Hong Kong-registered ships visiting US ports performed excellently in PSC
The quality of ships flying the Hong Kong flag has been further confirmed as Hong Kong was among the six flag administrations added this year to the Qualship 21 programme.
The Qualship 21 programme, or the Quality Shipping for the 21st Century programme in full, is an initiative that has been implemented by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) since 2001.
A flag state qualifies for Qualship 21 status after its ships have attained a USCG Port State Control (PSC) three years’ rolling average detention ratio of less than 1.0 per cent, with at least 10 distinct arrivals each year. In addition, the flag state shall have undergone the International Maritime Organization’s Voluntary Member State Audit Scheme (VMSAS) with effective implementation of corrective actions.
The Qualship 21 programme aims to eliminate the operation of substandard ships by providing incentives to owners who maintain quality operations. Ships qualified under the programme are subject to fewer PSC inspections by the USCG while in US waters.
A Marine Department spokesman said on August 1 that the USCG recognised Hong Kong as a quality flag under the programme because Hong Kong-registered ships visiting US ports had performed excellently in PSC inspections in the past three years.
It is estimated that about 5 per cent of the foreign-flagged ships calling at the US qualify for this initiative.
In 2011, the Hong Kong Shipping Register continued to attract quality ships joining the flag. By the end of July, the total gross tonnage of Hong Kong-registered ships reached 63 million gross tonnes, maintaining the Hong Kong Shipping Register as one of the top registers in the world.
Source: Hong Kong Marine Department