The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is pleased to be recognised for an unparalleled 17 consecutive years on the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG’s) QUALSHIP 21 roster. The RMI is the only one of the world’s three largest registries to attain QUALSHIP 21 status, while the two other flags in the ‘Big Three’ did not make the grade and have been targeted now for two consecutive years. As reported in the recently published Port State Control in the United States 2020 Annual Report, the RMI remains a top performer for 2020, even in the face of extraordinary challenges.
More than 1,100 RMI flagged vessels were enrolled in QUALSHIP 21 in 2020, with an additional 78 having enrolled thus far in 2021. This means approximately one third of the QUALSHIP 21 certified vessels are flying the RMI flag, which illustrates the Registry’s dedication to high-quality standards fleetwide.
“We are exceptionally proud of our fleet and this unprecedented achievement which reflects our owners’ long-term commitment to high-quality and safe vessel operations,” said Bill Gallagher, president of International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI), which provide administrative and technical support to the RMI Registry. “Our owners, operators, and fleet operations teams work closely together to ensure high levels of compliance while also implementing new technologies to create a sustainable future for our industry,” he continued.
“This year was extraordinarily challenging for all industry stakeholders, specifically ships’ crews, and yet the RMI flag’s three year rolling average detention ratio stands at 0.74%, below the 1.02% USCG threshold for QUALSHIP21,” said Brian Poskaitis, IRI’s senior vice president, Fleet Operations. “The annual report is a real benchmark for us and reflects the coordination, professionalism, and focus our vessels and their crews have placed on compliance,” he continued.
In 2020, the RMI Registry issued Marine Safety Advisory 13-20, which allowed for remote inspections where a physical inspection was not advisable or permissible due to local restrictions. To date, 1,098 remote inspections have been conducted, with the ability to perform physical inspections constantly fluctuating due to the pandemic.
“Our close relationships and effective communication with our vessels and port State control authorities have enabled our teams to remain active with inspecting and identifying potential areas of concern,” said Brian Poskaitis. “Without the cooperation of the ships’ crews and owners/operators we could not have maintained this level of compliance and safe operations; we commend them for their tireless commitment,” he concluded.
The recognition comes on the back of the 2020 Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding report, released in April 2020, in which the RMI retained its preeminent whitelist status.