31 December 2003

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Maltese-flagged fleet down 13 per cent

The fleet of ships flying the Maltese flag shrunk by 13.1 per cent to 36.6 million in dead weight tonnage last year, according to the Review of Maritime Transport 2003 released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
As of 1 January 2003, Malta – with its 247 oil tankers, 390 bulk carriers, 337 general cargo ships and 31 container ships - had stood in fourth place out of the six countries with open-registry fleets. Total ships in Malta’s fleet number 1,029. While Malta is on more or less equal footing with other open registry fleets - such as those of the Bahamas, Liberia and Cyprus - Panama, with over 4,000 ships, is the undisputed leader in the sector.
While in 2002 Malta decreased its fleet by 13.1 per cent, Bermuda’s tonnage decreased substantially by 22.2 per cent and decreases in fleets of the other two major open registries - the Bahamas and Cyprus - were about two per cent each.
In terms of the true nationalities of ships flying the Maltese flag, over half of Malta’s fleet is Greek-owned, with 594 vessels being registered in Malta, while, at 92, the Russian Federation comes in second and Turkey is in third with 85. Maltese-flagged fleet down 13 per cent

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Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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