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Decree on hold

Ropate Valemei
Monday, March 03, 2014

THE Works and Transport Ministry and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) have received numerous requests from stakeholders to defer the commencement date of the two shipping decrees.

The Maritime Transport Decree (MTD) 2013 and the Shipping Registration Decree (SRD) 2013 will now come into force on September 5 instead of March 5, its initial date.

Ministry permanent secretary Commander Francis Kean last week said there were several reasons for the deferment.

"A major reason was that we have received numerous requests from stakeholders to defer the commencement date of the MTD and SRD, as they need more time to enable compliance," Cdr Kean said.

He said the deferment would enable MSAF to consult with its stakeholders and mobilise their survey and awareness team.

He said MSAF recently carried out consultations with stakeholders in Rakiraki and Denarau and would continue in the coming weeks.

"This is a partnership game," Cdr Kean said.

"The transport sector in Fiji is a very important sector for Fiji's economy and it's important that we continue to engage and talk with MSAF stakeholders to ensure that come September 5 the majority of stakeholders are in compliance with the decrees."

MSAF chief executive Neal Slack said the feedback from consultations held over the past few weeks in Rakiraki and Denarau were overwhelmingly positive.

He said questions posed by stakeholders were not directly related to the legislation but also on operational queries.

The ministry and MSAF are also working with the Solicitor-General's office on its drafted regulations.

"We also need to complete 31 requisite regulations that are being drafted by MSAF and undergoing vetting by the office of the Solicitor-General," said Cdr Kean.

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