Vessels travelling to provinces with much needed cargos including food and fuel have started leaving Honiara under strict conditions through an arrangement by the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMA), N-DOC Infrastructure Sector Committee, Health, and with coordination to Provincial Disaster Operations Committee (PDOC) by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC). This morning MV Florence arrived at Auki wharf and MV Ocean Joy is expected in Auki soon. Several other ships will depart to other pre-approved provincial ports of entries subject to fulfilment of requirements in the coming days.
Under the arrangement shipping operators or operators of vessels who provide the service are required to apply for a permit to the Director of SIMA copied to the Chairman of Infrastructure Sector Committee and Deputy Secretary Technical of MID.
The application should contain the name of the vessel, to which province the vessel will travel to, what commodities it will carry and which port or ports it will discharge its cargo at. This arrangement is strictly for cargo runs and no passengers will be allowed to board the vessels.
Upon receipt of the application, the Director SIMA working alongside a team from Ministry of Infrastructure Development, NEOC and the Ministry of health will do the scheduling, ensure adherence to health requirements including testing of crews for COVID-19, and inspection of sea worthiness of vessels by SIMA.
Once the vessel and crew are cleared the Director of SIMA will recommend the vessel to the Commissioner of Police who will then grant exemption for the vessel to exit and re-enter the Honiara Emergency Zone.
The Director SIMA will use this exemption to give permission for the vessel to sail. Those applying for exemption through the above process are also advised that some provinces will also require a prior departure clearance from them before vessels can enter provinces.
Ship owners and operators, and the public wishing to know more information about the arrangement can contact the numbers listed below
SOLOMON ISLANDS MARITIME AUTHORITY: 21535
POLICE OPERATIONS CENTRE (POC): 27891, 27893, 27895, 999
HEALTH OPERATIONS CENTRE :25256, 115
NATIONAL EMEGENCY OPERATION CENTRE : 677 23736, 27937 955
INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR COMMITTEE: 2114, 23428