Originally Posted by Tomas
I'll take your guy over the US guy any day of the week. We can't vote in presidential elections down here, so don't blame me. Bush had his colon checked for cancer last week and after the procedure they replaced his head in its previous position, up his arse.
Didn't realize it was ever anyplace else. Oh. Never mind.
But seriously, most of the reasons for foreign flags are to avoid labor protection (Union) issues. Sorry but if you demand a deck hand be paid $50k a year if one is flagged Canadian or US and you can get a deck hand for $15k a year flagged Liberian and you leave that door open, they are all going to go through it. The Canadian or US company is still required to pay taxes and comply with safety standards to enter the ports.
There are in-transit and docking requirements that all ships must comply with within territorial waters, but there are also the registration fees and taxes and such that are required by the flagging country. The US tends to lead the pack with respect to those costs.
"Many passenger vessels in U.S. ports are registered under foreign flags. Although the owner may be headquartered in
the United States, foreign registry allows the owner to avoid U.S. taxes and labor laws. However, foreign vessels that
pick up passengers in the United States are subject to inspection because the Coast Guard enforces the International
Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.32 The Coast Guard examines foreign passenger ships when they first go into
service at U.S. ports and conducts quarterly inspections thereafter. The Coast Guard observes lifeboat drills and
conducts tests on other safety equipment."
And from Wikipedia:
As of 2000, half the world's tonnage of merchant ships were registered under flags of convenience. Some reasons for this include the avoidance of heavy taxes, the ability to hire crews from lower-wage countries, avoidance of environmental regulations, and an overall reduction in the cost of transportation.
"A specific example of the type of advantage flying a flag of convenience offers is bypassing the 50% duty the United States government charges on repairs performed on American-flagged ships in foreign ports. The accumulated advantages can be significant, for example in 1999, 28 of Sea-Land's fleet of 63 ships were foreign flagged, saving the company up to 3.5 million dollars per ship per year.
"On the other hand, some flag of convenience ships are characterized by "poor conditions, inadequately trained crews, and frequent collisions." The International Transport Workers' Federation points out that FOC vessels frequently fail to pay their crews, have poor safety records, and engage in practices such as abandoning crewmen in distant ports.. It might be argued that these practices occur more in cases such as Liberia, Vanuatu and Belize, rather than well developed open registries such as Panama, Cyprus, Marshall Islands and The Bahamas.
The first flag of convenience was that of Panama and the practice of re-flagging ships grew in popularity during the period from 1920-1933 of Prohibition in the United States. During this time, American rum runners carried illegal alcohol under the Panamanian flag.
"Failing to control the Panamanian registry at will, in 1948, the United States helped Liberia create its "open registry." The Liberian registry attracted American oil companies and Greek shipowners who sought to avoid high labor costs. The success of Liberia's registry encouraged the opening of other competing registries.
"In the 1970s the United Nations attempted to adopt regulations that would have stopped the practice. However, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries defeated these measures.
"In 2002 in the United States, Democratic senator John Breaux of Louisiana proposed a bill intending to curtail the use of foreign flags as a counter-terrorism measure."
[the previous from a search for "foreign registry"]