In the latest edition of Private Eye it is reported that more than a third of tonnage has been lost from the UK register in the past year, with French-based giant, CMA CGM having reflagged 40 vessels (3 to France, others to Malta) February-April 2019. Such a change was predicted following the Brexit referendum result. However, in May it was announced that the rules for who could register was changing. Previously, it was limited to UK owners and those from other EU countries. Now those from Commonwealth countries, plus 20 others – including China, US, Liberia and Panama – are eligible, as the register becomes an “international” (or at least semi-open) register.
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