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Reederei NSB ditches German flag and 486 European seafarers

Reederei NSB ditches German flag and 486 European seafarers
The German flag is to lose its largest ship manager by the end of June 2017 as Reederei NSB's flags-out its fleet of 38 containerships by the deadline, with the layoff of 486 onboard personnel.

The fleet will be re-flagged in waves, with three ships replaced every two months, along with the replacement of 25 German or European sailors. Fleet reductions and the out-flagging of distressed one-ship companies has already made 179 sailors unable to be deployed on NSB ships, and those employees will have their termination announced "at short notice".

The ship manager warned of its departure in June and has been in talks with German union ver.di and the marine works council to assess the situation. The outcome of those talks was that continuing to use German and European sailors would threaten the company's future in a difficult market.

Lutz Weber, cfo, commented: “We regret that, even with the involvement of politics and associations, we weren’t successful in bringing the framework of support for the German flag to another level, which would ensure a European employee at sea the long-term ability to compete internationally and secure maritime knowledge in Germany. Unfortunately, Germany, as a maritime location, offers European and German sailors no prospects.”