GHANA SHIPPING ACT, 2003 (ACT 645), SS 1-114

GHANA SHIPPING ACT, 2003 (ACT 645)

DATE OF PRESIDENTIAL ASSENT: 3rd July, 2003.

DATE OF GAZETTE NOTIFICATION: 11th July, 2003.

AN ACT to consolidate with amendments the law on regulation of ships and the maritime industry and to provide for related matters.

PART ONE

Restriction on Trading in Ghanaian Waters; Registration, Building, Importation and Licensing of Ships and Proprietary Interest in Ships

1. Restriction on trading in Ghanaian waters

(1) A ship shall not trade in or from Ghanaian waters unless the ship,

(a) is a Ghanaian ship, or

(b) possesses a certificate of foreign registry or similar document.

(2) Subject to any treaty or agreement with a foreign Government, only Ghanaian ships may engage in local trade in Ghanaian waters.

(3) A person not qualified to own a Ghanaian ship as specified in section 2 shall not engage in a charter, or otherwise engage a Ghanaian ship for local trade in Ghanaian waters except in accordance with the conditions directed in writing by the Board of the Ghana Maritime Authority.

(4) A Ghanaian ship trading in any waters in Ghana and a ship trading in or from Ghanaian waters shall provide evidence of financial responsibility against risks of damage to third parties in the form directed in writing by the Board of the Ghana Maritime Authority.

(5) Where the master, owner or agent of a ship contravenes a provision of subsection (1), (2) or (4) or where a person contravenes subsection (3) the master, owner, agent or that person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the cedi equivalent of US $1 million and the ship shall be detained until the fine is paid.

2. Qualifications for owning a Ghanaian ship

Except where otherwise provided by any other enactment, a ship is not a Ghanaian ship unless the ship is owned by,

(a) a citizen,

(b) a body corporate registered under the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179),

(c) a partnership registered under the Incorporated Partnership Act, 1962 (Act 152),

(d) a foreign individual or a foreign company in registered joint venture relationship with a Ghanaian national or company, and

(e) any of the persons specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) who charters ships on bare boat charter.

3. Obligation to register and Regulations on Ghanaian ships

(1) A ship owned by any of the persons described in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (e) of section 2 shall be registered in Ghana unless,

(a) the ship is licensed to operate solely within Ghanaian waters, or

(b) the ship is exempt from being licensed under section 40.

(2) A foreign ship owned by a person or a body corporate in registered joint venture relationship with a Ghanaian may be registered in Ghana.

(3) A Ghanaian Government ship shall be registered in one of the register books provided for under section 13.

(4) The Director-General may detain a ship wholly owned by persons qualified to own a registered or licensed Ghanaian ship where the master of the ship fails to produce the certificate of registry or a licence on demand until that evidence is produced.

(5) A ship required to be registered under this Act, shall not be recognised as a Ghanaian ship and shall not be entitled to rights and privileges accorded a Ghanaian ship unless it is registered.

(6) Where the Director-General has a doubt as to the qualification of a ship registered under this Part, the Director-General may direct the Registrar of Ships to demand that evidence be produced to the satisfaction of the Director-General within the time that the Director-General may specify that the ship is qualified to be registered.

(7) Where the Director-General specifies a time limit within which satisfactory evidence of qualification has to be given to the Registrar and it is not given, the ship shall be de-registered.

(8) The Minister may make Regulations on matters relating to the obligation to register ships.

4. Application for registration

(1) Application for the registration of a ship shall be made to the Registrar of Ships,

(a) in the case of an individual, by the person requiring to be registered as owner or agent;

(b) in the case of a number of persons by one or more of those persons, or their agent; and

(c) in the case of a body corporate, by the body corporate or its agent.

(2) The Registrar shall demand satisfactory proof of ownership before registration.

5. Declaration of ownership

(1) A person shall not be registered as the owner of a Ghanaian ship or of a share in it unless that person or in the case of a body corporate the person authorised by the body corporate under section 4 (1) to make the application on its behalf, has made a declaration of ownership in the prescribed form.

