20 1966

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Number 20 of 1966.


MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT, 1966


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Interpretation.

2.

Application of Act of 1952 to the Convention.

3.

Cargo ship construction and survey rules.

4.

Cargo ship safety construction certificates and exemption certificates.

5.

Notice of alterations and additional surveys.

6.

Prohibition on proceeding to sea without appropriate certificates.

7.

Exemption of ships holding appropriate certificates.

8.

Penalty for non-compliance with rules and power to detain.

9.

Damage control plans and stability information for passenger steamers.

10.

Extension of power to make rules for life-saving appliances.

11.

Requirements for portable radio apparatus carried in survival craft.

12.

Radio installations.

13.

Renewal of radio certificates for small cargo ships.

14.

Issue of exemption certificates where Convention country issues corresponding qualified certificates.

15.

Information about ships' stability.

16.

Modification of section 46 of Act of 1952.

17.

Extension of duty to report dangers to navigation.

18.

Prohibition on proceeding to sea on international voyage without approved signalling lamp.

19.

Amendment of section 271 of Merchant Shipping Act, 1894.

20.

Transitional provisions and repeals.

21.

Short title, collective citation and commencement.


Acts Referred to

Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) Act, 1952

1952, No. 29

Merchant Shipping Act, 1894

1894, c. 60

Merchant Shipping (Distress and Urgency Signals and Danger Warning) Rules, 1936

S.R. & O., No. 298 of 1936

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Number 20 of 1966.


MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT, 1966


AN ACT TO ENABLE EFFECT TO BE GIVEN TO AN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE SAFETY OF LIFE AT SEA SIGNED IN LONDON ON THE 17th DAY OF JUNE, 1960, TO AMEND SECTION 271 OF THE MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT, 1894, AND FOR PURPOSES CONNECTED THEREWITH. [12th July, 1966.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Interpretation.

1. —(1) In this Act—

the Act of 1952” means the Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) Act, 1952 ;

cargo ship construction and survey rules” has the meaning specified in section 3 (1);

cargo ship safety construction certificate” has the meaning specified in section 4 (1);

the Convention” means the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea signed in London on behalf of the Government on the 17th day of June, 1960;

the Minister” means the Minister for Transport and Power;

the Principal Act” means the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894;

qualified cargo ship safety construction certificate” has the meaning specified in section 4 (2) “the Safety Convention” means the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea signed in London on behalf of the Government on the 10th day of June, 1948.

(2) In the Act of 1952 “the Merchant Shipping Acts” shall mean the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1962, and this Act; and this Act shall be construed as one with those Acts.

Application of Act of 1952 to the Convention.

2. —For the purpose of enabling effect to be given to the Convention (which replaces the Safety Convention), the Act of 1952 shall have effect as if—

(a) for references therein to the Safety Convention there were substituted references to the Convention; and

(b) references therein to that Act, except in sections 1 and 2, included references to this Act.

New requirements for cargo ships

Cargo ship construction and survey rules.

3. —(1) The Minister may make rules (in this Act referred to as cargo ship construction and survey rules) prescribing requirements for the hull, equipment and machinery of ships to which this section applies and requiring any such ships which are registered in the State to be surveyed to such extent, in such manner and at such intervals as may be prescribed by the rules.

(2) The said rules shall include such requirements as appear to the Minister to implement the provisions of the Convention relating to the hull, equipment and machinery of such ships, except so far as those provisions are implemented by any other rules or regulations made under the Merchant Shipping Acts.

(3) This section applies to—

(a) sea-going ships of not less than five hundred tons gross tonnage; and

(b) sea-going ships of not less than such lower tonnage and of such description as the Minister may by order specify;

other than passenger steamers, troopships, pleasure yachts, fishing vessels and ships not propelled by mechanical means; except that it applies to ships not registered in the State only while they are within a port in the State and are not exempted from the cargo ship construction and survey rules under the following provisions of this Act.

