Merchant Shipping Act 1988

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1988 c. 12


Merchant Shipping Act 1988

1988 CHAPTER 12

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:—

I Registration of British Ships

PART I

Registration of British Ships

Preliminary

Preliminary

S-1 Effect of Part I and interpretation.

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 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.

S-2 British ships.

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 Merchant Shipping Act 1983(registrationof 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 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).

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

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 British Nationality Act 1981 are British subjects;

(e) persons who under the 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 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

Registration under Part I of 1894 Act

S-4 Entitlement to 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 Merchant Shipping Act 1906 applies (Government ships).

S-5 Representative persons.

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...

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