Monday, November 24, 2008


I see that Intertanko is asking governments to act through the UN against escalating acts of piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

Fair enough. [Better to ask the UN than Blackwater]

But as everyone have their mouth full of words about the need to improve transparency and good governance in international finances, including the elimination of fiscal paradises, wouldn't it be logical that in exchange for their protection, governments get the shipping industry to clean up its acts and eliminate the use of flags of convenience? Flags of convenience are mobile fiscal paradises set up to evade fiscal, social and environmental obligations, aren't they?

Take the Sirius Star for example, the hyper-tanker seized last week: it's flying a Liberian flag to allow its owners not to pay for all sorts of fiscal, social and environmental obligations. So, shouldn't its owners be told to reflag if they want protection?

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