(4) The matters with regard to which fees may be prescribed by order under section 5 of the Act of 1952 shall include surveys required by the cargo ship construction and survey rules, and the provisions applied by section 27 (2) of that Act (which relate to the delivery of declarations of survey and appeals to the court of survey) shall apply to such surveys whether or not they are made for the purpose of the issue of any certificate.

(5) In relation to surveys required by the cargo ship construction and survey rules which are carried out otherwise than by a surveyor of ships appointed under the Merchant Shipping Acts—

(a) so much of section 6 of the Act of 1952 as requires fees to be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer shall not apply; and

(b) the provisions applied by section 27 (2) of the Act of 1952 shall apply with such modifications as may be prescribed by the cargo ship construction and survey rules; and

(c) the definition of “declaration of survey” in section 3 of the Act of 1952 shall not apply.

(6) An order under subsection (3) (b) of this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order.

Cargo ship safety construction certificates and exemption certificates.

4. —(1) If the Minister or such person as he may authorise for the purpose is satisfied, on receipt of declarations of survey in respect of a ship to which section 3 of this Act applies and which is registered in the State, that the ship complies with the cargo ship construction and survey rules applicable to the ship and such voyages as she is to be engaged on, he shall, on the application of the owner, issue in respect of the ship—

(a) if the ship is of not less than five hundred tons gross tonnage and is to be engaged on international voyages, a certificate in the form prescribed by the Convention;

(b) in any other case, a certificate showing that she complies with the said rules;

and any such certificate is in this Act referred to as a cargo ship safety construction certificate.

(2) If the Minister, on receipt of declarations of survey in respect of such a ship, is satisfied that the ship is exempt, by virtue of any exercise by him of a power conferred on him by section 45 of the Act of 1952 or the cargo ship construction and survey rules, from any of the requirements of those rules applicable to the ship and to such voyages as she is to be engaged on, and that she complies with the rest of those requirements, he shall, on the application of the owner, issue in respect of the ship—

(a) if she is of not less than five hundred tons gross tonnage and is to be engaged on international voyages—

(i) an exemption certificate stating which of the requirements of the Convention, being requirements implemented by the rules and applicable as aforesaid, the ship is exempt from and that the exemption is conditional on the ship's plying on the voyages and complying with the other conditions (if any) specified in the certificate; and

(ii) a certificate showing that the ship complies with the rest of those requirements;

(b) in any other case, a certificate showing that the ship complies with such of the requirements of the cargo ship construction and survey rules applicable to the ship and to the voyages she is to be engaged on as she is not exempt from;

and any certificate issued under paragraph (a) (ii) or paragraph (b) of this subsection is in this Act referred to as a qualified cargo ship safety construction certificate.

(3) A certificate issued under this section, other than an exemption certificate, shall remain in force for five years or such shorter period as may be specified in it, but without prejudice to the Minister's power to cancel it; and an exemption certificate issued under this section shall remain in force for the same period as the corresponding qualified certificate.

(4) The Minister may by order extend the period for which a certificate under this section may be issued to a period not exceeding six years.

(5) Without prejudice to the power of extension conferred by section 27 (5) of the Act of 1952, where a certificate under this section is in force in respect of a ship and the certificate was issued for a shorter period than is allowed under the foregoing provisions of this section, the Minister or any person authorised by him for the purpose may, if satisfied on receipt of declarations of survey in respect of the ship that it is proper to do so, grant an extension of the certificate for a period not exceeding one year, and not exceeding, together with the period for which it was issued and any period by which it has been previously extended under this subsection, the longest period for which it could have been issued under this section.

(6) In relation to a certificate issued or extended under this section by a person authorised by the Minister—

(a) the provisions applied by section 27 (8) of the Act of 1952 (which relate to the transmission, cancellation, surrender, posting-up and falsification of certificates issued by the Minister), except section 276 of the Principal Act (transmission of certificates), and

(b) section 5 of the Act of 1952 (fees);

shall apply as they apply in relation to certificates issued by the Minister, but so much of section 6 of the Act of 1952 as requires fees to be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer shall not apply.

