registration of ships over 20yrs

SUVA – Stakeholders of the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) are once again reminded of the laws and regulations governing the purchase of second hand ships that are over 20 years old, and are being brought into the country for the sole purpose of it being used commercially.

The law relating to the registration of second hand ship is clear, as stipulated in the Ships Registration Act 2013, section 4(4) and (5) which states that before the registration of any ship, prior approval from the Honourable Minister of Transport is to be sorted.

Additionally, paragraph 1.12.1 of the Maritime (Fiji Maritime Code) Regulation 2014 states that before a ship is built or an existing ship is purchased or substantially altered, the owner or intending owner must contact MSAF to carry out an initial assessment of the ship.

“MSAF has had a good working partnership with our stakeholders who intend to purchase second hand ships, past practices have seen our surveyors traveling to India, China, Japan and any other overseas country that our stakeholders wish to purchase a ship from, as we need to carry out our own initial survey, and this is the normal process,” Executive Board Chairman David Kolitagane said.

MSAF would like to remind any ship operator, ship owner, shipping agent and anyone wishing to purchase a second hand ship that prior to any agreement made concerning the building or purchasing of a ship, the said party or entity must first request MSAF to have an initial survey assessment done.

At the conclusion of the said initial survey assessment, MSAF will thereafter seek approval from the Honourable Minister for Transport, before importation can proceed.

“It is equally important to know that MSAF as well as its line Ministry, will not be responsible for any dealings entered into by any person or entity if the due process are not followed, this includes the absence of an initial survey report and the prior approval of the Honourable Minister,” Mr Kolitagane said.

Any queries or need for clarification may be directed to the Manager Ships Inspection, Mr Sesoni Komaisoso, on mobile no. 737 3326 or email at  

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