This Marine Notice draws the attention of vessel owners, operators, masters, officers, ratings, seafarer training organisations, pilots and industry organisations of the need to correctly apply for certificates prior to expiry.

MSAF notes that there is an increasing number of certificates being requested to renew on the day of their expiry. MSAF is also aware that certificate holders may think that applying late for a certificate that expires is proof that they have complied with the requirements and it will result in an exemption or dispensation being issued at the last minute. This is incorrect.

Lodgment of an application does not automatically entitle you to a certificate of competency or a registration certificate, survey certificate, certificate of recognition, coastal trading license or coastal trading permit. It also does not indicate any acceptance of compliance with regulations. It is simply an application which needs to be assessed in accordance with date of receipt and the regulations pertaining to each certificate.

It’s noted the current certificates will not be reduced in time and if the application is successful the new certificate will start on the day the previous certificate expires.
Your responsibilities are to provide timely and accurate information on the application, be honest and fair in your dealings with us, fulfil all application fees upfront and treat our staff with courtesy and respect.

What you can expect from us is that your application will proceed to assessment stage once fully completed and from there if it meets the requirements, it will be approved per our internal process in the order they are received and no favouritism will be shown. Incomplete applications will be stored until they fulfil the application requirements. It’s important to note the application will be processed on what’s been requested and will proceed on this basis.

Please allow at least 30 days for your applications to be assessed. Note that assessment of your application will be quicker if properly applied for but it may take longer due to the additional process involved for us to obtain verification of documents submitted. This is why it is strongly suggested to apply earlier in order to fulfil these requirements. Its noted a number of vessels have chosen not to renew their survey due to reduced trade from Covid 19. To return these vessels into survey, it will be required to start the survey process from an annual survey as the status and maintenance of the vessel over the last 10 months is unknown.

Payment of monies for Coastal trading licenses [CTL] and Coastal trading permits [CTP] will also be required on lodgment of your application(s). The decision by the Minster requires payment prior to any CTL/CTP being issued by MSAF. As such MSAF will be requiring full payment up front in order to process the application to ensure delays are not created in the issuance of these certificate(s).

MSAF reminds company’s and operators that in date and current certification are requirements under the Safe Ship Management System and the Fiji Safe Ship Management Code. This code requires Owners to have valid documents available onboard at all relevant locations. Masters need to ensure the vessel is both seaworthy and safely manned. Noncompliance with this activate the penalties contained in the Maritime Transport Act and relevant Regulations and the Coastal trading license scheme.

Expired certificates noted by Enforcement and Compliance Officer’s will result in a ‘No Load’ Order on the ship. Operators will need to adjust their schedule accordingly, including informing all ticketed passengers and the travelling public and cargo owners.


SIMON GRAVENALL
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji

6th January 2021

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