Home » Maritime » Cargo vessels can’t be converted into passenger ships: Marina

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is prohibiting the conversion of cargo ships and other types of vessels into passenger ships as part of its program to ensure the safety of passengers.

The maritime authority, in Marina Advisory (MA) No. 2017-27, said cargo ships and other types of vessels acquired from August 31, 2017 “shall not be converted into a passenger ship and no approval plans for the conversion to passenger ship shall be granted.”

Dated December 5, 2017, MA 2017-27 was published only on January 5, 2018.

MA 2017-27 said the prohibition is “the interest of the service, to ensure that all passenger vessels to be acquired, and subsequently be deployed for domestic operations, are compliant with the provisions of Marina Circular (MC) No. 2017-04 entitled ‘Rules on the Importation of Passenger Ships’.”

MC 2017-04, which took effect August 2017, aims to support the expansion and modernization of the Philippine domestic merchant marine fleet and its strict adherence to safety standards to ensure the seaworthiness of all sea-borne structures.

Under MC 2017-04, plans to construct, convert, alter, modify, or rebuild all ships covered by the memo will be pre-evaluated by Marina before it issues the authority to import.

Part of the maritime authority’s 10-year roadmap is the modernization of the country’s domestic fleet. The agency has been issuing several rules on the importation or construction of vessels, particularly for roll-on/roll-off and passenger ships, to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive that “not a single life” should perish at sea during his administration.

However, several vessel mishaps, mostly due to weather disturbances, have been reported since 2016. – Roumina Pablo

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