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Island prepares for ‘critical’ audit

Preparations are under way for a crucial audit of the island’s maritime infrastructure by the International Maritime Organisation.

Senator Michael Fahy said that failure to pass the audit could have serious consequences for Bermuda’s shipping registry, economy and tourist industry, but maintained he was confident that the Department of Maritime Administration would ensure the island made the grade.

This week more than 20 officials, including representatives from Government departments, police, customs, shipping agents and the oil dock operators, came together for a seminar hosted by the DMA to prepare for the assessment,

The audit is expected to take place in the middle of 2017.

“It is the responsibility of each Ministry and Department concerned to ensure that compliance is achieved for the maritime affairs coming under it, to the required standards of the relevant IMO Instruments,” Mr Fahy, the Minister of Transport, said.

“The purpose of preparing Bermuda for compliance with the IMO Instruments is to pass the forthcoming IMO Member State Audit, which will be due in 2017. The exact dates for the IMO Audit is being discussed between the UK and the IMO Secretariat. It is understood it will be in the middle of the year.

“It is very important that we pass this audit in order to be able to continue with the functions of the Shipping Registry and the programme of large passenger ships calling in Bermuda ports. Failure to pass the audit may have deleterious effects on Bermuda’s economy and tourist industry.”

The IMO has begun a schedule of examinations of around 160 countries signed up for the IMO Instruments Implementation Code. The final report will name countries who pass and fail the inspections.