The Taiwan maritime industry received international recognition from two international maritime organizations. The Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, stated today (8th) that Taiwan has been recognized by the US Quality Shipping for the 21st Century program (Qualship 21) flag state and has been whitelisted by the Tokyo MOU. The prestigious recognition by both organizations represents a continuous increase in competitiveness of Taiwan’s maritime industry and benefits Taiwan’s presence in the international maritime market.
The director general of the MPB, Tien-Kuei Kuo, stated that after receiving recognition from the "US Qualship 21 flag state", inspections of Taiwanese vessels in American ports will be greatly reduced to once every three years before June 30, 2021. This new regulation will strengthen the development of Taiwan-US trade, reduce port times for Taiwanese vessels, and greatly improve the efficiency of vessel operations.
The United States Coast Guard implemented the Qualship 21 program on January 1, 2001, to encourage vessels with excellent operational performance. The inspections will be focused on improving vessel conditions or managing sub-standard vessels to ensure the rights and safety of seafarers. The program is also focused on the protection of marine environments. The selection criteria for this program is extremely rigorous. The vessels belonging to the flag state must undergo 10 inspections per year for 3 years and the average detention rate of the vessels must be under 1%. The vessels must also implement the conditions of International Maritime Organization audits to receive the excellent flag state certification.
The Taiwanese vessels which regularly sail to the United States have been inspected 53 times in the last 3 years. Every vessel has passed inspection by US authorities and the detention rate was 0%. The excellent results indicate that our efforts towards maritime safety and marine environmental protection have been recognized by the US authorities. Taiwan was awarded the certification for the first time last year and has earned the certification again this year. At the same time, Canada, Germany, Japan, and 24 other nations have also been awarded the certification. Taiwan is one of the few Asian countries to be certified two years in a row.
Furthermore, in the 2019 annual report published today by Tokyo MOU, Taiwan has been included in the flag state whitelist, which includes only 40 countries, for the third year in a row. Taiwan has also moved in ranking from 35th to 19th. The vessel inspection organization, CR Classification Society, commissioned by Taiwan, was not only rated as “high performing” by 17 certification organizations, but has also moved from 12th in 2018 to 10th, achieving the best ranking since its formation.
The director general, Tien-Kuei Kuo emphasized that the MPB will continue to actively assist maritime operators to maintain high quality and high efficiency operations in the future. The Bureau will partner with the CR Classification Society to promote measures to strengthen domestic passenger service management, maintain the excellent reputation of the maritime industry in the world, and assist the domestic maritime businesses to improve their competitiveness in the international maritime market and seize every global business.
Contact person: Vessel Management Division, Section Chief, Yu-Hsin Huang
Contact number: 02-89782625 / 0933-843435