Paris MoU’s White, Grey and Black List 2014 – Ranking the World’s Flag States from Best to Worst

Mike Schuler
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June 9, 2015


The Paris MoU on Port State Control has published its updated “White, Grey and Black (WGB) List” for 2014, ranking flag states from quality flags to flags with a poor performance record that are considered high or very high risk.

The list is based on the total number of inspections and detentions over a 3-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in the period.

On the “White, Grey and Black list” for 2014, a total number of 72 flags are listed, including 43 on the “White List”, 19 on the “Grey List” and 10 on the “Black list”. In 2013 the number of flags listed totaled 75 flags, namely 46 on the “White List”, 19 on the “Grey List” and 10 on the “Black List”. 

For the third year in a row, France has placed the highest on the White List, representing quality flags with a consistently low detention record, followed by Hong Kong, Bahamas, Norway and Sweden. The Paris MoU notes that compared to 2013, flags on the White List has decreased by 3. New to the White List in 2014 is India, which in 2013 was on the Grey List. The United States ranks as number 9 on the White List, behind the United Kingdom and ahead of Italy, Singapore, Marshall Islands, China and Greece, respectively.

On the Grey List, which indicates average performance, at total of 19 flags were recorded for 2014, similar to 2013. New on the Grey List are Spain, Lithuania, Poland and Thailand, which last year were on the White List, according to Paris MoU.

The Black List, representing the poorest performing flags, are a total of 10 flags, including the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Moldova, Togo, Cook Islands and Dominica. New to the Black List in 2014 was Belize, which in 2013 was listed on the Grey List.

For several years the Paris MoU has also closely monitored the performance of classification societies acting as Recognized Organizations (ROs) or flags. To calculate the performance of the Recognized Organizations, the same formula to calculate the excess factor of the flags is used. A minimum number of 60 inspections per RO are needed before the performance is taken into account for the list. In 2014 37 ROs are recorded on the performance list.

Among the best performing Recognized Organizations were DNV GL AS (DNVGL); Det Norske Veritas (DNV); Lloyd’s Register (LR); American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); China Classification Society (CCS)/

The lowest performing Recognized Organizations included INCLAMAR; International Register of Shipping (IS); Bulgarian Register of Shipping (BRS).

The Paris MoU notes that in 2014, fewer organizations have been placed in the very low and low performing parts of the list and more organizations have been placed in the medium part of the list.

Beginning 1 July 2015, the performance lists will be used for calculating the ship risk profile and flags on the Grey List and Black List are subject to the more stringent banning measures in force since 1 January 2011.

More information can be found in the 2014 Annual Report (opens as PDF), which will be released in July 2015.

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