ACHIEVEMENTS 2007 to December 2008
||IMPROVEMENT IN PORT STATE CONTROL DETENTION RECORDS
United States Coast Guard
For the first time since the Registry began operations,
our vessels have not incurred any detention in the USA during
2003 - 2006. The U.S. Coast Guard 3 year
rolling Detention Rate has dropped from 23.08% in 2001 to
0.00% in 2006. Consequently, on 23rd March 2006, our Registry
was notified by the United States Coast Guard that it had
qualified for its Quality Shipping for the 21st Century
(QUALSHIP 21) Program. Belize/IMMARBE is one of only
nine out of 166 Flag States/Ship Registries in the world
holding this qualification in 2007 and the only one in Central
Paris MOU on Port
Our 3 year rolling average Detention Rate fell
from 24.00% in 2001 with an Excess Factor of 5.57% to 8.77%
in 2005 with an Excess Factor of 0.98%. As the result of
this improvement, Belize was placed in the Grey List of
the Paris MOU in 2006 together with other prominent Registries
such as Panama, Japan, Russian Federation. Its Detention
Rate in 2006 is 9.49% with an Excess Factor of 1.22.
MOU on Port State Control
Our 3 year rolling Detention Rate fell from 27.49% in 2001
to 15.39% in 2005. For 2006, it stood at 12.74%.
In an effort to accelerate the improvement
in our performance in the Paris and Tokyo MOUs in 2007,
we have taken certain decisive actions by:
vessels:6 vessels which were trading in the
Paris MOU and 12 vessels which were trading in the Tokyo
MOU during 2006 which had a poor detention record and
whose Owners failed to take the necessary preventive
actions/improvements in maintenance etc required by
our Administration, were deregistered.
Intensifying our Flag State
Inspections: This entails an increase
in the number of Inspectors and the location thereof
e.g. in smaller ports which have been identified as
being frequently visited by certain vessels. Also, we
have identified particular vessel types, individual
vessels and their operators, which we will target. This
initiative may result in more deregistrations.
Furthermore, the monitoring of the performance of our
Flag State Inspectors has been intensified. Any PSC
detainable deficiencies found within 3 months after
a Flag State Inspection may constitute possible grounds
for dismissal of a Flag State Inspector. Also, we have
distributed to them our analysis of detentions in 2006
which highlights those deficiencies which incurred the
highest number of detentions and requested them to pay
particular attention to those areas.
Writing to each of our Recognized
Organizations with regard to vessels which they individually
survey on our behalf. We have drawn their
particular attention to vessels which have incurred
detentions, our analysis of the types of deficiencies
which have been the cause of the majority of detentions
in our fleet and instructing pro-active actions in the
prevention of such detentions.
IMMARBE has made considerable improvements in its PSC detention records since 2001 and is committed to attaining the White Lists of all MOUs on Port State Control in 2009.
||IMPROVEMENT IN CASUALTY STATISTICS
According to the statistics published by Lloyd’s
Ship Manager in January 2005 based on the figures derived from
the Lloyd’s Marine Intelligence Unit, the World Average
for such casualties during the period 2000-2003 was 2.61% of the
world fleet whereas Belize’s performance was 1.70% of its
fleet. Furthermore, our statistics show that in 2001, our number
of serious casualties were 1.12% of our total fleet whereas in
2006, this figure dropped to 0.55%.
IMPROVEMENT IN THE QUALITY OF VESSELS REGISTERED
As the result of our quality criteria for registration, the vessels
currently being registered are of a better standard and larger
than those in 2001. Also, the average age profile of the fleet
has been reduced from 28 years in 2001 to 19 years in 2006.
