Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Grenada Ports Authority (GPA), Dr. Wayne Sandiford has cited the need for consideration to be given at the policy level towards establishing an open international ship registry in an effort to help boost the performance of the island’s maritime administration.
In the GPA annual report for 2015, which was presented during a recent sitting of the Lower House of Parliament Dr. Sandiford noted that over the past five years growth of the registry, in terms of the number of ships and fleet tonnage had been on the downturn and has almost reached the point of virtual stagnation.
As it relates to the maritime administration’s performance for the year, Dr. Sandiford said that there were only two new registrations and a total of 76 registered ships, which accounted for 4,440 gross registered tons (GRT), but there were no deletions from the registry of ships.
According to the report, revenue collected in the same year from maritime administration related activities, including annual fees in respect of registered ships, amounted to a mere $2,025 reflecting a significant decrease of $17, 070, or 89% compared to the $19, 095 recorded the previous year.
Apart from the lack of growth of the registry, the GPA Chairman said the Authority has also been faced with the challenge of collecting annual fees from owners of registered ships.
Additionally, during the year under review, surveyors and inspectors intensified the process of monitoring and enforcing the standards in accordance with international maritime conventions in the interest of maritime safety, which led to the detention of a few ships.
Grenada operates a closed ship registry, referred to as a small ships registry, with registration of ships limited to those in which propriety interest of at least 50% is held by citizens or companies incorporated in Grenada or by nationals or companies of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States.
The GPA has the responsibility for the development of Grenada’s Maritime Administration under the administration of the Shipping Act Cap. 303., which includes responsibility for matters relating to the registration of ships; control, regulation and orderly development of shipping; training conditions of employment of seafarers and maritime safety.