German shipowners warn against further out-flagging

Compared to other European countries, the German government does not draw on the EU rules that allow government support for shipping. This could seriously weaken Germany's position as leading maritime nation, warns Alfred Hartmann, president of the German shipowners association, in an interview with ShippingWatch.

Numerous German shipowners are having increasing difficulties in maintaining German-flagged ships in light of competition with other EU countries' flag registers due to the higher costs to the German seafarers. The reason is that Germany does not take full advantage of the framework set by the EU for the member states' support for their carriers, says Alfred Hartmann, president of the German Shipowners' Association, VDR.

Reederei NSB, one of Germany's largest operators of container ships under the German flag, announced in December last year that the carrier is out-flagging its whole fleet of 38 German-flagged vessels by June 2017, and the company will be laying off 486 German seafarers as well.

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