NIMASA Moves to Automate Verification of New Ship Registration Certificates(SRC) By Frank Odinukaeze

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has announced the electronic verification of the new Ship Registry Certificates

The new Ship Registry Certificates introduced on July 1, now have QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) embedded in them to enable Ship-owners, Stakeholders and Regulatory Agency’s Enforcement officers verify the validity of the certificates.

The Agency has also commenced enforcement of full compliance with the marine environment protection statutory requirements and documentation on Nigerian and foreign flagged vessels operating within the country’s maritime domain.

All ship-owners and operators are now required by law to update their vessel documentations, which include all permits or exemptions, levies, record books and plan approvals. This is also a pre-condition for further processing of any vessel or company requests with the Agency.

With this development , NIMASA would henceforth mete out sanctions to operators who fail to comply with the relevant requirements.

According to the Agency ,the new move is pursuant to the Agency’s statutory mandate to implement all provisions applicable to marine environment protection and documentation as enshrined in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), 1973; the Merchant Shipping Act, 2007; and the NIMASA Act 2007.

Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, opined that effective application of environmental protection regulations in the maritime domain was crucial to the country’s quest for economic
development.
Dr. Jamoh affirmed the Agency’s interest in bringing relevant stakeholders on board to facilitate a sound and seamless certification and marine environment protection regime.

“We are deliberate, methodical, and strategic in the enforcement of the environmental protection requirements as they relate to our own laws and international regulations that we accede to.”He said

Stressing that “A well protected marine environment guarantees investors’ confidence, which is a basic necessity for the maximisation and optimisation of our rich maritime endowments. This touches directly on the country’s economic diversification and sustainable development drive.”

Speaking further the NIMASA DG said, “We are enthroning a sound and sustainable marine environment protection system that serves the interests of both the country and the operators. And necessary steps have been taken to ensure we have stakeholders on the same page.”

On the electronic verification of certificates, Dr. Jamoh said, “The Agency has adopted technology to guarantee more security for our documents and give stakeholders and the international shipping community greater confidence in our services.”

Speaking at the occasion,the Registrar of Ships, Mrs Nneka Obiayor, said security and business facilitation were the chief considerations in the introduction of the electronic verification of new Ship Registry Certificates.

According to the registrar “Safety and security of ships as well as ease of doing business are of uppermost priority in the design and implementation of the electronic verification of our newly-introduced Ship Registry Certificates(SRC)She said stated.

Adding that “With a blend of technology and creativity, we have introduced new features intended to make our ship registration certificates (SRC)more secure and easier to process”

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