14 August 2014

A reputable flag of choice

What has led to the unprecedented success of the Maltese maritime flag, asks Lara Saguna Axiaq.

Times of Malta 23/07/2014: Since time immemorial, vessels have been engaged in various trading activities across the world. Due to the vital impact which shipping activities have on our everyday lives, the regulation of vessels became inevitable and is in fact a topic which is under constant review in international fora, primarily to ensure that international safety standards are met.

International law consequently requires that vessels plying international waters and, in certain cases, those navigating local waters, be registered in a country which is referred to as a ‘flag state’. A vessel which hoists the flag of a chosen country is considered as forming part of the territory of its flag state and, from that moment, is regulated and bound by the law of that state. The flag state, the laws of which govern the operation of a vessel, exercises regulatory control over the vessel and is required to inspect it regularly with a view to ensure compliance with certain set standards...read more.