IMPROVEMENT IN THE PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES
As the result of our rigidly enforced quality criteria for
registration, the monitoring/inspection of our vessels as well
as the extensive deterrents/ powers available to IMMARBE under
the Registration of Merchant Ships (Disciplinary Regulations)
and the High Seas Fishing Act, during 2005 up to date, there
have been no incidents of trafficking in drugs, contraband,
illegal weapons or humans in our fleet which averaged one thousand
registered vessels during this period. Furthermore, Belize has
two Boarding Agreements with the USA, one in respect of vessels
which are suspected of being engaged in the transportation of
narcotics and the other which was signed in 2005, in respect
of vessels which are suspected of being engaged in
the transportation of weapons of mass destruction and related
materials. They establish points of contact and procedures for
the boarding and searching of ships bearing the flag of the
USA or that of Belize in international waters. These Agreements
are a further reflection of Belize’s policy of cooperation
in the prevention, detection and suppression of illegal activities
in the interests of safety and the protection of the environment.
||IMPLEMENTATION OF A QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM/ EXTERNAL AUDITS
Management System for our Registry was accredited in 2002
by ANSI-RAB as compliant with ISO 9002. This encompasses
Ship Registration Endorsement Certificates of Seafarers,
Statutory Certification and Fishing Vessel Administration.
As the result of an audit in December 2003, we were recertified
by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (USA) in accordance
with the latest Quality System Standard ISO 9001-2000.
Since 2003, IMMARBE has co-operated with the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) in the pilot initiative for the formulation and implementation of measures to improve its Flag State Performance.
IMMARBE has submitted to the IMO its completed Flag State Performance Self-Assessment Form.
IMMARBE has always supported the voluntary
IMO Menber State Audit Scheme initiative and had submitted
recommendations to the IMO in connection with implementation
of the Scheme as well as through its participation in the
IMO Correspondence Group established for that purpose. On
13th March 2007, we received confirmation in writing that
the Belize Port Authority was also willing to participate,
thus enabling Belize to volunteer for this Audit which covers
Flag State, Port State and Coastal State responsibilities.
Consequently on 19th March 2007, we announced that Belize
has decided to volunteer for the Voluntary IMO Member State
Audit Scheme. The formal notification to the IMO by the
Government of Belize is dated 7th August 2007.
COMPLIANCE WITH THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON STANDARDS OF TRAINING, CERTIFICATION AND WATCHKEEPING FOR SEAFARERS, 1978 (STCW)
Belize was placed on the IMO White List in November
2001. Also, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee has confirmed
that in accordance with Regulation 1/8 of the STCW 1978 Convention,
it has received the required independent evaluation which demonstrates
that Belize is giving full and complete effect to the aforementioned
EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SHIP & PORT SECURITY (ISPS) CODE
At a symposium on International Maritime Developments
in the Caribbean held in Barbados on 16th July 2004, our Registry
was praised for its effective implementation of the ISPS Code.
EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF FISHING VESSEL COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic
During ICCAT’s 18th Regular Meeting which was held
in Dublin on 17th – 24st November 2003, the Commission
reviewed the regulatory measures introduced by our High
Seas Fishing Act 2003 and the strict enforcement measures
implemented by Immarbe during the past 2 years which included
the deregistration of some 513 non-compliant fishing vessels.
As the result of this review, ICCAT decided to confirm the
lifting of all existing sanctions against Belize in respect
of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, Bigeye Tuna and Swordfish with
effect from 1st January 2004. Also the EU lifted its fishing
sanctions against Belize in April 2004. We acceded
to the ICCAT Convention in July 2005 thereby becoming a
Contracting Party of ICCAT. We have secured quotas
from ICCAT for tuna and tuna-like species which we allocate
to our fishing vessels.
Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC)
- At its 10th Session which was held in Goa on 22nd –
26th May 2006, this Commission was satisfied that IMMARBE’s
fishing vessels are properly regulated, monitored and
controlled, thus conforming with the accepted international
Conventions/ Agreements and norms as well as their own
Regulations. Consequently, IMMARBE’s fishing vessels
were placed on their Official Register of Vessels authorized
to fish in their Convention area and Belize was granted
Co-operating non-Contracting Party Status of this Commission.
