Cayman committed to maritime improvements

| 17/07/2017 | 0 Comments
CNS Business

(L-R) Executive Director, Global Safety & Compliance Greg Evans; MACI CEO Joel Walton; United Kingdom delegate Ugo Ottanelli

(CNS Business): A message from the new financial services minister to delegates at a shipping conference in Cayman last week pointed to the committment of the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI) to make life at sea safe, minimise ship pollution and encourage optimal living and working conditions on board ships.

Following news about the continued problems of slavery aboard commercial vessels, particularly in Asia (see An AP investigation helps free slaves in the 21st century), the annual Red Ensign Group (REG) Conference, which was held at the Marriott resort in Cayman this year, provided an opportunity for British shipping countries to discuss some of the sector’s newest challenges. 

Home Affairs Minister Tara Rivers, who was in the UK at the time of the conference, delivered her message through the deputy home affairs chief officer, Kathryn Dinspel-Powell. She said Cayman’s shipping registry was one of the best in the world and its vessels have the lowest detention ratios whenever ships undergo inspections at ports around the globe.

“Our maritime authority strives to uphold the guidelines and regulations concerning maritime safety, coastal protection issues and the control of marine pollution from ships espoused in the International Maritime Organisation Instruments Implementation Code,” Rivers told delegates. “Since the International Maritime Organisation passed that decree four years ago, the maritime authority has been working with the ministry to formulate a national maritime strategy whereby all of our stakeholders with IMO responsibilities are working together to better control Cayman’s waters.”

While this will mean more regulation to ensure best practices,  the local fleet and the wider Red Ensign Group will be encouraged by Cayman’s commitment to uphold the highest international standards, she said.

“In the fast-paced world we live in, we understand those standards are constantly shifting,” she said pointing to the new rules for yachts, entitled the 'Red Ensign Group Yacht Code', that will be unveiled to the public at the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show in September.

But Rivers also raised the issue of “the changes in store for our industry due to Brexit”. She said that as the UK separates from  the European Union, the extent of possible trade restrictions could lead to a multitude of implications for the Cayman fleet. “Ultimately, regardless of what changes lay ahead, we can rest in the collective strength of the Red Ensign Group,” Rivers stated. “Together, we can move forward with one unified voice for all UK flag states and collaborate appropriately to ensure our combined high level of competency continues to boost our economies and maintain our reputations at the forefront of international shipping.”

British MP John Hayes, who is the minister for shipping, said in a message delivered to the conference by Allan Massey, also in his absence, acknowledged that Brexit would have political, economic and reputational implications for the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies in their relationship with the UK. 

Maritime security and Brexit’s impact on ships flying under the Union Jack were among numerous topics on the table as the annual shipping conference, which was last held here in 2008. Authorities and regulators from across the Commonwealth came to Cayman to discuss their shared interests as Red Ensign countries and their maritime obligations.

See full addresses to the conference below:

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