The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) continues to prepare the Port of Singapore and Singapore-registered ships for the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 0.5 per cent fuel global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships, which will take effect from 1 January 2020.
In his opening address at the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) Forum recently, Chief Executive of MPA, Andrew Tan, also announced initiatives by MPA to improve the delivery of its services.
To prepare for the IMO 2020 0.5 per cent global emission limit for sulphur, MPA and the Singapore Shipping Association released two technical guidance booklets for Singapore-registered ships and ships calling at the Port of Singapore. The booklets outline the options available for ship operators to comply with the new regulations which include the use of approved abatement technology such as scrubbers, alternative fuels and compliant fuel oil. Both booklets will be made available on the MPA website.
The SRS is internationally recognised as a quality flag with high standards of safety of operations and marine pollution prevention. This is achieved through regular engagement with the industry and stringent Flag State Control (FSC). To ensure Singapore-registered ships continue to operate at a high standard of safety worldwide, MPA has started conducting overseas inspections on selected SRS ships, as part of a five-year SRS Quality Flag Assessment Programme.
To enhance services available to Singapore-registered ships, MPA rolled out two new online services on Marinet. The Singapore Seaman Discharge Book and the Maritime Labour Convention financial security certificates can now be applied through Marinet. In addition, Receipts of Acknowledgement will now be automatically issued upon the application of MPA’s Certificate of Endorsement (COE), which will minimise delays in crew signing for Singapore-registered ships. To complement MPA, selected recognised organisations (RO) have started issuing statutory electronic certificates on MPA’s behalf.
To harness new technologies for increased productivity, MPA has also started trials involving the use of blockchain for ship registration and use of robotic process automation for the issuance of crew and ship certificates. Since October 2018, MPA has accepted the use of remote inspection techniques for surveys of Singapore-registered ships. These techniques include the usage of unmanned robotic arm, remote operated vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems (commonly known as drones).
Pirates armed with guns and knives are abducting bigger groups of seafarers at further distances off the West African coast.