Barbados is actively reviewing its existing body of shipping legislation with a view to making any necessary updates.
That disclosure was made recently by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of International Transport, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner.
She was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 20th Meeting of the Caribbean Port State Control Committee (CPSCC 20) of the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Caribbean (CMOU), which was held at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Needhams Point, St. Michael.
The Parliamentary Secretary explained that national legislation was enacted after the first preparatory meeting of the CMOU in 1993 had identified the need for regulations to focus not only on Port State Control, but to implement the requirements of international maritime conventions.
“The implementation and review of national legislation is an ongoing process given the dynamic developments in the maritime industry. Barbados is actively reviewing its existing body of shipping legislation with a view to updating and introducing, where necessary, acts and regulations to fully meet the obligations of the international instruments to which it is a party. We shall not cease in our efforts until we are fully compliant with the obligations to which we have committed and are committed,” she stated.
Senator Sandiford-Garner also lauded the CMOU for its efforts throughout the region to enhance maritime safety, protect the marine environment and ensure the provision of adequate living and working conditions for those on board ships.
“The inspection of foreign ships calling at our ports to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international maritime regulations, and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these regulations, known as port state control inspection, is a vital function of any maritime administrative structure. Experience has shown that this system, originally intended to be a back up to flag State responsibility, can be extremely effective in eliminating sub-standard shipping,” the Parliamentary Secretary pointed out.
She added that such inspections, though not widely known outside of the maritime environment, were critical to our region as they served to protect the marine environment and the reputation of the shipping industry.
“Many of our nationals either directly or indirectly earn their living or benefit from the maritime and related industries, for example, through seafaring, fishing and the importation of goods, and of course the sea is a source of pleasure and leisure for our nationals and visitors.
“There would be untold socio-economic repercussions and costs should an incident such as an oil spill, a crippled ship restricting traffic into and out of our harbours, or the introduction of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens from ships’ ballast water to our marine ecosystem, occur,” Senator Sandiford-Garner noted.
The CMOU has 15 members and one associate member.