(RESTON, Va.) — The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Registry has announced the award of Qualship 21 status by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to 30 bulk carriers owned and operated by Star Bulk Carriers Corp.
The Qualship 21 program provides rewards to high-quality ships and can only be awarded to vessels sailing under a qualifying flag. The RMI Registry is one of only a handful of ship registries to have less than a 1 percent three-year detention ratio in the U.S. and is the only large commercial flag to maintain Qualship 21 status through 2016. There were 13 flag administrations that lost Qualship 21 eligibility in 2016 due to their three-year detention ratio exceeding 1 percent.
In a letter to Star Bulk, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Thomas stated, "Less than 10 percent of all (non-U.S.-flagged) ships that operate in the (U.S.) meet the eligibility requirements of this program, putting (Star Bulk's) qualified vessels in an elite class. This is a remarkable accomplishment and I applaud the efforts of your organization and the master and crew of the qualified vessels for setting such a high standard of excellence."
Star Bulk's vessels have been flagged in the RMI since 2007. International Registries Inc. (IRI) and its affiliates provide administrative and technical support to the RMI Maritime and Corporate Registries and have been actively engaged with Star Bulk through its Piraeus office, which is managed by Theo Xenakoudis.
The RMI Registry has been in the USCG's Qualship 21 program for 12 consecutive years and continues to maintain its status on the White Lists of the Paris and Tokyo Memorandums of Understanding.