JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, says work on legislation to establish a regulatory framework for Jamaica’s bunkering industry is “well advanced”.
  • Bunkering is a maritime industry term related to the fueling of ships and transportation of fuel by sea vessels.
  • Mr. Montague, who advised that the legislation is going through the final stages of the parliamentary process, indicated that attendant amendments have been prepared by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC)

Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, says work on legislation to establish a regulatory framework for Jamaica’s bunkering industry is “well advanced”.

Bunkering is a maritime industry term related to the fueling of ships and transportation of fuel by sea vessels.

Mr. Montague, who advised that the legislation is going through the final stages of the parliamentary process, indicated that attendant amendments have been prepared by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC)

The Minister further informed that the legislation will also address matters relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

Mr. Montague said the legislation’s provisions will facilitate the “licensing of bunker operators and their vessels to ensure that the highest levels of safety and protection of the maritime environment… [are] achieved in the carriage and transfer of fuel in Jamaica”.

He was delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony for the Second International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) Caribbean Bunker Conference at the Iberostar Suites Resort in St. James on Wednesday (September 11).

Work on the legislation comes against the background of International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements for contracting states to implement amendments to legislation stipulating a cap on the sulphur content in marine fuel.

Mr. Montague said he is confident that Jamaica will be compliant in this regard and regulate the sector to ensure the anticipated benefits of reduced toxic emissions while protecting the marine environment and persons working in the industry. He also underscored the country’s readiness to deal with any breaches that may occur in its territorial waters.

“Although we anticipate no oil pollution incidents, we must be prepared for the risk, having regard for the maritime environment, and our keen focus on this aspect of our Blue Economy” the Minister said.

“In this regard, we have conducted training in assessing and making claims for pollution damage with the assistance of the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds” he added.

Minister Montague also informed that a National Oil Spill Contingency Planning and Oil Pollution Preparedness Response and Cooperation Workshop is slated to be held in Kingston.

He advised that the event will be facilitated by the Regional Activity Centre – Regional Maritime Pollution Emergency Information Training Centre Caribe.

According to the Minister, “With just over three months to the 2020 deadline, the question of the sulphur cap…is upon us.”

Against this background, Mr. Montague said it was important for regulators and the wider industry players to step up their preparations to transition to the new paradigm in shipping.

The Conference is being hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica in partnership with IBIA under the theme ‘Caribbean Journey to 2020 Compliance’