St. Lucia is moving to implement legislation to facilitate an open ship registry, which would will enable the registration of foreign-owned ships and possibly provide greater opportunities for qualified citizens to work.
The Shipping Amendment Bill is being piloted by Minister for Legal Affairs, Home Affairs and National Security Victor Philip La Corbiniere.
“At present the registry forms part of the Division of Maritime Affairs within the St. Lucian Air and Sea Ports Authority, and an officer there is responsible for the registration of ships. In recent times the trend has been towards an open ship registry and this, of course, is to enable the registration of foreign-owned ships,” he explained.
“Within the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Vincent, Grenada and the Grenadines all have open ship registries.”
Senator LaCorbiniere said there are several economic and other advantages of having open ship registries that allow for foreign ships to be registered.
Among them, he said, was that owners of foreign ships can choose employees from an international labour pool and, in particular, persons who are qualified from St. Lucia will probably have greater opportunities to work on some of these boats.