ITF Tabs Faroes 2nd Register an FOC (11/28)


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The International Transport Workers’ Federation recently issued the following news release:


ITF declares Faroes second register a flag of convenience


The ITF has declared the Faroe Islands National & International Ship Register (FAS) a flag of convenience (FOC).


The decision, taken by the ITF’s fair practices committee steering group, follows a lengthy process of investigation and negotiations designed to address the problems identified with the register and avert the need for the declaration.


Problems were first identified when Norlines, whose fleet was almost wholly Norwegian-flagged, reflagged to the FAS and began laying off Norwegian crew, who were replaced with Philippine and Polish nationals. Only two of the Norwegian beneficially owned vessels were fully manned by Faroese crew. A similar pattern was identified with Swedish-owned vessels. Eight Swedish companies were found to be flagging to FAS, with the replacement of their Swedish crews imminent.


ITF maritime coordinator Steve Cotton commented: “This is a move we take reluctantly, and only after a lengthy search for a solution, in which we involved the Faroese Maritime Unions. However, it has proved unavoidable if the ITF’s Mexico City Policy (which reviewed the ITF’s whole FOC campaign) is to be applied fairly.”


“For the Faroese second register this is likely to mean a new age of scrutiny of their vessels and workings. We stress that the Faroes flag, rather than this newer operation, remains unaffected and free to play its part in ensuring that the seagoing histories of the Faroes is respected and its crews continue to find the work they deserve.”


The FAS will now join the 32 other countries on the list of FOCs (see


For more on the Mexico City Policy see



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