Photo: 197797773 © Subhajit Mondal |

The Indian government is tightening rules on aging ships sailing into its waters. The Directorate General of Shipping of India is reportedly in the final stages of issuing guidelines concerning age limits for registration and operation of vessels under the Indian flag, and other requirements for foreign flag vessels entering the Indian ports.

Specifically, the Directorate General of Shipping issued in the previous week a draft for consultation on the age norms, and other qualitative parameters for the registration and operation of vessels under Indian Flag, and requirements for foreign flag vessels calling at Indian ports for carrying Indian cargo, or providing services in Indian EEZ/offshore area.

“The quality tonnage is paramount for safe and secure expansion of the maritime sector and to achieve sustainability in ocean governance,” said DGS.

The authority also noted, that the “safety of life at sea and ships depends on the quality of tonnage registered under the flag of a country”.

The move comes amid growing marine safety and environmental concerns. DGS authority further said, that there is a need for review and to specify certain requirements to enable registration/operation of quality tonnage under the Indian flag. It also added, that “there is a need to create a level playing field for Indian ships by applying the requirements for quality tonnage over foreign flagged vessels calling into Indian ports, or Indian offshore facilities, for carrying Indian cargo or for providing services in Indian EEZ/Offshore area.”

As it is pointed out, the matter has been discussed with Indian National Ship-owners Association (INSA), and comments of ICCSA/ ONGC were also taken. Furthermore, three meetings were held on 18.02.22, 25.03.22 and 18.08.22.

The Directorate General of Shipping in India deals with the implementation of shipping policy and legislation so as to ensure the safety of life and ships at sea, prevention of marine pollution, promotion of maritime education and training in co-ordination with the International Maritime Organization, regulation of employment and welfare of seamen, development of coastal shipping, augmentation of shipping tonnage, examination and certification of Merchant Navy Officers, Supervision and Control of the allied offices under its administrative jurisdiction.

Source: Directorate General of Shipping of India