Neues Buch zum Unwesen der Billigflaggen

Kathrin Betz und Mark Pieth haben ein Buch zu den grundsätzlichen Defiziten und Problemen der Seefahrt geschrieben. Das Buch ist nicht gedruckt, sondern als PDF gratis erhältlich auf der Website

Das Buch ist auf Englisch. Hier das Vorwort:


Why would two lawyers, who have never worked as mariners, write a book about shipping? We have for many years been involved in developing methods to implement international regulations on a worldwide basis and have an interest in global supply chains. Merchant shipping is a hugely relevant, but not so much researched piece in a global supply chain. One of the key challenges of shipping is that there is generally no lack of regulation, but a blatant deficit in implementation and enforcement.

For this book, beyond desk research, we have visited challenging places and interviewed key operators. We have gone to accident sites, like the Netherlands or Mauritius, we have participated in spot checks by trade unions and have visited the ship recycling yards in Alang, India.

In a first round, we have authored a book on the role of Switzerland in managing merchant and cruise ships. Frequently, it is overseen that this landlocked country hosts companies managing, according to current calculations, up to 3,600 ships. Official Switzerland is not concerned by this industry since the vast majority of these ships is flagged out to a flag of convenience. If you want, these companies are flying under the radar.

We will discuss in this book that flags of convenience are a crucial dimension of the deficiencies in shipping. However, there is more to it. The way in which global shipping is regulated today seems outdated in many respects. Some of the current core principles of maritime regulation were invented at a time when shipping was still a profession performed by brave explorers and adventurers. Regulation and control is at times insufficient, and often too slow and too weak to respond for example to the speed that container shipping has grown since the turn of the millennium. It is difficult to monitor, let alone enforce, the law on the high seas.

Therefore is seemed logical to discuss the major challenges of shipping: preservation of the ocean, environmental protection and labour conditions on board from a global perspective.


April 2024

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