Inspections & Surveys

The Bahamas Maritime Authority’s Inspections and Surveys department is primarily responsible for ensuring that registered ships are in compliance with all statutory requirements as set out in the international Conventions and Codes to which The Bahamas is a party.

Statutory surveys and certifications are carried out by Recognised Organisations on our behalf but we insist on retaining an overview of all statutory certifications issued. Our Inspections and Surveys department therefore approves all exemptions from statutory requirements, as well as proposals for equivalent arrangements. In addition, we operate an annual inspection programme so that we can verify that ships are well managed and maintained, and we can also check that surveys are being carried out effectively by the Recognised Organisations.

We vet all ships that apply to be registered with the Bahamas flag so that we can be absolutely sure that they are in satisfactory condition and acceptable for registration, according to certain specific criteria.

Deficiencies found on ships during Port State and Flag State inspections are rigorously followed up by our Inspectors. Our aim is to deal quickly and effectively with all parties involved so that each case is resolved as speedily as possible and our vessels can continue their business in full compliance with all statutory requirements

Our team is often called upon to give advice and help to our Recognised Organisations, Surveyors and Inspectors in the field who seek clarification about regulations or alternative arrangements in place. We pride ourselves on providing prompt advice and help on statutory matters.

Exciting new projects and developments in the shipping industry form an increasing part of our work. Many of today’s new build ships have advanced features which are not fully addressed by existing legislation. As a result we are frequently consulted on various matters regarding the application of statutory requirements. Such matters often require extensive research and discussion, both internally and with Classification Societies and Shipowners.

Because of our specific technical expertise, our team plays an important role at IMO, participating in various working groups which in turn contribute to shaping world shipping policy. In addition we are available to advise on the technical aspects related to Casualty Investigations, whenever requested to do so by our Casualty Investigation department.

Information Bulletins issued by the department, which provide advice, clarification and interpretation of statutory requirements can be found at BMA Bulletins. A comprehensive summary of Bahamas regulatory advice can be found here.