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Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (c. 21)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (c. 21)

1995 CHAPTER 21

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Content
  1. Part I

    British ships

    1. 1. British ships and United Kingdom ships.

    2. 2. British flag.

    3. 3. Offences relating to British character of ship.

    4. 4. Penalty for carrying improper colours.

    5. 5. Duty to show British flag.

    6. 6. Duty to declare national character of ship.

    7. 7. Proceedings on forfeiture of a ship.

  2. Part II

    Registration

    1. General

      1. 8. Central register of British ships.

      2. 9. Registration of ships: basic provisions.

      3. 10. Registration regulations.

      4. 11. Tonnage ascertained for registration to be tonnage of ship.

      5. 12. Tonnage of ships of foreign countries adopting tonnage regulations.

      6. 13. Status of certificate of registration.

      7. 14. Offences relating to a ship's British connection.

      8. 15. Supplementary provisions as respects fishing vessels.

      9. 16. Private law provisions for registered ships and liability as owner.

    2. Ships on bareboat charter

      1. 17. Ships bareboat chartered-in by British charterers.

    3. Supplemental

      1. 18. Regulation of registration in British possessions by reference to categories of registries.

      2. 19. Tonnage regulations.

      3. 20. Proceedings on forfeiture of ship.

      4. 21. Disclosure of information relating to registration by other government departments.

      5. 22. Forgery of documents: Scotland.

      6. 23. Interpretation.

  3. Part III

    Masters and Seamen

    1. Application of Part

      1. 24. Application of this Part.

    2. Engagement and discharge of crews

      1. 25. Crew agreements.

      2. 26. Regulations relating to crew agreements.

      3. 27. Discharge of seamen.

      4. 28. Seamen left behind abroad otherwise than on discharge.

      5. 29. Discharge of seamen when ship ceases to be registered in United Kingdom.

    3. Wages etc.

      1. 30. Payment of seamen's wages.

      2. 31. Account of seaman's wages.

      3. 32. Regulations relating to wages and accounts.

      4. 33. Power of superintendent or proper officer to decide disputes about wages.

      5. 34. Restriction on assignment of and charge upon wages.

      6. 35. Power of court to award interest on wages due otherwise than under crew agreement.

      7. 36. Allotment notes.

      8. 37. Right of person named in allotment to sue in own name.

      9. 38. Right, or loss of right, to wages in certain circumstances.

      10. 39. Protection of certain rights and remedies.

      11. 40. Claims against seaman's wages for maintenance, etc. of dependants.

      12. 41. Remedies of master for remuneration, disbursements and liabilities.

    4. Safety, health and welfare

      1. 42. Obligation of shipowners as to seaworthiness.

      2. 43. Crew accommodation.

      3. 44. Complaints about provisions or water.

      4. 45. Expenses of medical and other treatment during voyage.

    5. Manning, qualifications, training and uniform

      1. 46. Application of sections 47 to 51.

      2. 47. Manning.

      3. 48. Power to exempt from manning requirements.

      4. 49. Prohibition of going to sea undermanned.

      5. 50. Production of certificates and other documents of qualification.

      6. 51. Crew's knowledge of English.

      7. 52. Unqualified persons going to sea as qualified officers or seamen.

      8. 53. Medica 61. Inquiry into fitness or conduct of officer.

      9. 62. Disqualification of holder of certificate other than officer's.

      10. 63. Inquiry into fitness or conduct of seaman other than officer.

      11. 64. Re-hearing of and appeal from inquiries.

      12. 65. Rules as to inquiries and appeals.

      13. 66. Failure to deliver cancelled or suspended certificate.

      14. 67. Power to restore certificate.

      15. 68. Power to summon witness to inquiry into fitness or conduct of officer or other seaman.

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

    6. Civil liability of seamen for offences

      1. 70. Civil liability for absence without leave.

      2. 71. Civil liability for smuggling.

      3. 72. Civil liability for fines imposed under immigration laws.

    7. Relief and repatriation and relief costs

      1. 73. Relief and return of seamen etc. left behind and shipwrecked.

      2. 74. Limit of employer's liability under section 73.

      3. 75. Recovery of expenses incurred for relief and return, etc.

      4. 76. Financial assistance in respect of crew relief costs.

    8. Documentation

      1. 77. Official log books.

      2. 78. Lists of crew.

      3. 79. British seamen's cards.

      4. 80. Discharge books.

      5. 81. Handing over of documents by master.

    9. Merchant Navy Reserve

      1. 82. Maintenance of Merchant Navy Reserve.

