15 May 2004

Search all issues

powered by FreeFind

Send Your Feedback!

Shipping register as yet unaffected by EU accession

By Matthew Vella

There has been no significant impact as yet on the Maltese flag’s shipping register due to accession into the European Union, according to latest figures of the register as requested by the Malta Financial and Business Times.
The Ministry for Competitiveness and Communications has told this newspaper that according to 31 March, 2004 figures, the tonnage of Maltese ships registered under the Malta flag stood at 25,852,225.
Parliamentary records however offer conflicting figures on the total tonnage at the end of 2003. In one answer to Labour MP Jose Herrera, Minister Censu Galea said there were 3,361 vessels at the end of the year, with gross tonnage at 25,994,108.
In February 2004, answering to Labour MP Carmelo Abela, Galea said there had been 3,368 vessels registered under the Maltese flag, with a gross tonnage of 25,755,705. These comprised 1,568 yachts, 325 fishing boats, and 1,475 merchant ships.
Asked to comment on information that the Maltese flag had seen a large number of ships departing to the Panama flag, Ministry spokesperson Gotthard Tabone said Malta is still the fifth largest ship register in the world. “It does not appear that the Maltese register has lost any ship because of any lack of commercial competitiveness,” Tabone said. “Everyone is aware that over the last six years the Malta Maritime Authority within the Ministry for Transport and Communications and now within the Ministry for Competitiveness and Communications has been striving to upgrade its standards through legislation, capacity-handling and improved surveillance.
“The Maltese administration will continue with its efforts to ensure the Maltese flag will continue to be advantageous to shipowners but at the same time all efforts will continue to ensure that Maltese ships comply with the requirements of Maltese law and with the standards laid down by international conventions.”
According to the Ministry the Malta Maritime Authority has been very active with the International Maritime Organisation in its mission to improve the standards of shipping worldwide “in the belief that ultimately the only way to ensure a healthy and viable ship register is to uphold the best international standards.”

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
Tel: (356) 21382741-3, 21382745-6 | Fax: (356) 21385075 | E-mail