Singapore ratifies marine aids to navigation treaty

Singapore has become the first country to ratify the treaty on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. It signed the treaty on March 1st this year.

Acceding to the convention will support the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to become an intergovernmental organisation.

The treaty was finalized during the Diplomatic Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2020. The Final Act of the Convention was signed by 50 States.

Established in 1957, IALA is the international association for technical standards in marine aids to navigation, vessel traffic services (VTS) and e-navigation. It consists of technical committees that develop common standards and practices across the maritime industry, IALA drives the harmonization of marine aids to navigation worldwide. The belief is that as an intergovernmental organization IALA will be better placed to fulfil the crucial role it plays in facilitating marine navigation.

In 2018 Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding with IALA, committing S$1m (US$734,000) over five years to support the IALA World-Wide Academy in capacity building and human resource development for IALA’s national members.

 “Over the years, the MPA has been instrumental in their active support to IALA. … Their strong experience and continued innovation, especially in the domains of vessel traffic services and e-navigation has greatly assisted the work of IALA. The MPA has also been instrumental in the change of status process and is now the first state to have ratified the convention,” Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General of IALA, said.

The convention is now open for signature by all member states of the UN. The ceremony for the first signing of the convention by the French minister of the sea and the opening to signature of the convention was held on January 27th in France, the host country of the organization. On February 24th Pieter de Gooijer, Netherlands Ambassador to France, also signed the Convention.

Meanwhile, the Singapore MPA has issued a new Port Marine circular (2021 – PMC 09) which supersedes PMC 08 from March 15th and updates the Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) requirements for shore-based personnel.

The new requirements apply to all shore-based personnel boarding vessels at anchorages, shipyards, terminals and marinas, in the port of Singapore.

Any shore-based personnel who is going on board a vessel in the port must produce proof that they have a valid Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken as part of the RRT before boarding the vessel. The test result must be within the last 14 days for shore-based personnel who are fully vaccinated, and within the last seven days for unvaccinated personnel.