4 Mar 2013

Vanuatu Finance Minister looks to appoint new Maritime Authority

8:01 pm on 4 March 2013

Vanuatu's Minister of Finance, Charlot Salwai, says he is looking at appointing a new Maritime Authority amid controversy about registration of the detained super yacht, the Phocea.

The vessel has been detained in Port Vila harbour since last July by the Ports Authority due to false documentation and lack of registration.

It recently emerged that the boat had been granted provisional registration by a deputy Commissioner on the Maritime Technical Advisory Committee, Guy Benard.

However Mr Salwai says the registration is illegitimate because he suspended the Committee last year as the Maritime Authority which appointed the Committee has been defunct since 2007.

"We should do what's in line with laws instead of doing something outside the law. The neccessity to appoint a new Advisory Committee... the government is planning to introduce another body to replace the Vanuatu Maritime Authority."

Charlot Salwai