State of the Merchant Navy.

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by stumpy, Jul 8, 2007.

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  1. Will we see the return of Pressgangs? The RN appears to be going the same way!!
  2. Not good reading to see yet another of UK's many attributes diminish to almost nothing compared to what it was . A further step in the dismantling of a great nation .
  3. Hardly surprising though. What that report doesn't mention is that a large portion of the ships on the UK register are foreign manned and run using the UK Flag as essentially a Flag of Convenience - MSC Napoli is a fine example, with the only 2 Brits on board Cadets being trained to get the company tax breaks.

    Most British Officers (and it is almost only officers now) are being trained by large training conglomerates who are paid by companies with British Registered vessels so they have the requisite number of trainees to get tax exemptions under the Tonnage Tax scheme - the master of a bulk carrier I spoke to suggested that just for training one or two cadets (who are sacked once qualified as they cost far too much compared to Indian/Filipino Officers), tax can go from c. £1m to c. £100k - a 90% drop!!

    The situation is bad and getting worse - the Telegraph article doesn't highlight the real problem, which is that the UK Flag is essentially becoming a Flag of Convenience. Nautilus UK, the Officers' Union has a good bit of intelligent comment on the various issues if you're interested.
  4. Bloody hell! Thanks for the info in that post!

  5. Tell me about it! When BP flagged out most of us were told to FO… too expensive. It's not unusual to have ships with for instance a British Master, Indian Officers and a Philipino crew who can barely communicate with each other…
  6. Regretably marine transport is a global competitive business that is very cost sensitive. That is why we no longer build ships, we were too expensive and did not invest in new technology, so the work has gone to where it costs less to buy ships, foreign registry cuts costs too so most of the ships owned by UK companies are under flags of convenience where taxes and compliance with regulations are less expensive, crew from other countries are cheaper too so similarly companies hire them to keep their costs down.

    Unfortunately when it mattered European countries did not act to ensure that ships under flags of convenience were up to standard although this is changing a bit now, so there were and still are a fair number of quite unsafe ships out there servicing the lower end of the market. This did make it easier for companies to flag out their ships to save money.

    It has got to the point where CALMAC has flagged out it's ferries, and tranfered the crews to an offshore crewing company so that it can save money.

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