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Merchant Shipping Act 1988 (c. 12)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Merchant Shipping Act 1988

1988 CHAPTER 12

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Content
  1. Part I

    Registration of British Ships

    1. Preliminary

      1. 1. Effect of Part I and interpretation.

      2. 2. British ships.

      3. 3. Persons qualified to be owners of British ships.

    2. Registration under Part I of 1894 Act

      1. 4. Entitlement to registration under Part I of 1894 Act.

      2. 5. Representative persons.

      3. 6. Refusal of registration.

      4. 7. Power of Secretary of State to direct removal from the register.

      5. 8. Offences relating to furnishing of information, and duty to comply with directions.

      6. 9. Duty of owner of registered ship to secure termination of any overseas registration.

      7. 10. Amendments of Part I of 1894 Act.

    3. Registration in overseas territories

      1. 11. Regulation of registration in overseas territories by reference to categories of registries.

  2. Part II

    Registration of British Fishing Vessels

    1. Preliminary

      1. 12. Interpretation of Part II, etc.

    2. New system of registration for fishing vessels

      1. 13. Separate registration of fishing vessels.

      2. 14. Eligibility for registration as British fishing vessel.

      3. 15. Grant or refusal of applications for registration of fishing vessels.

      4. 16. Termination of registration where vessel is not eligible for registration or is not certificated.

      5. 17. Consequences of termination of registration by virtue of s. 16.

      6. 18. Registration of property in fishing vessels.

    3. Transfers etc. of registered vessels

      1. 19. Transfer of vessel or share by bill of sale.

      2. 20. Transmission of property in vessel or share other than under s. 19.

    4. Mortgages of registered vessels

      1. 21. Mortgages of registered vessels.

    5. Unregistered fishing vessels

      1. 22. Offences relating to, and liabilities of, unregistered fishing vessels.

    6. Supplemental

      1. 23. Notification of changes in ownership etc., and offences relating to furnishing of information.

      2. 24. Penalties for offences under s. 22 or 23 and other provisions relating to such offences.

      3. 25. Application of other enactments, etc.

  3. Part III

    Miscellaneous Provisions Relating to Merchant Shipping Etc.

    1. Financial assistance

      1. 26. Financial assistance in respect of costs of training merchant navy officers and ratings.

      2. 27. Financial assistance in respect of crew relief costs.

    2. The Merchant Navy Reserve

      1. 28. Establishment of the Merchant Navy Reserve.

      2. 29. Supplementary provisions relating to Merchant Navy Reserve.

    3. Safety of navigation, oil pollution etc.

      1. 30. Owner and master liable in respect of dangerously unsafe ship.

      2. 31. Owner liable for unsafe operation of ship.

      3. 32. Conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals.

      4. 33. Investigation of marine accidents.

      5. 34. Liability and compensation for oil pollution damage.

      6. 35. Regulation of transfers between ships in territorial waters.

      7. 36. Amendments of Coast Protection Act 1949 relating to safety of navigation.

      8. 37. Licensing of tidal works by harbour authorities.

    4. Protection of shipping interests

      1. 38. Amendments of Part III of Merchant Shipping Act 1974.

      2. 39. Power to prohibit provision of coastal shipping services which are not British-based.

      3. 40. Enforcement of s. 39.

    5. Financing and administration of lighthouse service

      1. 41. Joint discharge of functions by general lighthouse authorities.

      2. 42. Borrowing powers in connection with lighthouse expenditure.

      3. 43. Payment out of General Lighthouse Fund of certain expenses of Secretary of State.

    6. Inquiries

      1. 44. Power to summon witness to inquiry into fitness or conduct of officer or other seaman.

      2. 45. Procedure where inquiry into fitness or conduct of officer or other seaman is held by sheriff.

    7. Crew agreements

      1. 46. Payment of wages on termination of crew agreement.

    8. Miscellaneous

      1. 47. Application of Merchant Shipping Acts to ships chartered by demise to the Crown.

      2. 48. Miscellaneous am

  4. Part IV

    General

    1. 49. Application to hovercraft.

