Home » Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Chelsea Logistics welcomes cap on age of imported passenger vessels

Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. (CLC) said it supports the new Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) rule putting a cap on the age of imported passenger vessels as this policy is aligned with the company’s fleet modernization program.

In a statement, CLC said its plans and programs conform to objectives of Marina Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2017-04 as it has been re-fleeting since 2016.

According to MC 2017-04, passenger ships to be imported should not weigh less than 500 gross tonnage (GT) and should not be more than 20 years old upon filing of application.

READ: Marina imposes 20-year age cap on imported passenger vessels

CLC said it has earmarked P1.78 billion for fleet expansion from the proceeds of its initial public offering (IPO); P245 million for the purchase or upgrade of ports, port facilities, containers, machinery and equipment; P3.20 billion for the acquisition of shipping and logistics firms; and P278 million for general corporate purposes.

“By modernizing and expanding our operations, we can provide better shipping and logistics solutions as well as make our country more competitive in capturing the increasing trade opportunities in Southeast Asia,” CLC chairman Dennis A. Uy said.

Uy’s Udenna group ventured into shipping in 2006 through Chelsea Shipping Corp. to support the operations of another company it owns, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc.

The company’s shipping operations have since grown, and in March, CLC further expanded the group by acquiring a 28.15% indirect economic interest in integrated transport solutions provider 2GO Group, Inc.

At present, CLC has 11 tankers, eight tugboats, seven roll-on/roll-off vessels with passenger accommodation (RoPax), four barges, and three cargo ships. In addition, 2GO has eight RoPax, 10 fastcraft, and eight cargo vessels.

Marina MC 2017-04, which was signed in July but published last August 15, “aims to provide guidelines on the importation of passenger ship in order to ensure the continued viability of domestic shipping operations and to encourage the development of a viable shipbuilding and ship repair industry.”

The goal, the circular adds, is to “support the expansion and modernization of the Philippine domestic merchant marine fleet and its strict adherence to safety standards which will ensure the seaworthiness of all sea-borne structures.”

Ship restructuring or rebuilding does not change the ship’s age, according to 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.

Meantime, fastcraft of less than 500 GT may still be imported pending another policy to be issued by Marina specifically for such vessels.

Marina administrator Marcial Quirico Amaro III earlier said the order had been created in consultation with stakeholders.

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