At the 11th Session which was held in Mauritius
on 13th – 18th May 2007, Belize was admitted as
a Full Member/Contracting Party of IOTC. Also,
its Director General, Mr. Angelo Mouzouropoulos was unanimously
elected Vice-Chairman of IOTC’s Compliance Committee
– itself an acknowledgement of the successful implementation
of conservation and management measures on IMMARBE’s
High Seas Fishing Fleet.
The Inter-American Tropical Tuna
At its 75th Meeting which was held in Cancun on 25th –
29th June 2006, this Commission reviewed IMMARBE’s
regulatory systems with a positive result. Consequently,
IMMARBE’s Co-operating non-Contracting Party Status
of this Commission was renewed. At the same time, it had
acceded to the IATTC “Convention for the Strengthening
of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Established
by the 1949 Convention between the United States of America
and the Republic of Costa Rica (Antigua Convention)”.
Belize will become a Contracting Party latest by when the
IATTC “Antigua Convention” comes into force
which is expected to be in 2009
Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission
We have applied for Co-operating non-Contracting Party
Status of this Commission. At its 3rd Regular Session
which was held in Apia, Samoa on 11th – 15th December
2006, it was decided to allow all Belize registered fishing
vessels which are operating in their Convention area to
continue to do so pending consideration of Belize’s
application for Cooperating non-Contracting Party status
at WCPFC’s 4th Regular Session in December 2007.
North East Atlantic Fisheries
At the 25th Annual Meeting of NEAFC which was held
in London on 13th- 17th November 2006, Belize was admitted
as a Cooperating non-Contracting Party.
Adherence/accession to Fishing Conventions/Agreements
On 8th July 2005, Belize issued instruments of adherence/acceptance of:
- The 1993 FAO “Compliance Agreement”
- The 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement
- The International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter
and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing
Also, in accordance with Paragraphs 1 and
2 of Article VI of the FAO “Compliance Agreement”,
we have sent to the FAO our detailed list of all fishing
vessels operating worldwide.This is updated on a monthly
IMPROVEMENT IN THE REPUTATION OF OUR REGISTRY
• The Flag State Audit published by the Seafarers
International Research centre, Cardiff University in 2003
as the result of its study of the regulatory capacity
of 37 flag States, including national flags, open and
second registers rated Belize’s capacity as “modest”
in line with registers such as Bahamas, Liberia, Malta,
Marshall Islands and Panama.
• In December 2004, the Round Table of shipping
industry organizations – Bimco, Intercargo, International
Chamber of Shipping/International Shipping Federation
(ICS/ISF) and Intertanko removed Belize from its list
of registers with the most “negative performance
indicators.” This is further confirmed in their
2005 and 2006 Updates and Belize is not included in their
list of the 14 worst performing flags.
• As Director General of IMMARBE,
the undersigned was invited to deliver speeches on “improving
the performance of a Flag State” and related topics
Conferences on “Port State
Control” which were held in London, 5th - 6th
December 2001 & 29th - 30th September 2003.
At the “Mare Forum” Conference
which was held in Athens, 19th – 20th September
- At the International Fisheries
Compliance Conference which was held Brussels, 29th
– 30th September 2004.
- At the World Maritime University
in Malmö, Sweden, on 17th October 2005.
Also, in November 2006, the FAO requested us to write
a thesis on the reform of our fishing activities on
the High Seas for use as a template to assist other
• There has been a considerable improvement in
the reputation of our Registry within the shipping community
– at IMO, the MOUs on Port State Control, Regional
Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) where we are
being noted for our constructive co-operation in the eradication
of substandard shipping. Our submission to the IMO with
regard to the Voluntary Model Audit Scheme is but one
Generally, this improvement flows from the enforcement
- new Quality Policy Statement
"To provide an efficient, cost effective
quality ship registration service and to enforce national
laws and international Conventions which have been ratified
by Belize in the interests of safety at sea and the
protection of the environment."
- new Mission Statement
"Striving for excellence in ship registration
so as to attain international acclaim as a leading quality
Although we have made considerable improvements in our
performance as a Flag State, we still have some way to
go before we attain the objective set in our Mission Statement.