'Flags of Convenience' Create Ebola Confusion Near N.H. Ports

Oct 15, 2014

This Japanese cargo ship bears a "flag of convenience" from Monrovia, Liberia
Credit https://www.flickr.com/people/35626429@N08

Ships bearing West African flags do not pose health risks to Granite Staters, says Geno Marconi, Director of Ports and Harbors in New Hampshire.

Marconi says the Port of New Hampshire has received calls from citizens concerned about the transmission of the Ebola virus.

However, Marconi says, ships are often registered in Monrovia, Liberia, because of that country’s relaxed tax laws.

It’s referred to as a 'flag of convenience.' So just because we see a ship that’s registered in Monrovia does not mean that that’s where the ship came from. The ship may never ever have even been to Monrovia it’s just where the paperwork and registry has come from

The US Coast Guard evaluates the history of all vessels headed into US waters, and requires a report of anyone on board who has been sick or died in the last 15 days.