Regulator orders close to 40 vessels to undergo slipping services

A total of 36 registered vessels operating in Vanuatu have been ordered by the Office of the Maritime Regulator (OMR) to undergo slipping services.

In a Circular No. 5 to all ship owners, agents and masters of vessel dated January 24, 2018, the Interim Regulator, Charlie Maniel, said the OMR was aware that there were a number of registered vessels operating in Vanuatu that were now overdue for slipping.

“It is a requirement under law and vessel’s Safe Certificate that vessels must be endorsed annually and as part of the endorsement, vessels must be slipped, and slipping is part of the safety requirement that vessel owners must comply with to ensure the underwater portion of the hull and fitting are checked and maintained,” the Interim Regulator wrote in the Circular.

The Regulator then ordered the 36 vessels he listed in his circular to “immediately book a slipway within the next 10 days from the date of this letter, either in country or abroad, whichever is accessible and affordable to shipowners”.

“Please provide evidence to OMR, at your earliest if you already booked and secured a spot at a slipway. Failure to do so, OMR will start detaining vessels and publishing vessels’ names in newspaper,” he warned.

He warned too that OMR will closely monitor these vessels to ensue they booked for slipping and he required that all vessels must confirm their booking with a slipway not later tan February 28, 2018, and vessels owners must produce booking confirmation to OMR once booking is confirmed.

One week earlier, the Interim Regulator ordered all vessels not slipped for the last 12 months to provide a full hull inspection report within the next 14 days.

“The owners of the vessel are to hire a specialized marine diver, at owner’s cost, to inspect the vessel’s hull and bow, and provide a report to the Regular within two days from the date of inspection,” he wrote in his instruction letter dated January 18, 2018.

He warned that failure to do so, the vessel will be detained until proper marine inspection was conducted under the hull and bow of the vessel and he called for the cooperation of the vessels’ owners to ensure the safety of the vessels and passengers at all times.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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