The National, Thursday October 24th, 2013
By SHIRLYN BELDEN
THE Small Water Craft Safety Act will come into effect January next year as construction requirements carried out are nearing completion, National Maritime Safety Authority said.
National Maritime Safety Authority project manager Peter Bell said yesterday technical requirements to fulfill the five schedules required under the Act should be completed to enable the implementation early next year.
“The Small Water Craft Safety Act was passed by Parliament in 2011.
The delay in implementing it was due to inadequate expertise, offices, registry boards and physical infrastructure. There are a number of technical requirements contained within the five schedules of the Act that required the engagement of maritime specialists to research and develop the requirements,’’ Bell said.
“This has been completed, although there is some ongoing work to further refine the construction standard requirements for small craft.
“It is anticipated the Act will come into force six months earlier than originally expected, and will now commence on Jan 1.”
He explained the timeframe had been extended for the implementation of the Act because of various challenges of developing human, administrative and physical infrastructure required for the provincial administrations in each of the 15 maritime provinces.
He said an electronic-based registration system and a registry to monitor the implementation of the Act would be developed.
Milne Bay is the only province that is ahead on the aspects of safety.