Regulatory framework for boat building industry presented to stakeholders

The first draft for the regulatory framework of the boat building and boating industry had been prepared and is currently undergoing amendments based on industry stakeholder views, the Export Development Board (EDB) announced on Friday (28).

The National Export Strategy five-year plan formally launched in July 2018 identified boat building and its related services as one of five key industries to expand Sri Lanka’s export basket and increase export earnings to $ 28 billion by 2022.

The framework was first presented to stakeholders at a workshop held on 21 June at the Export Development Board (EDB) with the participation of relevant Government and private sector stakeholders including Ministry of Ports & Shipping, Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Merchant Shipping Secretariat, Ministry of Fisheries, boat manufacturers, boat operators, etc. to further improve and finalise the draft by obtaining inputs from relevant stakeholders.

The day-long workshop included a presentation of the draft regulatory framework to cover registration, regulation, and technical guidelines for all boat categories manufactured in Sri Lanka (other than the fishing boat category), leisure craft operations in the country, and for visiting yachts/crafts to Sri Lanka and imports of boats to Sri Lanka.

Draft regulatory framework will be revisited and updated with the inputs of the relevant stakeholders before finalising. Once the regulatory framework is in place, it will ensure the smooth operation of the boat building and boating industry, fulfilling an important pre-requisite for the development of the industry.

The Government allocated funds in the Budget 2018 for this regulatory framework as well as to develop infrastructure facilities for this sector.

Keeping in line with the Budget 2018, EDB, the Ministry of Development Strategies & International Trade, Ministry of Ports & Shipping, Merchant Shipping Secretariat, and industry commenced work on the development of the regulatory framework for the boat building industry by obtaining the services of M/S Lloyds Register Marine as a consultant covering the entire value chain of the industry.

The consultant had a series of meetings with relevant government and private sector industry stakeholders to obtain their views on the development of the regulatory framework before drafting the regulatory framework. Keeping in line with the comprehensive terms of reference (TOR), all relevant regulations and legislations in force were examined carefully.

In terms of infrastructure, EDB and Ministry of Development Strategies & International Trade has initiated the development of facilities and identified suitable lands in Kapparathota (Weligama) to facilitate existing manufacturers to expand their production process and for berthing, launching, and testing (slipways/launching pads). The feasibility of constructing a breakwater in Kapparathota (Weligama) is being studied at present.

Currently, Sri Lanka has the capacity to build and operate boats for yacht chartering and nautical activities. Further, foreign yachts can come to Sri Lankan water and anchor and spend few days in the country as we have attractive onshore activities such as whale/dolphin watching, scuba diving, leisure fishing, snorkelling, windsurfing, kite surfing, and many more around the country throughout the year.