President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. has issued an executive order on February 19 for the creation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Permanent Representative Office.

Executive Order (EO) No. 421, which also orders the restructuring and renaming of the Bureau of Commercial Development and the upgrading the Division of Marine Transportation to a Bureau, cited that Palau is a signatory to over 30 IMO conventions and instruments and that there is a need for Palau to “effectively implement” these if “it is to be recognized as a reputable IMO member state and as a running responsible ship registry.”

“Being a party to IMO conventions and instruments carries with it the substantial obligation of implementing the conventions and instruments as a flag state, coastal state, and port state,” the EO read.

The newly signed EO is an amendment to Section 3 of Part VI of Executive Order No. 381 and adds sections for the Division of Marine Transportation to be transform into a Bureau, for the establishment of the Bureau of Communications and the IMO Permanent Representative Office.

The EO also assigns that the IMO’s appointed Permanent Representative shall head the office of the IMO Permanent Representative. It authorizes the IMO Permanent Representative to work closely with the Bureau of Marine Transportation and represent Palau’s interest in the IMO in the area of international maritime. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)