(2) The declaration shall be accompanied by a certificate of survey for the ship and shall include the following particulars of the applicant and the ship:

(a) the full name and address of the applicant,

(b) the national status or in the case of a body corporate a statement of the constitution and business interests as proof of its qualification to own a Ghanaian ship,

(c) a statement of the time when and the place where the ship was built, or if the ship was built outside Ghana and the time and place of building is not known, a statement to that effect, and in addition in the case of a ship previously registered outside Ghana, a statement of the name by which it was registered,

(d) the number of shares in the ship in respect of which the person or the body corporate is entitled to be registered as owner, and

(e) a statement that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the applicant an unqualified person does not have a legal or beneficial interest in the ship or any share in it.

(3) For the purposes of this section, “beneficial interest” has the meaning assigned to it by section 79 of this Act.

6. Building and sale of vessels

(1) A person shall not undertake in Ghana the building of a ship unless that person has been granted a licence to do so by the Minister responsible for Industries in consultation with the Minister and the Minister responsible for Agriculture where the ship is a fishing vessel.

(2) The design for the building of a ship is subject to the approval of the Minister or the body charged by law with the responsibility.

(3) The building of a ship in Ghana shall be supervised by a surveyor employed by the person who commissioned the building of the ship and the employer shall submit periodic progress reports of the work on the ship to the Minister.

(4) A person shall not sell or offer for sale, whether within or outside Ghana, a new ship built in Ghana unless there has been issued in respect of that ship a Certificate of Seaworthiness by the Minister in the prescribed form.

(5) The Minister may in consultation with the Board of the Ghana Maritime Authority make Regulations prescribing

(a) the standards and specifications for the design and construction of different types of ships, and

(b) the forms of application, licence and Certificate of Seaworthiness described in this section.

(6) The owner, operator and master of a ship built or sold in contravention of subsection (1), (2), (3), or (4) commits an offence and individually liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units and in addition the Court may order the forfeiture of the ship in respect of which the offence was committed.

7. Importation of a ship

(1) A person shall not,

(a) without the prior approval in writing granted by the Minister in accordance with the recommendation of the Authority, import a ship, or

(b) import into the country a ship,

(i) in the case of a trawler, which is older than ten years, or

(ii) in the case of a tuna fishing vessel or any other vessel, which is older than fifteen years, from the date of construction except that a trawler of not more than fifteen years or a tuna vessel or any other vessel of not more than eighteen years from the date of construction, may be imported subject to the acceptance by the Minister in consultation with the Ghana Maritime Authority and on the advice of the Board of a survey report of seaworthiness issued by a recognised international classification authority.

(2) The importer of a ship shall pay the fees and costs determined by the Board, including the cost of an inspection which may be required pursuant to subsection (1) (b).

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of the cedi equivalent of not less than US $10, 000 and not exceeding US $100, 000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both the fine and the imprisonment, and in addition the Court may order the forfeiture of the vessel in respect of which the offence was committed.

8. Builder’s certificate and evidence required on first registration of a ship

(1) Where a ship is built in Ghana the builder shall issue to the owner a signed builder’s certificate containing

(a) the true account of the proper denomination and tonnage of the ship as estimated by the builder,

(b) the date and place where the ship was built, and

(c) the name of the person for whom the ship was built.

(2) A ship builder who fails to comply with subsection (1) or wilfully makes a false statement in a certificate submitted, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(3) On the first registration of a ship the following evidence shall be produced by the applicant in addition to the declaration required under section 5:

(a) the builder’s certificate specified under subsection (1);

(b) if there has been a sale, the bill of sale under which the ship or a share in her has become vested in the applicant;

(c) in the case of a foreign-built ship, a builder’s certificate unless the applicant declares

(i) that the date and place of its building are unknown to the applicant, or

(ii) that the builder’s certificate cannot be procured; in which case there shall be registered only the bill of sale under which the ship or a share in it became vested in the applicant; and

(d) in the case of a ship condemned by a competent authority, the official copy of the condemnation document.

9. Restriction on registration

(1) A ship registered in any country is not eligible for registration under this Act unless, in the case of a ship registered in a country which is a party to the International Convention for the unification of the rules relating to Liens and Mortgages, 1993,

(a) a certificate has been issued by that country to the effect that the ship has been de-registered, or

(b) a certificate has been issued by that country to the effect that the ship will be de-registered on the day that the new registration is effected in Ghana.

(2) An applicant seeking registration of a ship registered in another country shall satisfy the Registrar of Ships that,

(a) the ship has been deregistered on the day that the new registration is effected or that the foreign registration has been cancelled or will be cancelled on the day that the new registration is effected; and

(b) mortgages are not outstanding against the ship or where there are outstanding mortgages against the ship, the mortgagees have consented in writing to the deregistration or cancellation of the ship’s foreign registration.

