Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eighth Report


Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions


  The Committee asked for a memorandum on the following points:

    (1)   Regulation 4(c) disapplies the Regulations where a ship would not have been in United Kingdom waters "but for the stress of weather or any other circumstances that the master, or owner, or the charterer (if any), could [not] have prevented". Ought not the word in square brackets to have been included?

  Yes; the omission is regretted, and the missing word will be inserted at the earliest opportunity.

    (2)   Regulation 14 excepts from the application of Part III any ship which complies with any of the international conventions or Codes specified in paragraphs (a) to (h) or "(i) with enactments contained in the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 or statutory instruments in so far as they implement the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973/78 or the Codes listed above".

    Explain -

    (a)   whether the last 4 words are meant to apply also to the Marpol regulation specified in paragraph (a) and the regulation of the Convention specified in paragraph (h); and

    (b)   why the enactments referred to in paragraph (i) are not specified and what they are.

    (a)   The intention of sub-paragraph (i) to regulation 14 is to refer to enactments implementing (a) to (e) in the regulation. On reflection it is considered that the sub-paragraph is unnecessary, and even unhelpful.

    (b)   The enactments are -
    sub-paragraph in regulation 14enactment
    (a)regulation 29 of Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) Regulations 1996 (S.I. 1996/2154)
    (b) and (d)Merchant Shipping (Dangerous or Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 3010)
    (c) and (e)Merchant Shipping (Gas Carriers) Regulations 1994 (S.I. No. 2464)

  The enactments were not specified as it was thought unnecessary to name the particular legislation, which would be well known to the owners of these few very large specialised ships. It is accepted that it would have been preferable to specify them (if sub-paragraph (i) was to be included).

    (3)   Regulation 54 states that "The design and construction of the towing arrangements shall be guided by the provisions contained in Schedule 13 in Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1671". Explain why the bold words are used, as distinct from the words "shall be in accordance with" or "shall comply with" used in other contexts.

  The Safety of Life at Sea Convention 1974 requires that emergency towing arrangements shall be "based on" IMO Guidelines. Schedule 13 of Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1671 repeats the content of the IMO Guidelines on Emergency Towing Equipment. These were written in a very prescriptive way and have since become outdated as a result of developing technology. It is within the spirit of SOLAS that owners, manufacturers and the Marine Safety Agency should use the guidelines for guidance (only) when considering the variety of new and individual systems. As with many other aspects of ship construction legislation, the final judgment in each case must rest with professionally qualified surveyors rather than by comparison with a prescriptive check list. Making the provisions of Schedule 13 mandatory is not therefore appropriate.

    (4)   The Explanatory Note states that the Regulations "implement in part EC Directive 94/57". Explain, as required by paragraph 1.101(a) of the Statutory Instruments Practice, what provisions of the Directive are implemented by the Regulations (and by what provisions of them), and why this information was not included in the Explanatory Note.

  Regulation 5 implements (in part) article 14 of Council Directive 94/57/EC of 22 November 1994 (O.J. 12.12.94, p. 319/20) on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime organisations. It is regretted this information was, due to an oversight, not included in the Explanatory Note.

14th July 1997

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