    2. 50. Application to unregistered ships.

    3. 51. Offences by officers of bodies corporate.

    4. 52. Disclosure of information to Secretary of State by other government departments.

    5. 53. Regulations.

    6. 54. Notices under Parts I and II.

    7. 55. Financial provisions.

    8. 56. Extension of Act to overseas territories.

    9. 57. Interpretation, minor and consequential amendments and repeals.

    10. 58. Citation, commencement, transitional provisions and extent.

    1. Schedule 1

      Amendments of Part I of Merchant Shipping Act 1894.

    2. Schedule 2

      Registration of Fishing Vessels: Supplementary Provisions.

    3. Schedule 3

      Mortgages of Registered Fishing Vessels.

    4. Schedule 4

      Amendments relating to Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage.

    5. Schedule 5

      Miscellaneous Amendments of Merchant Shipping Acts.

    6. Schedule 6

      Minor and Consequential Amendments.

    7. Schedule 7

      Repeals.

    8. Schedule 8

      Transitional Provisions and Savings.

An Act to amend the law relating to the registration of ships; to make provision for the giving of financial assistance in connection with the training of seamen and crew relief costs; to make provision for the establishment of a Merchant Navy Reserve; to make further provision with respect to the safety of shipping, with respect to liability and compensation for oil pollution and with respect to the financing and administration of the lighthouse service; to make other amendments of the law relating to shipping, seamen and pollution; and for connected purposes.

[3rd May 1988]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



Part I Registration of British Ships

Preliminary

1 Effect of Part I and interpretation

(1) In this Part--

(a) sections 2 and 3 have effect in place of section 1 of the [1894 c. 60.] Merchant Shipping Act 1894 (qualification for owning British ship); and

(b) sections 4 to 8 have effect in place of sections 2 and 3 of that Act (obligation to register British ships and exemptions from registry) and for otherwise regulating the registration of ships under Part I of that Act in the United Kingdom.

(2) In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires--

  • "length", in relation to a ship, has the same meaning as in the tonnage regulations of the 1894 Act;

  • "owner", in relation to a registered ship, means registered owner;

  • "registered" and "registration" mean respectively registered and registration under Part I of the 1894 Act in the United Kingdom;

  • "representative person" means a person appointed (or treated as appointed) as such under section 5.

(3) References in this Part to a ship being entitled to be registered shall be construed in accordance with section 4.

2 British ships

(1) A ship shall be a British ship for the purposes of the Merchant Shipping Acts if--

(a) the ship is registered in the United Kingdom under any of the following enactments, namely--

(i) Part I of the 1894 Act or section 5 of the [1983 c. 13.] Merchant Shipping Act 1983 (registration of small ships), or

(ii) Part II of this Act (registration of British fishing vessels); or

(b) the ship is registered in the United Kingdom in pursuance of an Order in Council under section 80 of the [1906 c. 48.] Merchant Shipping Act 1906 (Government ships); or

(c) the ship is a fishing vessel within the meaning of Part II of this Act which is eligible to be registered under that Part of this Act by virtue of section 14 below, but--

(i) is excluded from registration under that Part of this Act by regulations made under section 13 below, and

(ii) is not registered under the law of any country outside the United Kingdom; or

(d) the ship is registered under the law of a relevant overseas territory; or

(e) the ship is less than 24 metres in length and--

(i) is not a fishing vessel within the meaning of Part II of this Act, and

(ii) is not registered in the United Kingdom under an enactment falling within paragraph (a)(i) above or under the law of any country outside the United Kingdom, but

(iii) is wholly owned by one or more persons qualified to be owners of British ships by virtue of section 3(1) below.

(2) This section shall have effect in relation to any time before the end of the period referred to in section 13(3)(b) below as if the enactments falling within subsection (1)(a)(i) included Part IV of the 1894 Act (registration of British fishing boats).

3 Persons qualified to be owners of British ships

(1) For the purposes of Part I of the 1894 Act the following persons are persons qualified to be owners of British ships, namely--

(a) British citizens;

(b) British Dependent Territories citizens;

(c) British Overseas citizens;

(d) persons who under the [1981 c. 61.] British Nationality Act 1981 are British subjects;

(e) persons who under the [S.I. 1986/948.] Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986 are British Nationals (Overseas);

(f) bodies corporate incorporated in the United Kingdom or in any relevant overseas territory and having their principal place of business in the United Kingdom or in any such territory; and

(g) citizens of the Republic of Ireland.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, references (however phrased) in any statutory provision to persons who are, for the purposes of Part I of the 1894 Act, qualified to be owners of British ships shall be construed in accordance with subsection (1) above.

(3) For the purposes of section 5 of the [1983 c. 13.] Merchant Shipping Act 1983 the following persons are persons qualified to be owners of British ships, namely--

(a) persons falling within paragraphs (a) to (e) and (g) of subsection (1) above; and

(b) Commonwealth citizens not falling within those paragraphs.

(4) It is hereby declared that a person who is not qualified under subsection (1) above to be an owner of a British ship may nevertheless be one of the owners of such a ship if--

(a) a majority interest in the ship (within the meaning of section 4 below) is owned by persons who are qualified to be owners of British ships; and

(b) the ship is registered, in accordance with the provisions of that section, under Part I of the 1894 Act.



Registration under Part I of 1894 Act

4 Entitlement to registration under Part I of 1894 Act

(1) Subject to sections 6 and 7 below, this section has effect for the purpose of determining whether a ship is entitled to be registered under Part I of the 1894 Act in the United Kingdom.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a ship shall be entitled to be registered if a majority interest in the ship is owned by one or more persons qualified to be owners of British ships by virtue of section 3(1)(a), (b), (e) or (f) above.

(3) Where--

(a) a ship falling within subsection (2) is 24 metres or more in length, and

(b) the person, or (as the case may be) each of the persons, by whom the majority interest in the ship is owned is not resident in the United Kingdom,

the ship shall only be entitled to be registered if a representative person is appointed in relation to the ship.

(4) Where a majority interest in a ship is owned by one or more persons qualified to be owners of British ships by virtue of section 3(1)(c), (d) or (g) above, the ship shall be entitled to be registered--

(a) if that person, or (as the case may be) any of those persons, is resident in the United Kingdom, or

(b) (where that condition is not satisfied) if the Secretary of State furnishes him or them with a declaration that he consents to the ship being registered, and, in addition, a representative person is appointed in relation to the ship.

(5) Where a majority interest in a ship is owned by the following persons, namely--

(a) one or more persons qualified to be owners of British ships by virtue of section 3(1)(a), (b), (e) or (f), and

(b) one or more persons so qualified by virtue of section 3(1)(c), (d) or (g),

the ship shall be entitled to be registered--

(i) if any of those persons is resident in the United Kingdom, or

(ii) (where that condition is not satisfied) if a representative person is appointed in relation to the ship.

(6) A ship shall, in accordance with section 13(2)(a) below, not be entitled to be registered if it is a fishing vessel within the meaning of Part II.

(7) For the purposes of this section--

(a) one or more persons shall be treated as owning a majority interest in a ship if there is vested in that person or in those persons, taken together, the legal title to 33 or more of the 64 shares into which the property in the ship is divided, for the purposes of registration, in accordance with section 5 of the 1894 Act (there being left out of account for this purpose any share in which any beneficial interest is owned by a person who is not qualified to be an owner of a British ship); and

(b) a body corporate shall be treated as resident in the United Kingdom if it is incorporated in the United Kingdom and has its principal place of business there.

(8) Nothing in this section applies to a ship to which section 80 of the [1906 c. 48.] Merchant Shipping Act 1906 applies (Government ships).

