What is QUALSHIP 21?

What is QUALSHIP 21?

In its continued efforts to ensure safe, secure, and environmentally sound maritime commerce, the USCG offer this program to reward those companies, operators, and vessels that demonstrate the highest commitment to quality and safety through the highest level of compliance with International standards and United States law and regulation.



The Quality Shipping for the 21st Century program, or QUALSHIP 21, recognizes and rewards vessels, as well as their owners and Flag Administrations, for their commitment to safety and quality. To encourage maritime entities to participate, incentives such as certificates, name recognition, and a reduction in PSC examination frequency are offered to participants.



The E-Zero program is a new addition to the existing QUALSHIP 21 program, and the intent of this program is to recognize those exemplary vessels that have consistently adhered to environmental compliance, while also demonstrating an immense commitment to environmental stewardship.

These vessels will receive the E-Zero designation on their QUALSHIP 21 certificate.



Present Incentives for QUALSHIP 21 Vessels

All Vessels

  • QUALSHIP 21 enrollments valid for 3 years.
  • Vessel name posted on U.S. Coast Guard website & EQUASIS.


Tank Vessels

  • Certificate of Compliance (COC) annual examination reduced in scope. (For tank vessels, the COC annual examination occurs at the mid-period of the COC’s two-year validity.)


Freight Vessels

  • Three years of limited Port State Control (PSC) oversight.


Passenger Vessels

  • No reduced PSC examination, but vessel will receive QUALSHIP 21 certificate and recognition on the QUALSHIP 21 web page & EQUASIS.


New incentives have been included this year.



Vessel Eligibility for QUALSHIP 21

For the purpose of QUALSHIP 21, the initial eligibility criteria are:


  • Must be a non-U.S. flagged vessel.
  • The vessel must be registered to a QUALSHIP 21 qualified flag administration.
  • No substandard vessel detentions in the U.S. within the previous 36 months.
  • No marine violations or serious marine casualties and no more than one Notice of Violation (NOV) ticket in the U.S. within the previous 36 months.
  • A successful U.S. PSC safety exam within the previous 24 months.
  • Not owned or operated by any company (listed on vessel’s Continuous Synopsis Record) that has been associated with more than one PSC detention in U.S. waters within the previous 24 months.
  • Vessels cannot have their statutory convention certificates issued by a targeted recognized organization (RO). Targeted ROs are those that have points assigned in the U.S. Port State Control Matrix as listed in the most recent PSC Annual Report.
  • The Coast Guard reserves the right to restrict eligibility in the QUALSHIP 21 program to any vessel because of special circumstances. This includes but is not limited to significant overseas casualties or detentions and pending criminal or civil investigations.



Qualifying Flag Administrations


For flag administrations to qualify for the QUALSHIP 21 program, they must:

  • Not have a three-year detention ratio greater than 1.0%.
  • Have at least 10 PSC examinations in the U.S. in each of the previous 3 years.
  • Submit a Self-Assessment of Flag Administration (State) Performance to the IMO and provide a copy to the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Submit an Executive Summary from their Member State Audit Scheme audit to the U.S. Coast Guard or submit a letter or email attesting to the fact that they have not yet undergone the audit but have submitted their request to be audited.



For the period of July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, there are 23 eligible Flag Administrations for the QUALSHIP 21 Program:

Qualified Flag Administrations

  • Barbados
  • Hong Kong
  • Norway
  • United Kingdom
  • Belgium
  • Jamaica
  • Panama
  • Vanuatu
  • Bermuda
  • Japan
  • Philippines
  • Cayman Islands
  • Liberia
  • Portugal
  • China
  • Malta
  • Republic of Korea
  • Demark
  • Marshall Islands
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Greece
  • Netherlands
  • Singapore



Information on the eligibility criteria for the QUALSHIP 21 and E-Zero programs, including a complete listing of qualifying ships, can be found on our website at: https://www.dco.uscg.mil/cvc



Source: Qualship21 Pamphlet


For additional information contact us : corporate@panamamaritime.com