Ship decree deferred again

THE commencement date for the Ship Registration Decree 2013 and the Maritime Transport Decree 2013 has been deferred for the third time in a span of just two years.

Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji chief executive officer Neale Slack said the extension of time was owed to the need to finalise, and, for the Solicitor- General’s office to vet all the regulations.

The deferment is to enable the completion of about 35 requisite regulations being drafted by MSAF including the subsequent vetting by the Office of the Solicitor-General, MSAF said in a statement.

“It’s ideal and desirable to bring into effect the regulations at the same time as the two decrees come into effect.

“The logic being that the decrees are like the two skeletons, the detail is in the regulations. So that’s why it’s critical.

“If you bring them in at a later stage, people will be saying what the detail in support of those regulations is,” he said earlier this week.

The authority started off with 17 regulations and gained momentum with 36 regulations, one of which will be implemented at a later date.

Work on the Maritime Law Convention, which governs employment conditions and conditions for mariners on board, and which is the 36th regulation the authority plans to implement, will be rolled out within the next six months, he said.

“We’re working on that at the moment and seeking feedback and input from the Ministry of Labour,” Mr Slack said of the MLC 2014.

In the meantime, in the face of the deferment, it’s still business as usual, he pointed out.

“What’s important throughout this period is with this deferment, come October, the stakeholders should have familiarised themselves with regulations, the drafts are on the website.

“We will obviously have more rounds of consultations as these are finalised with the public and stakeholders,” Mr Slack said.

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