The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) is giving a guarded welcome to the Cambodian government’s promise to turn its maritime flag into a genuine national ship register.
ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith stated: “In May the government said it was abolishing the register entirely. Since then they have suggested they will decisively act to transform it into a true national flag: Cambodian ships, owned in Cambodia, rather than the ragtag collection of seaborne offenders that has marked its inglorious history as one of the world’s most disreputable flags.”
She continued: “Frankly the proof will be in what happens next. The theory is admirable – making the flag what it should be, a true national resource – but we will all have to see how it works out. If they are genuinely committed to making it work, they will have our support. But we are cautious, the messages are mixed, and we’ve heard the promises of reform before.
“For now the ITF, like port state of control authorities everywhere, will be watching to see what difference this announcement makes in the real world.”
As of 31 July 2016, there were 123 vessels over 100GT registered in Cambodia.