SAP - PRESS RELEASE
13th February 2004
The Merchant Shipping
Bill 2003, The Inland Waterways Bill 2003 and the Maritime
Regulatory Authority Bill 2003 were on Wednesday, February 11,
2004 presented to Attorney General Amos Wako by the committee on
Kenya Maritime Law Review.
Kenyan Seafarers have
continued to lose jobs aboard all ocean – going vessels as Kenya
has not fully complied with the international Standards of
Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers (STCW).
Kenya could not also
implement IMO Convention on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
and marine pollution prevention, because there existed no domestic
legislation to enable the country to do so.
Due to insufficient
legal frame- work for implementation of IMO and ILO instruments,
Kenya had failed to enter into the so-called IMO white list.
Regulatory Authority Bill would facilitate the establishment of a
maritime administration, which would de- link the regulatory
functions of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) from the office of the
Merchant Shipping Superintendent.
It would also
facilitate the establishment of an International Ships Registry,
which would generate revenue and encourage Kenyans to participate
in the shipping industry.
Should the Merchant
Shipping Act Bill go through it will facilitate the incorporation
and implementation of all ILO and IMO conventions Kenya has
ratified into national laws.
Prof Gerishon Ikiara,
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTCOM)
revealed to Seafarers’ Union Officials at his office on 11th
February 2004 that a committee of four people headed by a
representative from Attorney General’s Chambers would be formed
to work on the three Bills.
He said that a private
Maritime Lawyer would be engaged to boost the efforts of the
AG’s Officers and also to draft the necessary Regulations for
Secretary added that one maritime officer from MOTCOM and the
Merchant Shipping Superintendent will enhance the editing of the
Bills and provide any technical explanation where necessary.
He further told the
SUK Officials that the finalisation of the three Bills would not
take more than seven days.
To ensure that
finalisation of the three Bills was concluded, Prof. Ikiara
reiterated his commitment to the exercise and asked his maritime
officers to contact him directly whenever any assistance was
needed from him to facilitate the process.
He also asked his
maritime officers to work closely with the Seafarers Union of
Secretary further revealed that his maritime officers have made a
follow –up on the pending STCW matters especially the
communication between MOTCOM and the Dar-es- salaam Maritime
Institute regarding the process of accreditation. Also, a follow
-up is being done with the Kenya Institute of Education on the
In this regard, he
said his maritime officers have prepared a draft Memorandum of
Understanding between the Kenya Government and the Tanzania
Government to facilitate the process of validation of STCW
Certificates issued at the Bandari College.
He also told the
meeting that his office is working on the new International
requirements for the Seafarers Identity Document and the
implementation of the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS)
Code. A stakeholders’ training workshop on the ISPS code
is to be held in Mombasa within one week, he added.
The ISPS Code has been
developed under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. It
requires that all ports involved in international trade implement
some security measures to guard themselves against both
international and local terrorism.
The ISPS Code is
coming into force in July, this year and therefore there is an
urgent need to ensure compliance. Failure to comply by that date
will render the port of Mombasa black listed.
Like the ISPS Code,
the Seafarers Identity Document convention of the ILO will come
into effect in July this year and any Seafarer without the
document will not be allowed to board any ship.
The Seafarers Identity
Document is intended to facilitate ease of movement of the
seafarers when joining and leaving their ships and also when they
are in need of going on shore- leave in a foreign port. Before the
bills are tabled in parliament, there will be a sensitization
workshop for the Members of Parliament so as to enable them
contribute to the debate of the three maritime bills.
The Seafarers’ Union
told the PS during their meeting that fees charged for their
training at Bandari College was too high and many of them were
unable to raise it. To address this problem, the PS said he is
going to do everything within his means to ensure the seafarers
The Seafarers Union
was represented at this crucial meeting held at the office of the
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transport and Communication by the
Secretary General Abubakar Omar, Deputy Secretary, Joseph Khayemba
and the Organizing Secretary Andrew Mwangura.
Others in attendance
were maritime officers from MOTCOM including Mr. Thuo, Mrs Maingi,
Mrs Muriuki and Mr. Nzavu.
Seafarers Union of