NSB to quit German flag?

Germany's NSB Reederei could shift its containerships from the domestic register as it seeks to find a way to reduce crewing costs.

It blamed the "economic situation in the German shipping sector" for the potential move and is in talks with union ver.di to find a way of retaining German and European seafarers for less money.

The owner warned: "If no economically feasible solution has been found by the end of 2014, Reederei NSB will see itself compelled to discontinue entirely the operation of its ships under German flag."

NSB believes continued use of European crews is not economically feasible under the German flag and will "endanger its position."

The union will bring in an external auditor to assess the situation.

NSB has the most German-flagged vessels of any owner.

It has 500 European crew on its books and 42 boxships registered domestically.

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