REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON FLAG AND PORT STATE INSPECTIONS
ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA
OCTOBER 8-10, 2012
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nation’s agency whose primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping. Its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping. As part of their mandate the IMO conducts several annual technical workshops around the world to promote exchange of information and to update member states on the latest developments concerning the international maritime industry. The Regional Workshop on Flag and Port State Inspections was held on October 8 – 10, 2012 at the Royal Antiguan hotel in St. John’s Antigua. It was the first International Maritime Organization (IMO) workshop to be held in Antigua and Barbuda and was hosted by the Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS).
The objective of the workshop was to update the knowledge of Caribbean Port State Control Inspectors and senior maritime administration officials of the latest developments relating to flag State implementation and port State control activities worldwide to ensure harmonization and uniformity. The workshop also sought to ensure that Caribbean flag and port State inspectors are in possession of the latest information on the requirements of the IMO relating to flag and port State control.
The Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Maritime Board Inc. Mr. Gatesworth James in the feature address pointed out the importance of flag and port state control as a means to controlling sub standard shipping. He noted how pleased he was to have the workshop in Antigua and highlighted the fact that this was the first IMO workshop to ever be hosted here.
Delegates representing most of the English speaking Caribbean participated and had the benefit of an excellent team of facilitators from the IMO, the United States Coast Guard and the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. The material covered included revised procedures on port State control, an overview of IMO activities in the Caribbean and proposed IMO activities for 2012 – 2013, country reports and case studies.
Captain Desmond Howell Deputy Director and Registrar at the Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping welcomed the delegates on behalf of Mr. Dwight Gardiner Director who was unavoidably absent. He said that ADOMS welcomed and has always encouraged workshops such as these and indicated that Antigua and Barbuda had always been committed to technical cooperation within the region and the provision of assistance to any member state that required it.