The bangladesh merchant shipping ordinance, 1983




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THE BANGLADESH MERCHANT SHIPPING ORDINANCE, 1983
(ORDINANCE NO. XXVI OF 1983).

[[30th June, 1983]

An Ordinance to consolidate and amend the law relating to merchant shipping and to provide for matters connected therewith.

WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to merchant shipping and to provide for matters connected therewith;

NOW, THEREFORE, in pursuance of the Proclamation of the 24th March, 1982, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the Chief Martial Law Administrator is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:-

PART I
INTRODUCTORY


CHAPTER 1
PRELIMINARY

Short title, commencement, extent and application

1. (1) This Ordinance may be called the Bangladesh Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 1983.
(2) This Chapter and Chapter 45 shall come into force at once and the other provisions shall come into force on such date as the Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions.
(3) This Ordinance extends to the whole of Bangladesh.
(4) This Ordinance applies to-
(a) all Bangladesh ships wherever they may be, except inland ships as defined in the Inland Shipping Ordinance, 1976 (LXXII of 1976);
(b) all ships deemed to be registered under this Ordinance wherever they may be;
(c) all ships, not being Bangladesh ships, licensed under this Ordinance in coasting trade, while engaged in such trade; and
(d) all other ships while in a port or place in, or within the territorial waters of Bangladesh, but does not apply to-
(i) any ship of, or commissioned for service in, the Bangladesh Navy or, while employed otherwise than for profit in the service of Government, or
(ii) any ship belonging to any foreign Prince or State, while employed otherwise than for profit in the service of such Prince or State.

Definitions

2. In this Ordinance, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-
(1) “apprentice” means a boy appointed for training to the sea service, whether called an apprentice or a cadet, or by any other name;
(2) “Bangladesh Consular Officer” means a consul general, consul, vice-consul, pro consul or consular agent appointed by the Government as such and includes-
(a) any person authorised by the Government to perform the functions of any of them; and
(b) a Seamen's Welfare Officer performing the functions of a Bangladesh Consular Officer under Part IV;
1[ (3) “Bangladesh ship” means a ship belonging to a statutory corporation or a ship acquired and owned by a foreign national or company and leased out to the Government or a citizen of Bangladeshi or a Bangladesh company under such an agreement that the ownership of the ship shall be transferred after a specified period of time to the Government or such citizen or company in accordance with the terms of the agreement or a ship owned wholly by persons each of whom is-

(a) a citizen of Bangladesh, or


(b) a company which fulfils the following conditions, namely:-
(i) the principal place of business of the company is in Bangladesh,
(ii) shares representing more than fifty per cent of the share capital of the company or shares carrying more than fifty per cent of the total voting power of the company are held by citizen of Bangladesh,
(iii) the majority of the directors of the company are citizens of Bangladesh,
(iv) either the Chairman or the Managing Director of the Board of Directors of the company is a citizen of Bangladesh.]
(4) “coasting ship” means a ship not exceeding one thousand five hundred tons gross which is exclusively employed in trading coastwise within ports or places in Bangladesh or between ports or places in Bangladesh and India not beyond Calcutta, or Burma not beyond Akyab, or between Akyab and Calcutta;
(5) “coasting trade” means the carriage by sea of passengers or goods between ports or places in Bangladesh or from any such port or place to a port or place in India not beyond Calcutta or to a port or place in Burma not beyond Akyab or between Akyab and Calcutta;
(6) “coasts” includes the coasts of creeks and tidal waters;
(7) “Collector of Customs” means a Collector of Customs appointed under the Customs Act, 1969 (IV of 1969), and includes any officer of customs authorised by him to perform any of his functions under this Ordinance;
(8) “Collision Regulations” means the regulations made under section 368;
(9) “company” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Companies Act, 1913 (VII of 1913), and includes-

(a) a body corporate constituted or established by or under any law for the time being in force; and


(b) any partnership or association of persons, whether incorporated or not;
(10) “country to which the Load Line Convention applies” means-
(a) a country the Government of which has been declared or is deemed to have been declared under section 295 to have accepted the Load Line Convention and has not been likewise declared to have denounced that Convention; or
(b) a territory to which the Load Line Convention has been declared as aforesaid to extend, not being a territory to which that Convention has been declared likewise to have ceased to extend;
(11) “country to which the Safety Convention applies” means-
(a) a country the Government of which has been declared under section 295 to have accepted the Safety Convention and has not been likewise declared to have denounced that Convention; or
(b) a territory to which the Safety Convention has been declared as aforesaid to extend, not being a territory to which that Convention has been declared likewise to have ceased to extend;
(12) “crew” includes seamen and apprentices;
2[ (12a) “desertion” means intentional or wilful forsaking and abandonment of ship by a seaman and particularly includes-
(i) failure to report to a ship by a seaman at the time of sailing from a port other than a port in his own country within the time he is required to do so by the master of the ship to which he is engaged;
(ii) failure to join a ship by a seaman at the time of sailing from a port in a foreign country before departure of the ship from that country where the seaman arrived by air or other means of transport for the purpose of joining that ship;
(iii) failure to depart a foreign country by a seaman within the time he is required to do so by the appropriate authority of that country, after signing off from the ship to which he had been engaged, for the purpose of returning home or proceeding elsewhere as directed by his employer:
Provided that when for any reason beyond his control, a seaman is subject to the circumstances as mentioned in paragraph (i), (ii) or (iii) above, will not be considered to have deserted, if he reports to the appropriate authority of the country or to local agent of the ship he had been engaged within 3 (three) days of his stipulated reporting time and voluntarily returns to his own country and reports to the shipping authority or joins the vessel as he is required by his employer.]
(13) “distressed seaman” means a seaman engaged under this Ordinance who, by reason of having been discharged or left behind from, or ship wrecked from any ship at any port or place outside Bangladesh, is in distress there;
(14) “effects” includes cloths and documents;
(15) “equipment”, in relation to a ship, includes boats, tackle, pumps, apparel, furniture, life saving appliances of every description, spares, masts, spars, rigging and sails, fog signals, lights, shapes and signals of distress, medicines and medical and surgical stores and appliances, charts, radio installations, appliances for preventing, detecting or extinguishing fires, buckets, compasses, axes, lanterns, loading and discharging gears, and appliances of all kinds, and all other stores or articles belonging to or to be used in connection with or necessary for the navigation and safety of the ship;
(16) “fishing vessel” means a vessel, of whatever size and by whatever means propelled, which is exclusively engaged in sea fishing for profit;
(17) “foreign going ship” means a ship employed in trading between any port or place in Bangladesh and any other port or place outside Bangladesh, but does not include a coasting ship or a home trade ship;
(18) “freeboard” means, in relation to a decked vessel, the distance above the waterline measured vertically at the side of the vessel amid ships from the position of the upper edge of the uppermost continuous deck;
(19) “gross”, in relation to tonnage of a vessel, means the gross tonnage of the vessel as registered under this Ordinance:
Provided that where a vessel has been assigned alternative tonnages, “gross tonnage” shall mean the higher tonnage;
(20) “home trade ship” means a ship not exceeding three thousand tons gross which is employed in trading between ports or places in Bangladesh and India not beyond Vishakkhapatnam or between ports and places in Bangladesh and Burma not beyond Moulmein;
(21) “International Load Line Certificate” means a certificate purporting to have been issued in accordance with the Load Line Convention in respect of a ship, and is for the time being in force;
(22) “Load Line Convention” means the International Convention respecting Load Lines, signed in London on the fifth day of April, 1966, and any Annex thereto as amended from time to time;
(23) “Marine Board” means a Board convened under section 428;
(24) “master”, in relation to a ship, includes any person having command or charge of the ship but does not include a pilot or harbour master;
(25) “net”, in relation to tonnage of a vessel, means the net tonnage of the vessel as registered under this Ordinance:
Provided that, where a vessel has been assigned alternative net tonnages, “net tonnage” shall mean the higher of those tonnages;
(26) “owner” means,-
(a) in relation to a registered ship, the person who is for the time being shown as owner in the Register Book maintained under this Ordinance;
(b) in relation to any other ship, the person to whom the ship or a share in the ship belongs; and
(c) in relation to a sailing vessel or a fishing vessel, the person to whom the vessel belongs;
(27) “passenger” means any person carried on board a ship except-
(a) a person employed or engaged in any capacity on board the ship on the business of the ship; or
(b) a person on board the ship either in pursuance of the obligation laid upon the master to carry ship wrecked, distressed or other persons, or by reason of any circumstances which neither the master nor the charterer, if any, could have prevented or forestalled; or
(c) a child under one year of age;
(28) “passenger ship” means a ship carrying more than twelve passengers;
(29) “pilgrim” means a person, not being a member of the crew or a child under one year of age, going to or returning from the Hedjaz for or after performing Hajj, and includes any such person who is returning without having actually landed at the Hedjaz;

(30) “pilgrim ship” means a ship conveying or about to convey pilgrims from or to any port or place in Bangladesh to or from any port or place in the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf;


(31) “port of registry”, in relation to a ship or a sailing vessel or a fishing vessel, means the port at which she is registered or is to be registered;
(32) “power driven”, used in relation to a ship, means a ship propelled by electricity or other mechanical power;
(33) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Ordinance;
(34) “Principal Officer” means the person appointed as such under this Ordinance;
(35) “proper return port”, in relation to a master, seaman, or apprentice discharged or left behind, means the port at which the master, seaman or apprentice was engaged or the port agreed to as such by the master, seaman or apprentice, as the case may be;
(36) “Radio Inspector” means a person appointed as such under section 7;
(37) “radio installation” means radio telegraph or radio telephone equipment, direction finders, or other radio equipment required to be installed in ships in compliance with the requirements of Part VI or the rules made under section 308;
(38) “radio service” means hours of watch, transmission of messages, observance of silence periods, maintenance of radio log and everything necessary to be done for the proper operation of the radio installation, and includes any operator or watcher required to be carried on board in accordance with the rules made under section 308;
(39) “Registrar” means the person referred to as a Registrar of Bangladesh Ships in section 17, and includes a Deputy Registrar or an Assistant Registrar appointed as such under that section;
(40) “Safety Convention” means the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, signed in London on the first day of November, 1974;
(41) “Safety Convention Certificates” means all or any of the certificates issued under Part VI, namely, the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate, the Qualified Passenger Ship Safety Certificate, the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate, the Qualified Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate, the Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate, the Cargo Ship Safety Radio telegraphy Certificate, the Qualified Cargo Ship Safety Radio telegraphy Certificate, the Cargo Ship Safety Radio telephony Certificate, or the Exemption Certificate;
(42) “sailing vessel” means any description of vessel-
(a) which is fitted exclusively with sails, or
(b) which is provided with sufficient sail area for navigation under sails alone and, if fitted with mechanical means of propulsion, such means are meant for auxiliary purposes only,

and includes a rowing boat or canoe, but does not include a pleasure craft;


(43) “salvage” includes all expenses properly incurred by the salver in the performance of salvage service;
(44) “sea going”, in relation to a vessel, means a vessel proceeding to sea beyond such limits as may be specified by the Government by notification in the official Gazette;
(45) “seaman” means a person employed or engaged for service in any capacity on board any ship, but does not include a master, pilot or apprentice;
(46) “second hand”, in relation to a fishing vessel, means the person next in authority to the skipper of the vessel;
(47) “ship” includes every description of vessel used in navigation not propelled by oars, but does not include a sailing vessel;
(48) “Shipping Authority” means the Director General of Shipping or any other officer authorised by the Government, by notification in the official Gazette, to perform the functions of the Shipping Authority under this Ordinance;
(49) “Shipping Master” means a person appointed as such under section 8 and includes a Deputy Shipping Master and an Assistant Shipping Master appointed under that section;
(50) “skipper” means the person in command or charge of a fishing vessel or a sailing vessel;
(51) “special trade” means the conveyance of special trade passengers by sea on international voyages within the area specified below:
- on the south bounded by the parallel of latitude 200S from the east coast of Africa to the west coast of Madagascar, thence the west and north coasts of Madagascar to longitude 500E, thence the meridian of longitude 500E to latitude 100S, thence the rhumb line to the point latitude 30S, longitude 750F, thence the rhumb line to the point latitude 110S to longitude 141003´E;
- on the east bounded by the meridian of longitude 141003´E, from latitude 110S to the south coast of New Guinea, thence the south, west and north coasts of New Guinea to the point longitude 141003´E, thence the rhumb line from the north coast of New Guinea at the point 141003´E to the point latitude 100N, at the north east coast of Mindanao, thence the west coasts of the Islands of Leyte, Samar and Luzon to the Port of Sual (Luzon Island), thence the rhumb line from the Port of Sual to Hong Kong;
on the north bounded by the south coast of Asia from Hong Kong to Suez;
on the west bounded by the east coast of Africa from Suez to the point latitude 200S.
(52) “special trade passenger” means a passenger carried in special trades in spaces on the weather deck, upper deck or between decks which accommodate more than 8 passengers;
(53) “special trade passenger ship” means a mechanically propelled passenger ship which carries more than 30 special trade passengers;
(54) “Surveyor” means a person appointed as such under section 6 and includes any other person authorised to perform the function of a Surveyor under this Ordinance;
(55) “tidal water” means any part of the sea and any part of a river within the ebb and flow of the tide at ordinary spring tides, but does not include a harbour;
(56) “upper deck”, in ships with side openings, means the deck below the weather deck;
(57) “valid Safety Convention Certificate” means a certificate purporting to have been issued in accordance with the Safety Convention in respect of a ship which is for the time being in force;
(58) “vessel” includes a ship, boat, sailing vessel, fishing vessel and every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water;
(59) “voyage”, in relation to a ship, means the whole distance between the ship's port or place of departure and her final port or place of arrival;
(60) “wages” includes emoluments;
(61) “weather deck” means the uppermost continuous deck fully or partially exposed to weather which may be wholly or partially used by passengers;
(62) “wreck” includes the following when found in the sea or in tidal water or on the shores thereof, namely:-
(a) goods which have been cast into the sea and then sink and remain under water,
(b) goods which have been cast or fall into the sea and remain floating on the surface,
(c) goods which are sunk in the sea, but are attached to a floating object in order that they may be found again,
(d) goods which are thrown away or abandoned, and
(e) a vessel abandoned without hope or intention of recovery; and
(63) “young person” means a person under eighteen years of age.
(64) “Marine Court” means a Court constituted under sub-section (1) of section 47 of Inland Shipping Ordinance 1976.

