The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has officially confirmed that 20 Sovcomflot Group (SCF) vessels had been added to its Qualship 21 programme (Quality Shipping for the 21st Century).
From July 1, 2014, the number of SCF Group vessels participating in the Qualship 21 programme doubled from 22 to 44 ships.
These vessels include the gas carrier SCF Arctic – built in 1969.
According to the 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 the number of inspections by Ports State Control or enjoy longer intervals between these inspections.
The Qualship 21 has been developed by the USCG to support ship-owners who constantly strive to perfect their safety systems, protect the environment and increase their competitiveness.
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.
Press Release, July 23, 2014