The institution of Flags of Convenience (FOC) has been with us for quite some time. Nevertheless there is yet no standard definition of what really constitutes a "flag of convenience" or as otherwise know an "open registry" or "flag of necessity".
Let me now describe in short the way Cyprus, one of the major open
registries of the world, is responding to the criticism and is also
facing the challenge of its registry. The measures or initiatives
being taken Cyprus can be classified into two major categories.
a) Measures relating to the strengthening of the Cyprus Maritime Administration (Department of Merchant Shipping) with a view to better discharging their national and international obligations with regard to the vessel as well as to the seafarers on board and
b) Measures and initiatives aiming at mobilising the resources of the civil society, the Non-Governmental Organisations of Cyprus and beyond with the same as above objective.
By Marios Eliades, Chairman of Cyprus Bureau of Shipping