Taiwan recognized by the U.S. as a flag administration for the QUALSHIP 21 Program for three consecutive years
According to the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), the latest Port State Control Annual Report for 2020 released by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) (pictured) discloses that Taiwan has been recognized as a “flag administration for the quality shipping for the 21st century (QUALSHIP 21) program” by the US government for three consecutive years. Based on this qualification, Taiwanese ocean carriers can apply to the U.S. Coast Guard to register their Taiwan-flagged ships as high-quality ships before June 30, 2022. Following registration, the frequency of inspections at U.S. ports will be significantly reduced to once every three years, effectively reducing the duration of port stays for Taiwanese vessels, improving the efficiency of ship operations, and promoting the development of Taiwan-US trade.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been implementing the QUALSHIP 21 program since January 1, 2001. The program entails investing inspection energy on substandard ships pending the correction of deficiencies or with poor management systems to safeguard crew welfare and personnel safety, and to ensure that the marine environment is not negatively affected. The selection criteria for this program is extremely rigorous. Vessels belonging to the flag administration must have undergone at least 10 Port State Control inspections per year for the past 3 years with an average detention ratio of under 1%. The vessels must also be subject to International Maritime Organization audits to receive the excellent flag administration certification.
Yeh, Hsieh-Lung, Director-General of the MPB, indicated that 39 inspections have been performed on Taiwan-flagged fleets that regularly sail US routes in the past three years with all vessels passing U.S. inspections at a detention ratio of 0%. This demonstrates that the commitment of national ships to maritime safety and marine environmental protection has been highly recognized by the United States. Apart from notifying ocean carriers with Taiwan-flagged vessels of this information, the MPB also assists in applying for registration as high-quality ships with the U.S. Coast Guard. Taiwan has been honored with this recognition for three years consecutively along with 22 other countries including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan, and is one of the few Asian countries that have won this accolade for three consecutive years.
Director-General Yeh Hsieh-Lung emphasized that in addition to QUALSHIP 21, according to the annual report published by the Tokyo MOU on April 30, Taiwan has been included in the Tokyo MOU White List for 4 consecutive years from 2017 to 2020. The fact that Taiwan has been listed by both organizations for 3 consecutive years demonstrates that it has become a developed country in terms of maritime shipping. Furthermore, “CR Classification Society,” the ship surveying agency entrusted by Taiwan, has also been rated as a high-performance surveying agency. In the future, MPB and CR Classification Society will actively cooperate to promote the strengthening of national shipping management and fulfill the responsibilities related to international conventions to maintain Taiwan’s excellent standings with QUALSHIP 21 and the Tokyo MOU. This will enable excellent ocean carriers of Taiwan to become more competitive in the international shipping market.
Contact person: Huang, Yu-Hsin, Section Chief, Vessel Management Division
Contact number: +886-2-89782625