At its recent 38th meeting, the Paris MOU Committee considered the 2004 inspection results and adopted the new Black-Grey-White list. The Black List is composed of 21 flags States, 5 less than last year. The White List includes 31 flag States, 2 more than last year. Most flags that were considered very high risk in 2003 remain so in 2004. The poorest performing flags are still Albania, North Korea, Tonga and Bolivia. The flag of Sao Tome & Principe has disappeared from the Black list. However this is due to not enough inspections being carried out on ships flying this flag, in the period 2002-2004.
Brazil and Taiwan have moved from the Grey List to the Black List. Ships flying a “black listed” flag run a risk of getting banned from the region after multiple detentions within a certain period. On a more positive note: Bulgaria, Cyprus, India, Iran, Malta and Morocco have moved from the Black List to the Grey List and will hopefully maintain this trend. The White List represents quality flags with a consistently low detention record. Germany, Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, the U.S.A. and Sweden are placed highest in terms of performance. Vanuatu and Saudi Arabia have moved down to the Grey List. New to the White List are Philippines, Malaysia, Barbados and Cayman Islands. There are signs that several flags appearing on the White List now use their ranking to advertise themselves as quality registers and are making efforts to reach a higher ranking the following year. The new Black-Grey-White list is available online.