Merchant Shipping Act 1983

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1983 c. 13


Merchant Shipping Act1983

1983 CHAPTER 13

An Act to make further provision in respect of the registration of small ships and the appointment of registrars at ports.

[11th April 1983]

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:—

Measurement for length

Measurement for length

S-1 Measurement of small ships for length instead of tonnage.

1 Measurement of small ships for length instead of tonnage.

(1) This section applies to any small ship of a class prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(2) Where a ship to which this section applies is to be registered under Part I of the 1894 Act in the United Kingdom, the ship may, instead of having her tonnage ascertained in accordance with the tonnage regulations of that Act, be measured for length in accordance with regulations under this section.

(3) If the ship is so measured, the requirements of that Act preliminary to registry shall have effect with the following modifications—

(a ) the certificate required by section 6 to be granted on survey must specify the ship's length instead of her tonnage;

(b ) so much of section 7(1)(b ) as requires the number denoting her registered tonnage to be cut in on her main beam does not apply; and

(c ) the builder's certificate produced under section 10(1)(a ) must contain a true account of the length of the ship, as estimated by him.

(4) In this Act, ‘registered ship measured for length’ means a ship registered under Part I of the 1894 Act in the United Kingdom the registered particulars of which do not include particulars relating to her tonnage.

(5) Regulations under this section may provide for the survey and measurement for length of ships to which this section applies to be undertaken, in such circumstances as may be specified in the regulations and notwithstanding sections 6 and 86 of that Act, by persons appointed by such organisations as may be authorised in that behalf by the Secretary of State.

(6) Regulations under this section may, in the case of ships measured for length in accordance with the regulations, provide—

(a ) for the marking of ships with their length; and

(b ) for the alteration of the particulars relating to their length;

and the references in section 7(5) of the 1894 Act (offence of neglecting to mark a ship as required by that section) to the requirements of that section as to the marking of ships include a reference to the requirements of regulations under this section for the marking of ships with their length.

(7) Where a ship to which this section applies is registered under Part I of the 1894 Act in the United Kingdom and is required to be remeasured by virtue of section 82 of that Act (alteration in tonnage of ship or error in computing it) then, instead of having her tonnage determined and registered, she may be measured for length in accordance with regulations under this section and, if she is so measured, her length shall be registered instead of her tonnage.

(8) Regulations under this section—

(a ) may provide for the payment of fees in connection with the measurement of ships for length or registered ships measured for length, being fees determined with the approval of the Treasury; and

(b ) may make different provision for different classes or descriptions of ships and for different circumstances.

S-2 Alteration of ships measured for length.

2 Alteration of ships measured for length.

(1) Where a registered ship measured for length ceases by alteration to be a ship to which section 1 of this Act applies (without becoming exempt from registry) subsections (2) to (5) below shall apply instead of section 48 of the 1894 Act (registry of alterations).

(2) The ship must be registered anew or her tonnage (ascertained in accordance with the tonnage regulations of the 1894 Act) must be registered.

(3) Where, on an application to the registrar of the appropriate port—

(a ) there is delivered to him a certificate granted by a surveyor of ships or a person appointed in pursuance of section 1(4) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1965 specifying the tonnage of the ship ascertained in accordance with the tonnage regulations of the 1894 Act, and

(b ) the registrar is satisfied that the number denoting her registered tonnage has been cut in on her main beam,

he shall either cause the details comprised in the certificate to be registered or direct that the ship be registered anew.

In this subsection, ‘appropriate port’ means—

(i) where the alteration is made at a port having a registrar, that port; and

(ii) in any other case, the first port having a registrar at which the ship arrives after the alteration.

(4) If subsection (2) above is not complied with in the case of any ship, the owner of the ship shall be guilty of an, offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding—

(a ) in England and Wales and Scotland, level 3 on the standard scale (which has the meaning given by section 75 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982 ); and

(b ) in Northern Ireland, 200;

and, in addition, to a fine nat exceeding 20 for any day during which the offence continues after conviction.

(5) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (4) above to prove that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence.

(6) Where a certificate under subsection (3)(a ) above is delivered to the registrar, sections 49 and 50 of the 1894 Act (registry or provisional certification of alterations) shall apply as if the references to alterations made in a ship included a reference to the details of the ship comprised in me certificate.

S-3 Transfer abroad of registry of ships measured for length.

3 Transfer abroad of registry of ships measured for length.

(1) In the case of a registered ship measured for length, the registry of the ship may not be transferred under section 53 of the 1894 Act from a port in the United Kingdom to a port at which her tonnage would require to be registered unless, on the application under subsection (1) of that section—

(a ) there is delivered to the registrar a certificate granted by a surveyor of ships or a person appointed in pursuance of section 1(4) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1965 specifying the tonnage of the ship ascertained in accordance with the tonnage regulations of the 1894 Act; and

(b ) the registrar is satisfied that the number denoting her registered tonnage has been cut in on her main beam.

(2) If the requirements of subsection (1)(a ) and (b of the 1894 Act, cause the details comprised in the certificate to be registered; and section 49 of that Act (regulations for registry of alterations) shall apply as if the references to alterations made in the ship were references to the details of the ship comprised in the certificate.

Exemption from registry

Exemption from registry

S-4 Exemption of certain small ships from registry.

4 Exemption of certain small ships from registry.

4. In section 3 of the 1894 Act (exemptions from registry), in paragraph (1) (exemption for ships not exceeding fifteen tons burden employed in coastal navigation) for the words ‘not exceeding fifteen tons burden’ there are substituted the words ‘less than 13.7 metres in length’; and at the end of that section there are inserted the following words—

‘For the purposes of this section, the length of a ship is her length determined in accordance with regulations under section 1 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1983.’

Small ships register

Small ships register

S-5 Separate register for small ships.

5 Separate register for small ships.

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the registration in the United Kingdom of small ships, being ships which—

(a ) are owned wholly by persons qualified to be owners of British ships;

(b ) are not fishing vessels; and

(c ) if registered under Part I of the 1894 Act, are so registered in the United Kingdom.

(2) A ship registered under this section is exempt from registry under Part I of the 1894 Act.

(3) Subject to the exceptions mentioned in subsection (4) below, references (however phrased) in any enactment to ships registered under Part I of the 1894 Act in the United Kingdom or to the registered owners of such ships include a reference to ships registered under this section or, as the case may be, to owners registered under this section of such ships; and connected phrases shall be interpreted accordingly.

(4) Those exceptions are—

(a ) references in Part I of the 1894 Act and in this Act; and

(b ) references in any enactment prescribed by regulations under this section.

(5) Where an application for the registration under this section of a ship registered under Part I of the 1894 Act is granted—

(a ) the registrar of the ship's port of registry may, if the requirements of regulations under this section as to the closure of registration under that Part are met, close the registration of the ship under that Part by entering the closure in the register book; and

(b ) the registration under this section shall not take effect unless the registration under that Part is...

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