5 Representative persons

(1) Where the entitlement of any ship to be registered is, by virtue of any provision of section 4, conditional on the appointment of a representative person in relation to the ship, the owner of the ship shall--

(a) before applying for the ship to be registered, appoint an individual or body corporate satisfying the prescribed requirements to be the representative person in relation to the ship, and

(b) secure that, so long as the ship remains registered, an individual or body corporate satisfying those requirements is so appointed.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) the prescribed requirements are--

(a) that the representative person is either--

(i) an individual resident in the United Kingdom, or

(ii) a body corporate incorporated in the United Kingdom and having its principal place of business there; and

(b) such other requirements as the Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe.

(3) Where subsection (1) applies to a ship, any person who is registered under section 59(2) of the 1894 Act (registration of ship's manager) in relation to the ship shall, if that person is such an individual or body corporate as is mentioned in subsection (2)(a)(i) or (ii) above, be treated for the purposes of this Part of this Act as the representative person for the time being appointed in relation to the ship.

(4) The owner of any ship in relation to which any representative person is for the time being appointed shall--

(a) on applying for the ship to be registered, notify the registrar to whom the application is made of the name and address of the representative person; and

(b) in the event of any change in the identity, or in the address, of the representative person so appointed, notify the registrar of the ship's port of registry of the name and address of the new representative person, or (as the case may be) of the new address, as soon as practicable after the change occurs;

and the registrar in question shall record any particulars notified to him in pursuance of this section in the register kept by him under Part I of the 1894 Act.

(5) Any document required or authorised, by virtue of any statutory provision, to be served for the purpose of the institution of, or otherwise in connection with, proceedings for an offence under the Merchant Shipping Acts, or under any instrument in force under those Acts, shall, where the person to be served is the owner of a registered ship, be treated as duly served on him if--

(a) delivered to any representative person for the time being appointed in relation to the ship, or

(b) sent to any such person by post at the address notified (or, as the case may be, last notified) to the registrar under subsection (4) in relation to that person, or

(c) left for any such person at that address.

(6) Any person who contravenes subsection (1)(b) or (4)(b) above shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the third level on the standard scale.

6 Refusal of registration

(1) If for any reason it appears to the Secretary of State that a ship in respect of which an application for registration has been made may not be entitled to be registered, he may by notice served on--

(a) the applicant, or

(b) any representative person for the time being appointed in relation to the ship,

require that person to furnish him with such information as he thinks necessary for the purpose of determining whether the ship is entitled to be registered.

(2) Where the Secretary of State has served a notice under subsection (1) with respect to any ship, then, unless he has become satisfied that the ship is entitled to be registered, he shall, as soon as practicable after the end of the period of 30 days beginning with the date of service of that notice, give to registrars of British ships generally a direction requiring them not to register the ship.

(3) Notwithstanding that any ship in respect of which an application for registration has been made is entitled to be registered, the Secretary of State may give to registrars of British ships generally a direction requiring them not to register the ship if he is satisfied that, having regard--

(a) to the condition of the ship so far as relevant to its safety or to any risk of pollution, or

(b) to the safety, health and welfare of persons employed or engaged in any capacity on board the ship,

it would be inappropriate for the ship to be registered.

7 Power of Secretary of State to direct removal from the register

(1) If for any reason it appears to the Secretary of State that a registered ship may no longer be entitled to be registered, he may by notice served on--

(a) the owner of the ship, or

(b) any representative person for the time being appointed in relation to the ship,

require that person to furnish him with such information as he thinks necessary for the purpose of determining whether the ship is entitled to be registered.

(2) Where the Secretary of State has served a notice under subsection (1) with respect to any ship, then, unless he has become satisfied that the ship is entitled to be registered, he shall, as soon as practicable after the end of the period of 30 days beginning with the date of service of that notice, serve a notice under subsection (4) on the owner or on any representative person for the time being appointed in relation to the ship.

(3) Where the Secretary of State is satisfied--

(a) that, having regard to the matters mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of section 6(3), it would be inappropriate for a registered ship to continue to be registered, or

(b) that any penalty imposed on the owner of a registered ship in respect of a contravention of the Merchant Shipping Acts, or of any instrument in force under those Acts, has remained unpaid for a period of more than three months (and no appeal against the penalty is pending), or

(c) that any summons for any such contravention has been duly served on the owner of a registered ship but the owner failed to appear at the time and place appointed for the trial of the information or complaint in question and a period of not less than three months has elapsed since that time,

the Secretary of State shall serve a notice under subsection (4) either on the owner or on any representative person for the time being appointed in relation to the ship.

