PART I Preliminary

[44 OF 1958]

[ 30th October, 1958]

An Act to foster the development and ensure the efficient maintenance of an Indian mercantile marine in a manner best suited to serve the national interests and for that purpose to establish a National Shipping Board and a Shipping Development Fund, to provide for the registration of Indian ships and generally to amend and consolidate the law relating to merchant shipping.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Ninth Year to the Republic of India as follows:

PART I PRELIMINARY

SECTIONS

1. Short title and commencement

2. Application of Act

3. Definitions

1. Short title and commencement—

(1)This Act may be called the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates2 may be appointed for different provisions of this Act.

2. Application of Act--

(1) Unless otherwise expressly provided, the provisions of this Act which apply to:

(a) any vessel which is registered in India; or

(b) any vessel which is required by this Act to be so registered; or

(c) any other vessel which is owned wholly by persons to each of whom any of the descriptions specified clause (a) or in clause

(b) or in clause (c),as the case may be, of section 21 applies,

shall so apply wherever the vessel may be.

(2) Unless otherwise expressly provided, the provisions of this Act which apply to vessels other than those referred to in sub-section (1) shall so apply only while any such vessel is within India; including the territorial waters thereof.

The Act has been extended to Goa, Daman and Diu by Reg. 12 of 1962, s.3 and Sch. and to Pondicherry by Reg.7 of 1963, s.3 and Sch.I.2. Parts I and II came into force w.e.f. 15th December, 1958, vide Notification No.S.O.2583A, dated the 10th December, 1958, see Gazette of India, 1958, Pt.II, Sec.3(ii) p.2829. Part IV came into force w.e.f. 17th March, 1959, vide Notification No S.O.627, dated the 17th March, 1959, see Gazette of India, 1959, Pt.II, Sec.3(ii), p.702. Sections 7, 405 to 414 (both inclusive) 436 (in so far as it relates to offences, mentioned against S.Nos 122 to 125), 437 to 442,447,448,456, to 460 and so much of section 461 and of Part I of the Schedule as relate to the Control of Shipping Act, 1947 (26 of 1947), came into force on the 1st April, 1960; see Notification No.S.O. 565, dated the 26th February, 1960, Gazette of India, Pt.II, Sec.3(ii), p.886.

The remaining provisions came into force w.e.f. 1st January, 1961 vide Notification No.S.O.3127, dated the 17th December, 1960, see Gazette of India, 1960, Pt.II,Sec.3(ii), p.3766.3 Subs. by Act 12 of 1983, s.2, for s.2.

3. Definitions--- In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

( 1 ) "cargo ship" means a ship which is not a passenger ship;]

(1A) "coasting ship" means a ship exclusively employed in trading between any port or place in India and any other port or place on the continent of India or between ports or places in India and ports or places in Ceylon or Burma

(2) "coasting trade of India" means the carriage by sea of passengers or goods from any port or place in India to any other port or place on the continent of India;\\

(3) "collision regulations" means the regulations made under section 285 for the prevention of collisions at sea;

(4) "company" means a company as defined in section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956);

(5) "country to which the Load Line Convention applies" means—

(a) a country the Government of which has been declared 3*** under section 283 to have accepted the Load Line Convention and has not been so declared to have denounced that Convention;

(b) a country to which it has been so declared that the Load Line Convention has been applied under the provisions of 4[article thirty-two] thereof, not being a country to which it has been so declared that Convention has ceased to apply under the provisions of that article;

(6) "country to which the Safety Convention applies" means –

(a) a country the Government of which has been declared under section 283 to have accepted the Safety Convention and has not been so declared to have denounced that Convention;

(b) a territory to which it has been so declared that the Safety Convention extends, not being a territory to which it has been so declared that Convention has ceased to extend;

(7) "court" in relation to sections 178 to 183 (inclusive) means a civil or revenue court;

(8) "Director General" means the Director-General of Shipping appointed unde section 7

(9) "distressed seaman" means a seaman engaged under this Act who, by reason of having been discharged or left behind from, or ship wrecked in, any ship at a place outside India, is in distress at that place;

(10) "effects", in relation to a seaman, includes clothes and documents;

(11) "equipment", in relation to a ship, includes boats, tackle, pumps, apparel, furniture, life saving appliances of every description, spars, masts, 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;

(11A) "family" means—

(i) in the case of male, his wife, his children, whether married or unmarried, his dependent parents and his deceased sons widow and children.Provided that if a person proves that his wife has ceased under the personal law governing him or the customary law of the community to which the spouses belong, to be entitled to maintenance she shall no longer be deemed to be a part of such persons family for the purpose of this Act, unless such person subsequently intimates by express notice, in writing, to the Central Government that she shall continue to be so regarded; and

(ii) in the case of female, her husband, her children, whether married or unmarried, her dependent parents & her husbands dependent parents and her deceased sons widow and children.

