Central Pacific Shipping Commission to assume regulatory role by 2014

Monday 09 September 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Central Pacific Shipping Commission (CPSC) scheduled for 18–20 September 2013 is expected to pass an endorsement for CPSC to become fully operational and have necessary enforcement abilities to regulate shipping in the central Pacific region.

The meeting will be organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) at its Suva Regional Office.  Expected to be in attendance are the Central Pacific small islander states transport ministers who are the CPSC Commissioners, technical committee members, respective heads of missions in Fiji, shipping companies, governments, and other state and non-state actors.

CPSC is an inter-governmental commission for joint cooperation, coordination and monitoring of international shipping services in central Pacific, comprising of Governments of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu.

Over the last few years, the issue of regulating shipping in the central Pacific region has been tabled for discussion at various high level meetings, including at the 2012 Smaller Island States Leaders Meeting in Cook Islands, where Forum Leaders expressed full support for this initiative.

The rationale of CPSC is to ensure sustained commercial shipping services for the common interest, needs and public welfare of the respective communities through controlled competition. There have already been a number of new shipping companies regularly servicing the sub-region, resulting in competitive freight rates benefitting the communities.

Strong and active support from the Governments of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu has augmented the efforts of SPC in progressing the operation of CPSC.

In May this year, a technical committee and private sector meeting was held at the SPC Suva Regional Office, marking the first consultation between CPSC and the private sector, including shipping companies that are currently providing service to the central Pacific countries. The outcome was favourable and companies expressed their interest in working with the CPSC to provide better services to the member countries.

The AGM starts on Tuesday, 18 September with a Technical Committee Meeting followed by the AGM of Commissioners on Wednesday, and the official launch of expression of interest to interested shipping companies on Friday. After the selection of approved carriers and the issuance of their respective Entry Assurance Certificate/Licence, the shipping companies are expected to commence operation under the new condition in January 2014.

For more information, contact Avnita Goundar, Policy and Research Adviser, EDD, SPC, Suva, Fiji (Tel.: +679 3379 281; email:AvnitaG@spc.int) or visit the SPC website: www.spc.int.

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