Time for a rethink on what a quality flag really is…

Posted on: 6th April 2020

For those wondering what a quality flag represents, they need look no further than The Bahamas. Its steadfast commitment to quality and safety has once again been recognised by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) through its Qualship 21 programme (Quality Shipping for the 21st Century).

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) is proud to be included in the USCG  ‘Qualship 21′ list which recognises the quality of Bahamas registered ships, their owners/Managers and crew, operating to and from United States ports. The Bahamas always strives for zero detentions and is moving ever closer to this goal with just two detentions out of all the 538 US port state inspections of Bahamas flagged ships during the last year. Furthermore, The Bahamas is at the top of the so-called ‘White-list’ within the port state control regimes of the Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU.

Captain Dwain Hutchinson, BMA’s Managing Director and CEO  said: “We are delighted that the stringent attention to quality that is paid by all of our Owners has been recognised once again and we would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to our Owners, Managers and crew onboard Bahamas registered ships, for this achievement.  Together our dedication to applying, operating and maintaining Bahamas’ ships to the highest possible standards is a credit to The Bahamas, the BMA and your organisation.”

Qualship 21 is testament to The BMA’s team, including its Recognised Organisations and Nautical Inspectors, commitment and dedication. The support and advice that The BMA provides to Owners to assist them with port state control and regulatory compliance issues, as well as the regular flag state inspections, statutory audits and surveys of the fleet that are undertaken, ensure their ships comply in all respects with the international conventions and so uphold the reputation of The Bahamas.

Captain Hutchinson further added: “Our Owners, their Managers and crew onboard their ships demonstrate the best values seen in the shipping industry and, along with all other ship owners, they are playing possibly the major role in the global response to, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic as they transport urgently needed food, medical supplies and provisions around the world. Today, we are all reminded more than ever of the vital role played by shipping and all who work within the industry, whether onboard or ashore, in the global economy.”