RMT on P&O ‘Flagging Out’ Dover-Calais Fleet

RMT on P&O ‘Flagging Out’ Dover-Calais Fleet

18 December 2018

RMT Press Office:

SEAFARER Ratings union RMT today poured scorn over P&O’s claim that Brexit was behind their decision to switch the entire Dover-Calais fleet from the UK to the Cypriot flag.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: 

“This is pure opportunism from P&O, whose long term aim has always been to switch the UK fleet to a tax haven register, as they have already done with most of the Irish Sea and North Sea fleet.

“We demand immediate assurance from P&O that the pay and terms and conditions of our 730+ members in Dover are not under threat from this move. We would also expect the Shipping Minister to see this move for what it is – rank opportunism from a company owned in Dubai.

“If P&O think they can use Brexit as a smokescreen for introducing the low cost crewing model on the vital Dover-Calais route then they have got another thing coming.”


Notes to Editors

1. The Dover-Calais P&O fleet currently on the UK Register are Spirit of Britain, Spirit of France, Pride of Kent, Pride of Burgundy, Pride of Canterbury, European Seaway.
2. In total, P&O have 20 vessels working from UK ports. Six of these (Pride of York, Pride of Hull, Norbay, European Causeway, European Endeavour & European Highlander) are already registered in tax havens (Bahamas and Bermuda).
3. The Cypriot flag is an ‘open’ register which operates minimum regulatory standards in order to attract shipowners.
4. The UK Tonnage Tax scheme is flag blind. A condition of the French Tonnage Tax scheme is that vessels not registered on the French national register must be flagged with another EU Register.

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