MARINA requires classification of PH ships in domestic trade

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MARINA requires classification of PH ships in domestic trade
  • The Maritime Industry Authority is requiring Philippine-registered ships engaged in the domestic trade to be classed by MARINA-accredited classification societies
  • MARINA Memorandum Circular No. MS-2023-02 covers all ships, whether existing or to be acquired or constructed, and subsequently registered under the Philippine flag and operated in the domestic trade
  • Some exclusions are wooden-hulled ships; fishing vessels, including fish carriers; and cargo ships less than 100 gross tonnage

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is requiring Philippine-registered ships engaged in the domestic trade to be classed by MARINA-accredited classification societies (MACS) with a valid Certificate of Accreditation (COA).

All ships, whether existing or to be acquired or constructed, and subsequently registered under the Philippine flag and operated in the domestic trade are covered by MARINA Memorandum Circular (MC) No. MS-2023-02. Signed by Marina administrator Hernani Fabia on February 14, 2023, the order takes effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation on February 22.

Excluded from coverage of the order are these type of ships:

  • wooden-hulled ships
  • fishing vessels, including fish carriers
  • cargo ships less than 100 gross tonnage (GT)
  • passenger/passenger-cargo ships less than 50 GT or carrying below 50 passengers
  • government-owned vessels not engaged in commercial trade
  • tugboats and dredgers less than 10 GT
  • propelled/non-propelled barges less than 100 GT
  • non-propelled barges regardless of size operating in the bay or river trade
  • recreational boats less than 100 GT
  • other ships which are holders of an exemption certificate relative to the issuance of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) or a MARINA letter expressly exempting from securing CPC

MACS refers to an organization authorized by MARINA to conduct classification services for ships engaged in the domestic trade per MARINA MC MS-2020-01, as amended.

MC MS-2020-01 provides the revised rules on accrediting classification societies and entities for the purpose of classification of ships in the domestic trade.

There are currently seven classification societies accredited as MACS.

All ships covered by MC No. MS-2023-02 require classification upon registration, should be class-maintained and should carry a valid Certificate of Classification at all times during its operation.

Companies may apply to any MAC with valid COA for the ship plans approval, conduct of survey during ship construction and commissioning to verify its design, structures, machineries, equipment and propulsion machineries are built and installed in compliance with the approved standards.

The MACS will only accept application and engage in classification services of ships with type of hull material, type/class of ships, and navigational area as stipulated and authorized under its COA.

Companies, shipowners, operators, managers, shipbuilders, ship repairers, boatbuilders, and boat repairers covered by MC MS-2023-02 who violate or fail to comply with its policies and guidelines will be subject to administrative fines and penalties after due process.

New ships for construction, to include existing vessels undergoing conversion, modification and re-building, with application already filed to MARINA for plans approval at the time of the effectivity of MC MS-2023-02 will be required to submit plans approved by the MACS where the ship is intended to be classed prior approval.

For new ships under construction at the time of effectivity of MC MS-2023-02, the company should immediately apply for classification of the ship under construction and the approval of its plans to MACS where the ship is intended to be classed, and the conduct of construction will continue in accordance with the approved ship plans.

Newly-constructed ships at the time of effectivity of MC MS-2023-02 and all existing vessels will be required to be classed on the next immediate drydocking schedule or within one year upon the MC’s effectivity, whichever comes later.

All ship safety certificates to be issued by MARINA to newly-constructed and existing ships should have the validity of not more than the given period of compliance from the date of effectivity of MC MS-2023-02, except if found to be compliant with the classification requirements.

Certificates bearing the full-term validity will be issued upon compliance with the classification requirement taking into account the validity of the interim certificate issued. – Roumina Pablo

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