      2. 83. Supplementary provisions as respects the Reserve.

    10. Interpretation

      1. 84. Interpretation.

  4. Part IV

    Safety

    1. Safety and Health on Ships

      1. 85. Safety and health on ships.

      2. 86. Provisions supplementary to section 85: general.

      3. 87. Provisions supplementary to section 85: dangerous goods.

      4. 88. Safety of submersible and supporting apparatus.

    2. Special provisions

      1. 89. Load lines.

      2. 90. Charts and other information.

      3. 91. Report of dangers to navigation.

    3. Assistance at sea

      1. 92. Duty of ship to assist the other in case of collision.

      2. 93. Duty to assist ships, etc. in distress.

    4. Unsafe ships

      1. 94. Meaning of "dangerously unsafe ship".

      2. 95. Power to detain dangerously unsafe ship.

      3. 96. References of detention notices to arbitration.

      4. 97. Compensation in connection with invalid detention of ship.

      5. 98. Owner and master liable in respect of dangerously unsafe ship.

      6. 99. Use of unsafe lighters, etc.

      7. 100. Owner liable for unsafe operation of ship.

    5. Control of, and returns as to, persons on ships

      1. 101. Offences in connection with passenger ships.

      2. 102. Power to exclude drunken passengers from certain passenger ships.

      3. 103. Stowaways.

      4. 104. Unauthorised presence on board ship.

      5. 105. Master's power of arrest.

      6. 106. Unauthorised persons: offences relating to safety.

      7. 107. Return to be furnished by masters of ships as to passengers.

      8. 108. Returns of births and deaths in ships, etc.

  5. Part V

    Fishing Vessels

    1. Chapter I

      Skipper and Seamen

      1. Engagement and discharge of crews

        1. 109. Regulations relating to crew agreements.

      2. Wages

        1. 110. Payments of seamen's wages.

        2. 111. Regulations relating to wages: deductions.

        3. 112. Accounts of wages and catch.

        4. 113. Restriction on assignment of and charge upon wages.

        5. 114. Right, or loss of right, to wages in certain circumstances.

      3. Safety, health and welfare

        1. 115. Hours of work.

      4. Manning and qualifications

        1. 116. Production of crew certificates and other documents of qualification.

      5. Offences by seamen

        1. 117. Drunkenness on duty.

        2. 118. Unauthorised liquor.

        3. 119. Disciplinary offences.

      6. Exemptions

        1. 120. Power to grant exemptions from this Chapter.

    2. Chapter II

      Safety

      1. 121. Fishing vessel construction rules.

      2. 122. Fishing vessel survey rules.

      3. 123. Fishing vessel certificates.

      4. 124. Provisions supplementary to section 123.

      5. 125. Prohibition on going to sea without appropriate certificate.

      6. 126. Notice of alterations.

      7. Training

        1. 127. Training in safety matters.

  6. Part VI

    Prevention of Pollution

    1. Chapter I

      Pollution Generally

      1. 128. Prevention of pollution from ships etc.

      2. 129. Further provision for prevention of pollution from ships.

      3. 130. Regulation of transfers between ships in territorial waters.

    2. Chapter II

      Oil Pollution

      1. General provisions for preventing pollution

        1. 131. Discharge of oil from ships into certain United Kingdom waters.

        2. 132. Defences of owner or master charged with offence under section 131.

        3. 133. Defences of occupier charged with offence under section 131

        4. 134. Protection for acts done in exercise of certain powers of harbour authorities, etc.

        5. 135. Restrictions on transfer of oil at night.

        6. 136. Duty to report discharge of oil into waters of harbours.

      2. Shipping casualties

        1. 137. Shipping casualties.

        2. 138. Right to recover in respect of unreasonable loss or damage.

        3. 139. Offences in relation to section 137.

        4. 140. Service of directions under section 137.

        5. 141. Application of sections 137 to 140 to certain foreign and other ships.

      3. Enforcement

        1. 142. Oil records.

        2. 143. Prosecutions and enforcement of fines.

        3. 144. Power to detain ships for section 131 offences.

        4. 145. Interpretation of section 144.

        5. 146. Enforcement and application of fines.

        6. 147. Enforcement of Conventions relating to oil pollution.

      4. Miscellaneous and supplementary

        1. 148. Power of Secretary of State to grant exemptions.

        2. 149. Application to Government ships.

        3. 150. Annual Report.

        4. 151. Interpretation.

