Politics and policy
Kenyan ships to be licensed by end of August, says KMA
Posted Tuesday, July 17 2012 at 19:33
Kenya Maritime Authority plans to improve the safety of ships on Kenyan waters by introducing a new law that will require ship owners to acquire licences before August 30.
Transport minister Amos Kimunya gazetted the Merchant Shipping Act of 2009 in May this year to regulate Kenya’s waters.
The Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA ) said the new law would apply to ships operating in Kenya’s waters unless registered in another country.
The regulation targets ships with a length of more than 24 metres and below 300 tonnes.
The international Maritime Organisation only regulates ships that are more than 300 tonnes with international trading routes.
“Ship owners are hereby invited to note that only Kenyan registered vessels are allowed to trade in Kenya’s territorial waters,” said KMA in a statement signed by the director general, Nancy Karigithu.
There are 19,000 ships and vessels operating solely in Kenyan waters and only 40 of them are licensed.
Charges for the license vary depending on the length of the ship.
The lowest ship with a length of four metres is charged Sh160, and the fee increases by Sh8 for every additional metre. Every licensed vessel will have an identification number.
“We need to know who is in our waters and reasons so that we can take necessary safety precautions and bring order in the sea just like it is on the road,” said Ms Karigithu.
The regulator will also monitor the conditions of ships and other vessels to make sure they are safe to carry people and cargo to help reduce accidents. Ships will also be required to have valid insurance cover against risk of loss or damage to third parties.
Kenya Shippers Council supported the move.