MARINA expects EO to boost efforts in passing shipping-industry audit

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THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said it expects an Executive Order (EO) to help prepare the industry hurdle an international compliance audit and met the standards of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The regulator said the July 2 EO No. 84 directed the creation of an inter-Agency Council on the IMSAS will strengthen compliance efforts ahead of the audit.

Executive Order No. 84 is known as “Creation of an inter-agency council on the International Maritime Organization Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS).”

The council will “ensure that its member-agencies… implement and comply with all the policies, laws and issuances pertaining to the implementation of the IMO instruments in an integrated manner.”

MARINA said in a statement Friday that “EO 84 serves as the legal framework of the IMSAS Council to fulfill its functions… as well as mechanisms to certify that the Philippines fully satisfies its responsibilities as a flag, port, and coastal State.”

The IMSAS audit, which will take place in 2021 and every seven years thereafter, will look into how member states implement and enforce IMO rules to ensure maritime safety and marine environment protection.

EO No. 84 appoints the Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary as chairperson and MARINA administrator as vice chairperson of the council. Its members include representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Cebu Port Authority (CPA).

A technical working group (TWG) will also assist the council, headed by the DoTr’s Assistant Secretary for Maritime as Chairperson and MARINA’s Deputy Administrator for Operations as vice chairperson. The members of the TWG are representatives from DFA, PCG, PPA, CPA, the Commission on Higher Education, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, the Environmental Management Bureau, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Office for Transportation Security and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group.

MARINA is in the process of preparing for IMSAS by conducting an internal audit of its own to anticipate the possible issues that may arise in the audit proper. — Katrina T. Mina