The Isle of Man’s highly successful Ship Registry is evolving to meet the needs of the modern shipping world. On 1st April 2017 it will deliver improved services by moving to a new way of working, in partnership with its clients and their Classification Societies, to streamline processes and add extra value to the world class service provided.
With over 400 internationally trading ships, it is paramount that the Registry provides global coverage for the regular surveys and inspections required by the international conventions. Traditionally the Isle of Man Ship Registry has retained the safety management, security and labour convention inspections and audits. In future, this will be served by the ship’s Classification Societies (Class), acting as recognised organisations for the Flag. With their network of global offices, they are better placed to deliver these services within the allocated time windows.
The move to full Class delegation will be met with a new regime of General Inspections, carried out by the Ship Registry’s own team of surveyors, to satisfy its Flag State Obligations and to ensure the quality of ships on the register are operating to the very highest standards expected by the Isle of Man.
Dick Welsh, Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry, commented: ‘Next month we are finally moving to full delegation, a system already favoured by many of our clients. The delegation of ISM/ISPS and ILO MLC audits and inspections amounts to the final three pieces in the jigsaw for the Island’s Ship Registry. We have consulted widely on this change and received positive feedback from both clients and Class. We can now utilise our own surveyors to better effect to inspect the vessels and monitor the work Class are carrying out on our behalf. We will be able to arrange these inspection visits at a time to suit the client and provide comprehensive reports which will add real value.’
Mark Robertshaw, Chair of the Isle of Man Shipping Association, commented: ‘The Ship Registry has consulted extensively with the Island’s shipping industry and we believe the new regime will streamline the process for managing new ships and add further appeal to the Island’s world-class Ship Register.’
The Isle of Man Ship Registry is already a very successful Flag, posting tonnage growth of over 9% in 2016, reaching Number 12 in the World Table of Flag States by tonnage, the highest position achieved to date. Growth from Asia has been very strong and the register now comprises over 60% tonnage from this region. The move to full Class delegation will make the register even more attractive, as it aligns its offering to some of the world’s larger flags, with the extra benefit of retaining its own inspection regime using its own surveyors to add real value as a Flag State.
A new, simplified fee scheme will also be introduced to support the changes and provide a single annual fee to cover annual registry and inspection fees. This means the Flag will continue to provide excellent value for money, particularly in comparison with the larger open registers. It will also allow greater certainty and consistency in financial planning for owners and operators. Again, this has been very well received by clients, Welsh added:
‘We have been working on these changes for some time. We are now keen to get it up and running. This will really enhance our offering and make us more attractive, as well as providing real value for our clients.’