NMSA takes lead in sea safety law review - Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority
The National Maritime Safety Authority is taking a lead to review the implementation of the Small Craft Act (SCA).
NMSA through its small craft team is calling on all 15 maritime provinces, their administrations and their provincial transport authority to assign their respective provincial transport officers to attend the Small Craft Implementation workshop which will be held throughout the three regions of the 15 maritime provinces.
Outline below are the specifics of the workshop:
- September 22 to 23 – Lae (Lae International Hotel)
- October 13 & 14 – Kimbe (Genesis Hotel) and;
- November 10 & 11 – Alotau (Alotau International Hotel).
Since the gazettal of the SCA in 2015 and its roll out, to date, 12 out of the 15 Maritime Provinces have establish their respective Small Craft Registration Boards & Registry Offices.
Of the 12 provinces, eight provinces of West Sepik, East Sepik, Oro, Milne Bay, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, West New Britain & East New Britain have actually commenced registration whilst the other four provinces of New Ireland, Manus, Western & National Capital District are yet to be in operation due to being recently established by their Provincial Executive Council (PEC) and Administration.
The remaining provinces of Central, Madang & Gulf are the only provinces that have yet to establish the initial groundwork of implementing this legislation.
NMSA, with funding from Australian Aid, through the Transport Sector Support Program, has provided in 14 provinces, training, administrative support, office refurbishment, IT, safety equipment, and community awareness activities. Since the Act was gazetted over 600 small craft officials and police have been trained in administering and enforcing the Act. Over 20 community awareness sessions have been conducted and 10,000 small craft safety brochures, posters and booklets distributed. A boat operator in Milne Bay Province was convicted of a serious Small Craft offence and sentenced for 5 years under the SCA.
Despite assistance from NMSA, some provinces are still face with difficulties & constraints either with their respective administration or PEC to establish their registries and boards in order to fully implement this law.
NMSA General Manager/CEO, Paul Unas said these series of workshops will look at how best NMSA and the provinces can work together to overcome these challenges so that in the next few years, all 15 Maritime provinces should have fully functioning boards & registries.