The mystery ship MVS Rhosus left at Batumi port in Georgia on September 23, 2013. The ship was laden with the 2,750 ton Ammonium Nitrate. But, the vessel broke down during the journey. The ship started its journey with 11 known defects and one of the main damages occurred to the machinery or hull damage.
Nicola Mulinaris of Shipbreaking Platform said, “Nowadays, roughly 75 percent of the world’s fleet is sailing under a country that is different to the country of the vessel’s beneficial ownership.”
“These open registries offer shipowners low tax rates, light-touch environments and social regulation, and high levels of financial secrecy.”
“Based on detections and inspections, in 2020, Moldova is amongst the worst flags in the world because it doesn’t have enough guarantee that legislation is respected,” Mulinaris added.
“You have to restructure the whole maritime industry in order to solve the flags of convenience issue, which is the source of a major lack of transparency and enforcement of maritime legislation,” Mulinaris continued.
“That’s something you should tackle at an international, United Nations level, and the International Maritime Organisation level,” he added.
“It’s not noted for quality shipping, the Moldovan flag, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of fairly ropey tonnage floating around.” However, he points out that despite the damage to the vessel, “the cargo was discharged, was safe, and has been in the warehouse for a few years.”
“When you compare cargo damage on recognised flags and compare it to cargo damage on flags of convenience, those latter ships have more damage.”
“People have been trying to tighten up flags of convenience, with some success. It’s a lot better than it used to be 20 years ago, that’s for sure. If you don’t meet international safety standards, then ports are entitled to stop the ship leaving,” admits Faint.