26 May 2009

Palau senate passes ship registry bill

3:08 pm on 26 May 2009

The Palau Senate has approved legislation that would create an open ship registry.

Under the Bill, any sea-going vessel not operating exclusively in Palau's waters may be registered on Palau's registry, provided that a qualified person owns it.

A qualified person is defined as a Palauan citizen, a corporation wholly owned by Palauan citizens, the National Government, or any person or corporation that the Minister of Industries, Infrastructure and Commerce determines is a qualified person.

All vessels on Palau's registry will have a home port of Malakal Harbor in the State of Koror except for fishing vessels, which will have a home part of Ngardmau Dock.

Under this Act, the government of Palau will be responsible for regulating ships on its registry,

but vessel owners will bear the burden of maintaining their vessels to meet international standards of seaworthiness.

The bill imposes tonnage taxes and fees for ship registrations.

It also calls for the appointment of an administrator to oversee Palau's ship registry.