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Formerly, Marine Department of Negara Brunei Darussalam was only a section of the Department of Royal Customs and Excise which in 1948 was known as the Department of  Custom and Marine headed by Mr DH Trumble. The main services then was to provide  transportation of passengers and mail  3 times a week to Labuan. During that time, Marine Department only operated 8 outboards and 6 vessels as maritime transportation.

In 1957, Marine Department started to handle its own administration in its own headquarters located at the Custom wharf, Bandar Seri Begawan. On 5th August 1964 Mr Jack Turner was appointed as the first Marine Officer (Pegawai Laut Negara) . He was the longest serving officer holding the Post and  was bestowed the title of " Yang Di Muliakan Pehin Datu Tambang Layaran Laila Di Raja" and ended his service on 22nd February 1981.

Yang Di Muliakan Pehin was replaced by Mr. I.G. FRAKER who served as the Director until 1984. During his appointment, the Department acquired two fast pilot launches (SERI BANDAR and SERI KUALA) and one tug boat (MT SUMPIT-SUMPIT). The acquisition of  the vessels was meant to upgrade the Department's services inline with the increase in the number of merchant vessels coming into Muara Port.

25th August 1984 marks a historical event in which the first Bruneian, Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Haji Ahmad Haji Ibrahim was appointed as the Director of Marine. Under his administration, the Department began to progress; mainly the entry of Negara Brunei Darussalam into the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and be party to 8 of the IMO Conventions and its Protocols. From then on Marine Department began to enforce its authority under the Merchant  Shipping Act (Ch. 145)  and the Ports Act (Ch. 144).

On 11th April 1991 Dato Paduka Haji Ahmad was replaced by Dato Paduka Haji Ismail who served the Marine Department until 15th September 1993 who was then replaced by  Awang Haji Othman bin Haji Momin.

On 30th November 1993 Marine Department moved to its current headquarters in Serasa, Muara to facilitate the administration and  operations of the department.

On 11th January 1999, Awang Haji  Hamidon bin Haji Md Tahir was appointed as the new Director of Marine. During his time in office, the Muara Channel was dredged to 13metres to facilitate deep draft vessel entering Muara Port and the building of a Rotating Beacon in Lumut, Kuala Belait was also completed to enhance the safety of navigation within the Lumut coastal area.

On 1st January 2006 Awang Haji Bolkini bin Haji Abdul Rahman was appointed as  Acting Director of Marine during which he initiated the revision of numerous Marine Orders and Regulations in line with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) requirements.

During his office the Pilotage and Tugs Services was transferred to the Ports Department as a move to for the Marine Department to focus on its regulatory functions.

The Merchant Shipping Order (MSO) 2002, The Prevention Of Pollution of The Sea Order 2005 and Maritime Offences Order 2007 are amongst the Thirty Eight (38) Orders and Regulations which provide the Marine Department the legal authority to enforce its mission statement.

On the 14th of July 2008 .Awang Haji Omar bin Haji Sirat was appointed as the Director of Marine.

Since the 1st of May 2011,  the Marine Department is headed by Awang Haji Matnor bin Haji Salleh as the Acting Director of Marine, and has been appointed as Director of Marine as from 9th July 2012.