As part of its recent efforts to eliminate substandard shipping, the UAE's Federal Transport Authority issued a circular targeting 25 flag states and mandating that ships under these flags should be classified by a member society in the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) or by UAE classification society (Tasneef), if they are to call UAE Ports or anchor in UAE waters.
This rule will enter into force from 1st January 2019. The targeted flags include states from Paris MoU's Grey and Black lists, including flags with an average performance or a very poor performance, respectively. The list of the concerned states includes:
- Cook Islands
- Democratic People's republic of Korea
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
- Equitorial Guinea
- Costa Rica
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
The UAE has been criticized several times for being at the centre of seafarer abandonment and it has thus significantly emphasized on actions to combat substandard shipping in recent months. In May, ITF and the UAE FTA joined forces with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, to protect the rights of all seafarers operating in UAE waters.
Earlier in 2018, FTA also issued a circular mandating that all ships flying the UAE flag, above 200 gross tons, must have a financial security system to protect seafarers against abandonment, death or injury. The insurance must cover up to four months’ owed wages and entitlements. This measure entered into force in 20 February 2018, as the country entered into Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).