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Singapore Registry moves ahead on digitalization, sustainability

Written by Nick Blenkey
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MPA Chief Executive Andrew Tan at this year's Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) Forum.

NOVEMBER 17, 2017 — More than 4,600 ships flying the Singapore flag will benefit from service enhancements to be introduced from November 2017 by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Singapore-incorporated maritime companies will also receive assistance in the form of training on sustainability reporting.

The initiatives were announced today by MPA Chief Executive Andrew Tan at this year’s Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) Forum.

“IoT, digitalization and new technologies such as blockchain and smart drones are changing the way we work,” said Mr. Tan. “To stay ahead, the Singapore Registry of Ships needs to embrace these technologies to offer value-added services to its customer. As a responsible flag administration, we will continue to find new ways to promote clean, efficient and sustainable shipping.”

24/7 hotline for urgent assistance

Since November 1, 2017, owners, managers and operators of Singapore-registered ships requiring urgent assistance after office hours have been able to call MPA’s new 24/7 customer service hotline at (+65) 6-CALL-SRS (6-2255-777). The hotline was introduced following feedback from the industry that a hotline would be useful for them to contact MPA officers after office hours for urgent cases relating to crewing, registry and ship’s technical matters.

E-certs and expansion of Marinet online services

Currently, MPA authorizes Recognized Organizations (ROs) to issue electronic certificates (E-Certs) to Singapore-registered ships. By end of this year, in addition to E-Certs issued by ROs, MPA will also issue e-certificates directly to Singapore-registered ships. The use of E-Certs will save time and costs. It reduces the need for hard copies, allows for instantaneous and simultaneous transmissions of documents and reduces the risk of fraud.

Singapore will be among the first Flag Administrations in Asia to issue E-Certs. Without E-Certs, hard copies of over two dozen certificates such as Certificate of Registry, Safe Manning Certificate and Load Line Certificates among others, must be kept on board ships to provide proof that the vessels are compliant with the various regulations or conventions applicable to them. Converting the hardcopy certificates to E-Certs reduces the manpower and financial commitments in the preparation, printing and delivery of these certificates.

In addition, MPA has also expanded its Marinet to include two new online services — application for ship registration and the appointment of a manager form — as well as application for various documents1 issued by SRS.

Leveraging on new technologies to conduct ship survey

Increasingly, new technologies such as drones and robots are being used for ship surveys. Such methods of remote inspection are safer and can save time and costs. Following several trials using drones, MPA is developing the acceptance criteria for the usage of such remote inspection techniques on board Singapore-registered ships. The acceptance criteria will be ready by first quarter next year.

Promoting sustainable shipping

To encourage more maritime companies comply with the Singapore Stock Exchange’s (SGX) mandatory sustainability reporting requirements, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed that , among other things, seeks to provide SGX-listed Singapore-incorporated maritime companies with training on sustainability reporting.

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