Saudi Arabia: The Build-Up Of The Saudi Arabian Maritime Regulatory Framework

Last Updated: 13 November 2018
Article by Zaid Mahayni
Most Popular Article in Saudi Arabia, November 2018

Saudi Arabia has been a member of the International Maritime Organization since 1969.1 During the past few months, Saudi Arabia has significantly built up its maritime regulatory framework. Most notably and as shown in the below table, Saudi Arabia has recently enacted regulations in furtherance of the following conventions2:

Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL, 1965)3 Royal Decree No. M/77 dated 19/7/1439 H. (5/4/2018 G.)

Council of Ministers Resolution No. 387 dated 17/7/1439 H. (3/4/2018 G.)
17/9/1439 H. (1/6/2018 G.)
International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships (1969) 4 President of the Public Transport Authority Resolution No. 07176 dated 22/1/1440 H. (2/10/2018 G.)5 24/2/1440 H. (2/11/2018 G.)
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL, 1973, as amended in 1978 and 1997)6 Public Transport Authority Resolution No. 07177 dated 22/1/1440 H. (2/10/2018 G.)7 24/2/1440 H. (2/11/2018 G.)
Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW, 1978) President of the Public Transport Authority Resolution No. 07178 dated 22/1/1440 H. (2/10/2018 G.)8 1/3/1440 H. (9/11/2018 G.)
International Convention on Load Lines (1966)9 President of the Public Transport Authority Resolution No. 07179 dated 22/1/1440 H. (2/10/2018 G.)10 17/2/1440 H. (26/10/2018 G.)
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS, 1974)11 President of the Public Transport Authority Resolution No. 07181 dated 22/1/1440 H. (2/10/2018 G.)12 17/2/1440 H. (26/10/2018 G.)
Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs, 1972)13 President of the Public Transport Authority Resolution No. 07182 dated 22/1/1440 H. (2/10/2018 G.)14 24/2/1440 H. (2/11/2018)
International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (BUNKER, 2001)15 Royal Decree No. M/13 dated 1/2/1440 H. (10/10/2018)

Council of Ministers Resolution No. 70 dated 29/1/1440 H. (9/10/2018)
17/2/1440 H. (26/10/2018 G.)

During 2017 and 2018, Saudi Arabia has acceded to the following conventions:16

Ballast Water Management (2004)17 11/7/1439 H. (27/4/2017 G.) 12/11/1439 H. (8/9/2017 G.)
Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC 1976, LLMC Protocol 1996)18 20/7/1439 H. (6/4/2018 G.) LLMC 1976 – 19/11/1439 H. (1/8/2018 G.)

LLMC Protocol 1996 – 21/8/1439 H. (5/7/2018 G.)19
Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships20 9/8/1439 H. (25/4/2018 G.) 12/11/1439 H. (25/7/2018 G.)
Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL, 1965)21 23/8/1439 H. (9/5/2018 G.) 24/10/1439 H. (8/7/2018 G.)

According to the Public Transport Authority, Saudi Arabia is a member of 38 different IMO conventions and protocols.22

The following regulations have also been recently enacted:

Regulations for the Inspection and Maintenance of Mobile Maritime Rescue Devices Public Transport Authority Board Resolution No. 39-9-43 dated 15/9/1439 H. (30/5/2018 G.) 11/1/1440 H. (21/9/2018 G.)
Regulations for the Sale of Sea Travel Tickets
Regulations for the Inspection and Testing of Small Vessels Not Subject to International Conventions

With a coastline of more than 1500 nautical miles23 and 9 seaports24, Saudi Arabia enjoys a clear strategic positioning. Numerous initiatives have been implemented to improve Saudi's meteorological, environment protection, search and rescue, and anti-piracy capabilities.25

On 22 October 2018, the Public Transport Authority has also launched an online beta portal for the issuance of licenses for sea transportation and ticket sale.26 Furthermore, the Public Transport Authority has announced that it is working on simplifying and expediting the procedures for the movement of sea travelers and cargo.27

With the important simultaneous enhancement and expansion of the national metro, railroad and road networks, it is impressive that the Public Transport Authority has managed to keep a close focus on the promotion of the local maritime transport industry.




























27. Al Naql Magazine (March-April 2018) page. 30. See:

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