Merchant Shipping (Registration, etc.) Act 1993

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1993 c. 22


Merchant Shipping(Registration, etc.) Act 1993

1993 CHAPTER 22

An Act to amend and restate the law relating to the registration of ships and related matters, to make provision in relation to ships on bareboat charter and to make amendments designed to facilitate, or otherwise desirable in connection with, the consolidation of the enactments relating to shipping and seamen.

[1st July 1993]

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:—

Registration of British ships

Registration of British ships

S-1 Central register of British ships.

1 Central register of British ships.

(1) There shall be established, for all registrations of ships in the United Kingdom under this Act, a register of British ships which shall be available for public inspection.

(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) On the appointed day for the opening of the new register established under subsection (1) above the following existing registers shall close, that is to say—

(a) the register of British ships maintained under Part I of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 ;

(b) the register of small British ships maintained under section 5 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1983 ; and

(c) the register of British fishing vessels maintained under section 13 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 ;

and all registrations in those registers in force on that day shall become registrations in the new register.

S-2 Registration of ships: basic provisions.

2 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, if registration regulations so provide, refuse to register a ship or terminate the registration of a ship if, having regard to any relevant requirements of the Merchant Shipping Acts 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 guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(8) In subsection (3) above ‘the relevant requirements of the Merchant Shipping Acts’ means the requirements of those Acts (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 Act 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.

S-3 Registration regulations.

3 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 number 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 Act 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) The power to make registration regulations shall be exercisable by statutory instrument...

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