10. Cancellation of registration

The registration of a ship shall be cancelled by the Registrar if at any time the ship,

(a) is found to be also registered in another country,

(b) ceases to qualify for registration as a Ghanaian ship under section 2, or

(c) is considered by the Registrar to have been lost or broken up.

11. Restriction on deregistration of ships

A ship shall not be deregistered without the consent in writing of all registered mortgagees of the ship.

12. Port of registry

(1) The ports of Takoradi and Tema are the Ports of Registry for the registration of Ghanaian ships.

(2) The Authority may by notice published in the Gazette declare any other port of Ghana as a port of Registry.

13. Register books and entries

(1) The Registrar of Ships shall keep the necessary register books for the purposes of this Act including a register book for,

(a) merchant ships,

(b) fishing vessels, and

(c) ships under construction.

(2) Entries in the registers shall be made in accordance with the following conditions:

(a) the property in a ship shall be divided into sixty-four shares;

(b) subject to the provisions of this Act with respect to joint owners or owners by transmission, not more than sixty-four individuals shall be entitled to be registered at the same time as owners of any one ship, except that this provision does not affect the beneficial title of any number of persons or of any company represented by or claiming under or through a registered owner or joint owner;

(c) a person is not entitled to be registered as owner of a fractional part of a share in a ship, but any number of persons not exceeding five may be registered as joint owners of a ship or of a share in it;

(d) joint owners shall be considered as constituting one person only for registration and are not entitled to dispose separately of an interest in a ship, or in a share in it for which they are registered; and

(e) a body corporate may be registered as owner by its corporate name.

(3) On the completion of the preliminary requirements for the registration of a ship, the Registrar shall enter in the appropriate register the following particulars of the ship:

(a) the present name of the ship and the previous name and registry;

(b) the details contained in the certificate of survey;

(c) the particulars in respect of its origin stated in the declaration of ownership;

(d) the name, address, occupation and nationality of its owner and where there is more than one owner the percentage of shares held by each owner;

(e) the port of registry or home port and the official number or identity mark;

(f) the international call sign of the ship, where one is assigned to it;

(g) the name of the builder, and the place and year of the building of the ship;

(h) the description of the main technical characteristics of the ship; and

(i) the details of any mortgages.

(4) The Registrar shall not register a ship purchased or otherwise acquired from a foreigner or a corporate body where a bill of sale or any other document by which the ship became vested in the applicant for registration contains express, implied or constructive provisions restricting the use of the vessel or imputing a measure of continued control by the government of a foreign country.

(5) Individual owners, joint owners and corporate bodies that have been recorded in the register book as owners shall be regarded as owners of the ship or any part of her.

(6) The Registrar shall keep a record in a manner approved by the Director-General of,

(a) the date of deletion or suspension of the previous registration of a ship, and

(b) the name, address, nationality and other details as appropriate of a ship owner who is qualified under section 2.

14. Documents to be retained by the Registrar of ships

The Registrar shall on the registration of a ship retain

(a) the certificate of survey,

(b) the builder’s certificate,

(c) the carving notes,

(d) any previous bill of sale of the ship,

(e) the copy of the condemnation,

(f) all declarations of ownership,

(g) notice of the name of the ship, and

(h) the application for registration.

15. Name of ship

(1) A merchant ship registered in the register for merchant ships shall have a name but two or more merchant ships shall not bear the same name.

(2) A Ghanaian ship shall not be described by any name other than that by which it is registered.

(3) The Registrar may refuse to register a ship by the name she is proposed to be registered, if that name is already the name of a registered Ghanaian ship, a name which is similar to a ship already registered or is a name likely to deceive or offend the public.

(4) Where the Registrar refuses to register a ship by a proposed name, the Registrar shall direct the applicant to make the necessary rectification and the Registrar shall not register the ship under the proposed name, until the directives have been complied with.

16. Change of name of a ship

(1) A change of the name of a Ghanaian ship shall not be made without the consent of the Registrar.

(2) An application for a change of the name shall be made to the Registrar on the prescribed form.

(3) The Registrar shall not grant permission to change the name of a Ghanaian ship, unless the Registrar is satisfied that all registered mortgagees have been notified of the proposed change of name.

