BVI upgraded to Category 1

Last Thursday it was announced, at the Red Ensign Group (REG) Conference being held in Guernsey, that the Secretary of State for Transport has agreed to the upgrading of the Virgin Islands Shipping Register (VISR) to Category 1 status limited to general cargo ships.

The decision has been made following extensive consultation between the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), VISR and with the British Virgin Isles (BVI) Governor and his staff. The BVI has recently completed a 3 year programme to meet REG Category 1 standards.

The MCA carried out a monitoring visit in October 2006 and the VISR was found to have met the technical requirements to become a REG Category 1 Register limited to general cargo ships including large commercial yachts (mega yachts) of less than 3000 GT.

The VISR upgrade to Category 1 status will be implemented by an order made under Section 18 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. Monitoring arrangements and details of conditions for maintaining compliance with Category 1 standards will be covered by a Memorandum of Understanding between the MCA and VISR.

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