The key elements to consider are:
- Experience and Reputation - the reputation of the register is vitally important. Choosing a registry with a poor reputation or which is targeted by Port States and Customs could have a detrimental effect on the smooth running of the vessel. The Port State Control Rankings and list of detentions of each registry is a good guide.
- Political Stability - how stable is the government and economic environment?
- Political and consular support given by the Flag State.
- Registration Process – does the jurisdiction provide a convenient and speedy registration service?
- Mortgages - security of mortgages registered in the Flag State.
- Registration Fees - how competitive are the fees imposed by the registry?
- Manning - how flexible is the registry in its manning requirements?
- Services - what is the business infrastructure of the Flag State, are there comprehensive, professional support services?
Lenders and insurance companies will review a Flag State’s compliance with and enforcement of international legislation concerning the environment and the procedures and standards governing safety and security. A review of the Flag State’s accident and incident record will inevitably have an impact on the decisions of the lenders and underwriters.