Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act, 2003



(Shipping Wing)




New Delhi, the 3rd March, 2004


S.O. 280 (E).___ In exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-section (2) of Section 1 of the Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act, 2003 (No.59 of 2003), the Central Government hereby appoints the 1st day of March, 2004 as the date on which the said Act shall come into force

{File No.S.R-11011/1/2003-MA)



(Legislative Department)

New Delhi, the 31st December, 2003

The following Act of Parliament received the assent of the President on the 30th December, 2003 and is hereby published for general information:-



NO.59 OF 2003

(30th December, 2003)

An act further to amend the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-fourth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

1 (1) This Act may be called the Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act, 2003.

(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

Short title and commencement

Substitution of
new sections for
sections 356 A to
356 H.


2  For sections 356A to 356H of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), the following sections shall be substituted, namely:-

44 of 1958.


356A (1) Save as otherwise provided, this Part shall apply to-

  1. oil tankers of one hundred and fifty tons gross or more, other ships of four hundred tons gross or more and off-shore installations; and
  2. incidents of marine casualty or acts relating to such casualty occurring with grave and imminent danger to Indian coast line or related interests from pollution or threat of pollution in the sea or air either by deliberate, negligent or accidental release of oil, ballast water, noxious liquid and other harmful substances into sea or including such incidents occurring on the high seas.


(2) This Part shall not apply to war ship or other ships owned or operated by the Government and used for the time being on Government non-commercial service.




356B In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires,-

  1. �ballast� means any solid or liquid placed in a ship to increase the draft to change the trim, to regulate the stability, or to maintain stress load within such limits as may be prescribed;
  2. �cargo� includes ballast and ship�s stores and fuel;
  3. �coasts� has the same meaning assigned to it in section 357;
  4. �coastal waters� means any part of the territorial waters of India, or any marine areas adjacent thereto over which India has, or, may hereafter have, exclusive jurisdiction in regard to control of marine pollution under the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and other Maritime Zones Act, 1976, or any other law for the time being in force;
  5. �Convention� means the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 including its Protocol of 1978, as amended from time to time in the manner specified therein;
  6. �international pollution prevention certificate� means any Certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of Pollution Prevention Conventions and Protocols thereto which are acceded to by India;
  7. �mile� means a nautical mile of 1,852 metres;
  8. �noxious liquid substance� means any substance which has been designated as such by rules made under this Part;
  9. �off-shore installation� means an installation, whether mobile or fixed, which is used or is intended to be used for under-water exploration or exploitation of crude oil, petroleum or other similar mineral oils, under lease, licence or any other form of contractual arrangement and includes-
    1. any installation which could be moved from place to place under its own motive power or otherwise; and
    2. a pipe-line;
  10. �oil� means petroleum in any form including crude oil, fuel oil, sludge, oil refuse and refined products;
  11. �oily mixture� means a mixture with any oil content;
  12. �oil tanker� means a ship constructed or adapted primarily to carry oil in bulk in its cargo spaces and includes any combination carrier or, any chemical tanker when it is carrying a cargo or part cargo of oil in bulk;
  13. �reception facilities�, in relation to a port, means facilities for enabling tankers or ships using the port to discharge or deposit residue or mixture of any substance subject to control by the Convention;
  14. �ship� means a vessel of any type whatsoever operating in the marine environment and includes hydrofoil boats, air-cushion vehicles, submersibles, floating craft and fixed or floating platforms.


80 of 1976

356 C (1) No Indian oil tanker or other Indian ship shall proceed to sea unless there is in force, in respect of that ship, a Certificate issued by the Central Government, to be called an international oil pollution prevention certificate, in such form, for such duration and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

Issue of Pollution Prevention Certificate

(2) The Central Government may request the Government of a country to which the Convention applies, to issue any international pollution prevention certificate in accordance with the Convention in respect of a ship and the certificate issued in pursuance of such a request containing a statement that it has been so issued shall have the same effect as if it had been issued by the Central Government under this Act.


356E. For the purpose of preventing or reducing discharges of harmful substances or mixtures containing such substances from the oil tankers or other ships, the Central Government may make rules requiring Indian Oil tankers and other Indian ships to be fitted with such equipment and to comply with such requirements for construction, survey of equipments and structure of such oil tankers or other ships and specifying conditions for making of surveys of all oil tankers or other ships, as may be prescribed, prior to issuing of international pollution prevention certificates.

