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Strengthening of maritime and ocean affairs in St.Vincent and Grenadines

Strengthening of maritime and ocean affairs in St.Vincent and Grenadines

St. Vincent and the Grenadines requested Commonwealth Secretariat support to strengthen capacity at the principal office of the Department of Maritime Administration, (SVGMARAD), to ensure effective supervision and regulation of maritime affairs.

Country: St.Vincent and the Grenadines              
Host: Department of Maritime Administration, Ministry of National Security, Air and Seaport Development
Start Date: 1 August 2016
End Date: 31 July 2018
Policy Area: Oceans and Natural Resources
Policy Adviser: Julian Roberts
Project Manager: Pauline Campbell

Background

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) was audited under the Voluntary International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Member States Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) from 9th to 19th October 2015. SVG is required to implement a corrective action plan (CAP) to address findings from the VIMSAS which became mandatory on 1st January 2016. As part CAP, the Government of SVG has sought support from the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, (CFTC), to strengthen capacity at the principal office of the Department of Maritime Administration, (SVGMARAD), in Kingstown, to ensure effective implementation of national maritime law and policy and discharge of obligations arising from international conventions.  

SVGMARAD is mandated by the Government of SVG to exercise general supervision and regulations of all matters related to maritime affairs. The Kingstown Office of the SVGMARAD has leadership responsibilities of the following:

  • Administering the Shipping Act which gives effect to the 10 mandatory IMO Instruments.  It is also expected to administer a Marine Pollution Prevention Act (prepared by the Commonwealth in 2015) in the near future;
  • Discharging flag State duties and responsibilities as codified in Article 94 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea;
  • Exercise and undertaking of SVG’s coastal State and Port State Rights and Obligations;
  • Implementation of a National Ocean Policy and Strategic Action Plan (prepared by the Commonwealth between 2013 and 2015);
  • Implementation of labour, social and decent working conditions on SVG ships;
  • Guiding development of the maritime component of a Hospitality and Maritime Training Institute (HTMI) to be operated under the aegis of the Saint Vincent and Grenadines Community College (SVGCC).
Goal

The purpose of the project is to strengthen the capacity of SVGMARAD to effectively undertake general supervision and regulation of all matters related to maritime and ocean affairs.

Impact

The capacity of SVG to effectively discharge obligations for maritime and ocean affairs in international and regional instruments and in accordance with national law and policy will be strengthened. Potential longer-term outcomes of this assignment are likely to include among others:

  • Retention and security of appropriate staff within the SVGMARAD;
  • Revenue increase due to improved economic shipping activity;
  • Greater protection of SVG’s marine environment by the elimination of sub-standards ships operating in SVG waters.

The beneficiary groups will include: Department of Maritime Administration (SVGMARAD), Owners of SVG Ships, SVG Seafarers and NGOs, Community Groups involved in ocean governance and the State/Government of SVG.

Outputs
  • Technical capacity of the principal office of the Department of Maritime Administration (through mentorship/training of nationals), strengthened.  By extension, this will also include delivery of seafarer training in SVG through the Hospitality and Maritime Training Institute (HMTI) and SVG Community College (SVGCC);
  • Quality management system for work processes and procedures in the Maritime Administration established;
  • Approved policies and legal framework for maritime and ocean affairs implemented.
  • Qualified and competent SVGMARAD officials able to independently;
    • Implement comprehensive programme for survey and inspection of all classes of SVG ships;
    • Oversee compliance by SVG ships and ship operators with applicable safety, security, environmental protection and labour/social protection standards, increased.
    • Implement comprehensive programme of port state control inspections on foreign ships entering SVG ports.