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Merchant Shipping Act 1995


This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

  1. Introductory Text

  2. Part I British ships

    1. 1.British ships and United Kingdom ships

    2. 2.British flag

    3. 3.Offences relating to British character of ship

    4. 4.Penalty for carrying improper colours

    5. 5.Duty to show British flag

    6. 6.Duty to declare national character of ship

    7. 7.Proceedings on forfeiture of a ship

  3. Part II Registration

    1. General

      1. 8.Central register of British ships

      2. 9.Registration of ships: basic provisions

      3. 10.Registration regulations

      4. 11.Tonnage ascertained for registration to be tonnage of ship

      5. 12.Tonnage of ships of foreign countries adopting tonnage regulations

      6. 13.Status of certificate of registration

      7. 14.Offences relating to a ship’s British connection

      8. 15.Supplementary provisions as respects fishing vessels

      9. 16.Private law provisions for registered ships and liability as owner

    2. Ships on bareboat charter

      1. 17.Ships bareboat chartered-in by British charterers

    3. Supplemental

      1. 18.Regulation of registration in British possessions by reference to categories of registries

      2. 19.Tonnage regulations

      3. 20.Proceedings on forfeiture of ship

      4. 21.Disclosure of information relating to registration by other government departments

      5. 22.Forgery of documents: Scotland

      6. 23.Interpretation

  4. Part III Masters and Seamen

    1. Application of Part

      1. 24.Application of this Part

    2. Engagement and discharge of crews

      1. 25.Crew agreements

      2. 26.Regulations relating to crew agreements

      3. 27.Discharge of seamen

      4. 28.Seamen left behind abroad otherwise than on discharge

      5. 29.Discharge of seamen when ship ceases to be registered in United Kingdom

    3. Wages etc.

      1. 30.Payment of seamen’s wages

      2. 31.Account of seaman’s wages

      3. 32.Regulations relating to wages and accounts

      4. 33.Power of superintendent or proper officer to decide disputes about wages

      5. 34.Restriction on assignment of and charge upon wages

      6. 35.Power of court to award interest on wages due otherwise than under crew agreement

      7. 36.Allotment notes

      8. 37.Right of person named in allotment to sue in own name

      9. 38.Right, or loss of right, to wages in certain circumstances

      10. 39.Protection of certain rights and remedies

      11. 40.Claims against seaman’s wages for maintenance, etc. of dependants

      12. 41.Remedies of master for remuneration, disbursements and liabilities

    4. Safety, health and welfare

      1. 42.Obligation of shipowners as to seaworthiness

      2. 43.Crew accommodation

      3. 44.Complaints about provisions or water

      4. 45.Expenses of medical and other treatment during voyage

    5. Manning, qualifications, training and uniform

      1. 46.Application of sections 47 to 51

      2. 47.Manning

      3. 48.Power to exempt from manning requirements

      4. 49.Prohibition of going to sea undermanned

      5. 50.Production of certificates and other documents of qualification

      6. 51.Crew’s knowledge of English

      7. 52.Unqualified persons going to sea as qualified officers or seamen

      8. 53.Medical treatment on board ship

      9. 54.Special certificates of competence

      10. 55.Young persons

      11. 56.Financial assistance for training

      12. 57.Uniform

    6. Offences by seamen, etc

      1. 58.Conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals

      2. 59.Concerted disobedience and neglect of duty

    7. Disciplinary offences

      1. 60.Breaches by seamen of codes of conduct

    8. Disqualification of seamen and inquiries

      1. 61.Inquiry into fitness or conduct of officer

      2. 62.Disqualification of holder of certificate other than officer's

      3. 63.Inquiry into fitness or conduct of seaman other than officer

      4. 64.Re-hearing of and appeal from inquiries

      5. 65.Rules as to inquiries and appeals

      6. 66.Failure to deliver cancelled or suspended certificate

      7. 67.Power to restore certificate

      8. 68.Power to summon witness to inquiry into fitness or conduct of officer or other seaman

      9. 69.Procedure where inquiry into fitness or conduct of officer or other seaman is held by sheriff

