1. The Committee has considered
the instruments set out in the Annex to this Report and has determined
that the special attention of both Houses does not require to
be drawn to any of them.
2. A memorandum by the Department
for Education and Employment concerning the Education (Student
Support) (European Institutions) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations
2000 (S.I. 2000/1407) is printed in Appendix 1.
3. A memorandum by the Department
of Health on the Medicines (Aristolochia and Mu Tong etc.) (Temporary
Prohibition) Order 2000 (S.I. 2000/1368) is printed in Appendix
4. A memorandum by the Treasury
in connection with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Freezing
of Funds and Prohibition on Investment) (Amendment) Regulations
2000 (S.I. 2000/1367) is printed in Appendix 3).
5. A memorandum by the Northern
Ireland Office in connection with the Census Order (Northern Ireland)
2000 (S.R. 2000/168) is printed in Appendix 4.
2000 (S.I. 2000/1335)
6. The Committee draws the special
attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the grounds that
they require the elucidation provided and that, in one respect,
the Merchant Shipping (Survey and Certification) (Amendment) Regulations
2000 are defectively drafted.
7. Both these sets of regulations
are concerned with the safety of shipping. The Merchant Shipping
(Survey and Certification) (Amendment) Regulations 2000 ("the
certification regulations") implement the Protocol of 1988
relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life
at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS). The Merchant Shipping (Load Line) (Amendment)
Regulations ("the load line regulations") amend the
Merchant Shipping (Load Line) Regulations of 1998 to incorporate
the amendments made to the International Convention on Load Lines
1966 by the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention
on Load Lines. Shipping Law requires that ships must have a certificate
of safety to go to sea. A certificate is obtained following a
survey and is valid for a specified period of time. In most circumstances
a renewed certificate must follow-on without a break from the
previous certificate. The Committee asked the Department of the
Environment, Transport and the Regions what were the "special
circumstances" envisaged in both the certification regulations
and the load line regulations which would permit the alteration
of the normal date of commencement of the new certificate.
8. In the memoranda printed
in Appendices 5 and 6, the Department explains that the type of
circumstances envisaged are those in which a ship undergoes repairs
or re-fitting for a period of several months during which the
existing certificate expires. In such a case the new certificate
could be dated from the date of completion of the renewal survey
rather than the date of expiry of the previous certificate. Other
such circumstances would be where a ship underwent a major re-fit
or reconstruction which lasted several months or where a ship
was laid-up out of commission for a number of months or years
and required a renewal survey on re-commissioning. The Department
points out that the expression "special circumstances"
is derived from the SOLAS Convention 1974 but is not defined in
that Convention. In drafting the regulations the Department were
concerned not to attempt their own definition. We accept this
view and note that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency would discuss
with shipowners any case to which the Agency would apply the special
circumstances exception but are concerned that the phrase should
be explained as fully as possible to assist those to whom the
regulations apply. We accordingly report these regulations for
requiring the elucidation provided.
9. The Committee were also concerned
by the use of the words "except in special circumstances"
in new regulation 13(3) of the certification regulations: the
words seem to be applicable to more than one of the circumstances
specified in paragraph (3) thus rendering the paragraph ambiguous.
The departmental memorandum printed in appendix 5 confirms our
view that the drafting does not make it clear which set of circumstances
are the ones to which the exception applies. We therefore report
regulation 13(3) of the Merchant Shipping (Survey and Certification)
(Amendment) Regulations for defective drafting.
1 The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set
out in the First Report, Session 1999-2000 (HL Paper 4; HC 47-i). Back