The St Kitts and Nevis International Ship Registry (SKANReg) has set a target of five years to propel itself into the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control white list and firmly believes that its long-term strategy of reducing detentions could see it finally move out of the black list into the grey list by 2023.
More inspectors, increased inspections as well as focused targeting of younger tonnage are among the initiatives it is looking at.
The flag missed out on grey list status by a matter of only two detentions in the recently published Paris MOU stats, but the figures it returned are a continuation of the flag’s improvement seen over recent years.
And according to Liam Ryan, International Registrar of Shipping & Seamen and CEO at SKANReg, one of the vessels detained was a younger unit at 18 years old at the time of the last inspection. This vessel reflagged from a white-listed flag, benefited from working with an IACS classification society and was regularly trading in Paris MOU waters.
“Not the sort of vessel you would have singled out for special attention when it was registered with the flag,” he said.
St Kitts and Nevis deploys a stringent points-based system when vetting ships wanting to join its flag, with points attributed for a number of factors. These include the age of the vessel, the class society it uses and which flag it came from – white, grey or black; as well as how many deficiencies it has had over a certain period; and where it trades, either in a recognised MOU area or a banned area. The more points it accumulates, the more attention it receives from the flag’s inspectors, and vice versa.
SKANReg is also re-examining its age-related inspection procedures with a view to possibly implementing compulsory examination of vessels of 20 years and over. This policy change is currently being discussed internally, but there is an acknowledgement that past detentions have involved younger tonnage as well as ships with previously good trading and flag state records.
Liam Ryan again: “We are striving to improve the quality of the tonnage under our flag and while we need to concentrate on revenue flowing to the Government from vessel registrations, it is also important we inspect more ships so we can progress into the grey list and then ultimately into the white list.
“My goal is to be in the grey list within two years and the white list in five years. We are increasing the number of inspectors we engage and boost the number of vessel inspections. We regularly monitor port state control websites and review inspection reports for vessels showing defects being recorded. Any vessel that has been detained will be inspected within three months of the PSC detention,” he added.