CMMSL, OPA-SL hosts seminar on ‘IMO Conventions and Maritime Regulations in SL’
The first speaker, Captain Upul Peiris, Govt Ship Surveyor speaking on the subject – ‘Acceding to IMO Conventions by Sri Lanka’ said that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.”
“Sri Lanka is a member State of IMO and has ratified many IMO conventions and protocols and now in the process of acceding six more conventions/protocols,” he said. The second speaker, Chandaka Jayasundere, Attorney at Law speaking on the subject – ‘Proposals for a new Maritime Regulatory Regime in Sri Lanka’ said that the existing legal framework relating to Merchant Shipping consists of the Merchant Shipping Act No. 52 of 1971 and Regulations made there under by the Minister of Shipping. There is also certain other general legislation which touches on employment of persons in sea going vessels and the minimum age requirement of employment in Sri Lanka. There is also several other Acts, enactments and regulations which relate to the maritime industry dealing with freight forwarding, ports.”
“The three main conventions relating to maritime matters i.e. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS), International Convention of Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW) and the International Conventions for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 and the 1978 Protocol (MARPOL) have been given legal effect in Sri Lanka via different forms in different legislative instruments,” he said.
“Some parts of the MLC 2006 have been given effect to by way of Shipping Notes under the Merchant Shipping Act.”
It is recommended that: an enabling Act be enacted either: as a Special Provisions Act to the Merchant Shipping Act; or as an amendment to the Merchant Shipping Act; or as a new stand-alone Act.
Such an Act should bring into effect and give the force of law to the provisions of international conventions Sri Lanka has signed, ratified or acceded to and bring into one statutory instrument the various enactments dealing with various aspects of the maritime industry.
The Company of Master Mariners of Sri Lanka is a professional organization of Sri Lankan Ship Captains, who are Certified Class 1 Master Mariners (for Unlimited Tonnage and Ocean Trading Area); formed in 1992 with a current membership in excess of 300.
CMMSL is a member of the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka since 2004, leading the ‘Maritime Profession’ with a great emphasis on harnessing the professional inputs of Master Mariners, endeavouring to serve the Maritime Community in particular and Shipping Industry in general.
In the absence of an appreciable national fleet of ships trading internationally, the Master Mariners of the nation in particular and Sri Lankan seafarers in general, are employed mainly on foreign vessels and in shore-based maritime ventures.
They have been identified as high-value foreign exchange earning professionals of the nation contributing a few billion Rupees annually to the national coffers, for which the state investment remains yet to be enhanced on par with that of the private sector.
Master Mariners have years of experience at sea commanding such enormous maritime property known as ships to almost all the major ports in the world.