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What is Flag State ? Authority and responsibility of the flag State?

The Flag State of a ship is the State under whose laws the vessel is registered or licensed. Flag State denotes the government whose flag the ship is entitled to fly.
Normally a vessel will usually bear the flag of the country with which she has closest connections. Although other considerations such as commercial interestor in some cases the terms of a ship’s chartering government contracts could determine the flag to be flown by a vessel.

The Flag state has the authority and the responsibility to enforce international maritime regulations over vessels registered under its flag, including those relating to inspection, certification and issuance of safety and pollution prevention documents

Flag States also have the responsibility of implementing and enforcing rules adopted by other inter governmental bodies, including International Labour Organization ( ILO)and International oil pollution compensation (IOPC)Fund.
The IOPC fund ensures that the victims of any major oil pollution incident receive adequate compensation without undue delay.

Flag States shall be responsible for over seeing the International Safety Management Code through the issue of ship’s Safety Management Certificate (SMC).Further the flag state will oversee
the maritime Security, seafarer’s competence standards , employment standards, safe manning and seafarer’s working hours ,casualty investigation, Movement of ships between flags,
repatriation of sea farers , participate in Flag State audits of the IMO and ILO meetings.

The primary responsibility for ensuring that the ships comply with applicable regulations and standards lies with the Flag State .Port State Control is no stand can never substitute for the proper exercise of Flag State responsibility, but is regarded as measure complementary to the Flag State Control


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