• Malaysia
June 14, 2024

Cabotage Policy: 72-Hour Approval Process Is Unreasonable – Jeyenderan

Kuala Lumpur – The Ministry of Transport’s (MOT) announcement of a 72-hour approval period for all procedures under the Cabotage Policy is considered unfavorable for the shipping industry, according to Datuk Seri Jeyenderan Ramasamy, CEO of Maritime Network Sdn Bhd.

Expressing his concern, Jeyenderan emphasized that the 72-hour period could have a profound impact and lead to significant unforeseen losses in the sector.

โ€œCargo owners often make last-minute changes, so the 72-hour period is too long. A 24-hour period is more reasonable, considering the nature of the shipping business and cargo operations,” he said.

He noted that advancements in telecommunications and technology should facilitate a shorter approval period. “In the past, we used fax machines, but now we have advanced phones, email, and other technologies. Ship positions can be monitored within 24 hours using electronic systems like AIS, unlike before when continuous monitoring was impossible.”

Jeyenderan also pointed out that ports have invested millions in upgrading their systems and facilities to more sophisticated levels. “Given these upgrades, achieving approval within 24 hours should be easier and less complicated, shouldn’t it?” he questioned.

The new MOT regulations require a Domestic Shipping License (DSL) even for port-to-port transfers within the country, complicating matters further. โ€œThe new regulations mandate that all vessels dealing with more than one local port must apply for a DSL. This makes the situation more complex, so the 72-hour period set by MOT is unacceptable.”

โ€œWe appreciate the governmentโ€™s policies, but we also hope that the views of industry players like us, who strive to empower the national economy, will be reconsidered,โ€ he added.

The MOT announced on May 29 that all vessels dealing with more than one local port must possess a valid DSL, effective tomorrow.

Additionally, the ministry has revoked the Cargo Ship Exemption for East Malaysia for any round-trip journey from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah or Sarawak, which also takes effect tomorrow.

These measures align with the MOT’s efforts to streamline the country’s maritime operations and ensure adherence to established standards. -MalayaDailyToday

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