(4) The Registrar shall grant the approval for a change of the name of a ship and the registration shall be carried out in the manner specified in the Regulations.

(5) A person who contravenes or permits a person under that person’s control to contravene a provision of this section or of the Regulations commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

17. Identity marks for fishing vessels

(1) The Registrar shall allocate to a fishing vessel on registration a combination and sequence of letters and numbers which is the identity mark and shall be entered in the relevant register book.

(2) Two fishing vessels shall not be allocated the same identity mark.

(3) A registered fishing vessel shall display the identity mark allocated to it on both sides of the bow of the ship and shall show the name of the ship’s port of registry on the stern.

(4) The master and the owner of a fishing vessel which displays an identity mark not allocated to the vessel, or fails to display the vessel’s identity mark commits an offence and are each liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

18. Call sign

A merchant ship or fishing vessel which is equipped with a wireless radio transmitting station or with a radio telephone installation, shall also possess an internationally registered code designation in the form of international call letters or numbers as appropriate to the flag state of registration assigned to the ship.

19. Register book for ships under construction

A ship under construction may be entered in the register book for ships under construction from the date of the signing of the contract for construction until the ship is placed on another register after its completion.

Tonnage Measurement of Ships
20. Survey

(1) A ship shall be surveyed and its tonnage ascertained before registration by a surveyor of ships appointed under section 26.

(2) The surveyor shall grant a certificate of survey specifying the ship’s tonnage and build and any other particulars descriptive of the identity of the ship as the Registrar may require.

(3) A ship shall not be registered without the submission to the Registrar of a certificate of survey.

21. Tonnage Regulations

(1) The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make Tonnage Regulations

(a) to provide for a method for ascertaining the tonnage of a ship,

(b) to make different provisions for different descriptions of ships or for the same descriptions of ships in different circumstances, and

(c) to prohibit or restrict the carriage of goods or stores in spaces not included in the assessment of the net tonnage of a ship.

(2) The Minister shall in making the Tonnage Regulations, incorporate the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 including amendments to it.

22. Tonnage once ascertained to be tonnage of ship

(1) Where the tonnage of a ship has been ascertained in accordance with the Tonnage Regulations, that tonnage shall be registered as the tonnage of that ship.

(2) The tonnage of a ship once ascertained shall be entered in every subsequent registration of that ship unless

(a) an alteration is made in the size or capacity of the ship, or

(b) it is discovered that the tonnage of the ship has been erroneously determined, and in each case the ship shall be remeasured and her tonnage ascertained and registered in accordance with the Tonnage Regulations.

23. Tonnage rules of foreign ships

(1) Where the Director-General is satisfied that the tonnage rules of a foreign country are substantially the same as the Tonnage Regulations of Ghana, the Director-General may direct that the tonnage denoted in the ship’s certificate of registry or any other certificate of Registry be considered as the tonnage of that ship.

(2) Where a surveyor inspects a foreign ship and certifies to the Director-General that the construction and equipment of the ship do not meet the standard required of a Ghanaian ship of the same tonnage, the surveyor shall remeasure the ship and assign a tonnage in accordance with this Act or the Regulations made for the purpose under this Act by deducting from the tonnage the space occupied by seafarers or apprentices as shown on the certificate of registry or any other certificates relating to the foreign ship.

(3) The Director-General may direct that a foreign ship be remeasured where it appears to the Director-General that the tonnage materially differs from the tonnage specified by or under this Act.

24. Foreign and other measurements

(1) A surveyor may accept and use the figures or measurement contained in the latest register where the ship is registered as a foreign ship, or in the case of an unregistered ship, in the latest certificate of survey relating to that ship.

(2) A surveyor shall be satisfied that there have been no changes of measurement since the making of the register or certificate which the surveyor proposes to use and where changes have been made, the surveyor shall remeasure the ship to the extent of the changes.

25. Alterations between surveys

(1) The owner or master of a Ghanaian ship shall within thirty days after the completion of the alteration or reconstruction of the ship, advise the Registrar of the alteration or reconstruction and give the Registrar details where the alteration or reconstruction could affect the ship’s classification, measurement, tonnage or loading.

(2) The owner or master of a ship who fails to comply with subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

26. Appointment of surveyors for tonnage measurement

(1) The Authority may appoint duly qualified surveyors within or outside Ghana to survey and measure ships.

(2) The Authority may nominate within or outside Ghana a classification society.

(3) A classification society so nominated may appoint competent persons to survey and measure ships subject to the conditions that the Authority may determine.

27. Marking of ships

(1) A ship shall, before being registered in Ghana, be permanently and conspicuously marked in accordance with the Regulations made under this Part.

(2) Where the Registrar is satisfied that a ship is insufficiently or inaccurately marked, the Registrar may suspend the certificate of registry of the ship or in the absence of that certificate the Registrar may detain the ship until the insufficiency or inaccuracy has been remedied to the Registrar’s satisfaction.

(3) The Minister may make Regulations to exempt a specified class of ships from any of the provisions of this section in accordance with the advice of the Authority.

28. Certificate of registry

(1) A certificate of registry shall be in the form prescribed by the Minister.

(2) A certificate of registry shall include,

(a) the name of the owner of the ship, the owner’s occupation and address, and if there is more than one owner, the proportions of their interests in the ship,

(b) the date and place where the ship was built,

(c) the details given in the certificate of survey, and

(d) the International Maritime Organisation number of the ship.

29. Regulations in relation to certificate of registry

The Minister may make Regulations relating to,

(a) the grant of a new certificate of registry;

(b) the loss and replacement of certificate of registry;

(c) the endorsement of a change of ownership on a certificate of registry; and

(d) the producing of the certificate of registry of a ship that is lost, broken up or has ceased to be a Ghanaian ship.

30. Issue and custody of certificate of registry

(1) The Registrar shall on registration of a ship issue a certificate of registry to the ship.

(2) A certificate of registry shall be kept on board the ship and shall be used only for the lawful navigation of the ship and shall not be subject to retention by a title, lien, charge or any other interest of any owner, mortgagee or other person.

(3) A person shall on demand deliver the certificate of registry in that person’s possession to the person entitled to its custody for the purposes of lawful navigation of the ship, or to the Registrar, surveyor of ships, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service Officer or any other person entitled by law to require its delivery.

(4) A person who contravenes subsection (3) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(5) Where a Court in any proceedings in respect of an offence under this section is satisfied that the certificate is lost, it shall advise the Director-General in writing.

31. Improper use of certificate of registry

Where the master or owner of a Ghanaian ship uses or attempts to use for navigation a certificate of registry not legally granted, the master or owner commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years or to both the fine and the imprisonment, and the ship may also be forfeited to the State.

32. Provisional certificate of registry

(1) Where the owner of a ship intends to apply for registration of the ship as a Ghanaian ship but the Registrar is not immediately available, an authorised officer may grant a provisional certificate on an application by the owner which application shall include a statutory declaration stating

(a) the name of the ship,

(b) the name and particulars of the owner of the ship,

(c) the date and place of its purchase and the name of the purchaser,

(d) that the foreign registry, if any, of the ship has been closed, and

(e) that the full particulars on the ship’s tonnage, date and place of construction and such other particulars as the owner is able to provide are attached, and the officer shall forward a copy of the certificate at the first convenient opportunity to the Registrar.

(2) A provisional certificate under this section shall have the effect of a certificate of registry until the expiration of six months after its date of issue or until the arrival of the ship at a port in Ghana whichever happens first and on the occurrence of either of these events, the provisional certificate shall cease to have effect.

(3) The master of a ship in respect of which a provisional certificate has been granted shall, within ten days of the ship’s first arrival at a port in Ghana, deliver the certificate to the Registrar, and where a master fails to comply with these conditions the master commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

33. Temporary pass in lieu of certificate of registry

(1) Where the Director-General considers that in any special circumstances it is desirable that permission be granted to a ship which is not registered to pass from a port in Ghana to another port within or outside Ghana, the Director-General may in a case where the ship belongs to a country whose law permits the issue of a temporary pass to a Ghanaian ship, direct the Registrar to grant a pass.

(2) The pass granted shall have the same effect as a certificate of registry within the geographical limits.

Registration of Alterations and Registration Anew
34. Registration of alterations of tonnage

(1) Where a Ghanaian ship is altered so as not to correspond with the particulars relating to tonnage, notification of the alteration shall be given within thirty days of the alteration to the Registrar.

(2) The notice to the Registrar shall be accompanied by a certificate of survey specifying the particulars of the alteration.

(3) The Registrar shall on receipt of a notice of alteration under subsection (1), regulate the alteration or direct that the ship be registered anew.