    3. Chapter III

      Liability for Oil Pollution

      1. Preliminary

        1. 152. Meaning of "the Liability Convention" and related expressions.

      2. Liability

        1. 153. Liability for oil pollution in case of tankers.

        2. 154. Liability for oil pollution in case of other ships.

        3. 155. Exceptions from liability under sections 153 and 154.

        4. 156. Restriction of liability for oil pollution.

      3. Limitation of liability

        1. 157. Limitation of liability under section 153.

        2. 158. Limitation actions.

        3. 159. Restriction on enforcement after establishment of limitation fund.

        4. 160. Concurrent liabilities of owners and others.

        5. 161. Establishment of limitation fund outside United Kingdom.

        6. 162. Extinguishment of claims.

      4. Compulsory insurance

        1. 163. Compulsory insurance against liability for pollution.

        2. 164. Issue of certificate by Secretary of State.

        3. 165. Rights of third parties against insurers.

      5. Supplementary

        1. 166. Jurisdiction of United Kingdom courts and registration of foreign judgments.

        2. 167. Government ships.

        3. 168. Limitation of liability under section 154.

        4. 169. Saving for recourse actions.

        5. 170. Interpretation.

        6. 171. Transitory text of this Chapter and power to make transitional provisions.

    4. Chapter IV

      International Oil Pollution

    5. Compensation Fund

      1. Preliminary

        1. 172. Meaning of the "Liability Convention", "the Fund Convention" and related expressions.

      2. Contributions to Fund

        1. 173. Contributions by importers of oil and others.

        2. 174. Power to obtain information.

      3. Compensation for persons suffering pollution damage

        1. 175. Liability of the Fund.

        2. 176. Limitation of Fund's liability under section 175.

      4. Supplemental

        1. 177. Jurisdiction and effect of judgments.

        2. 178. Extinguishment of claims.

        3. 179. Subrogation.

        4. 180. Supplementary provisions as to proceedings involving the Fund.

        5. 181. Interpretation.

        6. 182. Transitory text of this Chapter and power to make transitional provisions.

  7. Part VII

    Liability of Shipowners and Others

    1. Carriage of passengers and luggage by sea

      1. 183. Scheduled convention to have force of law.

      2. 184. Application of Schedule 6 to carriage within British Islands.

    2. Limitation of liability of shipowners, etc and salvors for maritime claims

      1. 185. Limitation of liability for maritime claims.

      2. 186. Exclusion of liability.

    3. Multiple fault; apportionment, liability and contribution

      1. 187. Damage or loss: apportionment of liability.

      2. 188. Loss of life or personal injuries: joint and several liability.

      3. 189. Loss of life or personal injuries: right of contribution.

    4. Time limit for proceedings against owners or ship

      1. 190. Time limit for proceedings against owners or ship.

    5. Limitation of liability of harbour, conservancy, dock and canal authorities

      1. 191. Limitation of liability.

    6. Application to Crown and its ships

      1. 192. Application to Crown and its ships.

  8. Part VIII

    Lighthouses

    1. Lighthouse authorities

      1. 193. General and local lighthouse authorities.

    2. Information to Secretary of State

      1. 194. Returns and information to Secretary of State.

    3. Functions of general lighthouse authorities

      1. 195. General function of management of lighthouses, etc.

      2. 196. Joint discharge of functions.

      3. 197. General powers of general lighthouse authority.

      4. 198. Inspection of local lighthouses.

      5. 199. Control of local lighthouse authorities.

    4. Inspections by Secretary of State

      1. 200. Powers of inspection by Secretary of State.

    5. Powers of harbour authorities as local lighthouse authorities

      1. 201. Powers of harbour authorities.

    6. Transfers between general and local lighthouse authorities

      1. 202. General transfer of local lighthouses from general lighthouse authorities to harbour authorities.

      2. 203. Individual transfers of local lighthouses to harbour authorities.

      3. 204. Surrender of local lighthouses.

    7. General light dues

      1. 205. Light dues leviable by general lighthouse authorities.

      2. 206. Information to determine light dues.

      3. 207. Recovery of general light dues.

      4. 208. Distress on ship for general light dues.

      5. 209. Receipt for general light dues and its production.

    8. Local light dues

      1. 210. Light dues leviable by local lighthouse authorities.

    9. Financial and administrative provisions

      1. 211. General Lighthouse Fund: expenses and receipts.

      2. 212. Establishments of general lighthouse authorities.

      3. 213. Estimates or accounts of expenses to Secretary of State.

      4. 214. Pension rights of certain employees.

      5. 215. Borrowing powers of general lighthouse authorities.

      6. 216. Limit on borrowings under section 215.

      7. 217. Guarantees by Secretary of State.

      8. 218. Accounts of general lighthouse authorities.

    10. Offences in connection with lighthouses, buoys, beacons, etc.

      1. 219. Damage etc. t

  9. Part IX

    Salvage and Wreck

    1. Chapter 1

      Salvage

      1. 224. Salvage Convention 1989 to have force of law.

      2. 225. Valuation of property by receiver.

      3. 226. Detention of property liable for salvage by receiver.

      4. 227. Sale of detained property by receiver.

      5. 228. Apportionment of salvage under £5,000 by the receiver.

      6. 229. Apportionment of salvage by the court.

      7. 230. Salvage claims against the Crown and Crown rights of salvage and regulation thereof.

    2. Chapter II

      Wreck

      1. Vessels in distress

        1. 231. Application of, and discharge of functions under, sections 232, 233, 234 and 235.

        2. 232. Duty of receiver where vessel in distress.

        3. 233. Powers of receiver in case of vessel in distress.

        4. 234. Power to pass over adjoining land.

        5. 235. Liability for damage in case of plundered vessel.

      2. Dealing with wreck

        1. 236. Duties of finder etc of wreck.

        2. 237. Provisions as respects cargo, etc.

        3. 238. Receiver to give notice of wreck.

        4. 239. Claims of owners to wreck.

        5. 240. Immediate sale of wreck in certain cases.

      3. Unclaimed wreck

        1. 241. Right of Crown to unclaimed wreck.

        2. 242. Notice of unclaimed wreck to be given to persons entitled.

        3. 243. Disposal of unclaimed wreck.

        4. 244. Effect of delivery of wreck etc under this Part.

      4. Offences in respect of wreck

        1. 245. Taking wreck to foreign port.

        2. 246. Interfering with wrecked vessel or wreck.

        3. 247. Powers of entry etc.

    3. Chapter III

      Supplemental

      1. Administration

        1. 248. Functions of Secretary of State as to wreck.

        2. 249. Expenses and fees of receivers.

      2. Coastguard services

        1. 250. Remuneration for services of coastguard.

      3. Release from customs and excise control

        1. 251. Release of goods from customs and excise control.

      4. Removal of wrecks

        1. 252. Powers of harbour and conservancy authorities in relation to wrecks.

        2. 253. Powers of lighthouse authorities in relation to wrecks.

        3. 254. Referral of questions as to powers between authorities.

      5. Interpretation

        1. 255. Interpretation.

  10. Part X

    Enforcement Officers and Powers

    1. Enforcement Officers

      1. 256. Appointment of inspectors and surveyors.

    2. Inspection etc powers

      1. 257. Powers to require production of ships documents.

      2. 258. Powers to inspect ships and their equipment, etc.

      3. 259. Powers of inspectors in relation to premises and ships.

      4. 260. Provisions supplementary to section 259.

    3. Improvement notices and prohibition notices

      1. 261. Improvement notices.

      2. 262. Prohibition notices.

      3. 263. Provisions supplementary to sections 261 and 262.

      4. 264. References of notices to arbitration.

      5. 265. Compensation in connection with invalid prohibition notices.

      6. 266. Offences.

  11. Part XI

    Accident Investigations and Inquiries

    1. Marine accident investigations

      1. 267. Investigation of marine accidents.

      2. 268. Formal investigation into marine accidents.

      3. 269. Re-hearing of and appeal from investigations.

      4. 270. Rules as to investigations and appeals.

    2. Inquiries into and reports on deaths and injuries

      1. 271. Inquiries into deaths of crew members and others.

      2. 272. Reports of and inquiries into injuries.

      3. 273. Transmission of particulars of certain deaths on ships.

  12. Part XII

    Legal Proceedings

    1. Prosecution of offences

      1. 274. Time limit for summary offences.

      2. 275. Time limit for summary orders.

      3. 276. Summary offences: Scotland.

      4. 277. Offences by officers of bodies corporate.

      5. 278. Offences by partners, etc. in Scotland.

    2. Jurisdiction

      1. 279. Jurisdiction in relation to offences.

      2. 280. Jurisdiction over ships lying off coasts.

      3. 281. Jurisdiction in case of offences on board ship.

      4. 282. Offences committed by British seamen.

    3. Return of offenders

      1. 283. Return of offenders.

    4. Detention of ship and distress on ship

      1. 284. Enforcing detention of ship.

      2. 285. Sums ordered to be paid leviable by distress on the ship.

    5. Special evidential provisions

      1. 286. Depositions of persons abroad admissible.

      2. 287. Admissibility in evidence and inspection of certain documents.

      3. 288. Admissibility of documents in evidence.

      4. 289. Inspection and admissibility in evidence of copies of certain documents.

      5. 290. Proof, etc of exemptions.

    6. Service of documents

      1. 291. Service of documents.

  13. Part XIII

    Supplemental

    1. Administration

      1. 292. General functions of Secretary of State.

      2. 293. Functions of Secretary of State in relation to marine pollution.

      3. 294. General power to dispense.

      4. 295. Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen.

      5. 296. Mercantile marine superintendents.

      6. 297. Wreck commissioners, etc.

      7. 298. Transmission of documents to Registrar General.

      8. 299. Returns, etc to Secretary of State.

      9. 300. Forms.

      10. 301. Advisory committees.

    2. Financial Provisions

      1. 302. Fees.

      2. 303. Expenses of Commissioners of Customs and Excise.

      3. 304. Expenses charged on money provided by Parliament.

      4. 305. Payments to be made into Consolidated Fund.

    3. Subordinate Legislation

      1. 306. Regulations, rules and orders, etc.

    4. Application of Act to certain descriptions of ships, etc.

      1. 307. Application of Act to non-United Kingdom ships.

      2. 308. Application of Act to government ships.

      3. 309. Application of Act to ships chartered by demise to the Crown.

      4. 310. Application of Act to hovercraft.

      5. 311. Application of Act to certain structures, etc.

    5. Special provisions for Scots law

      1. 312. Special provisions for Scots law.

    6. Final provisions

      1. 313. Definitions.

      2. 314. Repeals, consequential amendments and transitional provisions.

      3. 315. Extent and application.

      4. 316. Short title and commencement.

    1. Schedule 1

      Private Law Provisions for registered ships.

    2. Schedule 2

      Regulations Relating to Submersible and Supporting Apparatus.

    3. Schedule 3

      Load Lines.

    4. Schedule 4

      Prevention of Oil Pollution: Transitory Provisions.

    5. Schedule 5

      Overall Limit on Liability of Fund.

      1. Part I

        Permanent provision.

      2. Part II

        Transitory Provision.

    6. Schedule 6

      Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and Their Luggage by Sea.

      1. Part I

        Text of Convention.

      2. Part II

        Provisions having effect in connection with Convention.

    7. Schedule 7

      Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976.

      1. Part I

        Text of Convention.

      2. Part II

        Provisions having effect in connection with Convention.

    8. Schedule 8

      Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses.

    9. Schedule 9

      General Transfer of Local Lighthouses to Harbour Authorities.

    10. Schedule 10

      Local Light Dues: Objections.

    11. Schedule 11

      International Convention on Salvage 1989.

      1. Part I

        Text of Convention.

      2. Part II

        Provisions having effect in connection with Convention.

    12. Schedule 12

      Repeals.

    13. Schedule 13

      Consequential Amendments.

    14. Schedule 14

      Transitory, Saving and Transitional Provisions.

An Act to consolidate the Merchant Shipping Acts 1894 to 1994 and other enactments relating to merchant shipping.

[19th July 1995]

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 British ships

1 British ships and United Kingdom ships

(1) A ship is a British ship if--

(a) the ship is registered in the United Kingdom under Part II; or

(b) the ship is, as a Government ship, registered in the United Kingdom in pursuance of an Order in Council under section 308; or

(c) the ship is registered under the law of a relevant British possession; or

(d) the ship is a small ship other than a fishing vessel and--

(i) is not registered under Part II, but

(ii) is wholly owned by qualified owners, and

(iii) is not registered under the law of a country outside the United Kingdom.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(d) above--

  • "qualified owners" means persons of such description qualified to own British ships as is prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State for the purposes of that paragraph; and

  • "small ship" means a ship less than 24 metres in length ("length" having the same meaning as in the tonnage regulations).

(3) A ship is a "United Kingdom ship" for the purposes of this Act (except section 85 and 144(3)) if the ship is registered in the United Kingdom under Part II (and in Part V "United Kingdom fishing vessel" has a corresponding meaning).

2 British flag

(1) The flag which every British ship is entitled to fly is the red ensign (without any defacement or modification) and, subject to subsections (2) and (3) below, no other colours.

(2) Subsection (1) above does not apply to Government ships.

(3) The following are also proper national colours, that is to say--

(a) any colours allowed to be worn in pursuance of a warrant from Her Majesty or from the Secretary of State;

(b) in the case of British ships registered in a relevant British possession, any colours consisting of the red ensign defaced or modified whose adoption for ships registered in that possession is authorised or confirmed by Her Majesty by Order in Council.

(4) Any Order under subsection (3)(b) above shall be laid before Parliament after being made.

3 Offences relating to British character of ship

(1) If the master or owner of a ship which is not a British ship does anything, or permits anything to be done, for the purpose of causing the ship to appear to be a British ship then, except as provided by subsections (2) and (3) below, the ship shall be liable to forfeiture and the master, the owner and any charterer shall each be guilty of an offence.

(2) No liability arises under subsection (1) above where the assumption of British nationality has been made for the purpose of escaping capture by an enemy or by a foreign ship of war in the exercise of some belligerent right.

(3) Where the registration of any ship has terminated by virtue of any provision of registration regulations, any marks prescribed by registration regulations displayed on the ship within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of termination of that registration shall be disregarded for the purposes of subsection (1) above.

(4) If the master or owner of a British ship does anything, or permits anything to be done, for the purpose of concealing the nationality of the ship, the ship shall be liable to forfeiture and the master, the owner and any charterer of the ship shall each be guilty of an offence.

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (4) above, those subsections apply in particular to acts or deliberate omissions as respects--

(a) the flying of a national flag;

(b) the carrying or production of certificates of registration or other documents relating to the nationality of the ship; and

(c) the display of marks required by the law of any country.

(6) Any person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable--

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £50,000;

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine, or both.

(7) This section applies to things done outside, as well as to things done within, the United Kingdom.

4 Penalty for carrying improper colours

(1) If any of the following colours, namely--

(a) any distinctive national colours except--

(i) the red ensign,

(ii) the Union flag (commonly known as the Union Jack) with a white border, or

(iii) any colours authorised or confirmed under section 2(3)(b); or

(b) any colours usually worn by Her Majesty's ships or resembling those of Her Majesty, or

(c) the pendant usually carried by Her Majesty's ships or any pendant resembling that pendant,

are hoisted on board any British ship without warrant from Her Majesty or from the Secretary of State, the master of the ship, or the owner of the ship (if on board), and every other person hoisting them shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above shall be liable--

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

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

(3) If any colours are hoisted on board a ship in contravention of subsection (1) above, any of the following, namely--

(a) any commissioned naval or military officer,

(b) any officer of customs and excise, and

(c) any British consular officer,

may board the ship and seize and take away the colours.

(4) Any colours seized under subsection (3) above shall be forfeited to Her Majesty.

(5) In this section "colours" includes any pendant.

5 Duty to show British flag

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, a British ship, other than a fishing vessel, shall hoist the red ensign or other proper national colours--

(a) on a signal being made to the ship by one of Her Majesty's ships (including any ship under the command of a commissioned naval officer); and

(b) on entering or leaving any foreign port; and

(c) in the case of ships of 50 or more tons gross tonnage, on entering or leaving any British port.

(2) Subsection (1)(c) above does not apply to a small ship (as defined in section 1(2)) registered under Part II.

6 Duty to declare national character of ship

(1) An officer of customs and excise shall not grant a clearance or transire for any ship until the master of such ship has declared to that officer the name of the nation to which he claims that the ship belongs, and that officer shall thereupon enter that name on the clearance or transire.

(2) If a ship attempts to proceed to sea without such clearance or transire, the ship may be detained until the declaration is made.

7 Proceedings on forfeiture of a ship

(1) Where any ship has either wholly or as to any share in it become liable to forfeiture under this Part--

(a) any commissioned naval or military officer, or

(b) any person appointed by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section;

may seize and detain the ship and bring the ship for adjudication before the court.

(2) Where a ship is subject to adjudication under this section the court may--

(a) adjudge the ship and her equipment to be forfeited to Her Majesty; and

(b) make such order in the case as seems just.

(3) No officer or person bringing proceedings under this section shall be liable in damages in respect of the seizure or detention of the ship, notwithstanding that the ship has not been proceeded against or, if proceeded against, adjudicated not liable to forfeiture, if the court is satisfied that there were reasonable grounds for the seizure or detention.

(4) If the court is not so satisfied the court may award costs (or in Scotland expenses) and damages to the party aggrieved and make such other order as the court thinks just.

