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Merchant Shipping Act 1979

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

25Unauthorised liquor on fishing vessels

(1)A person who, in the United Kingdom or elsewhere—

(a)takes any unauthorised liquor on board a fishing vessel registered in the United Kingdom; or

(b)has any unauthorised liquor in his possession on board such a vessel; or

(c)permits another person to take on board such a vessel, or

to have in his possession on board such a vessel, any unauthorised liquor; or

(d)wilfully obstructs another person in the exercise of powers conferred on the other person by subsection (3) of this section,

shall, subject to the following subsection, be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1.000 or, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine or both.

(2)It shall be a defence in proceedings for an offence under paragraph

(a)or (b) of the preceding subsection to prove

(a)that the accused believed that the liquor in question was not unauthorised liquor in relation to the vessel in question and that he had reasonable grounds for the belief; or

(b)that the accused did not know that the liquor in question was in his possession;

and it shall be a defence in proceedings for an offence under paragraph (c) of the preceding subsection to prove as mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(3)If an authorised person has reason to believe that an offence under paragraph

(a)or (b) of subsection (1) of this section has been committed by another person in connection with a fishing vessel, the authorised person—

(a)may go on board the vessel and search it and any property on it and may, if the other person is on board the vessel, search him there in an authorised manner; and

(b)may take possession of any liquor which he finds on the vessel and has reason to believe is unauthorised liquor and may detain the liquor for the period needed to ensure that the liquor is available as evidence in proceedings for the offence.

(4)In this section—

  • " an authorised manner " means a manner authorised by regulations made by the Secretary of State ;

  • " authorised person", in relation to a vessel, means a mercantile marine superintendent, a proper officer as defined by section 97(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1970, a person appointed in pursuance of section 76(1)(c) of that Act (which relates to inspectors), the master of the vessel in question, the owner of the vessel and any person instructed by the said master or owner to prevent the commission of offences under subsection (1) of this section in relation to the vessel;

  • " liquor " means spirits, wine, beer, cider, perry and any other fermented, distilled or spirituous liquor ; and

  • " unauthorised liquor " means, in relation to a vessel, liquor as to which permission to take it on board the vessel has been given neither by the master nor the owner of the vessel nor by a person authorised by the said owner to give such permission.

(5)Any reference in the preceding subsection to the owner of a vessel shall be construed—

(a)as excluding any member of the crew of the vessel; and

(b)subject to the preceding paragraph, as a reference to the person or all the persons who, in the certificate of registry of the vessel, is or are stated to be the registered owner or owners of the vessel.

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