Home » Breaking News, Maritime » Philippine registry fails to attract foreign shipowners

Foreign shipping operators continue to shy away from the Philippine registry, with some Philippine-flagged overseas-going vessels even reflagging to avail of better benefits from other nations’ registries.

Accredited overseas shipping companies declined 23% to 20 from 26 from January to November 2011, according to latest data from the Philippine Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

Accreditation of maritime-related enterprises also dipped 8% to 60 from 65.

The number of certificates of Philippine registry issued for the period in review, however, inched up 3% to 81 from 79, a welcome development considering Philippine ship registry had declined at an average rate of 9% from 2001 to 2007 or from 135 to 76 companies.

“Principals were not considering the country to register their vessels and were instead reflagging to jurisdictions like Hong Kong, Malta and Liberia,” Marina said in a document.

“Principals were reflagging to benefit from the low salaries of seafarers, better business climate, including fiscal and non-fiscal incentives,” Marina added.

“While we try luring back Filipino and foreign vessel operators to register in the country, Marina is also promoting the extension of the Philippine ship registry to foreign-owned ships represented by a duly accredited local ship management company to fly the country’s flag.”

Approved applications for ship acquisitions through bareboat chartering, meanwhile, fell 21% due to fewer vessels scheduled for renewal. Of the total number, six were newly bareboat chartered, down 14% from the number acquired for the same period in 2010.

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