Belize Policy on Tokyo MoU

C24006 | 13 February 2024

Notice to: Ship Owners / Managers/ Operators /Surveyors/ Auditors :

The International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) has issued Circular No. TD/IMM/GOB002-24-Tokyo MoU Policy which supersedes TD-IMM-GOB001-19.

The new Policy, which takes immediate effect covers:

  1. New Registration of vessels intending to operate in the Tokyo MoU.
  2. Letter of Warning
  3. Occasional Survey Program for vessels detained in the Tokyo MoU.
  4. RO and Owner / Operator Responsibilities.
  5.  Noncompliance.
  6. Vessels operating in the Tokyo MoU not subjected to the Occasional Survey Program.

New Registration:

IMMARBE requires that any vessel that has been detained twice within 24 months will only be accepted for registration under the condition that the vessel is included in the Occasional Survey Program for twelve months.

Letter of Warning:

A Notice of Warning shall be issued to each vessel on the first detention in the Tokyo MoU. A second detention, within twelve months of the first, will result in the vessel being included in the Occupational Survey Program and the Operator will be subject to a fine.

Occasional Survey Program

Vessels detained twice within twelve months under the Tokyo MoU will undergo Occasional Surveys, equivalent to an Annual Mandatory Survey, carried out by the RO responsible for the vessel’s Statutory Certification. The Circular
provides details on:

  • issuing of a Statement of Compliance (with 6-month validity),
  • the timing of the Occasional Surveys, in relation to Annual, Intermediate, and Renewal Surveys.


RO and Owner/Operator Responsibilities

ROs are responsible for:

  • giving owners at least thirty days’ notice of due occasional surveys,
  • immediately reporting deficiencies found during the occasional survey to IMMARBE, with evidence of corrective actions
  • where deficiencies cannot be rectified before the vessel’s departure:
    • establishing/proposing adequate temporary measures
    • Seeking Flag State agreement before the vessel sails to a repair location
  • submitting Survey Reports and Statements of Compliance, supported by photographs to IMMARBE’s Technical Department.

Owner/Operators are responsible for making necessary arrangements to ensure their vessels are made available for the mandatory occasional surveys and to communicate the arrangements to the RO.


Any vessel that is detained whilst included in the Occasional Survey Program, or fails to complete the program will receive a fine and/or cancellation. A second detention will result in immediate cancellation.

Detentions will be attributed to the responsible RO where:

  • the RO fails to complete the required occasional survey, or
  • if the vessel is detained within 90 days after the RO’s attendance.


Vessels operating in the Tokyo MoU not subjected to the Occasional Survey Program

The Circular reminds that all Belize registered vessels operating within, or intending to call at Ports within the Tokyo MoU must comply with the latest version of:

  • MMN-19-006,
  • MMN-23-001,
  • MMN-23-006.


Such vessels must submit to IMMARBE Technical Department ( and before proceeding to any Tokyo MoU Port.:

  • PSC Checklist,
  • Crew List, and/or
  • PSC Inspection report (Forms A and B).



The Circular gives guidelines on fines imposed on detained vessels trading in the Tokyo MoU. These are:

  • Up to $5000 for any vessel detained within 12 months of being served a Notice of Warning
  • $6000 to $10,000 for any vessel detained whilst included in the Occasional Survey Program.
  • $11,000 to $15,000 for any vessel detained three times in twelve months in addition to cancellation.


Act now

Shipowners / Managers / Operators / Surveyors / Auditors should take note of the above and ensure that the requirements of this, and other mentioned Circulars, are followed.

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