Ship Registration Case Study

opinion Essay
1606 words
1606 words

Ship registration – a solution to revive a waning Maritime industry
South Africa’s last cargo ship left the South African register in 2010. Even then, the ship was not engaged in voyages that included ports of calls in South Africa. This begs the question as to whether the South African government (through the Department of Transport – DoT) and South African Maritime Safety Authority’s (SAMSA) efforts to revive the country’s ship register is misdirected. Most reasons for this push have been to create employment and to get South African cargo carried by South African ships with South African seafarers.
South Africa exports and imports well over 200 million tonnes of cargo per year, costing the nation well over R37 billion rand in shipping transportation (Mokhele, 2012). All this cargo and related income goes to foreign shipping companies employing foreign seafarers. Mokhele points out that less than 1% of these seafarers are South Africans. This as a missed opportunity to eat away on the 24% national unemployment rate.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development allows two countries trading with each other to place restrictions on the carriage of cargoes. The conference established what is popularly known as the 40-40-20 formula for carriage of trade. This means that any two countries can restrict carriage between national carriers by up to 40% each and allow another 20% to be carried by a non-national carrier(s) (United Nations Publications, 1975).
Importance of ship registration for South Africa
The South African Ship Registry has not had any cargo carrying ships listed since 2010. At the time, this created concerns at the DoT and SAMSA as there was now no longer a seagoing transport capacity for South Afr...

... middle of paper ... these ships. Employment of South African seafarers will reduce unemployment and poverty. The South African export industry will now know who owns the ships that is carrying their cargoes and develop relationships with them.
In order to attract ships faster, the government may have to bring in incentives for South African cargoes being imported and exported on South African ships. Currently, most South African cargo being exported are exported on a Free On Board (FOB) basis. While, on the other hand, imported goods are imported on a Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) basis (Lamb, 2013). The shipping industry will have a great time convincing importers and exporters changing from exporting FOB to CIF and importing CIF to FOB. Some of the cargoes, especially bulk cargoes have been put on long term contracts for carriage and it may become a challenge to change these.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that the current south african legal system regarding ships is considered restrictive and remains so.
  • Opines that the ship registration act, 1998 does not make it easy to register a ship.
  • Explains that the merchant shipping act sets out the minimum number of people to be employed on any specific ship, while the labour relations act is also applicable. the issue of permits is unknown and lengthy periods of waiting will cause delays to ships.
  • Opines that south africa has not yet acceded to all international conventions dealing with ships, which may cause harassment by port state control officers.
  • Opines that south africa's last cargo ship left the south african register in 2010 and was not engaged in voyages that included ports of calls.
  • Explains that the south african ship registry has not had any cargo carrying ships listed since 2010. this created concerns at the dot and samsa.
  • Explains that the rsa government has decided that their policy going forward will be ship registration. the biggest stumbling block to the implementation of this policy is considered the non-competitiveness of the south african tax regime.
  • Opines that the current employment system for surveyors by samsa is for a normal working hours period.
  • Argues that the government has progressed in reviving the industry by ship registration, but it needs to accede to other imo conventions and bring them into force to provide samsa with the statutory authority to work on procedural matters.
  • Opines that having ships registered in south africa will be beneficial to the country, whether or not they are paying taxes. legislation regulating the industry will need to be kept up with international norms.
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