Newsflash
Feasibility study on shipping services: Wallis and Futuna
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Shipping services to Wallis and Futuna have been limited over the years problems compounded by irregularity of calls, lack of adequate inter-island shipping services and limited port services and capability. International shipping services are limited to a single container ship serving Wallis and Futuna since 2006, except for the occasional project cargo deliveries. A graver problem identified was the lack of a cargo and passenger shipping service (international or domestic) from Futuna to Wallis. This not only creates a situation of inconvenience for inter-island travel but limits trade opportunities for the people of Futuna.
 
In response to a request by the Prefet in Wallis and Futuna, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) commissioned a feasibility study in 2009 to assess options for improving inter-island shipping services between Wallis and Futuna. Led by SPC’s Regional Maritime Programme (RMP), the study team undertook a one-week mission to the two islands in mid-June this year. Findings of the study were sent to the Prefet in Wallis and Futuna a couple of months later.

In order to improve shipping services, a range of supporting structures has to accompany the required shipping development. Some of these considerations would be: appropriate port infrastructure and services; suitable ships; an effective maritime regulatory body; supporting legislation and regulations; and competent staff. The study report has attempted to address these areas thoroughly.

The report also identified some prospects for increasing trade in Wallis and Futuna, which could assist in removing monopolised shipping, increasing choice of goods from cheaper/alternate markets, reducing costs of goods imported, increasing government revenue and perhaps bring about a reduction in taxes and duties.
 
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