(7) An order under subsection (4) of this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order.

Notice of alterations and additional surveys.

5. —(1) The duty of the owner or master of a ship under section 25 (2) of the Act of 1952 to notify alterations and renewals shall extend, in relation to any ship in respect of which a certificate under section 4 of this Act is in force, to the hull, machinery and any equipment other than that mentioned in that subsection, but may, if the certificate was issued by a person authorised under the said section 4, be discharged by notifying him instead of the Minister.

(2) Subsection (4) of the said section 25 (additional survey and cancellation of certificates) shall have effect, in relation to any such ship, as if—

(a) paragraph (a) thereof extended to any alteration or renewal which is notifiable by virtue of this section; and

(b) paragraph (b) and not paragraph (c) thereof were applicable, notwithstanding that the ship is not a passenger steamer;

and the power of the Minister under that subsection to cancel such a certificate shall be exercisable also where the ship has not been submitted for survey as required by the cargo ship construction and survey rules.

Prohibition on proceeding to sea without appropriate certificates.

6. —(1) No ship to which section 3 of this Act applies and which is registered in the State shall proceed to sea unless there is in force in respect of the ship either—

(a) a cargo ship safety construction certificate; or

(b) a qualified cargo ship safety construction certificate and, if the ship is about to proceed on an international voyage, a corresponding exemption certificate; or

(c) such certificate or certificates as would be required if she were a passenger steamer,

applicable to the ship and to the voyage on which she is about to proceed.

(2) If any ship proceeds, or attempts to proceed, to sea in contravention of this section, the owner or master of the ship shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof, to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.

(3) The master of every ship to which section 3 of this Act applies and which is registered in the State shall produce to the officer of customs from whom a clearance for the ship is demanded the certificate or certificates required by the foregoing provisions of this section; and the clearance shall not be granted, and the ship may be detained, until the said certificate or certificates are so produced.

Exemption of ships holding appropriate certificates.

7. —Where there is produced in respect of a ship not registered in the State—

(a) an accepted Safety Convention certificate equivalent to a cargo ship safety construction certificate; or

(b) accepted Safety Convention certificates equivalent respectively to a qualified cargo ship safety construction certificate and to a corresponding exemption certificate;

the ship shall be exempt from the cargo ship construction and survey rules.

Penalty for non-compliance with rules and power to detain.

8. —(1) If the cargo ship construction and survey rules are contravened in any respect in relation to a ship, the owner or master of the ship shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds, or on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.

(2) A surveyor of ships may inspect any ship for the purpose of seeing that she complies with the provisions of the cargo ship construction and survey rules (other than those relating to survey) and for that purpose shall have all the powers of an inspector of the Department of Transport and Power; and if he finds that the ship fails to comply with those provisions, he shall give to the owner or master notice in writing stating in what respect she fails to comply with them and what in his opinion is requisite to remedy the failure.

(3) Every notice under subsection (2) of this section shall be communicated in manner directed by the Minister to the chief officer of customs of any port at which the ship may seek to obtain a clearance or transire; and the ship shall be detained until a certificate under the hand of a surveyor of ships is produced to the effect that the failure has been remedied.

Damage control and life-saving appliances

Damage control plans and stability information for passenger steamers.

9. —Construction rules (that is to say, rules made under section 10 of the Act of 1952 relating to the hull, equipment and machinery of passenger steamers registered in the State) may require the provision in such ships—

(a) of plans exhibited as provided by or under the rules, and of other information, relating to the boundaries of watertight compartments, the openings therein, the means of closing such openings and the arrangements for correcting any list due to flooding; and

(b) of information necessary for the guidance of the master in maintaining sufficient stability to enable the ship to withstand damage.

Extension of power to make rules for life-saving appliances.