    9. Civil liability of seamen for offences

      1. 70.Civil liability for absence without leave

      2. 71.Civil liability for smuggling

      3. 72.Civil liability for fines imposed under immigration laws

    10. Relief and repatriation and relief costs

      1. 73.Relief and return of seamen etc. left behind and shipwrecked

      2. 74.Limit of employer’s liability under section 73

      3. 75.Recovery of expenses incurred for relief and return, etc

      4. 76.Financial assistance in respect of crew relief costs

    11. Documentation

      1. 77.Official log books

      2. 78.Lists of crew

      3. 79.British seamen’s cards

      4. 80.Discharge books

      5. 81.Handing over of documents by master

    12. Merchant Navy Reserve

      1. 82.Maintenance of Merchant Navy Reserve

      2. 83.Supplementary provisions as respects the Reserve

    13. Interpretation

      1. 84.Interpretation

  5. Part IV Safety

    1. Safety and Health on Ships

      1. 85.Safety and health on ships

      2. 86.Provisions supplementary to section 85: general

      3. 87.Provisions supplementary to section 85: dangerous goods

      4. 88.Safety of submersible and supporting apparatus

    2. Special provisions

      1. 89.Load lines

      2. 90.Charts and other information

      3. 91.Report of dangers to navigation

    3. Assistance at sea

      1. 92.Duty of ship to assist the other in case of collision

      2. 93.Duty to assist ships, etc. in distress

    4. Unsafe ships

      1. 94.Meaning of “dangerously unsafe ship”

      2. 95.Power to detain dangerously unsafe ship

      3. 96.References of detention notices to arbitration

      4. 97.Compensation in connection with invalid detention of ship

      5. 98.Owner and master liable in respect of dangerously unsafe ship

      6. 99.Use of unsafe lighters, etc

      7. 100.Owner liable for unsafe operation of ship

    5. Control of, and returns as to, persons on ships

      1. 101.Offences in connection with passenger ships

      2. 102.Power to exclude drunken passengers from certain passenger ships

      3. 103.Stowaways

      4. 104.Unauthorised presence on board ship

      5. 105.Master’s power of arrest

      6. 106.Unauthorised persons: offences relating to safety

      7. 107.Return to be furnished by masters of ships as to passengers

      8. 108.Returns of births and deaths in ships, etc

  6. Part V Fishing Vessels

    1. Chapter I Skipper and Seamen

      1. Engagement and discharge of crews

        1. 109.Regulations relating to crew agreements

      2. Wages

        1. 110.Payments of seamen’s wages

        2. 111.Regulations relating to wages: deductions

        3. 112.Accounts of wages and catch

        4. 113.Restriction on assignment of and charge upon wages

        5. 114.Right, or loss of right, to wages in certain circumstances

      3. Safety, health and welfare

        1. 115.Hours of work

      4. Manning and qualifications

        1. 116.Production of crew certificates and other documents of qualification

      5. Offences by seamen

        1. 117.Drunkenness on duty

        2. 118.Unauthorised liquor

        3. 119.Disciplinary offences

      6. Exemptions

        1. 120.Power to grant exemptions from this Chapter

    2. Chapter II Safety

      1. 121.Fishing vessel construction rules

      2. 122.Fishing vessel survey rules

      3. 123.Fishing vessel certificates

      4. 124.Provisions supplementary to section 123

      5. 125.Prohibition on going to sea without appropriate certificate

      6. 126.Notice of alterations

      7. Training

        1. 127.Training in safety matters

  7. Part VI Prevention of Pollution

    1. Chapter I Pollution Generally

      1. 128.Prevention of pollution from ships etc

      2. 129.Further provision for prevention of pollution from ships

      3. 130.Regulation of transfers between ships in territorial waters

    2. Chapter II Oil Pollution

      1. General provisions for preventing pollution

        1. 131.Discharge of oil from ships into certain United Kingdom waters

        2. 132.Defences of owner or master charged with offence under section 131

        3. 133.Defences of occupier charged with offence under section 131

        4. 134.Protection for acts done in exercise of certain powers of harbour authorities, etc

        5. 135.Restrictions on transfer of oil at night

        6. 136.Duty to report discharge of oil into waters of harbours

      2. Shipping casualties

        1. 137.Shipping casualties

        2. 138.Right to recover in respect of unreasonable loss or damage

        3. 139.Offences in relation to section 137

        4. 140.Service of directions under section 137

        5. 141.Application of sections 137 to 140 to certain foreign and other ships

      3. Enforcement

        1. 142.Oil records

        2. 143.Prosecutions and enforcement of fines

        3. 144.Power to detain ships for section 131 offences

        4. 145.Interpretation of section 144

        5. 146.Enforcement and application of fines

        6. 147.Enforcement of Conventions relating to oil pollution

      4. Miscellaneous and supplementary

        1. 148.Power of Secretary of State to grant exemptions

        2. 149.Application to Government ships

        3. 150.Annual Report

        4. 151.Interpretation

    3. Chapter III Liability for Oil Pollution

      1. Preliminary

        1. 152.Meaning of “the Liability Convention” and related expressions

      2. Liability

        1. 153.Liability for oil pollution in case of tankers

        2. 154.Liability for oil pollution in case of other ships

        3. 155.Exceptions from liability under sections 153 and 154

        4. 156.Restriction of liability for oil pollution

      3. Limitation of liability

        1. 157.Limitation of liability under section 153

        2. 158.Limitation actions

        3. 159.Restriction on enforcement after establishment of limitation fund

        4. 160.Concurrent liabilities of owners and others

        5. 161.Establishment of limitation fund outside United Kingdom

        6. 162.Extinguishment of claims

      4. Compulsory insurance

        1. 163.Compulsory insurance against liability for pollution

        2. 164.Issue of certificate by Secretary of State

        3. 165.Rights of third parties against insurers

      5. Supplementary

        1. 166.Jurisdiction of United Kingdom courts and registration of foreign judgments

        2. 167.Government ships

        3. 168.Limitation of liability under section 154

        4. 169.Saving for recourse actions

        5. 170.Interpretation

        6. 171.Transitory text of this Chapter and power to make transitional provisions

    4. Chapter IV International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund

      1. Preliminary

        1. 172.Meaning of the “Liability Convention”, “the Fund Convention” and related expressions

      2. Contributions to Fund

        1. 173.Contributions by importers of oil and others

        2. 174.Power to obtain information

      3. Compensation for persons suffering pollution damage

        1. 175.Liability of the Fund

        2. 176.Limitation of Fund’s liability under section 175

      4. Supplemental

        1. 177.Jurisdiction and effect of judgments

        2. 178.Extinguishment of claims

        3. 179.Subrogation

        4. 180.Supplementary provisions as to proceedings involving the Fund

        5. 181.Interpretation

        6. 182.Transitory text of this Chapter and power to make transitional provisions

  8. Part VII Liability of Shipowners and Others

    1. Carriage of passengers and luggage by sea

      1. 183.Scheduled convention to have force of law

      2. 184.Application of Schedule 6 to carriage within British Islands

    2. Limitation of liability of shipowners, etc and salvors for maritime claims

      1. 185.Limitation of liability for maritime claims

      2. 186.Exclusion of liability

    3. Multiple fault; apportionment, liability and contribution

      1. 187.Damage or loss: apportionment of liability

      2. 188.Loss of life or personal injuries: joint and several liability

      3. 189.Loss of life or personal injuries: right of contribution

    4. Time limit for proceedings against owners or ship

      1. 190.Time limit for proceedings against owners or ship

    5. Limitation of liability of harbour, conservancy, dock and canal authorities

      1. 191.Limitation of liability

    6. Application to Crown and its ships

      1. 192.Application to Crown and its ships

  9. Part VIII Lighthouses

    1. Lighthouse authorities

      1. 193.General and local lighthouse authorities

    2. Information to Secretary of State

      1. 194.Returns and information to Secretary of State

    3. Functions of general lighthouse authorities

      1. 195.General function of management of lighthouses, etc

      2. 196.Joint discharge of functions

      3. 197.General powers of general lighthouse authority

      4. 198.Inspection of local lighthouses

      5. 199.Control of local lighthouse authorities

    4. Inspections by Secretary of State

      1. 200.Powers of inspection by Secretary of State

    5. Powers of harbour authorities as local lighthouse authorities

      1. 201.Powers of harbour authorities

    6. Transfers between general and local lighthouse authorities

      1. 202.General transfer of local lighthouses from general lighthouse authorities to harbour authorities