(4) The Registrar may suspend the certificate of registry of the ship where there is a failure to comply with the requirements specified in subsection (1), (2) or (3).

(5) The owner of a ship commits an offence where there is default in registering anew a ship that has been altered and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both the fine and the imprisonment and in addition is liable to a fine of one hundred penalty units for each day during which the offence continues after the conviction.

35. Rules for registration of alterations to a registered ship

(1) For the purposes of registration of any other alteration in a ship, the ship’s certificate of registry shall be produced to the Registrar within sixty days after the alteration and the Registrar shall

(a) retain the certificate and grant a new certificate of registry containing a description of the ship as altered, or

(b) endorse on the existing certificate of registry, a statement of the alteration.

(2) The Registrar shall enter in the Register book the particulars of the alteration and the fact that a new certificate has been granted or an endorsement has been made.

36. Provisional certificate for registration anew

(1) Where a Ghanaian ship is outside the territories of Ghana and a notification for a new registration is given, a proper officer of the Authority, shall on an application by the master, grant a provisional certificate describing the ship as altered or provisionally endorse the particulars of the alteration on the existing Certificate.

(2) Where the proper officer or any other appropriate authority grants a provisional certificate or provisionally endorses a certificate under this section, the officer or authority shall add to the certificate or endorsement a statement that it is provisional only.

(3) The master of a ship in respect of which a provisional certificate is granted or a certificate is endorsed under this section shall, within ten days of the ship’s arrival at a port in Ghana or within six months of the date of issue or endorsement of the certificate, whichever is sooner, deliver that certificate to the Registrar.

(4) A master who fails to comply with subsection (3) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(5) Where a ship in respect of which a provisional certificate is granted under this section first arrives at a port in Ghana, application for registration of that ship anew shall be made to the Registrar and the other requirements for registration shall be complied with.

(6) An owner of a ship who fails to comply with subsection (5) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months and an additional fine of fifty penalty units for each day during which the offence continues after the conviction.

37. Change of ownership and registration anew

The Registrar may, on an application by the owner of a Ghanaian registered ship direct that a new registration be made where the ownership has changed.

38. Procedure for new registration

(1) Where a ship is to be registered anew, the Registrar shall proceed as in the case of a first registration and on the delivery to the Registrar of the existing certificate of registration and in compliance with any other requirement for registration, or in the case of a change of ownership in compliance with any of the requirements that the Registrar thinks material, the Registrar shall re-register the ship, and grant it a certificate of registry.

(2) When a ship is registered anew, the former registration shall be considered as closed, except so far as relates to an unsatisfied mortgage entered into, but the names of all persons formally registered as owners or mortgagees shall be entered on the new register, and the new registration shall not in any way affect the rights of any of those persons.

39. Restriction on re-registration of abandoned ships

Where a Ghanaian registered ship has prior to an application for its registration been wrecked or abandoned or captured by an enemy or for any other reason been transferred to a person not qualified to own a Ghanaian ship, the ship shall not be re-registered until the ship has, at the expense of the applicant for registration, been surveyed by a surveyor and certified by the surveyor to be seaworthy.

Licensing of Ships
40. Ships to be licensed

(1) A Ghanaian ship under twenty-four metres in length or fifteen tonnes in weight and every vessel of whatever length or weight trading or operating solely within the inland waters of Ghana shall instead of being registered be licensed.

(2) The following ships are exempt from licensing:

(a) a pleasure craft of less than five metres in length not equipped with propulsion machinery,

(b) a pleasure craft of less than three metres in length equipped with propulsion machinery of not more than 3.75 kilowatts, and

(c) ships registered under this Act.

(3) The Authority may in writing exempt, generally or specifically, ships from compliance with subsection (1) on the conditions that the Board of the Authority may determine.

41. Qualifications for owning a licensed Ghanaian ship

(1) A ship shall not be licensed in Ghana unless it is owned wholly by any of the persons referred to in section 2.

(2) Not more than eight persons may be recorded as joint owners of a licensed Ghanaian ship.

(3) A licensed Ghanaian ship shall within seven days, or a further period that the Director-General may allow, after a change of ownership, notify the Registrar in writing of the change.

(4) Where the owner of a licensed Ghanaian ship fails to comply with subsection (3), the licence of the ship shall be cancelled.

(5) The Authority may by notice published in the Gazette generally or specifically exempt a class of ships required to be licensed from licensing while operating outside Ghanaian waters.

42. Regulations for licensing of ships

The Minister may make Regulations regarding the licensing of Ghanaian ships, and in particular for,

(a) the manning, life-saving, safety, pollution prevention and fire-fighting equipment of such ships;

(b) the examination and certification of officers, skippers, mechanics and deck hands;

(c) surveys and inspections;

(d) the appointment of surveyors;

(e) the keeping of records;

(f) fees;

(g) discipline on board; and

(h) operating permits.

Transfer and Transmission of Interest
43. Transfer of ship or shares

(1) A registered ship or a share in it when disposed of to a person qualified to own a Ghanaian ship shall be transferred by a bill of sale.

(2) The bill of sale shall contain the description of the ship as is contained in the certificate of survey.

(3) The bill of sale shall be in the form prescribed in the Regulations or in any other form acceptable to the Authority and shall be executed by the transferor in the presence of, and attested by, a witness.

44. Declaration of transfer

(1) Where a registered ship or a share in it is transferred, the transferee is not entitled to be registered as owner until the transferee, or, in the case of a body corporate, the person authorised by this Act to make declarations on behalf of the body corporate, has made and signed a declaration that refers to the ship and contains a statement of the qualifications of the transferee to own a Ghanaian ship.

(2) Where the transferee is a body corporate, the nature of its business shall be a condition for it to be qualified to own a Ghanaian ship.

45. Registration of transfer

(1) A bill of sale for the transfer of a registered ship or a share in it when duly executed, shall be produced to the Registrar at the port of registry of the ship with the declaration of transfer.

(2) The Registrar shall, on the production of the bill, enter in the relevant register the name of the transferee as owner of the ship or the share, and the Registrar shall endorse on the bill of sale the fact of that entry having been made, with the day and hour of the entry.

(3) A bill of sale of a ship or a share in it shall be entered in the register book in the order of their production to the Registrar.

46. Transmission of property on death, insolvency

(1) Where a registered ship or a share in it is transmitted to a person qualified to own a Ghanaian ship on the death or insolvency of a registered owner, or by a lawful means other than by a transfer under this Act, that person shall authenticate the transmission by signing a declaration of transmission, identifying the ship and containing the several statements required to be contained in a declaration of transfer, or as near as possible as circumstances permit.

(2) There shall also be provided a statement of the manner in which and the person to whom the property has been transmitted.

(3) Where the transmission is consequent on insolvency, the declaration of transmission shall be accompanied with evidence admissible in a Court as proof of the title of persons claiming under insolvency.

(4) Where the transmission is consequent on death, the declaration of transfer shall be accompanied by the instrument of representation or an official extract from it.

(5) The Registrar shall on receipt of the declaration of transmission, enter in the register book the name of the person entitled under the transmission as owner of the ship or of the share of the ship which has been transmitted.

(6) Where there is more than one person the Registrar shall enter the names of all those persons, except that for the purposes of this Part the number of persons entitled to be registered as owners shall be considered as one person.

47. Order for sale on transmission to unqualified persons

(1) Where a Ghanaian ship or a share in it is transmitted on death, insolvency or otherwise to a person not qualified to own a Ghanaian ship, the High Court may, on application made by or on behalf of the unqualified person, order a sale of the ship and direct that the proceeds of the sale, after deducting the expenses involved, be paid to the person entitled under the transmission or otherwise as the Court may direct.

(2) The Court may require the evidence that it considers necessary in support of the application, and may make an order on terms and conditions it thinks just, and may generally act in the case as the justice of the case requires.

(3) An application for sale shall be made within thirty days after the occurrence of the event on which the transfer has taken place, or within a further time, not exceeding in the aggregate of one year from the date of the occurrence of the event, that the Court may allow.

(4) Where an application is not made within the time specified in this section or where the Court refuses an order for sale, the ship or the share transmitted is subject to forfeiture under this Act.

48. Transfer of ship on sale by order of court

Where the High Court orders the sale of a ship or a share in it whether under this Act or any other law, the order of the Court shall contain a declaration vesting in a person named by the Court the right to transfer that ship or share and the person named is entitled to transfer the ship or the share as if that person were the registered owner of it.

49. Power of court to prohibit transfer

(1) The High Court may, on the application by an interested person, make an order prohibiting for a time specified in the order, any dealing with a ship or a share in it.