(5) In this section "the court" means the High Court or, in Scotland, the Court of Session.



Part II Registration

General

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8 Central register of British ships

(1) There shall continue to be a register of British ships for all registrations of ships in the United Kingdom.

(2) The register shall be maintained by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen as registrar.

(3) The Secretary of State may designate any person to discharge, on behalf of the registrar, all his functions or such of them as the Secretary of State may direct.

(4) The Secretary of State may give to the registrar directions of a general nature as to the discharge of any of his functions.

(5) The register shall be so constituted as to distinguish, in a separate part, registrations of fishing vessels and may be otherwise divided into parts so as to distinguish between classes or descriptions of ships.

(6) The register shall be maintained in accordance with registration regulations and the private law provisions for registered ships and any directions given by the Secretary of State under subsection (4) above.

(7) The register shall be available for public inspection.

9 Registration of ships: basic provisions

(1) A ship is entitled to be registered if--

(a) it is owned, to the prescribed extent, by persons qualified to own British ships; and

(b) such other conditions are satisfied as are prescribed under subsection (2)(b) below;

(and any application for registration is duly made).

(2) It shall be for registration regulations--

(a) to determine the persons who are qualified to be owners of British ships, or British ships of any class or description, and to prescribe the extent of the ownership required for compliance with subsection (1)(a) above;

(b) to prescribe other requirements designed to secure that, taken in conjunction with the requisite ownership, only ships having a British connection are registered.

(3) The registrar may, nevertheless, if registration regulations so provide, refuse to register or terminate the registration of a ship if, having regard to any relevant requirements of this Act, he considers it would be inappropriate for the ship to be or, as the case may be, to remain registered.

(4) The registrar may, if registration regulations so provide, register a fishing vessel notwithstanding that the requirement of subsection (1)(a) above is not satisfied in relation to a particular owner of a share in the vessel if the vessel otherwise has a British connection.

(5) Where a ship becomes registered at a time when it is already registered under the law of a country other than 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.

(6) Subsection (5) above does not apply to a ship which becomes registered on a transfer of registration to the register from a relevant British possession.

(7) Any person who contravenes subsection (5) above shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(8) In this section "the relevant requirements of this Act" means the requirements of this Act (including requirements falling to be complied with after registration) relating to--

(a) the condition of ships or their equipment so far as relevant to their safety or any risk of pollution; and

(b) the safety, health and welfare of persons employed or engaged in them.

(9) In this Part references to a ship's having a British connection are references to compliance with the conditions of entitlement imposed by subsection (1)(a) and (b) above and "declaration of British connection" is to be construed accordingly.

10 Registration regulations

(1) The Secretary of State shall by regulations (to be known as registration regulations) make provision for and in connection with the registration of ships as British ships.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, registration regulations may, in particular, make provision with respect to any of the following matters--

(a) the persons by whom and the manner in which applications in connection with registration are to be made;

(b) the information and evidence (including declarations of British connection) to be provided in connection with such applications and such supplementary information or evidence as may be required by any specified authority;

(c) the shares in the property in, and the numbers of owners (including joint owners) of, a ship permitted for the purposes of registration and the persons required or permitted to be registered in respect of a ship or to be so registered in specified circumstances;

(d) the issue of certificates (including provisional certificates) of registration, their production and surrender;

(e) restricting and regulating the names of ships registered or to be registered;

(f) the marking of ships registered or to be registered, including marks for identifying the port to which a ship is to be treated as belonging;

(g) the period for which registration is to remain effective without renewal;

(h) the production to the registrar of declarations of British connection or other information relating thereto, as respects registered ships, at specified intervals or at his request;

(i) the survey and inspection of ships registered or to be registered and the recording of their tonnage as ascertained (or re-ascertained) under the tonnage regulations;

(j) the refusal, suspension and termination of registration in specified circumstances;

(k) matters arising out of the expiration, suspension or termination of registration (including the removal of marks and the cancellation of certificates);

(l) the charging of fees in connection with registration or registered ships;

(m) the transfer of the registration of ships to and from the register from and to registers or corresponding records in countries other than the United Kingdom;

(n) inspection of the register;

(o) any other matter which is authorised or required by this Part to be prescribed in registration regulations;

but no provision determining, or providing for determining, the fees to be charged or prescribing any arrangements for their determination by other persons shall be made without the approval of the Treasury.

