P&O Ferries is to re-flag all its ships which operate on the English Channel to be under the Cyprus flag ahead of Brexit .(The Mirror)
The giant, P&O currently has six UK-registered ships operating on the English Channel route to France, although it announced last month it was moving two of those to the Cyprus registry and one has already been transferred.
The company said they were taking the decision ahead of Britain’s departure to keep tax arrangements in the EU.
The move could complicate any attempts by the UK government to secure extra space on ships to help cope with potential disruption to trade if it fails to secure a negotiated departure from the EU.
All commercial ships have to be registered, or flagged, with a country partly to comply with safety and environmental regulations.
“The Cyprus flag is on the ‘white list’ of both the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding, resulting in fewer inspections and delays, and will result in significantly more favourable tonnage tax arrangements as the ships will be flagged in an EU member state.
“We have no plans to make any other changes, including the terms and conditions of any of our seafarers, as aresultof the new arrangements.”
It comes after cross-channel rival Brittany Ferries changed around 10,000 bookings to accommodate extra sailings in case of a no-deal Brexit.
The company said timetables from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth were being changed to ensure “critical goods” could still be transported.
Brittany Ferries said about 10,000 customers were affected.
The spokesman said Cyprus was among the world’s leading flag registries, “resulting in fewer inspections and delays”.
He added the move “will result in significantly more favourable tonnage tax arrangements as the ships will be flagged in an EU member state