The Ministry of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities has advised that The Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority has commenced its statutory functions, effective October 1.
This follows recommendations by the Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission in October 2013 that the Department of Maritime Administration should be considered for establishing as a Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organization (QUANGO) with the status as an independent authority to allow for more autonomous and flexible growth of the shipping register.
"The Government considered the advantages and benefits that could be gained from the SAGE recommendation, and consequently took the necessary steps to establish a Quango to be named as ‘Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority’ which would continue with the functions relating to the Maritime Administration and Registry of Shipping of Bermuda," explained Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority Chief Executive Officer Capt. G P A Nawaratne. "The Authority replaces the Department of Maritime Administration, which has been functioning under the Ministry of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities."
The Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority was established by the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority Act, 2016 on July 12, 2016.
As of October 1, 2016, the new Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority will commence operations as a 'Body Corporate' conducting its corporate and operational affairs under the responsibility of a Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer, and as Bermuda’s Statutory ‘Maritime Administration' having the responsibility for Maritime Safety, Prevention of Pollution from ships, Maritime Security and Standards of Seafarers on Bermuda registered ships, under the oversight of the Minister responsible for Shipping, under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act 2002.
There will be no changes to the UK operations; survey and audit functions will be continued as usual by the UK-based Bermuda Surveyors operating from the London Office. Also there will be no changes to technical and support personnel at the Headquarters in Hamilton. The existing surveyors, auditors, technical officers and support staff will continue their services with the Authority, in the same ranks and capacity as before. The current telephone numbers, cellular phone numbers and e-mail address will remain unchanged but they will be changed at a future date and the details will be notified in advance.
The existing Registrar of Shipping will continue to hold the same office under the Authority; the existing Chief Marine Surveyor will continue to hold the same office under the Authority; the existing Director will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Authority and will be responsible to the Board of Directors for the day to day operations of the Authority. The CEO will also be responsible to the Minister for the statutory functions of the Bermuda Maritime Administration, through the Authority.
The Authority will continue to maintain the Register of Ships that has been kept under the Merchant Shipping Act 2002.
It should be noted that the physical location of the Authority will remain same as that of the Department of Maritime Administration:
Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority
Global House, 3rd Floor, 43 Church Street
Hamilton HM 12, Bermuda.
Tel: +1 441 295 7251, Fax: +1 441 295 3718
For more information please contact the Authority at the above address.