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MARINA rolls out electronic processing of applications

MARINA rolls out electronic processing of applications
July 1, 2024

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) rolled out its blockchain-enabled system for electronic processing and payment of applications on July 1.

The MARINA Blockchain-Enabled Certification System (MARINA BEST) contained in MARINA Advisory (MA) No. 2024-28 and signed by administrator Sonia Malaluan on June 26 allows maritime entities, including ship owners and operators, and ship building and ship repair companies, to electronically transact all processes with the agency, from application to release of certificates, licenses, letter approvals, and documents.

The system consolidates and integrates all information systems being used by the different MARINA service units and offices. The blockchain technology secures data from unauthorized changes.

MARINA BEST covers shipyard operators, seafarers, ship owners/operators, license manning agencies, payment gateways, employees, Department of Health-accredited clinics, assessment centers, maritime training institutions, maritime higher education institutions, and other concerned government agencies. All clients must register with the system.

Applications for issuance of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) and other related applications are, however, not yet part of the system. Their inclusion is seen by August or September, Malaluan said earlier.

Applications for seafarers’ certification will continue to be filed online through the MARINA Integrated Seafarers Management Online (MISMO) System.

MARINA BEST provides updates and tracking of applications and can automatically notify users of the expiration of certificates, permits, and licenses.

MARINA said the real-time status monitoring of applications will significantly lead to reduced time, cost, and error. The standardization and digitalization of processes will also not only minimize the risk of fraud and data loss, but will also ensure better visibility and traceability and reduce opportunity of corruption through the entire process, the agency added.

Certificates issued under MARINA BEST will be QR coded, allowing for online verification and validation.

Certificates/permits for applications received before July 1 but completed and approved from July 1 will be issued without the QR code, according to MA 2024-28.

All permanent documents such as those without expiry dates issued before July 1, 2024 and without QR code will be re-issued free of charge.

The application for re-issuance should be submitted online when applying for renewal of any safety certificate or other applications.

Certificates and documents that will be re-issued with the QR code include the Tonnage Measurement Certificate, Certificate of Ownership, and Certificate of Philippine Registry.

Documents, letter-approvals, certificates, permits, and similar documents issued before October 1, 2024 without QR code will continue to be valid until the expiry date indicated on the document or until replaced.

All MARINA certificates, letter-approvals, permits, and similar documents, except the CPC and CPC- related documents, issued from October 1, 2024 without the QR code will be considered invalid.

Prior to the July roll-out, MARINA conducted various stakeholders’ orientation and users’ training from February to May.