Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ending of flag scheme earns guarded praise



Ending of flag scheme earns guarded praise

The Cambodian registered cargo ship called the Pu Hae pictured in 2008. west-jp/ShipSpotting.com
The Cambodian registered cargo ship called the Pu Hae pictured in 2008. west-jp/ShipSpotting.com

Ending of flag scheme earns guarded praise

A global federation of transport workers unions has cautiously praised Cambodia's move to eliminate its flag of convenience scheme, offering a “guarded welcome” to the government’s decision to strip all foreign-owned ships of their registration.

Jacqueline Smith maritime coordinator of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) said in a press release on Monday that in principle, the ITF supports Cambodia’s decision to “[make] the flag what it should be, a true national resource”.

The Kingdom’s flag of convenience program drew to a close on August 31, following two decades of infamy in which the flag was used as a cover for crimes ranging from arms smuggling to sanctions violations.

Smith emphasised that it was now up to the Cambodian government to follow through on the measure, saying the ITF would be “watching to see what difference this announcement makes in the real world”.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

An August 17 letter sent by Transport Minister Sun Chanthol to the International Maritime Organization stated that after ships’ registrations expired at the end of August, any ship flying the Cambodian flag would be “considered illegal and subjected to applicable international laws and regulations”.

A previous version of this article stated that vessel-tracking website MarineTraffic had listed nearly two dozen ships still posting locational updates under the Cambodian flag. However, records on other websites suggest that the data on MarineTraffic may be inaccurate or out of date. The Post apologises for any confusion caused.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting