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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Voluntary fund scheme tabled for Malacca and Singapore Straits

At a Symposium held earlier this week in Kuala Lumpur, three institutes representing the littoral states, together with the Nippon Foundation, tabled and agreed that a voluntary fund was the way forward for ensuring the maintenance and replacement of aids to navigation in the Malacca and Singapore Straits.


The Symposium on the Enhancement of Safety of Navigation and the Environmental Protection of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore was jointly hosted and organised by the Maritime Institute of Malaysia, the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (Indonesia), the Rajaratnam School of International Studies (Singapore) and the Nippon Foundation. Organised as a follow-up meeting to the IMO’s Kuala Lumpur meeting on the safety and security of the Straits held in September last year, this event focused specifically on the maintenance and replacement of the aids to navigation.


From the outset, it was clear that the littoral states were seeking to establish and gain support for the development of a voluntary funding scheme, with the shipping industry contributing alongside the littoral and user states. Traditionally the Nippon Foundation, together with the littoral states, had maintained this fund but it was now felt that other users should contribute to this essential service.


Invited to provide comments on the proposal, INTERTANKO’s Regional Manager Asia- Pacific, Tim Wilkins, stated that the aids to navigation played a vital role in the continued safety of navigation and environmental protection in the Straits. On the proposed voluntary scheme, Wilkins stated that, while INTERTANKO could accept that a voluntary scheme had its merits, a more detailed analysis of the operational and technical elements of such a proposal needs to be undertaken. He suggested that the convenors of the Symposium should engage the shipping industry further in its deliberations on the issue before submitting a more concrete proposal to the next IMO meeting on the subject, due to be held in Singapore in the autumn of 2007. Other international shipping organisations represented made similar statements seeking a more practical examination of such a scheme prior to any further commitment.


It is anticipated that further consideration will be given by the host institutes to this proposal and that INTERTANKO will be able to provide input on the practical aspects of such a scheme.


 Contact Tim Wilkins