“Sanctions compliance, fleet monitoring, and enforcement of all the IMO instruments are the main
challenges we are currently facing,” said Gianluca Tucci, General Director of the San Marino
Registry, a brand-new player which chose Posidonia 2024 as the launching pad for its merchant
vessel offering.
Over the past few years, increased sanctions have placed a growing burden on ship registries. Flags
and classification societies have responded by suspending and removing more ships and operators
from their ranks.
To prevent “flag hopping” and other deceitful practices, leading international flags like the Panama
Maritime Authority, the Liberian Registry, and the Marshall Islands Registry have agreements for
the exchange of information.
Furthermore, shifting markets and supply chains have increased financial pressures on ship
operators. As a result, there has been a rise in abandonments and lax compliance with safety
regulations.
“The dynamic nature of ship registration also renders the necessity to upgrade, improve, and
respond to changing demands of the market a necessity for survival,” said Dr. Ivan Tabone,
Registrar General, Malta Ship Registry.
In addition, some advocate eliminating the concept of ship nationality altogether, which would shift
the responsibility of supervision and enforcement away from flag registries.

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To stay ahead of developments and improve their competitiveness, flag registries are introducing
various initiatives in the areas of Digitalization and Blockchain to streamline processes, improve
transparency, and enhance security.
“We must stress the use of new technologies by applying digitalized services in addition to
implementing the best working conditions for all seafarers without forgetting the environment and
the shift to decarbonize shipping,” said Richard Medawar, Deputy General Ships Registrar of
Guinea Bissau International. The Registry is making its Posidonia debut this year as an exhibitor to
promote its brand and services and communicate its added values and strengths to a broader
audience of marine industry professionals and network with existing and potential new customers.
The digital transformation wave is spearheading flag registries’ efforts to reduce red tape as an
enabler for a more seamless vessel registration process. At Posidonia 2024, the Greek flag launched
a new application for the digitization of the application for registration and granting of a document
of nationality of Greek seagoing vessels, niologio.gov.gr. The new application, which is a perennial
request of the shipping community, reduces bureaucracy and speeds up registration procedures,
strengthening the competitiveness of the Greek flag. Thanks to the digitization of the entire process,
the ship's nationality document, which carries a unique QR Code for immediate verification of its
authenticity by any competent authority around the world, is automatically generated and granted
directly to the ship-owning company.
Flag registries are also focusing on green issues, emphasizing their environmental compliance and
sustainability strategies by offering incentives for eco-friendly practices, such as reduced fees for
vessels meeting emission standards or using alternative fuels.
For example, the British Virgin Islands Registry (BVI), better known for its yachting offering, is
developing a comprehensive policy spanning various ministries to incentivize green shipping
practices, benefiting ship registration, port calls, and beyond. The exotic Registry is strategically
expanding its global presence with plans to establish offices in the Mediterranean, Dubai, Singapore,
and Florida and is eager to forge partnerships with the green propulsion technology industry,
aligning with its commitment to fostering cleaner seas through mutually beneficial associations.
John Samuel, Director, said: “We return to Posidonia for the ninth time this summer to meet
potential clients from the merchant marine community and promote the flag’s commitment to
green shipping.”
International cooperation between them, port authorities, and other maritime bodies is also
another area of focus for flag registries, as part of their contribution to a more cohesive and
competitive global maritime ecosystem.
“Although cost matters are always at the forefront of customers’ consideration, flag selection goes
well beyond that,” added Dr. Ivan Tabone. “One of the major challenges of all major international
ship registries is the ability to strike the right balance between addressing the needs of our
customers without compromising the quality of service provided and compliance with the applicable
regulations and standards.”
On the issue of ship registration fees and the annual tonnage charge (ATC), the Hong Kong Ship
Registry (HKSR) is offering waivers for the first year of ship registration for applicable ships newly
registered with HKSR. “To enhance the competitiveness of HKSR and provide greater facilitation for
shipowners, we will continue to enhance our ship registration services and suitably employ
digitalization to facilitate the process of ship registration,” said S.F. Wong, Director of Marine. “Our

policy as a special administrative region is not to seek any profit from ship registration fees, and
most services are provided on a cost-recovery basis.”
The following flag registries are exhibiting at this year’s Posidonia: Bahamas Maritime Authority,
Barbados Maritime Ship Registry, Cayman Registry, Croatian Register of Shipping, Cyprus Shipping
Deputy Ministry, Hong Kong Shipping Registry, International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize
(IMMARBE), IRI / The Marshall Islands Registry, Liberian Registry, Maritime Malta, Guinea Bissau,
Palau International Ship Registry, Panama Maritime Authority, San Marino Ship Register, Sierra
Leone Maritime Administration, St. Kitts & Nevis International Ship Registry, and Virgin Islands
Shipping Registry.
Posidonia 2024 is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy,
the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and the Union of Greek Shipowners and with the support of the
Municipality of Piraeus and the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee.

Editor: Kemal Can Kayar