India decided to ban all foreign and Indian ships above 25 years of age from being registered under the Indian flag, in order to ensure compliance with global maritime standards.
This moves comes as part of India’s plan to improve tonnage safety and to make the fleet younger. More specifically, for tugs, gas carriers, cellular container vessels, offshore fleet, dredgers, and geotechnical vessels, the ban is for ships older than 30 years, while for cargo ships, tankers and bulk carriers, it is set to 25 years.
Regarding barges, anchor handling and towing tugs, the ban is for 25-year-old vessels, while second-hand ships across all sections have a 20 years limit. Second-hand dredgers that are 15 years old or more have also been banned.
According to the ministry guidelines, the ship’s age would be determined from the date of build mentioned in the certificate issued by the ship registry.
What is more, DG Shipping informed that the Indian shipping registry will automatically de-register such ships once they cross the age limit and remove them from the registry.
All types of foreign vessels, whether they carry free-on-board (FOB) cargo or Indian export-import (EXIM) cargo or cost-insurance freight (CIF), will be subjected to this.
Finally, vessels bought under the ‘Indian controlled tonnage’ regime will also come under this purview. The law will be the same for foreign ships that seek to compete for Indian cargo, as they will have the 20 years limit.