Growing the Danish flag

The number of ships sailing under the Danish flag has grown by 8.6% between 2016 and 2020. This growth is significantly above the EU average, which stands at 2.4%.


Dannebrog – the Danish flag – is among the fastest-growing flags in recent years when compared to most other flag states in the EU and the average growth for the entire EU-flagged fleet.

A new report from the EU’s maritime organisation, EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency), states that gross tonnage under the Danish flag has grown by 8.6% between 2016 and 2020. Looking at the member states as a whole in the EU, the gross tonnage increased by 2.4%.

“We are seeing steady, secure progress under the Danish flag. This clearly shows that the Danish flag is a competitive seal of quality, and that many years of wide political support for the ambition to strengthen Denmark as a maritime nation is bearing fruit,” says Anne H. Steffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping.

Only Portugal and the French island of Réunion have progressed further than the Danish flag in relation to the starting point in 2016, but they had a lower starting point and a significantly smaller merchant fleet than Denmark.

“It is important for Denmark to have a strong flag when we are talking about shipping. It gives us a more important voice internationally, and strengthens our mandate in the important climate negotiations that will define the industry in the coming years,” says Anne H. Steffensen.

The global development in gross tonnage has been a growth of 3.5% during this period.

The EU’s largest flag state, Malta, grew by 5.9% during the same period, while the second largest flag state in the EU, Greece, fell by 0.6%.

This article is shared by courtesy of Danish Shipping – a trade and employer organisation. Half of the members of the organisation own ships registered in Denmark, the other half run their activities in Denmark under other flags of state.  Since then, it has been working as a collective point for the Danish shipping industry, and today it plays an important and active role in relation to the authorities and decision-makers nationally and internationally.


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