Carriers' flag strategy could be blocked by EU rules

It is not permitted to send a vessel for scrapping outside of the OECD if the last port call is made to a European port. This applies regardless of the vessel's nationality, the EU Commission stresses in the wake of Maersk Line's considerations regarding changing flags in order to scrap in Alang.

Maersk Wyoming arrived for scrapping at Alang last week. The vessel sails with the Hong Kong flag and made its last port call at Jebel Ali in Dubai. | Photo: PR-foto/Maersk Line

It may be a breach of regulations to change the flag on a vessel in order to scrap it on the beaches of Alang, notes the EU Commission in a response to ShippingWatch after recent weeks of debate about scrapping in Alang.

Maersk Group stated recently that the company is prepared to re-flag vessels in order to avoid the approaching EU white-list of approved yards. But the tactic could be blocked by a rarely utilized rule covering the subject.

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