The St. Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) says the island is expected to gain several benefits after a decision to implement an open ship registry allowing for companies or people from another countries to register their vessels under that nation’s flag.

The SALSPA said that the decision follows a thorough review of the Shipping Amendment Act and that “registering a ship gives nationality to the ship and similar to nationality, allows the ship to travel internationally wherever that country’s citizens are authorized to travel and thus are bound by the country’s laws”.

It said that every vessel that wants to travel internationally and cross international borders must be registered.

“The process has not been an easy one, and although the decision has been made to implement the open ship registry, changes have to be made to our current legislation to ensure that the full benefits of the open ship registry are realized,” said the Director of Maritime Affairs, Christopher Alexander.

The authorities here said the island is expected to gain several benefits from the implementation of an open ship registry.

“These are and not limited to employment of seafarers, increased revenue from taxes and fees, provision of legal services, and expansion and growth of maritime services. Additionally, apart from the obvious economic benefits, an increase in the quantum of ships registered will result in St. Lucia having greater prominence and representation internationally, particularly at meetings of the International Maritime Organization (IMO),” according to a government statement.

It said there are other regulations which are currently being reviewed and exciting changes are expected in the near future which will benefit the maritime sector and St.Lucians alike.

Source: Antigua Observer