House: Bermuda updates maritime standards
“Significant progress” has been made to bring Bermuda up to an international standard for the operation of maritime functions, the transport minister said this morning.
Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, provided MPs with an update on the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation Instrument Implementation Code in the House of Assembly.
Mr DeSilva said the code is “concerned with providing a unified international standard for the operation of maritime functions by IMO members states”.
He added that the code also formed the basis of audit standards for a mandatory audit scheme.
The UK audit — including Overseas Territories — is scheduled to take place in September 2020.
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency will conduct audits next year of Overseas Territories ahead of the 2020 assessment.
Mr DeSilva said: “To properly implement and enforce Bermuda's rights, obligations and responsibilities with respect to the relevant IMO Instruments, current legislation, policies and procedures must be reviewed, gaps identified, responsibilities clarified and remedies put in place.”
He added that the “co-operation and collaboration” of a number of ministries, departments and quangos was needed to tackle the task.
Mr DeSilva said: “I am pleased to report that we are making significant progress.”
He said that the Bermuda Maritime Steering Committee had been created to provide oversight of the work.
Mr DeSilva said that other work to ensure Bermuda's readiness had also been completed — including a visit of the United States Coast Guard Strike Team in September.
He added: “The purpose of the visit was to discuss our oil pollution response readiness and to review the existing Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Coast Guard for major oil spill response.”
Mr DeSilva said that representative from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency had visited Bermuda last month to review the island's pollution response capability.
He added that a strategy document and support manual required ahead of next year's audit had been completed.
Mr DeSilva said that the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation Instrument Implementation Code “is of significant importance and mandatory for Bermuda to maintain its very good reputation as a compliant and leading maritime jurisdiction”.
He added: “With the progress that we have made thus far, and with the continued Government support and co-operation of the stakeholder departments, I am confident that we will be compliant prior to the imposed deadline — and I will endeavour to keep this honourable House updated on our progress.”
• To read Zane DeSilva's statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”