Following the publication of the USCG’s annual port state control report, there have been several changes to the flag states featured in the Qualship programme.
The Quality Shipping for the 21st Century Program, or QUALSHIP 21, recognises and rewards vessels, as well as their owners and Flag Administrations, for their commitment to safety and quality. To encourage maritime entities to participate, incentives such as certificates, name recognition, and a reduction in PSC examination frequency are offered to participants. The criteria for inclusion
are very strict and only a small percentage of all foreign-flagged ships that operate in the US have earned the QUALSHIP 21 designation. The QUALSHIP 21 program ended calendar year 2019 with an enrolment of 2,936 vessels compared to year 2018 when only 2,213 vessels were enrolled
Flags that were previously included but which have not been included in the 2020 list include Belgium, China Liberia and South Korea. Cyprus which was not in the list in 2019 has been added for 2020.
Curacao which was in the list for 2019 has had too few vessel calls to be included in 2020 but remains on the secondary list of flag states that have shown a commitment to the aims of the programme but which do not qualify for the main list due to call levels. The secondary list currently contains ten flag states compared to seven in 2019.