      2. 203.Individual transfers of local lighthouses to harbour authorities

      3. 204.Surrender of local lighthouses

    7. General light dues

      1. 205.Light dues leviable by general lighthouse authorities

      2. 206.Information to determine light dues

      3. 207.Recovery of general light dues

      4. 208.Distress on ship for general light dues

      5. 209.Receipt for general light dues and its production

    8. Local light dues

      1. 210.Light dues leviable by local lighthouse authorities

    9. Financial and administrative provisions

      1. 211.General Lighthouse Fund: expenses and receipts

      2. 212.Establishments of general lighthouse authorities

      3. 213.Estimates or accounts of expenses to Secretary of State

      4. 214.Pension rights of certain employees

      5. 215.Borrowing powers of general lighthouse authorities

      6. 216.Limit on borrowings under section 215

      7. 217.Guarantees by Secretary of State

      8. 218.Accounts of general lighthouse authorities

    10. Offences in connection with lighthouses, buoys, beacons, etc.

      1. 219.Damage etc. to lighthouses etc

      2. 220.Prevention of false lights

    11. Exemptions from taxes, duties, etc

      1. 221.Exemption from taxes, duties, rates etc

      2. 222.Exemption from harbour dues

    12. Supplemental

      1. 223.Interpretation, etc

  10. Part IX Salvage and Wreck

    1. Chapter 1 Salvage

      1. 224.Salvage Convention 1989 to have force of law

      2. 225.Valuation of property by receiver

      3. 226.Detention of property liable for salvage by receiver

      4. 227.Sale of detained property by receiver

      5. 228.Apportionment of salvage under £5,000 by the receiver

      6. 229.Apportionment of salvage by the court

      7. 230.Salvage claims against the Crown and Crown rights of salvage and regulation thereof

    2. Chapter II Wreck

      1. Vessels in distress

        1. 231.Application of, and discharge of functions under, sections 232, 233 234 and 235

