In a significant step the Ministry of Shipping has decided that life time licences will be issued to Indian Ships and any other ship charted by an Indian citizen or an Indian company instead of such licences being renewed every year as of now. The decision approved by the Minster for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari also provides for all the five Registrars of Ships at Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkatta, Goa and Cochin to issue such licenses under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act,1958. Such licences will be issued with a life time fee now instead of annual fee but the licence will be co-terminus with the certificate of Registry of the Ship. A ship is registered by the Principal Officers of Mercantile Marine Departments (MMD) of the DG (Shipping) who are designated Registrars of Ships by the DG (Shipping). They would now get powers to issue life time licences also.
The decision will be of immense help to the sea going Indian and other vessels engaged in coastal trading as the process is decentralised and liberalised. Ship operators now need not undertake the exercise of taking the licence every year.