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Sri Lanka to regularize small vessels, pleasure craft with local rules

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will issue standardised regulations for small commercial vessels, including pleasure crafts, according to a proposal made by Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga that has received Cabinet approval.

"At present, in Sri Lanka, there is immense interest in small commercial vehicle activities," according to a memorandum presented to the Cabinet of Ministers.

With the development of the tourism industry, there is an increase in passenger transportation, the note said.

At the moment, there are only whale watching vessels.

Sri Lanka does not have an active luxury yacht culture or a network of marinas, despite being an island.

Attempts by a foreign company to start a live-aboard luxury cruise business had also run into snags, with regulators demanding unreasonable certifications that usually apply to larger ocean-going ships, according to their promoters.

Ad hoc nationalist requirements including a domestic crew also hamper growth of the sector, according to some industry sources.

Sri Lanka has tight visa and work permit requirements that prevent the dissemination of know-how, hampering economic growth.

The rules will apply to small cargo or passenger vessels between 4 and 24 meters length, which can carry 100 passengers or provide overnight accommodation for up to 20 people in domestic voyages.

The rules will also apply to pleasure crafts that are rented out.





They will not apply to fishing vessels, rescue or vessels holding an international passengership safety certificate issued under the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea.

Vessels with a certificate from a foreign government could also register under the new rules, unless there are grounds to believe that the vessel or equipment fails to correspond to the certificate. (Colombo/Jan22/2017)

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