(4) A notice under this subsection is a notice stating--

(a) that the Secretary of State is not satisfied that the ship in question is entitled to be registered or (as the case may be) that he is satisfied as mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (3); and

(b) that he intends, after the end of the period of 30 days beginning with the date of service of the notice, to direct that the ship in question should cease to be registered unless he is satisfied that it would be inappropriate to do so by any representations made to him by or on behalf of the owner within that period.

(5) As soon as practicable after the end of that period the Secretary of State shall accordingly direct the registrar of the ship's port of registry to terminate the ship's registration unless he is satisfied that it would be inappropriate to do so by any such representations.

(6) Where the registration of any ship has terminated by virtue of this section, the Secretary of State may subsequently, if he is satisfied that it would be appropriate to do so, direct the registrar of the ship's former port of registry to restore the ship's registration.

8 Offences relating to furnishing of information, and duty to comply with directions

(1) Any person who--

(a) in purported compliance with the requirements of a notice under section 6(1) or 7(1), or

(b) in connection with the making of any representations in pursuance of section 7(4)(b),

knowingly or recklessly furnishes information which is false in a material particular shall be guilty of an offence and liable--

(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

(2) It shall be the duty of any person to whom the Secretary of State gives a direction under this Part to give effect to that direction.

9 Duty of owner of registered ship to secure termination of any overseas registration

(1) Where a ship becomes registered at a time when it is already registered under the law of any country outside the United Kingdom, the owner of the ship shall take all reasonable steps to secure the termination of the ship's registration under the law of that country.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the third level on the standard scale.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a ship which becomes registered in pursuance of section 53B of the 1894 Act (transfer of registration under that Act from overseas territory).

10 Amendments of Part I of 1894 Act

(1) Part I of the 1894 Act shall have effect subject to the amendments specified in Schedule 1 to this Act, which include amendments--

(a) restricting the scope of operation of that Part of that Act to registration in the United Kingdom;

(b) restricting the grant of provisional certificates of registration under section 22 of that Act (ships becoming British-owned abroad); and

(c) enabling ships to be registered otherwise than in register books;

as well as amendments consequential on the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act.

(2) In Part I of the 1894 Act--

(a) references to registration or to registered ships or registered owners shall accordingly (unless the context otherwise requires) be construed as references to registration, or to ships or owners registered, under that Part of that Act in the United Kingdom;

(b) references to registrars of British ships shall accordingly be construed as references to registrars of British ships in the United Kingdom;

(c) references to a ship being entitled to be registered shall be construed in accordance with section 4 of this Act; and

(d) references to the ownership of a majority interest in a ship shall be construed in accordance with subsection (7)(a) of that section.



Registration in overseas territories

11 Regulation of registration in overseas territories by reference to categories of registries

(1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision for regulating the registration of ships under Part I of the 1894 Act in relevant overseas territories by reference to categories of registries established by the Order.

(2) Any such Order may--

(a) establish different categories of registries to which different restrictions on the registration of ships under Part I of the 1894 Act apply, being restrictions framed by reference to--

(i) ships' tonnages, or

(ii) types of ships, or

(iii) any other specified matter, or

(iv) any combination of matters falling within one or more of the preceding sub-paragraphs,

as well as a category of registries to which no such restriction applies;

(b) assign any relevant overseas territory to such one of the categories so established as appears to Her Majesty to be appropriate;

(c) provide that, where a relevant overseas territory has been assigned to a category to which any such restriction on registration as is mentioned in paragraph (a) applies, no ship covered by that restriction shall be registered under Part I of the 1894 Act in that territory;

(d) specify circumstances in which ships may be exempted from any provision made by virtue of paragraph (c).