Provided that if a person by notice in writing to the Central Government expresses her desire to exclude her husband from the family, the husband and his dependent parents shall no longer be deemed to be a part of such persons family for the purpose of this Act, unless such person subsequently cancels in writing any such notice.

Explanation—In either of the above two cases, if the child, or, as the case may be the child of a deceased son, of a person has been adopted by another person and if under the personal law of the adopter adoption is legally recognised, such a child shall be considered as excluded from the family of the first mentioned person.]

(12) "fishing vessel" means a ship fitted with mechanical means of propulsion which is exclusively engaged in sea fishing for profit;

(13) "foreign-going ship" means a ship, not being a home-trade ship, employed in trading between any port or place in India and any other port or place or between ports or places, outside India;

(14)"free board" means the distance measured vertically downwards, amidships, from the upper edge of the deck line to the upper edge of the related load line;

(15) "High Court", in relation to a vessel, means the High Court within the limits of whose appellate jurisdiction—

(a) the port of registry of the vessel is situate; or

(b) the vessel is for the time being; or

(c) the cause of action wholly or in part arises;

(16) "home-trade ship" means a ship not exceeding three thousand tons gross which is employed in trading between any port or place in India and any other port or place on the continent of India or between ports or places in India and ports or places in Ceylon, Maladive Islands, Federation of Malaya, Singapore or Burma;

(17) "Indian consular officer" means the consul-general, consul, vice consul, consular agent and pro-consul appointed as such by the Central Government, and includes any person authorised by the Central Government to perform the functions of consul-general, consul, vice-consul, consular agent or pro-consul;

(18) "Indian ship" means a ship registered as such under this Act and includes any ship registered at any port in India at the commencement of this Act, which is recognised as an Indian ship under the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 22;

(18A) "international voyage" means a voyage from or to a port or place in India to or from a port or place outside India;]

(19) "load line certificate" means the certificate issued under section 316 or section 321;

(20) "Load Line Convention" means the International Convention on Load Linesigned in London on the 5th day of April, 1966, as amended from time to time;]

(21) "Marine Board" means a Board of Marine Inquiry convened under section 373;

(22) "master" includes any person (except a pilot or harbour master) having command or charge of a ship;

(22A) "nuclear ship" means a ship provided with a nuclear power plant;}

(23) "owner" means—

(a) in relation to a ship, the person to whom the ship or a share in the ship belongs;

(b) in relation to a sailing vessel, the person to whom the sailing vessel belongs;

(24) "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;

(b) a person on board the ship either in pursuance of the obligations laid upon the master to carry shipwrecked, distressed or other persons or by reason of any circumstances which neither the master nor the character, if any, could have prevented or forestalled;

(c) a child under one year of age;

(25) "passenger ship" means a ship carrying more than twelve passengers;

(26) "pilgrim" means a person making a pilgrimage and, in the case of a passenger on board a pilgrim ship, includes every person accompanying or travelling with the person making the pilgrimage;

(27) " pilgrimage" means pilgrimage to any holy place in the Hedjaz or to any other place declared by the Central Government to be a place of pilgrimage by notification in the Official Gazette;

(28) " Pilgrim ship" means a special trade passenger ship which makes a voyage to or from the Hedjaz, or, as the case may be, to or from any other place or pilgrimage declared as such by the Central Government in pursuance of clause(27), during the season of the pilgrimage and which carries pilgrims in a proportion of not less than one pilgrim for every one hundred tons of the gross tonnage of the ship;]

(29) "port of registry", in relation to a ship or a sailing vessel, means the port at which she is registered or is to be registered;

(30) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

31) "proceeding" in relation to sections 178 to 183 (inclusive) includes any suit, appeal or application;

(32) " proper officer" means the officer designated by the Central Government to be the proper officer at the port or place and in respect of the matter to which reference is made in the provision of this Act in which the expression occurs;

(33) "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.

