Playing the system

Boom in ships that fly ‘fake’ flags and trash the environment.

“Most ships scrapped in 2019 used a “flag of convenience” loophole and ended up being dismantled in nations with lax rules - sometimes in a way that is highly detrimental to the environment.”


Research now shows* that the number of vessels misleadingly registered to nations other than their true country of origin — called flags of convenience — has skyrocketed since 2002. The practice allows ship owners from nations with strict environmental regulations to have their vessels dismantled cheaply — but often in a way that is very damaging to the environment and human health.

Last updated Mar 08, 2023

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