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Bulgaria has a maritime flag and the interest of Bulgarian shipowners is fully protected

16.08.2019

Bulgaria has a maritime flag and the interest of Bulgarian shipowners is fully protected.

Each year, a new list of flag states is published in the annual report of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on State Port Control, which lists the flag state concerned in white, gray and black, depending on the performance of their vessels when inspected in the Paris Memorandum region for port State control.

This list is based on the total number of checks and detentions for a three-year continuous flag period with at least 30 checks per period.

Within the Paris Memorandum, a total of 26 inspections of Bulgarian ships were carried out for the period 2016, 2017 and 2018. According to the current methodology, Bulgaria is not included in the latest issue of the White, Gray and Black list, which has been published since 1 July 2019, as there are only checks that are below the minimum number for the last 3 years.

The activities of the ships under the Bulgarian flag are mainly carried out in the Black Sea. In this area of ​​activity, in addition to Bulgaria, Romania and part of the Azov region of Russia are members of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on State Port Control. In this regard, it should be made clear that in the published list on the website of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on State Port Control, in force from 01.07.2019 to 01.07.2020, Romania also does not fall into it; 5 inspections of Romanian vessels were carried out in the three-year period (2016-2018). Due to the small number of inspections of Romanian vessels, they have not been listed in the last 10 years.

Until the new memorandum list came into force, the Bulgarian flag was on the "gray list". In this regard, the control by the Maritime Administration EA for strengthening the ships flying the Bulgarian flag to the highest standards in terms of their safety and safety was strengthened. For this reason, some shipowners have changed the flags of their high-risk ships from Bulgarian to a "convenient" flag, such as Sierra Leone, Saint Kitts and Nevis, blacklisted.

All actions carried out by EA Maritime Administration in recent years have led to a better representation of ships under the Bulgarian flag in inspections both in the Paris MOU area and in the Black Sea MOU region, to which Bulgaria is also a member state.

It is particularly important to note that as a result of the change in force of 01.07.2019, ships flying the flag of Bulgaria can no longer be banned from visiting a port of a member state of the Paris Memorandum (all coastal states from the EU, as well as Russia and Canada), which is in the real interest of Bulgarian shipowners and shipowners.

A ban on a port visit to a member state of the Paris Memorandum may be issued in accordance with paragraph 4.1 of the rules of the memorandum only where:

• the ship is flying the flag of a country that is blacklisted;

• the ship is flying the flag of a country that is on the gray list by number of detentions.