At its 49th meeting, the Paris MoU Committee adopted new performance lists for flag states, which will take effect from 1 July, 2016.
The three performance lists combine to form the White, Grey and Black (WGB) List, which has seen the addition of one flag, bringing the total number of flags represented to 73. From 2014 to 2015, the share of flags across the lists remained the same (43 on the 'white' list and 19 on the 'grey' list); the only change was the addition of one flag to the 'black' list, bringing the latter’s total to 11.
There were a few movements between lists. Portugal and Spain moved up from the 'grey' list to the 'white' list, while India and Switzerland have dropped from the 'white' list to the 'grey' list.
The performance lists only have an impact on superyachts operating commercially. For those commercial yachts, however, Richard W. J. Schiferli, Paris MoU secretary general, points out, “In order to obtain a ‘low risk ship’ status, the flag should be on the White list. When a yacht is low risk, it is only subject to a Port State Control inspection every 24 to 36 months, unless circumstances trigger an inspection prior”.
Spain moved from the Grey list to the White list
Schiferli adds that while the chance of a commercial yacht registering with a flag on the Black list is low, some still do. However, even yachts registered on the Grey list could face some difficulties. “Yachts which are registered with a flag on the Grey list or Black list will be refused access to Paris MoU ports after multiple detentions,” Schiferli adds (for more information, see Paris MoU section 4).
Some of the most popular superyacht flags can be found on the White list: UK, Marshall Islands, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, USA, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda.