Norway will make it easier for bareboat chartered vessels to change register temporarily:

Maybe this would be a way to get the boats working in the GoM to change flag and take US crews?
Of course they would still get up against the Jones Act because not US built.

PS> The vessel on the picture was American owned (Tico Marine) but NOR flag at the time this picture was taken.


Norge has become another flag of convenience. US harbor pilots tell me that Norwegian flag ships aren’t what the use to be.


No ships are what the used to be, if you are talking some decades back.

Today nearly all newer tankers, bulker and container ships are of the same standard designs, built in large series in China, Korea, or Japan. It doesn’t matter what flag they are flying, or who owns and operate them.

They all have to meet the same IMO and Class requirements, though, with a few flag states setting a bit higher standards for equipment, manning, management and operating procedures.

China is the only one that set a mandatory retirement age for ships under their flag, as far as I know.(??)


I heard this recently from fairly young pilots. Of course they were talking about NIS ships, and it could be that the ships were rough looking before they were reflagged.




Somewhere in various threads the question of Flag State Control rather than leaving it to the accredited Classification Societies to do the inspections have been discusses and largely been discredited.

Earlier this year NMA inspectors visited Houston to inspect ships in NIS/NOR register there. Here is their report:

They came up against the issue of access to the ships, which was also hotly debated here earlier.


There are businesses here in the United States that do that already.


That would do away with the problem of original documents only accepted,
But how do they do renewals and upgrades??


International Registers Inc. with HQ in Reston, Va. is now the second largest ship register in terms of DWT and are aiming at improving their safety standard by obtaining an ISO accreditation for all it’s offices worldwide:

They administer the Marshall Island Registry of ships and corporations and also have searchable register of seafarer’s documents for all that serve on MI shiip, or hold MI CoCs:


Armenia has joined IMO and is ready to register ships under it’s flag (of convenience??):

PS> I wonder which port the ships will be registered in.


The fastest growing FOC register is that of Palau. I wonder why??
Maybe this article in Maasmond Newsclippings today give an idea why:

Since Marshall Islands is showing signs of having their own opinions and independent will it is important for US Shipowners to find another and more friendly flag under US control to register their huge fleet of ship under.

Expect to see more ships flying the Palau flag with Malakal Habour as the home port around the world soon.


The United States have three Compacts of Free Association with Central Pacific island states; indeed with Palau, but also with the Federation of Micronesia and with the ‘shipping giant’ Marshall Islands.
The latter being also the ‘owner’ of the important US-military base at Kwajalein…


Yes the “shipping giant” Marshall Islands has a similar “Free Association” with USA.

It is a well run register and have a clean status with all MOUs and with IMO. It is also very well regarded by banks, financiers and underwriters,

Since they have had the audacity to take their sovereign status literally and actually even vote against the US in international forums (notably on climate change) they can no longer be trusted to be the “custodian” of a large fleet of US owned and controlled ships.

What if they actually claim the right to regulate the operation of the fleet under their sovereign flag and not leave it to a US corporation to be the defacto “Maritime Authority”??


The entire flag of convenience business is a tax, labor, and regulation avoidance fraud that should be shutdown.


The 3 dots at the end of my post meant that every reader could ponder the situation with his own spirit, not with some elsewhere cited ‘facts’.

In the later stages of WW2, the huge lagoon of Kwajalein hosted the entire Pacific fleet, today the tactical necessities have changed, therefore the utility of the Kwajalein lagoon changed too. The atoll islands have not enough surfaces to host full-fledged bases, neither for the Navy, nor for the Army, and certainly not for the Air Force.

Kwajalein became a sort of main ‘helper base’, for intelligence, communications, satellite follow-up, intercontinental missiles warning, and as a testing ground for all sort of rockets.

For the public: One of the three regional control centers of the GPS-System is there (the others are at the other leased islands of Ascension and Diego Garcia).

This should weigh the importance of MH vs PW for the US, and the liberty of MH…