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Jun 29, 2022

IMMARBE Holds Ships Accountable by International Regulations

Annette Garel

While we celebrate the shipping world and all those who contribute to this important industry, there is also the other side of that equation – holding ships accountable when they violate shipping regulations. The agency that registers ships in Belize is the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, also known as IMMARBE. It’s Deputy Registrar, Annette Garel explained to News Five that there are over a thousand foreign-owned, sea-going vessels registered under the Belize flag. Most of them operate in Europe and the Mediterranean and do not call on ports in Belize. But they all have to abide by international regulations, or face penalties when they are found to be in breach.


Annette Garel, Deputy Registrar, IMMARBE

“Belize operates an open flag registry, and what does that mean? The owners that are flying these ships are not Belizean; they’re foreign-owned vessels, but this is not foreign to Belize. It is something that is done worldwide. There are a number of nations that have open ship registers and perform excellently internationally. We have disciplinary regulations that govern vessels that are detained. It ranges from a thousand dollars to fifty thousand U.S. as penalties. And of course there’s the deregistration that occurs. So if they are found to be in contravention of, say a U.S. sanction, they’re immediately de-registered. But of course there are vessels that are mortgaged and the mortgagee has to be notified of an infraction. But every case is particular. You have to look at the whole situation. If you’re only looking at perhaps a detention of the vessel, it’s not only one detention. It’s what is involved in the operation of that vessel to be able to get to that one detention.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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