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Meeting international maritime requirements

Press release

Pacific maritime sector innovative solutions to meet international requirements

Thursday 16 November 2006, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), 36th Committee of Representatives of the Governments and Administrations (CRGA) – The maritime sector is one of the most heavily regulated sectors globally. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) promulgates global conventions, treaties, agreements and regulations, often without any consideration of how these global instruments will impact small island states (SIS) such as SPC member states.

An example of the challenges that the sector must face is the introduction of the SOLAS International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. Unlike the introduction of the ships’ crew training standards (STCW), where the lead-in time was seven years, the introduction of the ISPS Code had to be implemented within 18 months. Pacific Island countries rose to this challenge and all but one met the 1 July 2004 deadline. Ongoing compliance with the increasing international regulatory regime continues to provide challenges to the region.

“Using the expertise that is already in the Pacific will assist Pacific Island countries and territories [PICTs] to deal with the gruelling challenges that are happening in the maritime sector,” commented Captain John Hogan, SPC Regional Maritime Programme (RMP) Manager. “The development of self-help mechanisms and using Pacific best-practice examples will enable the region to meet international requirements.”

Mr Carl Hunter, Director of the Pacific Division of the Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, said, “Given the fact that the Cook Islands Maritime Division comprises a sole officer, the ongoing assistance provided by SPC’s RMP over the years is greatly valued and has been highly beneficial to our country. There is no question that the valuable assistance provided by RMP will continue to be sought by our Maritime Division, which, according to the presentation Captain Hogan made, has itself been able to assist other SIS and territories. We thank Captain Hogan and his team for the tremendous effort, work and service they provide to PICTs. We are hopeful that RMP will be able to assist us in solving our shipping problems in the northern country islands.”

His Excellency Mr Mack T. Kaminaga, the Marshall Islands Ambassador, acknowledged the urgency and vital importance of addressing the shipping needs of SIS and territories in the region. “I urge SPC and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to look at the possibility of transferring the responsibility of coordinating the shipping needs of the region to SPC’s Regional Maritime Programme, since RMP has the expertise.”

Photo 'maritime.jpg': From left ot right: Mr Carl Hunter, Director of the Pacific Division of the Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, His Excellency Mr Mack T. Kaminaga, the Marshall Islands Ambassador, and Captain John Hogan, SPC Regional Maritime Programme (RMP) Manager.

Ends

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