ECONOMY

Greek flag on the white list for fifth consecutive year

The Greek Shipping Register has remained on the «white list» for the fifth year in succession, according to the annual report of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MOU). Only 5.24 percent of merchant vessels flying the Greek flag failed the MOU checks and were detained, bringing Greece into the world’s top 30 quality flag recipients. The report suggests that during 2005, 20,316 inspections were made on 12,538 different ships under 108 flags. The number of ships failing the checks reached 1,187, a decline of 5.84 percent from 2004. The data show a constant improvement in ships’ quality. Besides Greece, the white list includes its competitors Liberia, Bahamas and Antigua. The gray list includes 27 flags, such as the Cypriot and the Maltese. The black list includes 21 countries like Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Paris MOU checks seamen’s living and working conditions. It also focuses on safety and environmental protection standards. The total number of deficiencies, the Paris MOU report found, came to 64,113. The biggest portion of that (47 percent) concerns inadequate life-saving, firefighting and navigation equipment. However, the number of reported deficiencies has declined by 10 percent. Ships aged 15 years or over were found to have 24,409 deficiencies, while ships up to five years old had only a total of 1,175 deficiencies. For the first time deficiencies in safety issues were recorded, reaching the figure of 149; they concerned adherence to the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code in the initial stages of its application as well as 107 deficiencies in other relevant issues. The report also notes that violations connected with Annexes I, II, III and IV of the of MARPOL 73/78 international convention, concerning maritime pollution, were reduced by 28 percent. Ships aged 15 years or over had 3,316 deficiencies, against just 211 faults found in ships up to five years old. Regarding the application and adherence to the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, 2,794 basic «non-conformities» were recorded. Ships aged 15 years or over were found to have 2,199 basic non-conformities, while ships up to five years old only had 120.