Requirement for construction and equipment in ships to prevent pollution

356F. (1) Every Indian oil tanker or other Indian ship which carries substances subject to control by the Convention shall maintain, as may be required, record books in the prescribed forms, on board the oil tanker or other ship.

Record books

(2) The manner in which record books shall be maintained, the nature of entries to be made therein, the custody and disposal thereof, and all other matters relating thereto shall be such as may be prescribed having regard to the provisions of the Convention.

Inspection and control of oil tankers and other ships to which this Part applies.

356 G. (1) A surveyor or any person authorized in this behalf may go, at any reasonable time, on board an oil tanker or other ship to which any of the provisions of this Part applies, for the purposes of-



  1. ensuring that the prohibitions, restrictions and obligations imposed by or under this Part are complied with;
  2. satisfying himself about the adequacy of the measures taken to prevent pollution;
  3. ascertaining the circumstances relating to an alleged discharge of substance which is subject to control by the Convention from the oil tanker other ship in contravention of the provisions of this Part;
  4. inspecting any record required to be maintained on board; and
  5. checking the validity of the international oil pollution prevention certificates.



(2) The surveyor or any such person may, if necessary, make, without unduly delaying the oil tanker or the other ship, a true copy of any record of the oil or the other ship and may require the master of such tanker of ship to certify the copy to be a true copy and such copy shall be admissible as evidence of the facts stated therein.

Information regarding contravention of the provisions of the Convention.

356 H. (1) If, on report from a surveyor or other person authorized to inspect an oil tanker or other ship under section 356 G, the Director-General is satisfied that any provision of the Convention has been contravened by such oil tanker or other ship within the coastal waters, the Director-General or any officer authorized by him in this behalf, may-

  1. detain the oil tanker or other ship until the causes of such contravention are removed to the satisfaction of the Director-General or the officer authorized by him; and
  2. proceed against such oil tanker or other ship for recovery of cost of pollution damage, if any, and the cost of prevention of pollution damage and cleaning of such pollution;



Provided that where the Director-General deems it necessary, he may request the Indian Navy or the Coast Guard for preventing the oil tanker or other ship from proceeding to sea, and the Indian Navy or the Coast Guard, as the case may be, shall take action as requested by the Director-General.


(2) On receipt of information from the Government of any country to which the Convention applies that an Indian oil tanker or other ship has contravened any provision of the Convention, the Central Government may, if it deems it necessary so to do, request such Government to furnish further details of the alleged contravention and if satisfied that sufficient evidence is available to establish contravention of any of the provisions of this Part or the rules made thereunder, take appropriate action against the owner or master of the concerned oil tanker or other ship and intimate the reporting Government of the action so taken.

Amendment of section 356 I.

3. In section 356-I of the principal Act, for the words oil reception facilities, wherever they occur, the words reception facilities shall be substituted.

Amendment to section 356 J

4. In section 356 J of the principal Act, for the word �oil�, wherever it occurs, the words �oil or noxious liquid substance� shall be substituted.

Amendment to section 356 K.

5. In section 356 K of the principal Act, for the word �oil�, wherever it occurs, the words �oil or noxious liquid substance shall be substituted.


6. In section 356O of the principal Act, in sub-section (2),-

Amendment of section 356-O.

(i) for clauses (a) and (b); the following clauses shall be substituted, namely:-

  1. prescribe the limits of ballast, and designate noxious liquid substances, under clauses (a) and (h) respectively, of section 356B;
  2. prescribe the forms in which, the duration for which and the conditions subject to which, various international pollution prevention certificates shall be issued under section 356 C;


(bb) prescribe the period within which, the manner in which and the conditions for making surveys of oil tankers or other ships prior to issuing an international pollution prevention certificate and the requirements as to equipment which are to be fitted for prevention of pollution by an oil tanker and other ship under section 356E.

(ii) in clause (c), for the words oil record books, the words record books shall be substituted;

(iii) in clause (d), for the words oil monitoring system, oily water separator, oil content metre, crude oil washing system, inert gas system or other equipments or contrivances carried out on board for preventing pollution of sea by oil, the words various equipments required under the Convention shall be substituted;

(iv) after clause (e), the following clause shall be inserted, namely:-

(ee) any other matter which, for the implementation of the Convention has to be or may be prescribed.

Secy. To the Govt. of India





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