Tuesday, April 11, 2006

BVI moves to Category One Shipping Registry status

The BVI Shipping Registry was created as a new department working under the Chief Minister’s Office. On Tuesday, the announcement was made at a media briefing by BVI Chief Minister Honourable Dr. D. Orlando Smith. The newly established BVI Shipping Registry is a merger of the Shipping Registry of the BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the BVI Maritime Administration of the Ministry of Communications and Works.

The BVI Shipping Registry, which will comprise former staff of the Shipping Registry and the BVI Maritime Administration, will be headed by Captain Baboucar Sallah will head, who previously was the head of the FSC’s Shipping Registry.

The Chief Minister expressed his elation that all the agencies dealing with maritime and shipping matters now have united as one department. New department is the result of Government’s efforts to turn the BVI into a Category One Shipping Registry. To achieve Category One Shipping Registry status for the British Virgin Islands, the regulatory and legislative framework will be necessary to implement. The Chief Minister also considers that achieving this status will help to strengthen the economy. Two senior shipping surveyors were employed by the Government in order to allow the BVI to move toward Category One status quickly.

As to the current situation, the BVI is ranked a Category Two Shipping Registry by the UK Red Ensign Group (so, it can register ships of up to 150 gross registered tons (GRT) and pleasure vessels of up to 400 GRT). The Red Ensign Group is an affiliation of shipping registries based in UK and it share a set of common ethos and standards for safety and environmental protection and is charged with control by the UK Government.

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