Confirmation of the cooperation between the countries on the sidelines of the IMO annual General Council Parallel Event held in Cartagena de Indias, came in the form of a joint communique established by the two countries’s ministers of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula for South Africa, and Ms Ángela María Orozco for Colombia.

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The two ministers highlighted that central to their continued discussions was the formalization through formal ratification of two cooperation instruments, a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) and an Agreement for Mutual Recognition of Seafarers Certificates between South Africa and Colombia.

In the joint communique’, Mr. Mbalula and Ms. Orozco confirmed that:

The Ministers underlined the need to further strengthen South-South cooperation and advance our partnership to ensure the synergies to preserve the safety of life at sea and the marine environment protection through international mechanisms and instruments

They also reinstated their commitment to collaborate on additional bilateral relation and cooperation on significant issues discussed at the Parallel Event to a new level. For this reason, the Ministers agreed to stand ready to enhance mutual consultations for the conclusion of the current negotiations of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA).

The Ministers also agreed that a BASA will improve trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

In addition, the Ministers welcomed the interest expressed by both countries to negotiate an 'Agreement for Mutual Recognition of Seafarers Certificates for Negotiation between South Africa and Colombia'.

In the meantime, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) confirmed that it entered into an agreement with its Colombian counterpart, the Directorate of the Maritime (DIMAR), regarding a declaration of intent to establish a framework for institutional cooperation on matters of mutual interest between the two Maritime Authorities.

The draft of the declaration of intent between SAMSA and DIMAR notes that the two organisations 'within the scope of competence of the respective Parties, and in recognition of international instruments in which South Africa and Colombia are parties to and the international organizations of which they are members, the main areas and forms of cooperation that the framework would include are the following':

  • Safety of life and property at sea;
  • Safety of Navigation;
  • Capacity building;
  • Maritime transport;
  • Environmental Protection and Prevention;
  • Technical cooperation;
  • Compliance and implementation of international instruments.