10. —Subsection (1) of section 427 of the Principal Act (which empowers the Minister for Transport and Power to make rules for life-saving appliances) shall be amended as follows:—

(a) in paragraph (e) (buoyant apparatus required to be carried on board ships carrying passengers) the words “carrying passengers” shall be omitted;

(b) after paragraph (m) there shall be inserted the following paragraph:—

“(mm) the provision in ships of plans or other information relating to the means of preventing, detecting, controlling and extinguishing outbreaks of fire”;

(c) in paragraph (q) (examination of appliances and equipment required by the rules to be carried) after the word “examination” there shall be inserted the words “and maintenance”.

Radio installations and certificates

Requirements for portable radio apparatus carried in survival craft.

11. —(1) Radio rules may prescribe requirements for such portable radio apparatus as boats or life rafts may be required to carry by the rules for life-saving appliances.

(2) Subsections (7) and (8) of section 15 of the Act of 1952 (which relate to the inspection and detention of ships to ensure conformity with the radio rules) shall apply in relation to the portable radio apparatus so required to be carried by the boats or life rafts on any ship as they apply in relation to the radio installation of the ship.

Radio installations.

12. —For subsection (4) of section 15 of the Act of 1952 (which specifies the radio installations to be required under the radio rules) there shall be substituted the following subsection:—

“(4) The radio installation required under the said rules to be provided—

(a) for a passenger steamer of whatever tonnage, or for any ship of sixteen hundred tons gross tonnage or upwards which is neither a passenger steamer nor a fishing vessel, shall be a radiotelegraph installation; and

(b) for any other ship shall be either a radiotelephone installation or a radiotelegraph installation, at the option of the owner.”

Renewal of radio certificates for small cargo ships.

13. —Where a radio certificate or qualified radio certificate is in force in respect of a ship of less than five hundred tons gross tonnage, other than a passenger steamer, and the ship is surveyed by a radio surveyor at a time not earlier than two months before the end of the period for which the certificate is in force, then, if on receipt of the declaration of survey a new certificate is issued before the end of that period,—

(a) the current certificate may be cancelled; and

(b) the new certificate may, notwithstanding anything in section 27 (3) of the Act of 1952, be issued for a period ending not later than twelve months after the end of the first-mentioned period.

Miscellaneous

Issue of exemption certificates where Convention country issues corresponding qualified certificates.

14. —Where the Minister, under section 27 (9) of the Act of 1952, requests the government of a country to which the Convention applies to issue in respect of a ship such certificates as he is authorised to issue under section 20 (3), section 22 (2) or section 23 (2) of that Act or under paragraph (a) of section 4 (2) of this Act, and that government is willing to issue, in pursuance of that request, a qualified certificate thereunder but is not willing to issue the corresponding exemption certificate, the Minister may issue that exemption certificate in respect of the ship.

Information about ships' stability.

15. —(1) The following provisions of this section shall have effect with respect to the information about a ship's stability which is required to be supplied under section 32 of the Act of 1952.

(2) Except as provided by the following subsection, the information shall, when first supplied, be based on the determination of the ship's stability by means of an inclining test and shall be replaced by fresh information whenever its accuracy is materially affected by alterations made to the ship; and in any such case the Minister may require a fresh inclining test.

(3) The Minister may—

(a) in the case of any ship, allow the information to be based on the determination, by means of an inclining test, of the stability of a sister ship;

(b) in the case of a ship specially designed for the carriage of liquids or ore in bulk, or of any class of such ships, dispense with an inclining test if satisfied from the information available in respect of similar ships that the ship's proportions and arrangements are such as to ensure more than sufficient stability in all probable loading conditions.

Modification of section 46 of Act of 1952.

16. —Subsection (1) of section 46 of the Act of 1952 (which exempts certain ships from certain provisions) shall not prevent the application—

(a) to any ship of three hundred tons gross tonnage or upwards, of so much of the provisions mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) of that subsection as relates to certificates issued under section 23 of that Act or equivalent accepted Safety Convention certificates;

(b) to any ship to which section 3 of this Act applies and which is registered in the State, of so much of the provisions mentioned in paragraph (a) of that subsection as relates to certificates issued under section 4 of this Act;

by reason only that she is of less than five hundred tons gross tonnage.

