Home » Maritime » Marina chief may revive proposal to regulate international carriers

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) chief is eyeing the creation of a body to police operations of international shipping lines.

“In my opinion there has to be some semblance of regulation of international shipping lines. I think Marina should have to put some control on their operations unlike now that they come and go,” newly installed Marina administrator Emerson Lorenzo said.

“We will subject our move to a thorough study to ensure where we can come in without disturbing the current operations of carriers,” Lorenzo explained.

At the moment, there is no government agency regulating international shipping lines.

The Philippine Shippers’ Bureau, an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry created to protect the rights of shippers, only has accreditation powers over freight forwarders but has no control whatsoever over shipping lines.

Philippine exporters and importers as well as the Port Users Confederation – the umbrella organization of all national transport associations — have long lobbied for a body that will regulate operations of international carriers. Traders believe a government agency should be able to intervene on issues of freight rates, especially if they are deemed excessive.

Marina’s past two administrations have tried — but failed — to push an executive order placing the regulation of international shipping lines and freight forwarders under the Marina.

Under a proposed EO drafted in 2008, Marina was eyed to “supervise and oversee ship agents, representatives or local branches of international/foreign shipping lines, relating to standards of safety, quality and operations, including the rate-setting mechanism” but in the latter case, only when it came to local charges.

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