USCG offers incentives for
The U.S. Coast Guard is launching a program intended to reward
operators of quality ships. Aimed at non-U.S.-registered vessels
that visit U.S. ports, Qualship 21, as the program is named,
promises reductions in port state control examinations and streamlined
inspection procedures to vessels meeting its
criteria. A similar program is being considered for U.s. registered
In the past, the Coast Guard has aggressively enforced safety
standards, putting the primary focus on identifying poor quality
vessels. This policy has paid off and the quality of vessels
visiting U.S. ports has improved over the past six years.
Hundreds of vessels are typically found with few or no deficiencies.
Qualship 21 is intended to reward these high quality ships and
provide an incentive to others to improve.
Qualship 21 criteria, vessels must:
- be non-U.S.-flagged
- have no substandard vessel detentions
in the U.S. within previous 36 months
- have no marine violations or serious marine
casualties and no more than one ticket in the U.S. within the
previous 36 months
- must have had a succeessful port state
control exam within the previous 12 months
- must not be owned or operated by a company
that has been associated with any port state control detention
within U.S. waters within the previous 24 months
- must not be classed by nor have statutory
convention certificate issued by a targeted classification society
- must not be registered with a flag state
that has a detention rate more than one-third that of the overall
U.S. detention ratio; the vessel's flag state must have had at
least 10 distinct arrivals in the U.S. in each of the previous
three years; the flag state must have submitted its self-assessment
of flag state performance to IMO and provided a copy to the U.S.
There are a number of incentives for Qualship
21 vessels. All vessels in the program will receive a Qualship
21 certificate and be listed on the Coast Guard's port state
Qualships 21 tankers' U.S. certificates
of compliance will be valid for two years, giving tanker owners
more flexibility, and a less thorough mid-period exam will replace
the annual tank ship exam.
Qualship 21 freight ships will receive two years of limited port
state control oversight.
Qualship 21 passenger vessels will be cut no breaks on port state
control exams, but will receive Qualship 21 certificates and
recognition on the Qualship 21 web page.
Owners need not apply for Qualship 21 recognition. The Coast
Guard is compiling its own list of eligible vessels and will
notify owners of the initiative and their opportunity to participate.
Owners who believe that they have vessels eligible to participate,
but do not see them listed on the Qualship 21 webpage when it
is posted in March 2001, should notify the Coast Guard
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