Formerly British Honduras, Belize is situated on the east coast of Central America bordering the Caribbean Sea between Guatemala and Mexico. For 4,000 years, Belize formed the keystone of the Mayan Empire whose advanced culture flourished even as the first shipwrecked British seamen landed.
A parliamentary democracy, Belize was granted independence from the United Kingdom in 1981. The Queen of England is represented by a Governor General who acts as Head of State and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. There is a bicameral national assembly. The capital is Belmopan, and Belize is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the UN the FAO and IMO.
The International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) is under the Ministry of Finance, with its Head Office located in Belize City.The Registration of Merchant Ships Act, 1989 as amended in 1996 governs the merchant fleet.
The Head Office, shown above, is located in Belize City. It facilitates and controls all registrations. The Registry operates through a network of over one hundred Designated Offices worldwide.
These offices are empowered to process applications for registration and to issue the relevant documentation. Belize has been included in the IMO White List and the Registry has attained ISO 9001-2000 Certification by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (USA).
IMMARBE with over 75 designated offices located in strategic ports around the world, remains confident that 2015 will bring success as it remains focused on its corporate objectives in elevating its standards in ship registration and effectively multiply its current fleet as well as improving its performance in both the Paris and Tokyo MOU’s.
IMMARBE has managed to maintain a clean register eliminating the number of vessels non-compliant with international regulations. This is credited to the implementation of strict policy rules concerning age limitations, intense monitoring campaigns to ensure detention ratios, disciplinary measures such as fines, cancellations of vessels because of their poor performance in Port State Controls, constant audit performed on Recognized Organizations (ROs) and ships operators and an increased presence of safety inspectors worldwide.
The Belize Registry has also implemented a series of new discounts and incentives which should increase the possibility to achieve their goal as they target augmenting the registration of new builds and bigger tonnage.
On November 8th 2013, the Government of Belize adopted a revision of the High Seas Fishing Act which governs the high seas fisheries activities of Belize flagged vessels.
This new legislation outlines the legal framework for the effective management and control of the high seas fishing fleet registered by IMMARBE; and mandates the creation of the Belize High Seas Fisheries Unit (BHSFU) for the enforcement of the law.
The Prime Minister Barrow has committed that under the Government’s leadership, IMMARBE will continue to provide excellent and efficient services to the various stakeholders within the maritime industry and will continue to manage the organization under the motto “the friendly flag of quality”.