The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is encouraging domestic ship operators to deploy ships on 41 unserved routes declared as roll-on/roll-off missionary routes to boost trade and tourism
MARINA Advisory 2021-34 said domestic shipping companies/operators that will operate on the new missionary routes can avail of incentives
Incentives include protection of investment or route for a maximum of 5 years and 50% discount on fees and charges in all ship documents, licenses, certificates, and permits, including the annual tonnage fee for the first year of its operation
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is dangling perks to encourage domestic ship operators to deploy ships on 41 unserved routes declared as roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) missionary routes in a bid to boost trade and tourism in the country.
MARINA Advisory (MA) 2021-34 said domestic shipping companies/operators that will operate on the new missionary routes can avail of incentives provided under Memorandum Circular (MC) DS 2021-01.
A missionary route refers to a route involving one or more direct links covering RoRo capable, available, and suitable ports with no existing shipping service due to geographic limitation or absence of economic and market viability.
Opening RoRo missionary routes is one of MARINA’s measures not just to upgrade the domestic shipping industry but also to support Philippine nautical highway development, which is one of the eight priority programs under the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Plan.
Under MC DS 2021-01, which provides revised rules in the grant of missionary route status for RoRo and passenger (RoPax) ships, a RoPax providing water transport service on a missionary route will be given investment or route protection for a maximum of five years.
A domestic vessel that has been granted a RoRo missionary route status will also only be charged 50% of fees and charges in all ship documents, licenses, certificates, and permits, including the annual tonnage fee for the first year of its operation.
Moreover, domestic ships that have been granted RoRo missionary route status may be allowed to operate on routes other than the applied missionary route without prejudice to the missionary route granted to them.
The “first-come, first-served” rule will be applied when two or more domestic shipping companies/operators apply for a RoRo missionary route status at the same time.
MC 2021-34 noted other routes not included in the list may also be applied for RoRo missionary route status provided the routes will have two RoRo capable, available, and suitable ports that have no existing shipping service in the areas.
MARINA in 2019 also opened 27 new RoRo missionary routes, eight of which were recommended by shipping operators.
MC 2021-34 took effect immediately on July 9 after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation on the same day. – Roumina Pablo