“The audit is not to be feared. The aim is to assist us in seeing the things we are doing right and fixing the things that need fixing,” Rear Admiral Peter Brady told delegates attending this week’s five-day workshop, being hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica in Kingston (May 2nd to 6th). “It is best that we do it now while the scheme is voluntary, as in a number of years, not too long from now, it will become mandatory in a different form. Those of us who opt to take up the challenge now will be ahead of the game,” he advised.
Formally opening the workshop, Admiral Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, said: “Shipping, while it has its own unique features, is like any other business – efficiency, transparency and high standards are the trademarks of success and the VIMSAS scheme will undoubtedly help us in the region to achieve those goals. ”
The MAJ believes that this important course will give Flag State administrators the tools to oversee their country’s preparation to be audited. Jamaica will be audited in September 2011.
The workshop will be delivered under the IMO/Singapore Third Country Training Programme. Its aim is to take administrators through VIMSAS requirements, emphasizing the critical information for the audit. The mandatory IMO instruments will be reviewed to note the areas of particular interest under flag, port and coastal State obligations, including adequate laws to give effect to the conventions as well as enforcement capabilities.
Mr. Lam Yi Young, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is attending the conference along with representatives from the International Maritime Organization and the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. In his opening remarks Mr Young said: “Our experience with VIMSAS has further reinforced our view that the scheme is crucial in raising the overall quality of shipping. In developing this workshop, Singapore worked with the IMO on a programme that aims to help participants understand the objectives of the VIMSAS and its various aspects such as the preparation for the audit, the audit process and follow-up actions. We are glad that we now have the opportunity to share our experience at this regional workshop for the Caribbean countries.”
Rear Admiral Peter Brady said: “Jamaica has been a member of the IMO since 1976 and has strongly supported the efforts of the Organization to establish internationally accepted regulations to more effectively promote the ideals of maritime safety, security, improved working conditions for seafarers and pollution prevention measures. Jamaica firmly believes that the efficiency of regional and international shipping and the maritime industry in general rest on these tenets.
“This workshop represents a further consolidation of Jamaica as an important supporter of IMO policy and work. As a responsible maritime State we are pleased to be able to provide this support for our region,” Admiral Brady said.