Maritime firms’ expired accreditation certificates get 1-year extension

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  • The Maritime Industry Authority has extended for one year the validity of expiring and expired accreditation certificates of maritime enterprises, including domestic shipping lines
  • The extension follows the signing into law of Republic Act 11659 (amended Public Service Act), whose provisions effectively amended issuances related to domestic shipping and maritime enterprises
  • The extension starts from April 7 and pending the crafting of RA 11659 implementing rules and regulations and subsequent amendment/repeal of related MARINA circulars, whichever comes earlier

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has extended for a year the validity of expiring and expired accreditation certificates it issued to domestic shipping lines and maritime enterprises.

MARINA Advisory (MA) No. 2022-26 was issued following the signing into law of Republic Act No. 11659 (amendments to the Public Service Act or PSA), which effectively amends MARINA circulars and other issuances related to domestic shipping, including those on accreditation of domestic shipping operators/firms/entities and maritime enterprises.

The one-year extension starts from the issuance of MARINA Advisory (MA) No. 2022-26, dated April 1 and published on April 7, and pending the crafting of implementing rules and regulations of RA 11659 and the subsequent amendment/repeal of related MARINA circulars, whichever comes first.

It covers accreditation certificates issued pursuant to MC No. 186, MC DS-2020-02, and MC 2006-03. MC 186 series of 2003 provides rules on accreditation of maritime enterprises but this was repealed by MC DS-2020-02 issued in 2020. MC 2006-03, meanwhile, provides revised guidelines on accreditation of domestic shipping enterprises or entities.

Maritime enterprises include a company or business undertaking which may include ship management; ship agency; multimodal transport operation and any other similar enterprise whose activities consist of representing within the Philippines, as an agent, the business interests of one or more shipping lines or shipping companies. It also includes ship husbanding; ship chandling; manning; companies engaged in importation and trading of accessory boats, recreational crafts, and marine spare parts; and other similar enterprises.

RA 11659, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 21, amends the 85-year-old PSA and relaxes foreign ownership in certain industries, including domestic shipping, airlines and telecommunications.

The measure removes the 40% foreign investment limitation on sectors such as telecommunications, railways, shipping, airlines and airports.

Under the law the definition of “public utilities” and “public service” was delineated. Identified as public utilities are distribution and transmission of electricity; petroleum and petroleum products pipeline transmission systems; water pipeline distribution systems and waste water pipeline systems, including sewerage pipeline systems; seaports; and public utility vehicles (including trucks).

Any industry not on the list will be exempt from the 60-40 ownership limitation under the Constitution and may accept up to 100% foreign investments. – Roumina Pablo