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The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry (VISR) has won Quality Shipping in the 21st Century (Qualship 21) programme recognition for the year 2017. The department received a Certificate of Achievement confirming that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) officially recognised the VISR for having qualified for inclusion in the USCG Qualship 21 programme.
The United States Coast Guard places a large focus on eliminating substandard shipping and enforces compliance with both international and US standards. The Qualship 21 initiative rewards high-quality flag state administrations and ships. It provides incentives to encourage quality operations. It also seeks to improve the quality of vessels visiting US ports to having few or no deficiencies. The BVI was one of only 16 flag states that qualified for the Qualship 21 programme this year.
In his congratulatory message to the VISR, Commander A.H. Moore Jr., of the United States Coast Guard said, “Your commitment to quality shipping was evident as merchant vessels flagged by your registry that called on US ports, have compiled an excellent Port State Control record in the past three calendar years. As a result, your Administration’s three year detention percentage is below the 1.0% threshold that is required for inclusion into Qualship 21 programme.”
Acting Director of the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, Captain Raman Bala said, “This is a very big news and positive development for VISR. The Qualship 21 recognition is a badge of honour and indeed a great achievement for the flag.”
“It means that ships registered with the VISR will find it easier to operate in the United States ports in regard to the USCG port state control compliance and owners will find the VISR more attractive to register their ships”, he added.
The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry seeks to be known as a flag of choice for quality ships to register and ensure that Virgin Islands ships can safely, securely and efficiently enjoy the freedom of the seas. The department also supports a progressive, effective and vigorous Maritime Administration.