The Ministry of Transport and the Marine Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) has today announced the new marine registration, coastal trading and survey fees regulations.

This announcement follows Cabinet’s recent decision to endorse the marine regulations.

The Ministry of Transport permanent secretary Mr Francis Kean said that the endorsement will see a huge reduction of up-to 60 to 80 percent in fees for the boat operators.

“The whole purpose of the reduction of the fees is to attract and entice all the ship owners, whether you own a fibre glass boat or a large merchant vessel trading on a coastal trading licence to register their ships,” said Kean.

The Chief Executive Officer of MSAF Mr Neale Slack said that the regulations will encourage and enable the ship and boat operators to comply with the reduction in fees come the commencement date of March 5th 2013.

Any vessel less than 100 gross tonnage, survey fees for vessels less than 10 tonnes and the costing-trade license for vessels less than 10 meters in length should be surveyed and registered.

“The endorsement of the regulations shows that seriousness of the safety and security of our marine environment, people and cargo’s that travel on our waters is encouraged by the government and MSAF,” said Slack.

The awareness training campaigns taken up the MSAF officials have received positive feedback with small boat operators showing keen interest to sign up for class 6 licences.

“We train up the boat operators to ensure that they are capable of using that boat out at sea, carry the relevant safety equipment on board those ships and when we survey the vessels we should ensure that those boats meet the specifications to be able to go out at sea,” said Kean.

The new decrees coming into effect next year will see all craft motorised or non-motorised surveyed and registered as per the regulation.