Extension of duty to report dangers to navigation.

17. —The matters of which information is to be sent by the master of a ship in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Distress and Urgency Signals and Danger Warning) Rules, 1936, and section 35 of the Act of 1952 shall include—

(a) air temperatures below freezing point associated with gale force winds causing severe ice accretion on the superstructure of ships; and

(b) winds of force 10 or above on the Beaufort Scale for which no storm warning has been received.

Prohibition on proceeding to sea on international voyage without approved signalling lamp.

18. —(1) No ship of over one hundred and fifty tons gross tonnage which is registered in the State shall proceed to sea on an international voyage unless the ship is provided with a signalling lamp of a type approved of by the Minister.

(2) If any ship proceeds, or attempts to proceed, to sea in contravention of this section, the owner or master of the ship shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds.

Ships carrying passengers

Amendment of section 271 of Merchant Shipping Act, 1894.

19. —(1) For subsection (1) of section 271 of the Principal Act (which prohibits passenger steamers carrying more than twelve passengers from sailing without a certificate of survey) there shall be substituted the following subsection:—

“(1) Every passenger steamer which carries more than twelve passengers shall be surveyed once at least in each year in the manner provided in this Part of this Act; and no ship (other than a steam ferry boat working in chains) shall proceed to sea or on any voyage or excursion with more than twelve passengers on board, unless there is in force in respect of the ship a certificate as to survey under this Part of this Act, applicable to the voyage or excursion on which the ship is about to proceed, or that voyage or excursion is one in respect of which the Minister for Transport and Power has exempted the ship from the requirements of this subsection.”

and at the end of subsection (2) of that section (which enables a passenger ship to be detained until such a certificate is produced) there shall be inserted the words “unless the voyage or excursion on which she is about to proceed is one in respect of which she has been exempted as aforesaid”.

(2) References in the Merchant Shipping Acts to a passenger steamer shall be construed as including any ship while on or about to proceed on a voyage or excursion in any case where a passenger steamer's certificate is required to be in force in respect of her.

Supplementary

Transitional provisions and repeals.

20. —(1) Nothing in section 6 of this Act or section 31 (1) of the Act of 1952 shall prohibit a ship from proceeding to sea without such a certificate as is required, or is equivalent to one required, under the said section 6, until the expiry of two years from the commencement of this Act.

(2) Nothing in section 16 (a) of this Act or section 26 (1) (b) (ii) or section 31 (1) of the Act of 1952 shall prohibit a ship of less than five hundred tons gross tonnage from proceeding to sea without such a certificate as is required, or is equivalent to one required, under the said section 26 (1) (b) (ii) until the expiry of one year from the commencement of this Act.

(3) The Minister may by regulations provide that for such purposes, for such a period and subject to such conditions as may be specified by or under the regulations—

(a) any country to which the Safety Convention applies shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as if it were a country to which the Convention applies; and

(b) any certificate which immediately before the commencement of this Act was an accepted Safety Convention certificate within the meaning of the Act of 1952 as originally enacted may be treated as if it were an accepted Safety Convention certificate within the meaning of that Act as amended by this Act.

(4) The following provisions of the Act of 1952 are hereby repealed, that is to say—

(a) in section 3 (1) the definition of “the Merchant Shipping Acts”;

(b) in section 28 (1) the words “the preceding provisions of”;

(c) in section 32 (2) the words from “and shall be based” to the end of the subsection;

(d) in the Second Schedule, paragraphs 2 to 4.

Short title, collective citation and commencement.

21. —(1) This Act may be cited as the Merchant Shipping Act, 1966, and the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1962, and this Act may be cited together as the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1966.

(2) This Act shall come into force on such day as the Government appoints by order.