Minister Rivers Addresses Shipping Conference
Minister for Financial Service and Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers highlighted that seagoing vessels registered in the Cayman Islands are on the "white list" with three leading global entities when they undergo inspections in foreign seaports.
Minister Rivers was speaking on behalf of the Cayman Islands Government at the opening of the meeting of the Caribbean MOU on Port State Control Committee last week.
She noted that the Paris (for European region) and Tokyo (for Asia-Pacific region) MOUs as well as the United States Coast Guard acknowledge the high calibre of Flag State administration provided by the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, which is operated by the Cayman Islands Maritime Authority. "This is an enviable reputation and requires constant vigilance to maintain - there is certainly no room for complacency," she emphasised.
Minister Rivers explained that it is primarily the role of the Flag State to service its fleet, in conjunction with the owners and/or operators of the commercial vessels. This is to ensure that "these international standards for registration, maritime safety, the prevention of marine pollution, living and working conditions on board, and maritime security are applied and maintained for the entire fleet of vessels flying their flag," she said.
The Minister underscored that Port State Control is a regional effort and the Cayman Islands stands "ready and willing" to promote regional cooperation under the Caribbean MOU and its Port State Control programme.
"We remain committed to providing, within our resources, assistance and support to other Members, and indeed aspiring members, of the CMOU and its Committee," she added.
Minister Rivers expressed appreciation for the ongoing support from the International Maritime Organisation, the International Labour Organisation, the Paris and Tokyo MOUs, through the Caribbean MOU, Transport Canada and Lloyd's Register-Fairplay, a prime source of global maritime information.
Minister Rivers' full speech is attached below.
Remarks by Minister of Financial Services and Home Affairs Hon. Tara Rivers
At the 23rd Meeting of the Caribbean Port State Control Committee, 26 June 2018, 6.30 pm
Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort,Grand Cayman
- Chairman of the Opening Ceremony;
- Honourable Ministers and Official Members of Government;
- Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Caribbean Port State Control Committee, Mr. Dwight Gardiner and Capt. Dwain Hutchinson;
- Secretary General of the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding, Mrs. Jodi Barrow;
- Representative of the Paris MOU, Mr. Richard Schiferli;
- Representative of the International Maritime Organization, Mr. Colin Young;
- Representatives of the United States Coastguard, CDR Alan Moore, Jr and LCDR. Timothy S. Tilghman;
- Other distinguished Delegates;
- Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are delighted and honoured to host the 23rd Annual Caribbean Port State Control Committee Meeting, and it is with a great deal of pleasure that I welcome you, on behalf of the Government and people of the Cayman Islands, to this Opening Ceremony.
I wish to extend a warm welcome to delegates from the various countries. I realise that you are fully dedicated to the sessions that will follow but I do hope you will also take time to enjoy the fascinating Cayman Islands with its tropical setting, friendly people and multi-cultural cuisine.
I recognise that these sessions are principally designed to engage in the development of Port State Control in the Caribbean Region. These annual gatherings enable the building of a productive dialogue between member countries. They also provide an invaluable opportunity for networking and fruitful contacts between countries.
Over the years, we have been supportive of the policies and projects under the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. This is the third time that the meeting is being held in the Cayman Islands. It may be recalled that the Cayman Islands hosted the inaugural Meeting of the Committee in 1997 and the 10th annual meeting in 2005. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to host this meeting again this year. We are pleased to have 37 member delegates in attendance from Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Curaçao, France, Guyana, Jamaica, The Netherlands, St. Kitts & Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago; as well as 5 delegates from Observer Member States Bermuda, Haiti and Sint Maarten. We are also pleased to welcome international representation from the International Maritime Organisation, Paris MOU, and United States Coast Guard, who are present to impart their expertise to the Meeting/Sessions.
The Cayman Islands has a rich maritime history and has been a British Port of Registry since 1903. Following the Categorisation of Registers Order of 1988, the Cayman Islands reached Category 1 Status as a British Register in July 1991, allowing the full range of vessels to be registered under the Cayman Islands Maritime Administration.
I mention these matters because of the inexorable link between Flag State and Port State.
