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Deregulation Act 2015

Section 12: Space activity: limit on indemnity required

70.Section 12 amends the Outer Space Act 1986. Subject to certain exceptions, the 1986 Act requires a licence for the carrying out of space activities by UK nationals and companies. Section 10 of that Act provides that those carrying on activities in outer space must indemnify the United Kingdom government against any liability the United Kingdom incurs under international law in relation to those activities. There is currently no limit on the indemnity.

71.The principal effect of the amendments (see subsections (3) and (4)) is that the indemnity applicable to licensed space activities by virtue of section 10 of the 1986 Act is limited to the sum specified in the licence which authorises the activity (instead of being unlimited).

72.The section also enables the variation of existing licences to reduce the level of the indemnity applicable to the licensed activities (see subsections (5) and (6)).

73.In addition, the power to exempt activities from the requirement to have a licence contained in section 3(3) of the 1986 Act is modified so that provision can be made under that section to reduce or remove liability under the indemnity in respect of activities which do not require a licence.

74.Provision is made under subsection (7) for the power under section 15(6) of the 1986 Act to be exercisable to extend the provisions made by the section to the territories specified in section 15(6) (the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories).

75.The section forms part of the law of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It comes into force on a day to be appointed by the Secretary of State in a commencement order.

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