U.K.-flag register relaunched
The United Kingdom's Shipping Minister Stephen Ladyman on Wednesday launched a 'new-look' U.K.-flag register — now to be known as the UK Ship Register instead of the UK Register — following a review of the customer service provided by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
The safety standards of the U.K. flag have been questioned by some Members of Parliament (MPs) following the 'MSC Napoli' incident last month.
Eight Labour Party MPs signed a House of Commons motion expressing concern that the image of the British 'Red Ensign' flag would suffer from 'such examples of substandard shipping' and urged the government to consult to improve safety and working conditions on U.K.-flagged vessels.
'This is much more than a rebranding exercise,' said Ladyman, speaking at the launch reception for the UK Ship Register at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.
'It is real change that brings together all stages of the registration process into one unit and will provide even better customer care. The UK Ship Register will communicate more with its customers, and make online registration easier and quicker,” Ladyman said.
Major changes to the register include:
* Dedicated customer account managers.
* 24-hour assistance.
* A new interactive Web site: http://www.ukshipregister.co.uk with online registration.
The UK Ship Register has 1,456 ships registered and ranks third on the Paris Memorandum of Understanding 'White List' of best performing flag states.