The Ports Authority was established by the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands by Ordinance on January 1, 2008 for the management of maritime affairs, and for related matters.
The main commercial ports of the Turks and Caicos Islands come under the jurisdiction of the Turks and Caicos Islands Ports Authority.
These ports are South Dock, Grand Turk; Conch Ground, South Caicos, South Dock, Providenciales and Bellefield Landing on North Caicos.
The Ports Authority main objectives include:
- Maintaining and expediting a safe and orderly flow of commercial and pleasure vessel traffic within its ports.
- Providing an efficient communications base during any emergency situation which may develop in these ports.
- Implementing procedures which may affect the safe passage of vessels.
- Notifying the appropriate organizations about vessels known or believed to be in distress and in need of assistance.
The Director of Ports is the chief executive officer of the Ports Authority with responsibility for implementing the decisions of the Ports Authority Board of Directors and the management of the operations to ensure compliance with local statutes and international treaties and conventions ratified and extended to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
However, some of these duties have been delegated to other staff including Deputy Director, Financial Controller, Senior Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO)/ Harbour Masters, Security, Risks and Safety Manager, Human Resource Manager and Communications and Business Manager who are invariably responsible for undertaking the daily management and duties of port activity and vessel movements within the ports of the TCI.
There are three international ports in the Turks and Caicos Islands which are compliant with the International Shipping and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code). These are on Grand Turk, South Caicos and Providenciales. There are also a number of other ports which are non-complaint but also fall under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority. These ports accommodate local travel and are as follows:
- Salt Wharf in Grand Turk
- Government Wharf in Grand Turk
- Deans Dock on Salt Cay