Committed To The Shipping, And Maritime Industry

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) plays a vital role in the country’s local shipping industry and the maritime sector. MSAF is committed to fully engage itself with the
04 Nov 2015 10:01
Committed To The Shipping, And Maritime Industry
Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji chief executive officer John Tunidau.

The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) plays a vital role in the country’s local shipping industry and the maritime sector.
MSAF is committed to fully engage itself with the ongoing support of the maritime industry stakeholders and the public ensuring safe vessels and clean seas.
This week MSAF acting chief executive officer John Tunidau spoke to Caroline Ratucadra on key issues relating to the organisation’s role and their responsibility in being the regulatory body for maritime safety and protection of the marine environment.
Question: For the benefit of our readers, please explain the roles and responsibilities of MSAF as a regulator responsible for Fiji’s maritime sector.e sea freight business doing?
MR TUNIDAU: As the commercial statutory body responsible for Fiji’s maritime safety, security and protection of the maritime environment, MSAF is committed to providing quality maritime related services in accordance to applicable statutory, regulatory requirements and customer needs.
This includes registering of ships, seafarers and regulating of all maritime activities within Fiji waters.
Furthermore, MSAF ensures continual reviews and improvement of its core regulatory services and that it continually meets its obligations under the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the International Labour Organization(ILO), instruments that Fiji has ratified.
Question: What are some key areas in the maritime/shipping areas overseeing by MSAF that needs improvement?
MR TUNIDAU: A key area that has to be strengthened and re-emphasised is the need for quality and advanced seafarer training.
For example, the urgent need for Class 2 and Class 1 marine engineers and masters training programme.
The other area is the training of enforcement officers. Such trainings are important, as it will ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the maritime laws especially the implementation of the Maritime Infringement Notice Regulation 2014. Another area that needs improvement is the Port State Control. MSAF is currently embarking on training its staff to deliver the service required.
Question: Are there any challenges faced by MSAF? If so, please elaborate.
MR TUNIDAU: Yes, there are challenges that we face. Marine clearance is a classical example.
While marine clearance is compulsory for all ships with CTL and the service provided is free of charge, ships depart at odd hours and not all MSAF’s enforcement officers are present at prescribed Ports in Fiji.
Question: Fiji’s presence is currently absent in many international maritime conventions. Please list the conventions and elaborate more on the importance of the need to become a member.
MR TUNIDAU: Refer to the schedule of the Maritime Transport Decree 2013, which specifies the list of Conventions.
In addition, MSAF made a submission to the Parliament Standing Committee responsible for the ratification of the new conventions, which was passed by Parliament. For this reason, Fiji is well placed with the ratification of the IMO Convention.
Question: On levies, specifically on the Pollution Levy account with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF). Do share some light about this.
The term “Environment Levy” is now changed to “Oil Pollution Levy” in accordance with the Maritime Transport Decree 2015.
The Schedule in the Marine (Pollution Levy) Regulations 2014 stipulates who pays for the levy and how much is paid per gross tonnage:
MSAF took over on 31st December 2012. There has been no change, Fiji Port Corporation Limited has only been collecting the environmental levy at the Suva and Lautoka ports on-behalf of the Fiji Islands Maritime Safety Administration now MSAF. It will be used for oil spill response and other pollution response activities. The uses are stated in Section 201 of the Maritime Transport Decree 2013:
Question: It has been reported also by some ship operators for Government to redefine pollution levies? What are your comments on this?
MR TUNIDAU: The uses of Pollution Levy is well defined in the Maritime Transport Decree 2013, which provide and accommodates a transparent use of the funds only for response to marine pollution incidents in Fiji waters.
Question: What other levies would you like to highlight?
MR TUNIDAU: The MSAF also collects Light Dues, which is for the provision of Aids to Navigation installed and maintained in Fiji waters. Aids to Navigation include lighthouses, beacons and navigational buoys.
Question: Please elaborate more on the Maritime Transport and Shipping Decree that is in place. Why do you think people are still not complying with the rules and regulations? And what are the penalties?
MR TUNIDAU: The MTD has provisions on maritime safety, security and the protection of the marine environment, while the SRD is specifically for the registration of ships in Fiji.
The two legislations are supplemented by subsidiary regulations and MSAF has implemented the requirements under the new legislations. Compliance to the legislation has been forth coming with the continual implementation of the requirements by the MSAF.
Question: On Purchasing of vessels, MSAF will no longer register overseas purchased ships that are over 20 years old. Please explain why – as the local ship-owners association had concerns about this when it was announced earlier this year.
MR TUNIDAU: The new provisions in the Ship Regulations Decree 2013 will ensure Fiji is not a dumping ground for ships that are aged and are beyond their operating life at sea.
With aged ships, the machineries, hull, superstructure, equipment and fittings are not usually compliant to the IMO standards and to our national legislation required for environmentally friendly, safe and secure ships.
The new provision will not only reduce the risk of pollution to Fiji’s Marine environment but also most importantly ensure safer and OHS complaint ships that will provide safe and secure passages for the maritime travelling public and cargo in Fiji waters and improving the standards of ships registered in Fiji.

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