1 May 2020

Vanuatu shipping agent fined over Covid-19 breach

4:33 pm on 1 May 2020

The Vanuatu agent agent for an international cargo vessel, 'Eastern Amazon', has been fined US$4,400 for breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

The Amazin from the Philippines, anchored in Port Vila

The Amazin from the Philippines, anchored in Port Vila Photo: RNZ Pacific / Hilaire Bule

The Daily Post said the vessel was quarantined for allegedly sailing to Malekula to load copra for export without approval from Vanuatu Government authorities.

While in Malekula, two young boys reportedly exchanged local oranges with the crew and received packets of cigarettes in return.

However this breached emergency restrictions in place, and the agent became the first person to be fined for non-compliance.

Meanwhile, Public Health Director Len Tarivonda said as there was no coronavirus case on board the vessel, the ship was cleared by authorities in Honiara before it sailed to Vanuatu.

The ship, its crew and the two boys, have now been released from quarantine, allowing 'Eastern Amazon' to leave the country.