Τhe role of flag states administration in shipping industry
Shipping has a very dynamic place in the global industry and one of the most important institutions supporting it, is the flag state. The primary responsibility of the flag states is the safety of the shipping and secondarily the implementation of their duties. Despite efforts to improve the implementation of the flag state, the compliance with international standards is largely achieved through the pressure exerted by the port authorities on industry. Port authorities are also an instrument of effectiveness in achieving the implementation of various international conventions covering safety, working conditions and pollution prevention on merchant ships. Certificates are proof that the system operates under regulations. Subsequently, the development of flags of convenience, a new system in which merchant ships are registered in countries with open registrations without being linked to the flag states in which they are registered. Those do play an important role in maintaining or not the required compliances. Finally, special flags (second registries) are an integral part of the system’s operation.