What is QUALSHIP 21?
Coast Guard efforts to eliminate substandard shipping have focused on improving methods to
identify poor-quality vessels (targeting schemes). However, regardless of the score that a
vessel receives in our targeting matrix, all foreign-flagged vessels are examined no less
than once each year. This provides few incentives for the well run, quality ship. Hundreds,
perhaps thousands, of vessels are operated responsibly, and are typically found with few or
no deficiencies. Under our current policies, vessels operating at a higher-quality share
nearly the same examination intervals as those vessels operating at lower-quality standards.
These high-quality vessels should be recognized and rewarded for their commitment to safety
and quality. Therefore, on January 1, 2001, the Coast Guard implemented an initiative to
identify high-quality ships, and provide incentives to encourage quality operations. This
initiative is called QUALSHIP 21, quality shipping for the 21st century.
What is E-Zero?
Beginning July 1st, 2017, vessels enrolled in the QUALSHIP 21 program may also seek the
E-Zero designation if they meet the requirements set forth below. 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.
The Qualship21 Program & E-Zero Designation
The Qualship21 pamphlet and frequently asked questions document provide a full overview of
the program including incentives, eligibility requirements and application instructions.
Applying to Qualship21 & E-Zero
For those companies that believe their vessel(s) qualify for the USCG's
QUALSHIP 21 Program or QUALSHIP 21 with E-Zero Designation applications
must be made using the application below.
For vessels with existing QUALSHIP 21 certificate desiring to add the E-Zero
Designation, please use the second application located below. In order to receive
the E-Zero designation, a vessel must be currently in QUALSHIP 21 and remained in the program for a
minimum of the last three years to qualify. All applications should be e-mailed to
Qualified Flag Administrations
The list of fully qualified flag administrations will be updated annually on June 30th. This date
marks the beginning that any newly qualified flag administration's vessels may begin to enroll in the
program and closes enrollment for vessels registered to flags that are no longer qualified. If a flag
administration is no longer qualified for the program, any of their vessels currently enrolled in
QUALSHIP 21 may remain in the program until their QUALSHIP 21 certificate expires.
The following flag administrations have met all the requirements for full participation in the
QUALSHIP 21 program (Valid through the end of June 2019):
||British Virgin Islands
||Isle of Man
||Republic Of Korea
The following Flag Administrations have shown a commitment to excellence in their level of compliance
with international standards but do not meet the full requirements for QUALSHIP 21 eligibility.
Specifically, they have not met the requirement of at least 10 port state control examinations per
calendar year for the previous three years. The list below contains Flag Administrations that have had
at least three port state control safety examinations in each of the previous three years and have not
been subject to any Port State Control detention in that same time period:
New Certification Numbers on QS21 Certificates:
In March 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard began issuing Qualship 21 Program certificates to Flag Administrations,
companies and vessels with a unique identification number. You may note on our website that we have
begun to include these numbers next to the associate party. Please note that we will not issue new
certificates to vessels with these identification numbers until their next renewal. The lack of a
identification number on an existing current certificate does not make the certificate invalid.
It will take two or more years for all of the Qualship 21 certificates, without identification numbers,
to be replaced. If there is ever any question on the validity of any certificate associated with our
Qualship 21 Program, you should contact the Qualship 21 Program coordinator by phone at +1-202-372-1587
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org