Home » Maritime » Marina considers putting a stop to alterations on passenger ships

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is planning to ban alterations on second-hand imported vessels, particularly passenger ships.

Marina administrator Ma. Elena Bautista said shipowners may also be forced to stick to the original purpose of the vessels prior to their importation.

Alterations may, however, be allowed on brand-new vessels and, possibly, on cargo ships, Bautista said. For cargo vessels, the agency is looking at pre-approval before alteration.

One of the causes of maritime accidents in the country is the use of altered, second-hand vessels.

Common alterations include putting more seats and cabins in what was originally part of the ship’s cargo section, and converting unused areas into cargo space.

Shipping stakeholders are opposing Marina’s proposal, saying alteration is a common practice even in developed maritime nations. They added that as long as alterations are pre-approved and they do not affect the stability of the ship, they should be allowed.

Earlier, the Philippine Coast Guard proposed to limit the age of imported vessels to 10 years and to restrict use of the vessel to its original purpose to improve safety.

Vessels operating in the Philippines are usually between 21 and 25 years old.

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