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Mega Yacht Manifesto

Monday, May 10. Director of the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry (VISR) Captain Baboucar Sallah, Chief Marine Surveyor Captain Pat Nawaratne and Registrar of Shipping Mr. Ronald Donovan will meet with their counterparts to share the Territory’s views at the high level three-day technical meeting. – A three-member delegation will represent the Territory in Anguilla from May 11-13 at the annual Red Ensign Conference where the manifesto of mega yachts will be among agenda items.

Highlighting an agenda item of great interest to the Territory, Captain Sallah said, “Vessels that carry more than 12 passengers are categorised as commercial and are subject to more stringent laws and regulations. What will be discussed now is a code or regulation that will govern the manifesto of mega yachts as many of them are private vessels.”

He added, “This is one discussion which can directly benefit the Territory as we strive to make it more attractive.” Port state control is another agenda item from which the Territory can directly benefit.

“This ensures that ships that call on the port comply with regulations and do not endanger the environment. We share our experience in enforcing the regulations on the ships that are registered, primarily to ensure that our ships are not a nuisance to other territories or our own environment. We operate under the umbrella of the United Kingdom so whatever happens in our Territory impacts the Territory and the UK,” he said.

Other agenda items include the implementation and training of surveyors for the Maritime Labour Convention, the use of low sulphur fuels in port which will aid in the elimination of toxic fumes, the procedure for handling marine accidents and strategy and international relations. Several working documents will also be examined.

Speaking about the conference, Captain Sallah said, “It is a forum for us to discuss and formulate ideas that we can take away. Discussions will surround policy, technical and registration aspects that will engage each of us in the various committees as we speak of the registry’s interest.”

He added, “We discuss new technologies, we discuss problems that we have in operations to regulations. We voice them out for the main purpose of collective action that together looks at the problems and find solutions,”

The Red Ensign Group conference is an annual event attended by British registries in the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories.

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In June 2008, the Virgin Islands joined Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, and the United Kingdom as Red Ensign Group countries with a Category I ship registry status. This classification generally allows the administrators to register ships of unlimited tonnage, type and size. The other remaining members of the Red Ensign Group are Guernsey, Jersey and UK Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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