Malta’s certification, for the first time ever, by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) under its Quality Shipping for the 21st Century (QUALSHIP21) initiative has been hailed as a “result of great importance and prestige” by the Malta Maritime Forum (MMF), which described it as “further important recognition” for the Maltese maritime flag.
Launched in 2015, the QUALSHIP21 Programme certifies and rewards high-quality flag administrations, companies and vessels for their safety and quality, having been found with few or no deficiencies and being operated responsibly.
The MMF congratulated the owners, charterers and crews of Maltese ships, together with the flag administration and all stakeholders in the maritime industry, saying they deserve “a very good part of the credit for this proud achievement”.
The industry body said the result is a certificate of quality for the Maltese flag, and recognition of a persistently quality performance. It pointed to Malta’s long standing inclusion in the Paris MoU White List, achieving the result in the topmost category for 16 consecutive years.
The registrar general of shipping and seamen within Transport Malta, Ivan Sammut, said, “This ranking confirms our status as the flag of quality, reputation and confidence for the best quality shipowners whose charterers and investors expect their vessels to be fully compliant and not unnecessarily detained or targeted for inspection.”
Malta’s Merchant Shipping Directorate administers the largest register in Europe and the sixth in the world. In recent years, it has seen strong demand for registration, particularly for vessels in the superyacht category.
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia said the recognition was “the result of continued investment in people and technology to vet and monitor its ships, and close communication with Port State Control (PSC) authorities around the world
“Achieving the QUALSHIP21 certificate for the first time in these challenging times gives us more courage to invest further in the maritime industry to obtain more added value in our economy,” the Minister continued. “This is also another clear message to our partners that we are committed to quality, and we value their confidence in the Malta flag.”
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