(3) Registration regulations may--

(a) make different provision for different classes or descriptions of ships and for different circumstances;

(b) without prejudice to paragraph (a) above, make provision for the granting of exemptions or dispensations by the Secretary of State from specified requirements of the regulations, subject to such conditions (if any) as he thinks fit to impose; and

(c) make such transitional, incidental or supplementary provision as appears to the Secretary of State to be necessary or expedient, including provision authorising investigations and conferring powers of inspection for verifying the British connection of a ship.

(4) Registration regulations--

(a) may make provision for the registration of any class or description of ships to be such as to exclude the application of the private law provisions for registered ships and, if they do, may regulate the transfer, transmission or mortgaging of ships of the class or description so excluded;

(b) may make provision for any matter which is authorised or required by those provisions to be prescribed by registration regulations; and

(c) shall make provision precluding notice of any trust being entered in the register or being receivable by the registrar except as respects specified classes or descriptions of ships or in specified circumstances.

(5) Registration regulations may create offences subject to the limitation that no offence shall be punishable with imprisonment or punishable on summary conviction with a fine exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(6) Registration regulations may provide for--

(a) the approval of forms by the Secretary of State; and

(b) the discharge of specified functions by specified authorities or persons.

(7) Registration regulations may provide for any of their provisions to extend to places outside the United Kingdom.

(8) Any document purporting to be a copy of any information contained in an entry in the register and to be certified as a true copy by the registrar shall be evidence (and, in Scotland, sufficient evidence) of the matters stated in the document.

(9) Registration regulations may provide that any reference in any other Act or in any instrument made under any other Act to the port of registry or the port to which a ship belongs shall be construed as a reference to the port identified by the marks required for the purpose by registration regulations.

11 Tonnage ascertained for registration to be tonnage of ship

When the tonnage of any ship has been ascertained and registered in accordance with the tonnage regulations that tonnage shall be treated as the tonnage of the ship except so far as registration regulations provide, in specified circumstances, for the ship to be re-measured and the register amended accordingly.

12 Tonnage of ships of foreign countries adopting tonnage regulations

(1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council make such provision in relation to the ships of a foreign country as is authorised by this section where it appears to Her that the tonnage regulations have been adopted by the foreign country and are in force there.

(2) An Order under this section may order that the ships of the foreign country shall, without being re-measured in the United Kingdom, be treated as being of the tonnage denoted by their certificates of registration or other national papers, to the same extent, and for the same purposes as the tonnage denoted in the certificate of registration of a United Kingdom ship is treated as being the tonnage of that ship.

(3) Where an Order under this section is in force in relation to the ships of any country any space shown in the ship's certificate of registration or other national papers as deducted from the tonnage shall, if a similar deduction in the case of a United Kingdom ship depends on compliance with any conditions or on the compliance being evidenced in any manner, be treated as complying with those conditions and as being so evidenced, unless a surveyor of ships certifies to the Secretary of State that the construction and equipment of the ship as respects that space do not come up to the standard which would be required if the ship were a United Kingdom ship.

(4) Any such Order may--

(a) operate for a limited time; and

(b) be subject to such conditions and qualifications (if any) as Her Majesty may consider expedient.

(5) If it appears to Her Majesty that the tonnage of any foreign ship, as measured by the rules of the country to which the ship belongs, materially differs from what it would be under the tonnage regulations, Her Majesty may by Order in Council order that, notwithstanding any Order in Council in force under this section, any of the ships of that country may, for all or any of the purposes of this Act, be re-measured in accordance with the tonnage regulations.

13 Status of certificate of registration

The certificate of registration of a British ship shall be used only for the lawful navigation of the ship, and shall not be subject to detention to secure any private right or claim.

14 Offences relating to a ship's British connection

(1) Any person who, in relation to any matter relevant to the British connection of a ship--

(a) makes to the registrar a statement which he knows to be false or recklessly makes a statement which is false; or

(b) furnishes to the registrar information which is false,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) If at any time there occurs, in relation to a registered ship, any change affecting the British connection of the ship the owner of the ship shall, as soon as practicable after the change occurs, notify the registrar of that change; and if he fails to do so he shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Any person who intentionally alters, suppresses, conceals or destroys a document which contains information relating to the British connection of a ship and which he has been required to produce to the registrar in pursuance of registration regulations shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable--

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

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine, or both.

(5) This section applies to things done outside, as well as to things done within, the United Kingdom.

15 Supplementary provisions as respects fishing vessels

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, if a fishing vessel which--

(a) is either--

(i) entitled to be registered, or

(ii) wholly owned by persons qualified to be owners of British ships, but

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