(3) Any provision made by virtue of subsection (2)(c) shall be expressed to be without prejudice to the operation of any provision for the time being in force under the law of any such territory as is mentioned in subsection (2)(c) by virtue of which the registration of ships under Part I of the 1894 Act in that territory is, or may be, further restricted.

(4) An Order in Council under this section--

(a) may make such transitional, incidental or supplementary provision as appears to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient; and

(b) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.



Part II Registration of British Fishing Vessels

Preliminary

12 Interpretation of Part II, etc

(1) In this Part (unless the context otherwise requires)--

  • "fishing vessel" means a vessel for the time being used (or, in the context of an application for registration, intended to be used) for or in connection with fishing for sea fish, other than a vessel used (or intended to be used) for fishing otherwise than for profit;

  • "fishing vessel survey rules" has the meaning given by section 2 of the [1970 c. 27.] Fishing Vessels (Safety Provisions) Act 1970, and any reference to a survey under the fishing vessel survey rules is a reference to such a survey carried out in the United Kingdom;

  • "owner", in relation to a registered fishing vessel, means registered owner;

  • "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations under section 13;

  • "the register" means the register of British fishing vessels referred to in section 13(1)(a);

  • "registered" and "registration" mean respectively registered and registration in the register;

  • "sea fish" includes shellfish, salmon and migratory trout (as defined by section 44 of the [1981 c. 29.] Fisheries Act 1981);

  • "share", in relation to a fishing vessel, means one of the shares into which the property in the vessel is divided, for the purposes of registration, in accordance with section 18.

(2) It is hereby declared that a vessel for the time being used (or intended to be used) wholly for the purpose of conveying persons wishing to fish for pleasure is not a fishing vessel for the purposes of this Part.

(3) References in this Part to a fishing vessel being eligible to be registered as a British fishing vessel shall be construed in accordance with section 14.

(4) For the purposes of this Part the beneficial ownership of a fishing vessel shall be determined by reference to every beneficial interest in that vessel, however arising (whether held by a trustee or nominee or arising under a contract or otherwise), other than an interest held by any person as mortgagee.



New system of registration for fishing vessels

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13 Separate registration of fishing vessels

(1) The Secretary of State shall by regulations make provision--

(a) for the establishment and maintenance of a register of British fishing vessels; and

(b) for the registration in that register of fishing vessels which are, by virtue of section 14, eligible to be registered as British fishing vessels.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a fishing vessel shall no longer be capable of being registered under any of the following enactments, namely--

(a) Part I of the 1894 Act;

(b) section 373 of that Act (registry of British fishing boats); or

(c) the [1886 c. 53.] Sea Fishing Boats (Scotland) Act 1886.

(3) Where any fishing vessel is registered under any of those enactments immediately before the commencement of this Part, the registration of the vessel under that enactment shall (notwithstanding any repeals made by this Act) continue in force until--

(a) the vessel (being eligible to be registered as a British fishing vessel) is registered under this Part in accordance with regulations under this section, or

(b) the end of such period beginning with the commencement of this Part as may be prescribed,

whichever first occurs.

(4) Any fishing vessel whose registration under any of those enactments continues in force by virtue of subsection (3) shall be deemed to be a vessel registered under this Part for the purposes of sections 19, 20 and 22 below.

(5) Where a fishing vessel becomes registered under this Part at a time when it is already registered under the law of any country outside the United Kingdom, the owner of the vessel shall take all reasonable steps to secure the termination of the vessel's registration under the law of that country.

(6) Any person who contravenes subsection (5) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the third level on the standard scale.

(7) Schedule 2 shall have effect for the purpose of supplementing this section.

14 Eligibility for registration as British fishing vessel

(1) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), a fishing vessel shall only be eligible to be registered as a British fishing vessel if--

(a) the vessel is British-owned;

(b) the vessel is managed, and its operations are directed and controlled, from within the United Kingdom; and

(c) any charterer, manager or operator of the vessel is a qualified person or company.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) a fishing vessel is British-owned if--

(a) the legal title to the vessel is vested wholly in one or more qualified persons or companies; and

(b) the vessel is beneficially owned--

(i) as to not less than the relevant percentage of the property in the vessel, by one or more qualified persons, or

(ii) wholly by a qualified company or companies, or

(iii) by one or more qualified companies and, as to not less than the relevant percentage of the remainder of the property in the vessel, by one or more qualified persons.

