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The Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (CMOU) held its 15th Committee meeting in Willemstad, Curacao from the 25 - 29 of July, 2010 . During this meeting, the Committee unanimously approved the application of St. Christopher and Nevis as its 14th Member of the MOU, following a successful fact finding mission.

The meeting also adopted the proposed revisions to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the Rules of Procedure (ROP). These amendments will cover areas such as a new definition of the Caribbean Region in an effort to dictate which maritime administrations may become Members of the CMOU, as well as a clear explanation of the MOU’s tax status; the formalization of the financial mechanism for the running the Secretariat including the Caribbean Maritime Information Centre (CMIC) through (i) financial contributions, the amount and procedures of which are determined by the Committee, and (ii) gifts and contributions, if any, from donor countries or organizations; and the categories of Membership which now include Member, Associate Member, Observer and Observer Organisation and their respective criteria.

The proposed changes to the ROP covered areas such as the timeframe for the submission of documents and the formats for these documents; procedures for the election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee; provisions with respect to casting votes; the handling of Members in arrears and the inclusion of the Small Commercial Vessel Code.

Changes in the ROP will have an immediate effect on the Members that are not meeting their financial obligations as it will essentially bar Members who have not met their financial obligations, from voting, seeking election or participating in any of the activities funded by the CMOU. Sanctions will not apply to Members which have committed to a schedule of payments, one month prior to the meeting of CPSCC. However, this payment plan must be completed within twelve months.

Other areas of importance that were concluded during this meeting included the financing of Fact Finding Missions which is now on the onus of the applying States, the criteria for Fact Finding Missions, the criteria for the selection of candidates for training as well as the harmonization of forms for the CMOU.

Host State Agreements with Jamaica, for the hosting of the Secretariat, and with Suriname, for the hosting of the CMIC were also approved by the Committee and will be submitted to the respective State for approval and signature by the parties.

Training continues to be of priority to the Member Administrations and as such the Secretariat was tasked to develop an ‘On-The-Job’ training programme for the PSCOs of the region. The Cuban delegation advised of their willingness to assist with this matter due to the large cadre of trained inspectors. Further discussions on this exchange programme will continue with the Cuban Authorities.

Members were advised of the successful staging of the 2nd Annual Port State Control Seminar held in Grand Cayman from July 12 – 16, 2010. Participants were able to inspect both a Cruiseship as well as a Cargo ship, thanks to Lloyd’s Register North America and Carnival Cruiselines, and were updated on the development of guidelines for the Bunker Convention, Load Lines Convention and the MLC, 2006. Work has already begun for the next Seminar to be held in January 2011 in the Bahamas.

The Committee adopted the 2009 Annual Report including the overview of the activities of the CMOU for the period and the statistics including inspections totally 619, deficiencies reported totaling 573 and 23 detentions. Secretary General of the CMOU, Jodi Barrow stated: “Since 2007, both inspections and deficiencies identified have shown an increase and there was an 187.5% increase in detentions over 2008. The efforts of the CMOU to train its officers and have a harmonized system of PSC Inspections are paying off. We however are cognizant of the need to ensure that we are focused on our mandate of eliminating sub-standard ships from our region.â€Â

The CMOU continues to have excellent relationships with port State control regimes in other areas of the world and other Observer Organisations. The meeting heard reports from the Paris MOU, the IMO through the RMA, the USCG, the USCG 7th District and Lloyd’s Register North America.

Amb. Dwight Gardiner, the Chairman of the CMOU and representative of Antigua and Barbuda, stated: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this meeting as our targets have not only been achieved but surpassed. In addition, I would like to also congratulate the Committee on the work undertaken at the Meeting including the adoption of the amendments to the MOU and the ROP, the approval of the FFM check list and method of funding as well as the CMIC Host State Agreement among other things. Some of these agenda items have been on the books for some time and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to see that they have been completed.â€Â

Contact: Mrs. Jodi Barrow
Secretary General
Caribbean MOU
40 Knutsford Boulevard
Kingston 5
Tel: 876-926-2946

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