Sea vessel safety: Boat registrations in Penama Province

The Northern Division Office of the Maritime Regulator will be in Penama Province from 5 to 15 October to register, survey and inspect small sea vessels.

Manaseh Togagi, a Marine Inspector from the office, says a team will be in Pangi, on south Pentecost and in Bwatnapni, Loltong in north Pentecost during that period.

The team will also undertake surveys and inspections and conduct registrations at Asanvari on Maewo; and at Lolowai, Waluriki, Sakao and Nduindui on Ambae during the same dates.

Mr Togagi says it is important that all boat owners and boat skippers meet the Maritime Regulation team during the period to register their boats and get licences and safety training.

He says boat owners will need to pay a total of VT36,325 for the three different registration fees and to acquire a licence.

“There is the application fee which is VT575, a registration fee which is VT17,250 and a survey fee which is VT11,500 which adds up to VT29,325,” he said.

“We will also be training skippers or boat captains and we’ll be printing and issuing their licenses during this time.

“Skippers’ license fees are VT7000, which means all the fees required for boat owners to register their vessels and get a licence adds up to VT36,325.”

Mr Togagi says the registration and application fees will cover boat owners for five years.
But, survey fees will need to be paid annually when inspectors come to check that all small vessels are safe for travel, including whether they have the right life-saving appliances such as life jackets.

He says once a boat owner pays all the required fees, the inspectors will put an Office of the Maritime Regulator sticker on their boat to show it is safe for travel and has the correct life-saving appliances.

Mr Togagi asked all boat owners in Penama Province to get their fees ready for the registration process before coming with their skippers or captains to the registration sites.

“This will ensure that boat owners and captains get all the necessary information and training during the registration process and it will also make it easier for us to run future surveys,” he said.

Mr Togagi says if there is time, the team will meet with Penama Provincial officials to share information on the small boat registration program.

Small vessel registration has been going well in Sanma Province.

A Marine Inspector from the Northern Division Office of the Maritime Regulator, Joseph Melip, says only a few boat owners have not complied with the regulations.

He says detention orders have been issued for the vessels of these owners and they are not allowed to provide transport services.

Mr Melip says if boat owners, skippers or captains breach the orders police can seize the vessels involved.

He warned boat owners in Sanma Province who have not yet registered their vessels, that they need to come forward to do so and to prove their vessels are safe and sea-worthy.

Early next year, after registrations are completed in Penama Province, the inspectors will move to Torba Province to carry out registrations there.

Registration of small craft vessels is required under the Maritime Sector Regulatory Act of 2016.

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