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations specify further requirements which must be satisfied in order for a fishing vessel to be eligible to be registered as a British fishing vessel, being requirements imposed--

(a) in connection with the implementation of any of the requirements specified in subsection (1)(a) to (c), or

(b) in addition to the requirements so specified,

and appearing to the Secretary of State to be appropriate for securing that such a vessel has a genuine and substantial connection with the United Kingdom.

(4) Where, in the case of any fishing vessel, the Secretary of State is satisfied that--

(a) the vessel would be eligible to be registered as a British fishing vessel but for the fact that any particular individual, or (as the case may be) each of a number of particular individuals, is not a British citizen (and is accordingly not a qualified person), and

(b) it would be appropriate to dispense with the requirement of British citizenship in the case of that individual or those individuals, in view of the length of time he has or they have resided in the United Kingdom and been involved in the fishing industry of the United Kingdom,

the Secretary of State may determine that that requirement should be so dispensed with; and, if he does so, the vessel shall, so long as paragraph (a) above applies to it and any such determination remains in force, be treated for the purposes of this Part as eligible to be registered as a British fishing vessel.

(5) Where any share in a vessel is beneficially owned jointly by persons not all of whom are qualified persons or companies, then, for the purposes of this section, the whole of that share shall be treated as beneficially owned by persons who are not qualified persons or companies.

(6) For the purpose of determining whether a fishing vessel is eligible to be registered as a British fishing vessel, the Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit, appoint a person--

(a) to investigate the eligibility of the vessel to be so registered, and

(b) to make a report of his conclusions to the Secretary of State;

and any person so appointed shall, for the purpose of conducting the investigation, have the powers conferred on an inspector by the provisions of section 27 of the [1979 c. 39.] Merchant Shipping Act 1979 (other than paragraphs (d) to (h) of subsection (1) of that section).

(7) In this section--

  • "qualified company" means a company which satisfies the following conditions, namely--

(a) it is incorporated in the United Kingdom and has its principal place of business there;

(b) at least the relevant percentage of its shares (taken as a whole), and of each class of its shares, is legally and beneficially owned by one or more qualified persons or companies; and

(c) at least the relevant percentage of its directors are qualified persons;

  • "qualified person" means--

(a) a person who is a British citizen resident and domiciled in the United Kingdom, or

(b) a local authority in the United Kingdom; and

  • "the relevant percentage" means 75 per cent. or such greater percentage (which may be 100 per cent.) as may for the time being be prescribed.

15 Grant or refusal of applications for registration of fishing vessels

(1) If, on an application for the registration of a fishing vessel made in accordance with regulations under section 13, the Secretary of State is satisfied--

(a) that the vessel is eligible to be registered as a British fishing vessel, and

(b) that any relevant requirements of any such regulations have been complied with in relation to the vessel,

he shall (subject to subsection (2)) cause the vessel to be registered as a British fishing vessel.

(2) Notwithstanding that the Secretary of State is so satisfied, he may refuse any such application if he is satisfied that there is not in force in respect of the vessel any certificate required to be so in force by virtue of section 4 of the [1970 c. 27.] Fishing Vessels (Safety Provisions) Act 1970 (prohibition on going to sea without appropriate certificates).

(3) If, on any such application, the Secretary of State is not satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1), he shall refuse the application.

16 Termination of registration where vessel is not eligible for registration or is not certificated

(1) If for any reason it appears to the Secretary of State that a registered vessel may no longer be eligible to be registered as a British fishing vessel, he may by notice served on--

(a) the owner of the vessel, or

Pages: P.1 | P.2 | P.3 | P.4 | P.5 | P.6 | P.7 | P.8

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