Power to alter conditions relating to ownership of Bangladesh Ship

3. (1) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, alter the percentage of the share capital or of the voting power referred to in paragraph (ii) of sub clause (b) of clause (3) of section 2 from such date, not being earlier than the date of the notification, as may be specified therein.
(2) A notification under sub section (1) shall not apply to a ship which is registered or deemed to be registered under this Ordinance, or for the registration of which application has been made, before the date specified in the notification; nor shall the notification be construed as affecting any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred before such date.

CHAPTER 2


GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

Department of Shipping

4. (1) The Government may, for efficient administration of this Ordinance, establish a Department of Shipping which shall be headed by a Director General of Shipping.
(2) Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Ordinance, the Principal Officers, the Deputy Principal Officers, Surveyors and other Officers appointed to perform any functions under this Ordinance, not being functions of judicial nature, shall, in the performance of their functions, be subject to the general supervision, direction and control of the Director General of Shipping.
(3) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, direct that the powers exercisable by it under any of the provisions of this Ordinance specified in the notification shall, subject to such conditions, if any, as may be so specified, be exercisable also by the Director General of Shipping.
(4) The Director General of Shipping may, by general or special order, direct that any of the powers and functions which he is empowered or authorised to exercise and perform under this Ordinance shall, subject to such conditions, if any, as he may deem fit to impose, be exercised and performed also by such officer or authority as may be specified in the order:
Provided that no such order shall be made without the previous approval of the Government if it relates to any of the powers of the Government which the Director General of Shipping has been authorised to exercise under sub-section (3).

Mercantile Marine Office

5. (1) The Government shall establish and maintain the Principal Mercantile Marine Office at the port of Chittagong and may establish and maintain a branch office of that office at any other port in Bangladesh as it may consider necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Ordinance.
(2) The Principal Mercantile Marine Office at the port of Chittagong shall be in the charge of a Principal Officer appointed by the Government and a branch office of that office at any other port shall be in the charge of a Deputy Principal Officer; and the Deputy Principal Officer may perform the functions of a Principal Officer under this Ordinance.
(3) A Principal Officer appointed under sub section (2) or an officer performing the functions of a Principal Officer may, without prejudice to his functions as such, perform all or any of the functions of a Surveyor under this Ordinance.

Surveyors

6. (1) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint for the Principal Mercantile Marine Office and each of its branch offices as many persons as it may consider necessary to be Surveyors for the purposes of this Ordinance; and such Surveyors may be nautical Surveyors, ship Surveyors, an engineer and ship Surveyors.
(2) Where for the Principal Mercantile Marine Office or any of its branch offices no Surveyor has been appointed under sub section (1), the Government may authorise any person whom it considers qualified for the purpose to perform the functions of a Surveyor; and a person so authorised may perform all or any functions of a Surveyor under this Ordinance.

Radio Inspectors

7. The Government may appoint as many Radio Inspectors as it considers necessary so as to ensure that the requirements of this Ordinance and of the rules and regulations made thereunder relating to radio installation and radio service including radio-telegraph, radio-telephone and direction-finders, are complied with on board any ship.

Shipping Offices

8. (1) The Government shall maintain a Shipping Office at every port in Bangladesh where there was a Shipping Office immediately before the commencement of this Ordinance and may establish and maintain such office at any other port in Bangladesh.
(2) For every Shipping Office, the Government shall appoint a Shipping Master and may appoint such Deputy Shipping Masters and Assistant Shipping Masters as it may consider necessary.
(3) A Shipping Master, a Deputy Shipping Master and an Assistant Shipping Master shall, in the performance of their functions, be subject to the general supervision and control of the Government or of such other authority as the Government may, by general or special order, direct.

Conduct of business of Shipping office at other Office

9. (1) Where, at any port, there is no Shipping Office, the whole or any part of the business of a Shipping Office shall be conducted at such office and be committed to such officer at that office as the Government may direct; and thereupon such business shall be conducted accordingly.
(2) For the purposes of this Ordinance, an office at which the business of a Shipping Office is conducted under sub-section (1) shall be deemed to be a Shipping Office and the officer to whom such business is committed under that sub-section shall be deemed to be a Shipping Master.

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