The Bahamas Maritime Authority is Making Strides in the Greek Shipping Market
Today, BMA has offices in Piraeus, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, New York and Nassau. All offices provide 24-hour a day service and are committed to helping the registry’s clients to deal with a growing number of compliance issues, surveys and inspections. According to Mr. Tsiftsis, Bahamas Maritime Authority’s Regional Director East Med, Black Sea and Middle East, “even before the pandemic struck, the BMA was looking to adopt new technology and had already started looking for new ways to help our customers, particularly in the areas of electronic certifications and online applications. As was expected, the pandemic acted as an accelerator of these processes, as we had to adapt promptly to the new challenges which arose. The main goal was to keep our services uninterrupted throughout the year”, says Mr. Tsiftsis.
It’s worth noting that the Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA), has developed, already since 10 years ago, a new online system to its Registered Owners and ISM Managers, or their duly authorized Manning Agents, to submit applications for seafarers’ documentation electronically. This environmentally friendly process enabled us to offer our customers online applications for Bahamas Flag State Endorsements and Seaman’s Record Book for seafarers of Bahamas registered ships and for new applicants about to join a Bahamas-flagged vessel. This new system also allowed for the provision of Confirmation Receipt of Application (CRA) for Flag State Endorsement on a 24-hour basis, 7-days a week. Mr. Tsiftsis says that “shortly after this new online system for seafarer applications, we further expanded our online system to include other ship registration services and introduced our Bahamas Online Registration Information System (BORIS), while last year this was further enhanced, via the inclusion of the ability to complete a registration application, invoice payment and certificate verification, check and reserve a vessel name”.
As a result, users don’t have to enter ship data repeatedly on registration forms. This user-friendly system is widely appreciated by clients globally. This systems is continually being updated and enhanced with new services, while BMA recently announced that its full array of ship certificates and documentation are now available electronically. The pandemic accelerated this process and has shown that the use of technology is the way forward for owners and registries alike.
One of the latest initiatives undertaken by the Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) revolves around seafarers. BMA has announced a new survey, the Seafarer COVID-19 Welfare Survey, designed to capture and reflect the mental health needs of seafarers around the world during the coronavirus pandemic. This initiative, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health, manifests itself as a short, online survey open to any and every seafarer. Further information can also be found on our website at the following link which includes a pdf which can also be shared with fellow seafarers.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide