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British Registration, or not.

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Old 22nd February 2024, 18:59
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British Registration, or not.

It appears that the news media have redefined a British Registered ship to fall in line with claims made by the Houthis in Yemen.
Having spotted this anomaly on other occasions I thought to dig a bit deeper on the last one.
On 18th February a bulk Carrier MV Rubymar was entering the Red Sea when it was targeted by two missiles one of which breached the hull in the area of the engine room. It started to take on water and was abandoned.
The vessel sails under the Belize flag and has Belize writ large on the stern.
The owners are Golden Adventure Shipping S.A. who are based in the Marshall Islands.
The vessel is managed by GMZ Ship Management Company Pireaus but their Beirut office is being used and to complicate it they also trade as the parent company Blue Fleet Company.
It was en route from UAE to Bulgaria with a cargo of fertiliser.
The crew were from Lebanon, Egypt, India and Philippines.
The ship is Not insured in London.
The attack was initially reported by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, based in Dubai.

The British connection?
The Vessel’s owners have an address in Southampton. This address however is a residential apartment in a large block. There are two occupants listed on the electoral role, so definately not offices or commercial premises. This just seems to be a ‘drop box’ to give a presence.

It would appear that in order to qualify for monitoring and protection under the UKMTO the ship’s owners need a ‘local address’ and this is the ‘Registration’ that is picked up by the news media.
Unfortunatly, by the Law of unintended consequences, the Houthi also use this information to identify ships with a British connection.
So, a scheme which ship owners utilised to offer some protection from Somali pirates is now being used to target them with missiles.

Does anyone else have any views on this?
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Old 22nd February 2024, 19:36
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Aside from the missiles it sounds like an insurance or tax fraud.
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Old 22nd February 2024, 20:03
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Certainly some tax issues there somewhere.
Maybe exploiting some loophole, but what?
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Old 23rd February 2024, 09:37
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There are many businesses that quite legitimately register a presence in the UK for various reasons and have non-executive directors appointed for a nominal annual fee. These "directors" then have their residences (usually, although it seems any address will do) registered at Companies House and their names added to the list of directors.
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Old 23rd February 2024, 10:54
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In this case Roy, none of the Companies are British but Société Anonyme or similar.
Therefore not listed at Companies House.
Presumably the person in Southampton is listed in the equivalent register in the Marshall Islands.

As an aside I found that there is a British Company called Blue Fleet Limited - They are a road haulage firm in Birmingham.
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Old 23rd February 2024, 12:09
Engine Serang Northern Ireland Engine Serang is offline
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A murky old world out there and one I had no hand, act or part in.
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Old 23rd February 2024, 13:05
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Come on - Engine Serang
You are not that squeaky-clean . Ha,Ha

None of us are .

All the best , Shipmate .

Tony
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Old 23rd February 2024, 13:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm G View Post
In this case Roy, none of the Companies are British but Société Anonyme or similar.
Therefore not listed at Companies House.
Presumably the person in Southampton is listed in the equivalent register in the Marshall Islands.

As an aside I found that there is a British Company called Blue Fleet Limited - They are a road haulage firm in Birmingham.
The murky World of who owns what ship seems even more mysterious. I remember the fuss made over Cross Channel Ferries being owned by Banks and other Finance Houses in the 1980's. Probably should change the concept of "flags of convenience" to "flags of impenetrable inconvenience."
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Old 23rd February 2024, 19:07
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The thing which recently sparked my curiosity was the reference in Press and BBC, and even spotted on GCaptain!, to: (FOC) flagged, British Registered, vessel name.
Well it can't be both, can it?
The most recent ship to be hit I note that they say 'British owned' even though the owner is from elsewhere but using a UK address for which they no doubt pay a small fee.
That latest ship was a Palau registered cargo ship - MV Islander, crewed by Syrians.
On burrowing down, again, it seems that the real owners are based in Liberia but the claimed ultimate owners are Joahar Group Ltd. Who have apparently denied owning a ship.
Joahar UK Ltd is an IT Company in Hayes.
Jaohar UK Ltd, however, is shipping manager and broker in Lowestoft.
It would seem that the Liberian owner of this ship is doing the same as Rubymar and paying to use the UK address. They just spelled the name wrong....

Channel Ferries in the 1980s - Personal knowledge on that one. With Sealink, part of my job was to obtain and file copies of the actual British Registration Certificate for each ship that we had any dealings with, or were likely to. I recall that many had the owner shown on the form as Lloyds Leasing Ltd.
But they were still British and flew the correct flag.
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Old 24th February 2024, 13:07
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If registered in Britain or other Red Ensign group territory then vessel must be owned by persons or corporate entity 'native' to that territory and should fly red ensign. When a corporate entity is the owner then the shareholders/beneficial owners of it may well be foreigners or even damned foreigners (if Russian, double damned, foreigners the probably no longer allowed this privilege).

(When the true owners of a Manx registered vessel is Manx. The the ensign may be (should be?) 'defaced' with the Manx Triskelion).

The category of vessel that is allowed to be registered in each jurisdiction is not universal. The registry staff and supporting administration must be judged competent by the UK DTp of Flag responsibilities of each class concerned.
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Last edited by Varley; 24th February 2024 at 13:11.
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