        2. 232.Duty of receiver where vessel in distress

        3. 233.Powers of receiver in case of vessel in distress

        4. 234.Power to pass over adjoining land

        5. 235.Liability for damage in case of plundered vessel

      2. Dealing with wreck

        1. 236.Duties of finder etc of wreck

        2. 237.Provisions as respects cargo, etc

        3. 238.Receiver to give notice of wreck

        4. 239.Claims of owners to wreck

        5. 240.Immediate sale of wreck in certain cases

      3. Unclaimed wreck

        1. 241.Right of Crown to unclaimed wreck

        2. 242.Notice of unclaimed wreck to be given to persons entitled

        3. 243.Disposal of unclaimed wreck

        4. 244.Effect of delivery of wreck etc under this Part

      4. Offences in respect of wreck

        1. 245.Taking wreck to foreign port

        2. 246.Interfering with wrecked vessel or wreck

        3. 247.Powers of entry etc

    3. Chapter III Supplemental

      1. Administration

        1. 248.Functions of Secretary of State as to wreck

        2. 249.Expenses and fees of receivers

      2. Coastguard services

        1. 250.Remuneration for services of coastguard

      3. Release from customs and excise control

        1. 251.Release of goods from customs and excise control

      4. Removal of wrecks

        1. 252.Powers of harbour and conservancy authorities in relation to wrecks

        2. 253.Powers of lighthouse authorities in relation to wrecks

        3. 254.Referral of questions as to powers between authorities

      5. Interpretation

        1. 255.Interpretation

  11. Part X Enforcement Officers and Powers

    1. Enforcement Officers

      1. 256.Appointment of inspectors and surveyors

    2. Inspection etc powers

      1. 257.Powers to require production of ships documents

      2. 258.Powers to inspect ships and their equipment, etc

      3. 259.Powers of inspectors in relation to premises and ships

      4. 260.Provisions supplementary to section 259

    3. Improvement notices and prohibition notices

      1. 261.Improvement notices

      2. 262.Prohibition notices

      3. 263.Provisions supplementary to sections 261 and 262

      4. 264.References of notices to arbitration

      5. 265.Compensation in connection with invalid prohibition notices

      6. 266.Offences

  12. Part XI Accident Investigations and Inquiries

    1. Marine accident investigations

      1. 267.Investigation of marine accidents

      2. 268.Formal investigation into marine accidents

      3. 269.Re-hearing of and appeal from investigations

      4. 270.Rules as to investigations and appeals

    2. Inquiries into and reports on deaths and injuries

      1. 271.Inquiries into deaths of crew members and others

      2. 272.Reports of and inquiries into injuries

      3. 273.Transmission of particulars of certain deaths on ships

  13. Part XII Legal Proceedings

    1. Prosecution of offences

      1. 274.Time limit for summary offences

      2. 275.Time limit for summary orders

      3. 276.Summary offences: Scotland

      4. 277.Offences by officers of bodies corporate

      5. 278.Offences by partners, etc. in Scotland

    2. Jurisdiction

      1. 279.Jurisdiction in relation to offences

      2. 280.Jurisdiction over ships lying off coasts

      3. 281.Jurisdiction in case of offences on board ship

      4. 282.Offences committed by British seamen

    3. Return of offenders

      1. 283.Return of offenders

    4. Detention of ship and distress on ship

      1. 284.Enforcing detention of ship

      2. 285.Sums ordered to be paid leviable by distress on the ship

    5. Special evidential provisions

      1. 286.Depositions of persons abroad admissible

      2. 287.Admissibility in evidence and inspection of certain documents

      3. 288.Admissibility of documents in evidence

      4. 289.Inspection and admissibility in evidence of copies of certain documents

      5. 290.Proof, etc of exemptions

    6. Service of documents

      1. 291.Service of documents

  14. Part XIII Supplemental

    1. Administration

      1. 292.General functions of Secretary of State

      2. 293.Functions of Secretary of State in relation to marine pollution

      3. 294.General power to dispense

      4. 295.Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen

      5. 296.Mercantile marine superintendents

      6. 297.Wreck commissioners, etc

      7. 298.Transmission of documents to Registrar General

      8. 299.Returns, etc to Secretary of State

      9. 300.Forms

      10. 301.Advisory committees

    2. Financial Provisions

      1. 302.Fees

      2. 303.Expenses of Commissioners of Customs and Excise

      3. 304.Expenses charged on money provided by Parliament

      4. 305.Payments to be made into Consolidated Fund

    3. Subordinate Legislation

      1. 306.Regulations, rules and orders, etc

    4. Application of Act to certain descriptions of ships, etc.

      1. 307.Application of Act to non-United Kingdom ships

      2. 308.Application of Act to government ships

      3. 309.Application of Act to ships chartered by demise to the Crown

      4. 310.Application of Act to hovercraft

      5. 311.Application of Act to certain structures, etc

    5. Special provisions for Scots law

      1. 312.Special provisions for Scots law

    6. Final provisions

      1. 313.Definitions

      2. 314.Repeals, consequential amendments and transitional provisions

      3. 315.Extent and application

      4. 316.Short title and commencement

    1. Schedule 1

      Private Law Provisions for registered ships.

    2. Schedule 2

      Regulations Relating to Submersible and Supporting Apparatus.

    3. Schedule 3

      Load Lines.

    4. Schedule 4

      Prevention of Oil Pollution: Transitory Provisions.

    5. Schedule 5

      Overall Limit on Liability of Fund.

      1. Part I Permanent provision.

      2. Part II Transitory Provision.

    6. Schedule 6

      Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and Their Luggage by Sea.

      1. Part I Text of Convention.

      2. Part II Provisions having effect in connection with Convention.

    7. Schedule 7

      Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976.

      1. Part I Text of Convention.

      2. Part II Provisions having effect in connection with Convention.

    8. Schedule 8

      Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses.

    9. Schedule 9

      General Transfer of Local Lighthouses to Harbour Authorities.

    10. Schedule 10

      Local Light Dues: Objections.

    11. Schedule 11

      International Convention on Salvage 1989.

      1. Part I Text of Convention.

      2. Part II Provisions having effect in connection with Convention.

    12. Schedule 12


    13. Schedule 13

      Consequential Amendments.

    14. Schedule 14

      Transitory, Saving and Transitional Provisions.

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