The Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) has become a member of The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO).
The organisation represents the interest of quality dry cargo shipowners and provides the forum where dry bulk shipowners, managers and operators are informed about, discuss and share concerns on key topics and regulatory challenges.
IOMSR deputy director Toby Brooks said the dry bulk sector is hugely important to the ship registry, both in terms of the significant tonnage that dry bulk ships bring to the Isle of Man flag and the quality of those vessels in terms of Port State Control inspections and flag state reputation.
He said the IOMSR and INTERCARGO are also closely aligned on the key sector issues of seafarer welfare, safety and decarbonisation.
“Becoming a member of INTERCARGO is an important move for us and we look forward to our organisations coming together and sharing their expertise for the benefit of the wider industry,” he said. “INTERCARGO’s influential voice on the prime issues affecting dry bulk shipowners is respected internationally and our aim in membership is to add to that voice.”
He added: “The demographic of ship types registered in the Isle of Man has changed considerably since we were established as an international register in 1984 and today around half the fleet is made up of dry cargo ships. This has ultimately improved the knowledge and expertise of our survey and technical team in the design and construction of bulk carriers. INTERCARGO membership will also help us further increase that expertise.”
The IOMSR was the first flag state to launch a seafarer welfare app to support mental health and, in another industry-leading development, in April 2022 it become the first flag state in the world to reduce registration fees for ships deploying green technology.
INTERCARGO works with its members, the regulators and other associations to ensure shipping operates safely, efficiently and in an environmentally sound way.
It also actively participates in the development of global legislation through the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other international bodies.
IOMSR’s industry leading green measure gives ship owners a 15 per cent reduction on their annual registration fee. The reduced fee is available to operators of cargo ships, commercial yachts or passenger ships which are investing in biofuel, alternative fuels, wind, or shore-side energy technology.
The move to offer immediate financial incentives for green technology ships follows on from the IOMSR becoming the first flag state to join the ‘Getting to Zero Coalition’ in 2020. The coalition’s core aim is to hit the IMO’s 2050 target to develop commercially viable, deep-sea zero-emission vessels by 2030.
IOMSR is also dedicated to seafarer welfare and has played a prominent role in highlighting the industry’s mental health challenges – and championing ways to tackle them.
With 11,000 seafarers sailing on more than 300 vessels under the Isle of Man flag, IOMSR understands the impact many feel in being isolated from family in the wilderness of the sea.
IOMSR worked to create the first ever seafarer welfare app designed by a flag state, which was launched in 2021. Called ‘Crew Matters’, the free app provides structured support for seafarers.
The IOMSR is one of the world’s leading flag states and is ranked 18 in the world by Clarkson’s with around 300 merchant ships and 12.5m GT under its flag. The registry has previously held top spot on the Paris MoU Port State Control whitelist and is firmly on the whitelist in the Tokyo MoU rankings. It is also recognised for fleet performance on the US Coast Guard’s Qualship 21 scheme.
The registry is headquartered in Douglas on the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency and is a Category One member of the Red Ensign group.
IOMSR was also recognised as one of the world’s top flag states by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) in its respected annual Flag State Performance Table published at the beginning of February 2023.
The registry scored positively across all categories in the latest report. The ICS Performance Table collects data on flag states against specific criteria, including Port State Control (PSC) records, ratification of international conventions and IMO meeting attendance.
The table is intended to encourage shipowners to examine whether a flag state has sufficient substance before using it. It is further designed to create dialogue between shipowners and their flag on safety, the environment and seafarer working conditions.