The Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) crossed the 96 million gross tonnage milestone in 2020 and maintained its position among the top five ship registries in the world.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) recently organized an online forum for the SRS focusing on how owners, managers and operators of Singapore-flagged ships can tap on opportunities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, in areas such as digitalisation and decarbonisation.
The SRS Milestone Award was presented to the Schulte Group at the forum for crossing this milestone.
"While the pandemic has thrown Maritime Singapore many challenges, it also presented us with opportunities to emerge stronger. To do this, MPA will strengthen partnerships to drive digitalisation and decarbonisation of shipping and ensure that the Singapore Registry of Ships is adaptable and agile in the new normal," Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA during her opening address before the 270 participants of the virtual forum.
She noted that MPA will also continue supporting our seafarers, the backbone of the maritime industry, through the pandemic.
COVID-19 drives adoption of technology
MPA noted that the coronavirus has also accelerated the adoption of technology. To minimise the risk to crews and surveyors on ships, MPA said it has been carrying out remote inspections since June this year.
To date, MPA’s surveyors have conducted 128 remote Flag State and Port State inspections involving 74 companies.
It also collaborated with Recognised Organisations (classification societies authorised by MPA to perform statutory certification and survey services for Singapore-flagged ships) to conduct surveys and audits using remote technologies — including the inspection of ship equipment via video streaming platforms, and verification of documents sent electronically.
Decarbonization efforts in shipping
MPA noted that the pandemic has also demonstrated shipping’s importance as a reliable, efficient and cost-effective method of transporting goods.
"Partnering the industry to drive decarbonisation efforts, MPA will extend its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Global Compact Network Singapore, the local chapter of the United Nations Global Compact, by an additional three years to 2023," it said.
"This is to promote carbon management and awareness amongst maritime companies. The MoU was first signed in 2017 to provide companies with training on sustainability reporting."
MPA also presented Green Ship certificates to 15 companies under the Green Ship Programme (GSP) for reducing the environmental impact of their fleet. Since the GSP’s inception in 2011, 597 Singapore-flagged ships have joined the programme.