As most of you may know, commercial shipping is subject to international standards regarding maritime safety, the prevention of marine pollution and maritime security, most of which are laid down in numerous international Conventions and related instruments of the International Maritime Organisation. The Conventions of the International Labour Organisation also play a significant role regarding living and working conditions on board vessels.
The main maritime Conventions all contain provisions for vessels to be inspected while they are visiting foreign ports (Port States). These conventions provide some form of "Control" under which, the Port State (usually the Maritime Administration), of the port being visited can inspect the foreign vessels to ensure standards are in fact being met by verifying that the condition of the vessel and its equipment, comply with the requirements of international regulations and that the vessel is manned and operated in compliance with these rules.
In parallel with this, any Port State has some varying levels of jurisdiction over foreign vessels whilst they are in that State's waters. This in conjunction with the system articulated under the Maritime Conventions, allows for the inspection also of non-Convention vessels as well as those bound by the Conventions.
Caribbean Port States have a major role to play in combating substandard vessels in the region and by grouping together under the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, they are able to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of each state's port enforcement. The Caribbean Maritime Information Centre database of all vessel inspections provides a snapshot of the quality vessels entering Caribbean waters. This provides an opportunity for sub-standard ships to be targeted for inspection and ensure rectification of defects by the Member Port States.
It is primarily the role of the Flag State to service its fleet, in conjunction with the owners and/or operators of the commercial vessels, to ensure that these international standards for registration, maritime safety, the prevention of marine pollution, living and working conditions on board, and maritime security are applied and maintained for the entire fleet of vessels flying their flag.
These aspects also encompass the areas of concern under Port State Control. Hence, a State with a well developed Flag Administration will already have the expertise and resources needed for Port State inspections. The Cayman Islands falls into this category and I am pleased to report that where the inspection of Cayman vessels in foreign ports is concerned, we have achieved "white list" status with both the Paris and Tokyo MOUs as well as with the United States Coast Guard. This is an enviable reputation and requires constant vigilance to maintain - there is certainly no room for complacency.
Port State Control is now very much a regional effort, and the Cayman Islands remains ready and willing to promote this regional cooperation under the Caribbean MOU and its Port Sate Control programme. We remain committed to providing, within our resources, assistance and support to other Members, and indeed aspiring members, of the CMOU and its Committee.
We would like to express our appreciation for the ongoing support of other outside bodies, many of which are represented here today.
- The International Maritime Organisation has been at the forefront in the development of Port State Control on a global basis, and has provided invaluable support and resources to the Caribbean region. There continues to be ongoing support through the project of the Regional Maritime Adviser in that any strengthening of the region's Maritime Administrations has a positive effect on the effectiveness of Port State Control in the region.
- The Caribbean effort also receives a lot of encouragement and support from the International Labour Organisation, the agency which addresses the very important aspects of living and working conditions for seafarers on board ships.
- The Caribbean MOU has excellent relations with the Paris MOU which again has provided support and encouragement to the region's Port State Control efforts. We also cooperate and collaborate with the Asia/Pacific MOU (i.e. the Tokyo MOU).
- The United States Coast Guard also continues to show support for the efforts of the Caribbean in putting in place an effective Port State Control regime.
- Transport Canada has been one of our steadfast allies and supporters. Canada is unique in that it is on both the Pacific and the Atlantic and hence subscribes to both the Paris and the Tokyo MOUs.
- Lloyds Fairplay have attended all the meetings of the CMOU since before it was signed in February 1996 and they continue their support, not least with the development of the Caribbean small ship database, designed to provide unique Identity Numbers for the myriad of small ships in the region which fall outside of the main IMO Number system.
In conclusion, there is little doubt that the Caribbean Port State Control effort has significantly reduced the number of substandard ships in the region, which has had a noticeable beneficial effect on the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment. We cannot however be complacent and the effort must be persistent. I am sure that the many matters to be dealt with by the Committee will carry the effort further forward and I wish the Meeting every success in this regard.
I do hope however that you will be able to take some time out from your busy schedule to enjoy the delights and hospitality of the Cayman Islands and its people, which, I can assure you, are indeed already well developed!
For further information contact: Bina Mani