Privatisation of ship registry at final stage

MINISTER of Transport and Mining Robert Montague says the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) is “on the last lap” of privatisation of the country’s ship registry.

“We continue to work with the Development Bank and the Enterprise Team to achieve this,” he said in his contribution to the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Montague, meanwhile, said Jamaica was actively campaigning to retain its position on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council.

“We will return to the polls in early December of this year to retain our place, allowing us to continue advocating for the development of uniform standards for international shipping, while advancing the issues of Small Island Developing States and Least Developed countries,” he said.

Minister Montague noted that steps have also been taken to ensure the welfare of seafarers, through amendments to the Shipping Act to incorporate the Maritime Labour Convention, giving protection to seafarers and placing the country’s hospitality workers under the seafarers’ banner.

“This piece of legislation was historic and groundbreaking, as the working conditions of our seafarers was not in law. They now have legal protection,” he said.

Montague said that Jamaica also received high praises for facilitating crew changes for seafarers in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In the meantime, the minister said that as the country continues to deal with the pandemic, the time will be used to put in place safety signs for beaches.

“Along with the Tourism Product Development Company, we have designed safety signs for six popular beaches, including Port Royal and James Bond beaches. We must inform and guide our people when the beaches reopen. The signs should be in place informing our people about safety on the seas,” Montague said.


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