Dry-cargo Fixtures

Still other Charterers may be state-operations – e.g. the President of India (in other words the Indian Government) – government employees being given the task of securing suitable sips for the state needs. It is a worthwhile exercise for those learning about this subject to make a point of studying as regularly as possible lists of reported dry-cargo fixtures, and to try to categorise Charterers into one or more appropriate headings. Just as for Charterers, there is a wide variety of Shipowners. Some owners are of a single ship; others of larger fleets. Some concentrate on ships of a particular type (e.g. tween-deckers) or size (e.g. panamax bulkcarriers). Others operate a varied collection of vessels. Some are state-controlled, or run their ships under the flag of the country in which they reside, whilst others operate ‘off-shore’ under a ‘convenient’ flag, from which derives the term ‘flag of convenience’. The term ‘Flag of Convenience’ (FOC) is applied to vessel registries of nations offering registration facilities to any shipowner who meets their local requirements irrespective of the shipowner’s nationality or place of business. An FOC country may provide all or any of the following: Anonymity for a shipowner, who may operate his vessel(s) from behind a ‘faceless’ corporation registered in the same nation as the flag flown by the vessel(s). Freedom for the vessel to be manned by a crew in whatever numbers or nationality the shipowner selects, at whatever wage scale the crew/owner negotiates. Levies a very low tax against the vessel ownership and little or no taxation against the earnings of the vessel. Some are more concerned about the quality of the vessel management and condition than others, but it is fair to say that some of the best-maintained ships in the world fly a flag of convenience, as well as some of the worst.