Cayman Retains USCG Qualship 21 Status

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has again recognized MACI for their excellent Port State Control record and listed them as one of the few qualifying Flag Administrations eligible for the prestigious Qualship 21.

Qualship 21 is the USCG’s matrix system of extending recognition to "foreign" ships, which fly the Flag of a State which has demonstrated an excellent safety and pollution prevention record with respect to its ships. Ships in the Qualship 21 system are required to undergo significantly less Port State Control inspections by the USCG whilst in US waters.

Essentially, the Qualship 21 system "rewards" good ships thereby contributing to the elimination of substandard ships.

In order to qualify:

  1. The Flag State or Registry must have less than a 1% detention ratio in the US over a three-year rolling average.
  2. The Flag State must have completed or planned to take part in the IMO Voluntary Member State Audit Scheme (VMSAS).
  3. The Flag State must have submitted its Self-Assessment Questionnaire to the International Maritime Organisation.
  4. No detentions of or violations by the vessel in US waters within the previous 36 months.
  5. The vessel must have completed a successful USCG Port State Control inspection within the previous 12 months.
  6. The shipping company must have a detention-free fleet in US waters for the past 24 months.
  7. The vessel must be classed with a "non-targeted" classification society.

Once the Flag State or Registry and Classification Society meet the criteria, this allows the Registry’s ships to become eligible to apply and qualify individually for Qualship 21 status. It is at that point that the USCG examines ships and shipping company profiles in order to contact eligible ships for confirmation of qualification. So far, only about 10% of all "foreign" ships calling at US ports qualify.

Mr. A. Joel Walton, CEO of the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (parent organization of the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry), remarked, "The CISR will strive to maintain its Qualship 21 status by continuing to uphold national and international standards pertaining to shipping".

Clearly, having Qualship 21 status brings significant benefits to ships flying the Cayman flag. The status is reviewed by the USCG annually and the names of Qualship 21 ships are posted on the USCG’s website.

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