According to the report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which analysed the period between 2020 and 2021, Portugal rose two places to 14th position in the world ranking “maintaining the trend of sustained growth”.

“Among the 20 main Flag States, Portugal was the one that grew the most in the number of registered ships, with an increase of 10 percent compared to the same period of the previous year”, says the statement from the Directorate-General for Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services (DGRM).

"This excellent performance in the last period is due, essentially, to the combination of several factors that were very favourable to the competitiveness of the International Shipping Register of Madeira, among which an important set of legal changes that were felt during this period, such as for example, the possibility of ships having armed guards on board or the simplifications in terms of mortgages and electronic certificates”, stresses the DGRM.

Also important for this increase was “the new dynamics and synergies” of the entities involved in the registration, with “a better response to customers” and “the support of the registration authorities (Mar e Justiça) and the Regional Government of Madeira”.

“For Portugal, the biggest current challenge is to maintain sustained growth, based on technical rigor, in terms of criteria for entering ships and their maintenance”, he also points out.

The registration of ships continues to be led worldwide by Panama, with 99,800 merchant ships of all types currently in operation in the world, according to data on January 1st.

Globally, comparing the 2021 UNCTAD report to 2020, the world vessel fleet grew by 3 percent.