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Boats under 10 metres to be identified under new law, effective today |01 February 2023

 New maritime-related fees also come into force



Three new regulations administered by the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (SMSA), which cover maritime-related licenses and fees as well as identification of small vessels, come into force today, February 1.

The three are the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (Licenses) Regulation, 2023, Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (Fees) Regulation, 2023 and Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (Identification of Small Vessels) Regulation, 2023.

Details about their implementation were given by SMSA’s chief executive, Captain Joachim Valmont, and his deputy, Brigitte Adrienne, during a press conference at the authority’s headquarters in Trinity house yesterday afternoon.

When giving details about the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (Licenses) Regulation, 2023, Mrs Adrienne said that effective today, February 1, the SMSA will be issuing all maritime-related licenses, which were previously being issued by the Seychelles Licensing Authority (SLA).

Before the licenses are issued, the boat owners will have to ensure they are meeting the conditions set, as well as submitting the necessary documentations required.

Mrs Adrienne explained the new law considers old licenses such as hire craft license, and the one for watersport, which covers jet skis and other watersport activities.

“There are some new licenses which were not being issued at all by the SLA and these are Licensing of Maritime Training Institutes for small institutes like the Seychelles Maritime Academy, licenses for marinas, as well as recruitment and placement agencies,” explained Mrs Adrienne.

Licenses issued by SLA which are still valid will still be recognised and will only be replaced with the new ones under the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (Licenses) Regulation, 2023, upon expiration.

The SMSA said the second regulation, the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (Identification of Small Vessels) Regulation, 2023, comes into force amid an outcry that there was a lack of information on many boats operating in Seychelles waters, especially jet skis and speedboats. It makes provision for the registration and identification of all private and commercial boats under 10 metres, and these include jet skis, speed boats and any other small boats operating in regulated areas of the Seychelles waters.

“Accidents have occurred in the past where we do not have information or record of any of these vessels and their owners. We have been working on this regulation for a while and we have finally been able to enact it and now all boats under ten (10) metres will be identified,” said Captain Valmont.

SMSA said the owner will be given an identification number for the vessel and issued with a certificate, valid for five years.

“Before the certificate is issued, your boat will need to be surveyed, to check and measure its seaworthiness. Each of these boats will also have to be insured, and all the operators of these small vessels will need to have a certificate of proficiency, a COP,” explained Mrs Adrienne.

The COP will be issued only after the person does an oral test and records a pass. According to SMSA, those who do not pass the test, will have to follow a refresher course at the SMA on rules of navigation, and will do the tests until they succeed.

The owners have been given a six-month period to come forward to carry out the exercise, which include the boat survey and test of proficiency, and SMSA plans to start the exercise in the eastern region.

“There are two categories of small boats – private and commercial. Private will be issued a letter ‘p’ and a number in front of it. Whereas for a commercial vessel, it will depend on which type of commercial activity you are doing, so if you are doing hire craft, it already contains an identification number so you will get a HC with a number,” explained deputy CEO Adrienne.

As for jet skis, SMSA also explained that operators of jet ski businesses will be responsible for their clients who are carrying out leisure activities during short period of time. However temporary COP will be issued to foreigners who are in the country for a longer period, where they will also have to do the oral exam to be issued with the COP.

SMSA has clarified that the identification regulation will not apply for fishing vessel at present as the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) is presently undertaking an identification exercise for fishing boats.

“We are in discussion with the SFA and have agreed that they will continue without any interruption. On the other hand, we will take their identification numbers issued and use it in our certification,” explained Mrs Adrienne.

The third regulation, the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (Fees) Regulation, 2023, encompasses all fees which were administered by the SMSA, but which featured under several different laws.

SMSA said it has done two things; firstly to include all the fees for new services under the regulation and also taken into account fees from the old law – the ‘Merchant Shipping Act of 1995 – which was outdated.

“They do not reflect the present economic climate; for example we had fees which were R75 and they are not relevant today,” said Mrs Adrienne.

According to Captain Valmont some of the fees have been increased by half or a hundred percent.

The annual fees vary based on the vessels’ length and they can go up to R10,000. 

All information related to these three new regulations can be found on SMSA’s website


Patsy Canaya




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