Mr. Harrison Hewlett
+501-222-5666 Extension: 232 email@example.com
The Legal Department’s role is to offer professional legal services to the Belize Port Authority with our main focus on safety and security. The department’s functions are to provide legal advice to the Authority, prosecute violators, prepare maritime cases, review & update legislation and prepare reports based on maritime inquires.
Conventions Ratified by Belize
The International Maritime Organisation Convention Act, 2008, Belize Statutory Instrument No. 17 of 2008 makes provisions to list the various Conventions/Protocols and date of Accession by Belize. The International Maritime Organization is the umbrella organization with responsibility for those listed Conventions.
Of note on 8 July 2014, the Government of Belize deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). Belize is the 62nd ILO Member State and the eighth Member State of the Ocean Memorandum of Understanding on port State control in the Caribbean Region to have ratified this Convention. Belize’s merchant fleet consists of vessels of over 1.8 million gross tons in total. This ratification brings to 50 the total numbers of ILO Conventions ratified by Belize.
The Belize Port Authority (BPA) is a statutory body established in accordance with the BPA Act Chapter 233, Harbours and Merchant Shipping Act Chapter 234, Wrecks and Salvage Act Chapter 237, and Abandoned Wreck Act Chapter 235.
- Belize Port Authority Act Chapter 233 (Subsidiary & Substantive) Revised 2011 – focuses on aids to navigation, and hydrography; international conventions relating to safety and security of ports (Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code)
- Harbours and Merchant Act Chapter 234 (Subsidiary & Substantive) Revised 2011 -focuses on inspection of foreign ships for compliance with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Conventions, assessment of seaworthiness of local vessels, certification of local crew and marine pilots, facilitation of cabotage, marine casualty inquiries and investigations.
- Abandoned Wreck Act Chapter 235 & Wrecks and Salvage Act Chapter 237 – focuses on removal of wrecks from waterways to allow for safety of navigation.
Update on Legislations
Water Taxis Regulations
- To regulate routes, designated landing places, schedules and fares
- To ensure adequate service to and safety of passenger
- To require the submission of passenger manifests on local and transnational voyage
- To require VHF radios on passenger vessels with capacity of 12 or more (SOLAS Class Vessels), and to require the emergency numbers of the BPA and the Coast Guard to be prominently displayed on all such vessel
- To require an approved emergency plan for SOLAS Class vessel
- To require Third Party Insurance on all commercial vessel
- To provide for a passenger user fee
Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2016
Other Legal Instruments
The proposed PSC and ISPS regulations are in accordance with the standards set by the IMO, to improve the effectiveness of Belize’s responsibility falling under the purview of the BPA. The regulations are intended to implement the provisions of international maritime conventions and contain provisions giving rights of appeal and compensation in respect of detained ships, and allowing inspection of operational requirements.
Port Reception Facilities
Comprehensive National Transportation Master Plan
- Belize Port Authority Act (CAP 233):
- Cargo handling equipment at privatized and leased ports
- The licensing of Shipping Agents
- Requirements for vessels engaged on international voyages and
- Provisions for commercial services permit
- Harbours and Merchant Shipping Act (CAP 234):
- Maritime Safety
- Port State Control