Home » Maritime » Marina eyes cap to operation of chartered vessels

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is looking at limiting the period of time chartered foreign-flagged vessels may operate on local shores.

Marina administrator Emerson Lorenzo said such a policy will prevent circumvention of the cabotage law, thus protect the interest of local operators, at the same time strengthen the country’s ship registry.

“We will only allow a particular foreign-flag vessel, chartered or operating through a special permit, for a year,” Lorenzo explained. “After that… the charterer has no recourse but to choose to buy the vessel and register it locally or ship out the vessel.”

Marina is expected to publish a directive on foreign ships operating on local waters in the next few weeks.

Local vessel operators affiliated with the Philippine Interisland Shipping Association have been protesting the proliferation of foreign-flagged ships in the local trade, claiming they not only violate the cabotage law but also provide unfair competition in a very thin market characterized by sufficient capacity.

Under Philippine laws, foreign-flagged ships may only temporarily operate on local shores if local carriers cannot accommodate volumes.

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