(34) "radio inspector" means a person appointed as such under section 10;

35) "registrar" means the registrar referred to in section 24;

(36)(a)"repatriation expenses" means expenses incurred in returning a distressed seaman to a proper return port and in providing him with necessary clothing and maintenance until his arrival at such port, and includes in the case of a shipwrecked seaman the repayment of expenses incurred in conveying him to port after shipwreck and maintaining him while being so conveyed; and;

(b) "excepted expenses", in relation to repatriation expenses, means repatriation expenses incurred in case where the cause of the seaman being left behind is desertion or absence without leave or imprisonment for misconduct, or discharge from his ship by a Marine Board on the ground of misconduct;

(37) "Safety Convention" means the Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea signed in London on the 1[1st day of November, 1974] as amended from time to time;

(38) “safety convention certificate “means –

(i) a passenger ship safety certificate,

(ia) a special trade passenger ship safety certificate,

(ib) a special trade passenger ship space certificate,

(ii) a qualified passenger ship safety certificate,

(iii) a cargo ship safety construction certificate,

(iv) a qualified cargo ship safety construction certificate,

(v) a cargo ship safety equipment certificate.

(vi) a qualified cargo ship safety equipment certificate,

(vii) a cargo ship safety radio telegraphy certificate,

(viii) a cargo ship safety radio telephony certificate,

(ix) an exemption certificate,

(x) a nuclear passenger ship safety certificate,

(xi) a nuclear cargo ship safety certificate,issued under Part IX or, as the case may be, Part IX A;]

(39) “ sailing vessel” means any description of vessel provided with sufficient sail area for navigation under sails alone, whether or not fitted with mechanical means of propulsion, and includes a rowing boat or canoe but does not include a pleasure craft;

(40) “salvage” includes all expenses properly incurred by the salvor in the performance of salvage services;

(41) “sea-going”, in relation to a vessel, means a vessel proceeding to sea beyond inland waters or beyond waters declared to be smooth or partially smooth waters by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette;

(42) “seaman” means every person (except a master, pilot or apprentice) employed or engaged as a member of the crew of a ship under this Act, but in relation to sections 178 to 183 (inclusive) means a master ;

(43) “seaman’s employment office” means the seamen’s welfare officer referred to in section 13;

(44) “seamen’s welfare officer” means the seamen’s welfare officer referred to in section 13;

(45) “Ship” does not include a sailing vessel

(46) “Shipping master” means the shipping master referred to in section 11; but in relation to any seaman for the purposes of sections 178 to 183 (inclusive) means a shipping master appointed—

(i) for the port at which the seamen entered into or is believed to have entered into an agreement , or

(ii) where the seamen did not enter into his agreement in India for the port to which the seamen has returned, or is expected to return, on the completion of his last voyage

(47) “Shipping office,” means the shipping office referred to in section 11;

(47A) “special trade” means the conveyance of large number of passengers by sea within prescribed sea areas;

(47B) “Special trade passenger” means a passenger carried in special trade passenger ship in spaces on the weather deck or upper deck or between decks which accommodate more than eight passengers and includes a pilgrim or a person accompanying a pilgrim;

(47C) “Special trade passenger ship” means a mechanically propelled ship carrying more than thirty special trade passengers;]

(48) “surveyor” means the surveyor referred to in section 9;

(48A) “tanker” means a cargo ship constructed or adapted for the carriage in bulk of liquid cargoes of an inflammable nature;]

(49) “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 and not being a harbour;

(50) “tindal” means the person in command or charge of a sailing vessel.

53) “valid international load line certificate” means a certificate purporting to have been issued in accordance with the Load Line Convention in respect of a ship, other than an Indian ship, by the Government of the country in which the ship is registered;

(54) “valid safety convention certificate” means a certificate purporting to have been Issued in accordance with the Safety Convention in respect of a ship, other than an Indian ship, by the Government of the country in which the ship is registered;

(55) “vessel” includes any ship, boat, sailing vessel, or other description of vessel used in navigation;

(56) “voyage” for the purposes of Part VIII, means the whole distance between the ship’s port or place of departure and her final port or place of arrival;

(57) “wages” includes emoluments;

(58) “wreck” includes the following when found in the sea or in tidal water or on the shores thereof—

(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;

(59) “young person” means a person under eighteen years of age.

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