New maritime regulations
As of July1st, 2014 the Regulation Safety Seagoing Vessels (Regeling Veiligheid Zeeschepen (RVZ)) has been amended. The requirements for the commercially used vessels registered in the Caribbean Netherlands, have been modernized and adapted to the international developments in the Caribbean Trading Area (CTA).
The RVZ only contains the requirements regarding the safety of ships, such as the construction (seaworthiness) and equipment. Requirements for crew certification are expected in the next phase.
For amendments and explanation, please see the Government Gazette (Staatscourant in Dutch): Staatscourant nr. 16426 van 17 juni 2014. The full text of the Regulation Safety Seagoing Vessels including these amendments can be found here.
With this amendment two international Caribbean Codes came into force:
- the SCV-Code (Code of Safety for Small Caribbean Vessels) for passenger- and cargo ships with a length between 5 and 24 meters
- the CCSS-Code (Code of Safety for Caribbean Cargo Ships) for cargo ships longer than 24 meters but smaller than 500 GT
Ships should now be provided with a certificate that belongs to these Codes and that is issued by ILT/Scheepvaart (Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate / Shipping). This rule came into effect as of July 1st this year. For ships that were previously certified under the old regulations, those certificates remain valid until the expiration date.
To ensure that regulations are kept as similar as possible within the Kingdom; Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten are also working on the adoption of these Codes into their regulations. That is expected to be completed by January 1st, 2015.
These Codes are considered too strict for ships that remain close to the shore and return to the port of departure. These vessels are allowed to comply with less stringent rules as laid down in Annex 6 of the RVZ.
The ships receive, if they comply, a National Safety Certificate. The sailing area for which this applies is defined per island in the RVZ and extends several miles from the coast.
For compliance with the Annex 6 requirements a transition period is in effect till January 1st, 2016. The certification in accordance with Annex 6 will be done in the future by the harbor masters of the three islands.
The consultation between ILT/Scheepvaart and the Island Governments regarding this issue has recently been started and has to be finished before January 2016.
The 2010 SCV-code that came into effect with this amendment, was recently renewed under the auspices of the IMO. In the Netherlands the renewed SCV Code will enter into force in the fall of 2014, the exact date is still to be determined.
The 2014 SCV Code itself contains extensive transitional measures. The renewed 2014 SCV-Code and the RVZ can be requested at The Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate - Caribbean Region.
For further questions, please contact The Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate - Caribbean Region;
Telephone: +599 7158351