PIMLA: enhancing important relationships and activities
Tuesday, 03 February 2009

PIMLA is grateful for the continuing assistance provided by SPC RMP since PIMLA’s inception in July 2005, in sourcing much needed funding to develop and implement its work plan. PIMLA is of the firm view that it needs to work collaboratively with important partners such as the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). PIMLA is also an Observer Member to the Pacific Islands Law Officers Network (PILON) and a consultative member of Comite Maritime International (CMI). These associations or affiliations will ensure that PIMLA members are kept in the loops of relevant priority maritime issues affecting the Pacific Islands region and better placed to advice and assist Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) on the implications of such matters.


From left to right: Mr Tufuga Fagaloa Tufuga, Mr Tuiloma N. Slade and Mr Fred Amoa

Just recently, the President of PIMLA, Mr Fred Amoa and SPC RMP’s Maritime Legal Adviser, Mr Tufuga Fagaloa Tufuga, pay a courtesy visit to the Secretary General of PIFS, Mr Tuiloma Neroni Slade, and briefed him on important issues affecting the Pacific maritime sector. Mr. Slade was appreciative of the work done by PIMLA and SPC RMP in the area of maritime law and wished them greater success in the future. PIMLA is currently working on developing various projects including a possible joint activity undertaking in early 2009 with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), through PIFS, on maritime terrorism. Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) is also very receptive to explore a joint activity with PIMLA in near future.

In October 2008, PIMLA was contracted by SPC/RMP to undertake a study on open registries in the Pacific Islands region, focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of PICTs operating open registries. The study will inform PICTs on the following aspects of open registries: the national and international regulatory regime in relation to open registries; the relationship between open registries and maritime security, the issues relating to seafarers under such registries, the monitoring capabilities of countries with open registries relating to legislations and the management arrangements of open registries. This important study is expected to complete in mid January 2009.


PIMLA members working on the maritime administration legislation

Furthermore, PIMLA has been actively involved this year in drafting a maritime shipping policy, maritime administration legislation and a port authority bill for Niue as part of SPC RMP maritime legal assistance. These working drafts are with Niue officials to consider and take ownership prior to implementation. There are obvious limitations in terms of resources required to action and implement legislations. However, this should not deter continuing assistance that is required in future and the need for awareness among the general population on what legislations and international standards are expected of small island states. It is believed that issues with Niue are common throughout other small island states and therefore it would not be difficult for PIMLA to render professional legal services to other small island states.

PIMLA will be attending the next Pacific Maritime Ministers Conference, in June 2009 in Tonga and it is a good opportunity to measure the extent of implementation of maritime legal activities since the last conference as well as further advice the Conference on emerging maritime legal issues.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 February 2009 )
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