Participation in the United States Coats Guard’s “Qualship 21” programme

SCF Group regularly adds new vessels to the Qualship 21 (Quality Shipping for the 21st Century) programme of the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

In 2014, the number of SCF Group vessels participating in the Qualship 21 programme grew to 44 ships. These vessels included gas carrier SCF Arctic – built in 1969. The high operational standards aboard the ship help keep her in excellent condition, as evidenced by the acquisition of the USCG quality certificate.

An official letter received from USCG in Washington as part of the latest award of Qualship 21 certificates notes: “This is a remarkable accomplishment and I applaud the efforts of your organisation and the master and crew of the qualified vessels for setting such a high standard of excellence”.

The Qualship 21 programme (Quality Shipping for the 21st Century) has been developed by USCG to support ship-owners who constantly strive to perfect their safety systems, protect the environment and increase their competitiveness. This is what USCG understands by the term “quality shipping”.

According to USCG, fewer than 10% of vessels operating under foreign flags in US ports and territorial waters comply with the requirements of the Qualship 21 programme. Participation in the programme allows vessels to reduce their number of inspections by the Federal Ports Authority or enjoy longer intervals between these inspections. The Qualship 21 certificate is issued in recognition of the high standards of professionalism shown by shipping company personnel both on land and at sea.

In order to receive a Qualship 21 certificate and retain its right to a place in the programme, a vessel must show that over the last 36 months it has not been apprehended or impounded for non-compliance with IMO requirements in accordance with the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW and more recently MLC 2006). During this period, the vessel must not have broken the laws in force within US territorial waters or have been involved in any serious incidents at sea. In addition, the vessel must have passed an inspection by the Federal Ports Authority within the preceding 12 month period.