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Name: Merchant Shipping Act (CH.268).
Country: Bahamas
Subject(s): Seafarers
Type of legislation: Law, Act
Adopted on: 1976-11-29
Entry into force:
ISN: BHS-1976-L-55207
Bibliography: Consolidated Merchant Shipping Legislation, 1990, Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, BPCC Wheatons Ltd, Exeter
Legislation on-line Legislation on-line Bahamas Laws On-line, Government of the Bahamas PDF of Act as amended to Act No. 1/2003 PDF of Act as amended to Act No. 1/2003 (consulted on 2015-11-18)
Abstract/Citation: Provides for the registration of ships, the control, regulation and orderly development of merchant shipping and the proper qualification of persons employed in sea service. Regulates the terms and conditions of people so employed and provides for related matters. Part One provides preliminary information. Part Two governs the registration of ships. Establishes the procedures and requirements for ship registration. Governs certificates of registry, transfers of ownership, mortgages, alterations, ship nationalities and ship flags. Part Three governs masters and seamen. Regulates certificates of competency. Legislates that Bahamian ships are to be provided with requisite numbers of certified officers according to ship size. Regulates grades and examinations for certificates of competency. Prohibits ships going to sea under-staffed. Sets English language requirements for crew. Governs crew agreements. Prohibits the employment of persons under sixteen years of age (except for work approved by the Director of Maritime Affairs on board a school-ship or training ship) and legislates that those under eighteen years of age must undergo a medical examination before being employed on board a ship. Regulates the payment of wages. Legislates that wages owed to seafarers are to be paid within two days after the arrival of the ship at port. Prohibits deductions. Makes explicit the conditions under which the Director of Maritime Affairs may intervene on questions of wages. Regulates the payment of wages in foreign currencies. Governs advances and allotments of wages. Makes explicit the rights of seamen with respect to wages. Legislates that rights to wages shall not be forfeited, that wages are not to depend on freight and that wages are not assignable. Governs vacation leave and public holidays. Provides for modes of recovering wages. Grants the Supreme Court the power to rescind contracts in certain cases. Provides for deceased seamen. Governs health, accomodation and other provisions on board ships. Provides facilities for making complaints. Protects seamen from imposition. Governs discipline. Regulates ships' log books and documents. Regulates the relief and repatriation of distressed seamen and seamen left behind abroad. Part Four makes minor provisions for passenger ships. Part Five governs safety. Provides for the appointment of and establishes the duties and powers inspectors. Governs records and certificates of inspection. Sets inspection procedures and safety regulations. Governs general safety precautions and responsibilities. Regulates cargo and collisions. Part Six deals with wrecks, salvage and investigations. Provides for the removal and salvage of wrecks. Part Seven governs liability. Part Eight provides for legal proceedings. Regulates offences, jurisdiction, reciprocal jurisdiction, inquiries, depositions and evidence. Part Nine concerns Maritime Liens. Part Ten provides supplementary regulations including granting the Minister responsible for maritime affairs with the power to make regulations for the purposes of carryingo out the act.
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