Malta Flag recognized by US Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard recognises the Maltese flag for its quality shipping for the first time in recorded history.
The Maltese flag and its administration have been praised remarkably by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), under one of its programmes that promote Quality Shipping, the QUALSHIP21. The USCG is a maritime security organization that operates as a law enforcement branch to the US armed forces, to aid in the implementation of jurisdictional regulations in the US ports and international waters.
Another part of the USCG’s mission is to protect the environment, and QUALSHIP21 having been launched in 2001, is one of the initiatives introduced to safeguard the seas and marine life with a number of quality standards. This programme also aims to increase quality shipping on a global scale, examining vessels at least once a year to identify and address poor-quality vessels. The USCG stated that this year, a very low number of registered vessels had low standards of operations. Every June, the organization awards high-quality vessels for their safety standards and acknowledges the flag administrations that meet all of the requirements set by this programme.
Amongst the 27 qualified worldwide participants, Malta has made its debut in this highly international-recognizable list, an accomplishment expected to set new incentives for the Maltese flag. All of the registered vessels currently navigating under the Maltese flag are monitored and regulated by the continuously upgraded policies that are set by the Merchant Shipping Directorate within Transport Malta. The Directorate specialises in the safety and regulatory operations of the maritime activities of Malta-flagged vessels, in Malta and overseas. The Directorate was founded to be fully committed to strengthening quality shipping, adopting eco-alternatives to help preserve the local coastlines and safeguard vessels that operate within the Maltese waters or under its flag.
The Maltese shipping registry is the largest registry in Europe and the 6th largest registry in the world. Thanks to the island’s geographical position, Malta has been a favourite destination for seafarers for many years. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Hon. Aaron Farrugia announced that the strategies implemented by the government and all the efforts by the Directorate within Transport Malta are “bearing fruit”. Farrugia mentioned in his statement that in such challenging times, positive news bears even more courage and determination to invest further in the local maritime industry and achieve greater results in the years to come. On another related occasion held recently - the Malta Superyacht Symposium, Minister Farrugia proudly announced that Malta is now a shipping register leader at a global level, reaching a new record increase of 51% in the registration of Superyachts measuring over 24 metres in length.
Malta has become the jurisdiction of choice, backed by a reputable fleet history and the overgrowing registrations of high-profile yachts, said Minister Farrugia, announcing that the Ministry together with its experts and stakeholders initiated the process for Malta to have the first national yachting policy.
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