Ships Trading with North Korea Will Not Be Flying Palau Flag

February 24 ------ Vessels that violate the current United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) on trading with North Korea will not be registered with the Palau International Ship Registry (PISR), the ship registry said. As informed, both the registry and the Palau government have taken strong measures to ensure a proper vessel screening before ships are registered under the Palau flag. “Palau recognizes the importance of ship registries, ship owners and managers working together to raise awareness of North Korea’s illicit shipping practices and to enforce UNSCRs to increase regional and global security,” Panos Kirnidis, CEO of PISR, said. “We have vessels registered across the globe and our diligence and our personnel working for the registry in 43 countries means we can support and monitor the vessels registered with us. We are fully supportive of the need to maintain law and order on the seas and we are fully behind this initiative as one of the world’s leading ship registries,” Kirnidis added.

The above measures include using the latest technology such as the PurpleTRAC sanction compliance platform, monitoring of AIS transmissions and LRIT ship position tracking. As part of these steps, members of PISR have recently attended several trainings on conducting due diligence to comply with UNSCRs. A month ago, PISR also joined the memorandum of understanding between Liberia, Marshal Islands and Panama. This MOU offers collaboration between the four major ship registries on sharing information when a flag registry deregisters or is in process of deregistering, or when it denies registration of a vessel due to engagement in sanctionable activity. Under the MoU, all four registries will now promptly notify other flags to ensure questionable vessels are not registered in line with the UNSCR regulations.

Panos Kirnidis believes this is a justifiable and welcome course of action to effectively comply with its obligations to improve the implementation of UNSCRs related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and other country sanctions. “We are a reputable and growing registry and we will ensure that any vessels that are in breach of the UNSCR regulations related to sanctions violations from vessels trading with North Korea will not be flying the Palau flag or those of our respected partners in this new initiative.”