The world’s flag states need to put aside their differences and forge a common alliance to improve standards across the shipping industry, according to the head of the Liberian Registry.

Chief executive Alfonso Castillero said talks are underway for a new grouping that would be open to any flag state that signs up to agreed standards.

He told TradeWinds that the three largest flag states — Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands — have already discussed common compliance standards but urged the notoriously competitive registries to cooperate to address some of the industry’s biggest issues.