(2) The Court may make the order on the terms or conditions it thinks just and may generally act in the case as the justice of the case requires and the Registrar, without being made a party to the proceedings, shall on being served with an order or an official copy of the order obey the order.

Mortgages
50. Mortgage of ship or shares

(1) A registered ship or a share in it may be made a security for a loan or any other valuable consideration, and the instrument creating the security shall be in the form prescribed in the Regulations.

(2) The Registrar shall as circumstances permit and on the production of the instrument creating the security, record the mortgage in the register book at the ship’s port of registry.

(3) Mortgages shall be recorded by the Registrar in the order of time in which they are produced to the Registrar.

(4) The Registrar shall by a memorandum signed by the Registrar state on each mortgage that it has been recorded by the Registrar and indicate the day and hour of that record.

(5) The transfer of a mortgage or its transmission shall not affect the order of priority of the mortgage.

51. Mortgage of provisionally registered ships

(1) Where a ship is provisionally registered, a mortgage executed outside Ghana may be produced to a consular officer who shall notify the Registrar of the production of the mortgage.

(2) The Registrar shall, as soon as possible record the names of the parties and the amount secured on the mortgage.

(3) Where the Registrar has received notice of a provisional registration of a ship and of the production of a mortgage relating to the ship, the mortgage shall be considered as registered and its priority shall be preserved from the time of receipt by the Registrar of the notice of the mortgage.

(4) The Registrar shall make an appropriate entry in the relevant register book from the time of receipt of the mortgage, or from the time of the receipt of the notice of mortgage, whichever occurs first.

(5) The provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of section 50 shall apply to mortgages under this section as they apply to mortgages under that section, except that the day and hour of record shall not derogate from the priority preserved under subsections (3) and (4) of this section.

(6) On the final registration of a ship provisionally registered under this section the priority of a mortgage recorded under this section shall be preserved although that the provisional registration may have ceased to have effect before the final registration.

52. Entry of discharge of mortgage

(1) Where a registered mortgage is discharged, the Registrar shall, on the production of the mortgage with a receipt for the mortgage money endorsed and attested, make an entry in the relevant register to the effect that the mortgage has been discharged.

(2) On that entry being made, the interest which passed to the mortgagee shall vest in the person in whom, having regard to intervening acts and circumstances, the interest would have vested if the mortgage had not been made.

53. Priority of mortgages

Where there is more than one mortgage registered in respect of the same ship or share in it, the mortgagees are entitled, despite any express, implied or constructive notice, in priority one over the other, according to the date on which each mortgage is recorded in the register and not according to the date of each mortgage itself.

54. Mortgagee not treated as owner

A mortgagee shall not, by reason of the mortgage, be considered the owner of a ship or a share in it, nor shall the mortgagor cease to be the owner except as may be necessary for making a mortgaged ship or a share in it available as a security for the mortgaged debt.

55. Power of sale of mortgagee

(1) A registered mortgagee has power to dispose of the ship or a share in it in respect of which the mortgagee is registered and to give effective receipt for the purchase money.

(2) Where more than one person is registered as mortgagee of the same ship or a share in it, a subsequent mortgagee shall not, except under the order of the High Court, sell the ship or the share, without the concurrence of every prior mortgagee.

(3) A mortgagee referred to in subsections (1) and (2) is entitled to enforce the mortgage by an action in rem in admiralty whenever the sum secured by the mortgage is unpaid when due, in accordance with the terms of the deed or instrument collateral to the mortgage.

(4) A registered mortgagee of a Ghana Government ship shall not without first obtaining an order from the High Court, dispose of the ship or a share in it in respect of which the mortgagee is registered and give receipts for the purchase money.

56. Mortgage not affected by bankruptcy

A registered mortgage of a ship or a share in it shall not be affected by the bankruptcy of the mortgagor and the mortgage shall be preferred to any right, claim or interest of the other creditors of the mortgagor or any trustee or assignee on their behalf.

57. Transfer of mortgages

(1) A registered mortgage of a ship or share in it may be transferred to any person.

(2) The instrument effecting the transfer shall be in a form prescribed in the Regulations.

(3) The Registrar shall on the production of the instrument, record it by entering in the relevant register the name of the transferee as mortgagee of the ship or a share in it, and shall, by a signed memorandum, testify on the instrument of transfer that it has been recorded by the Registrar and state the day and hour of the record.

58. Transmission of interest in mortgage on death, bankruptcy

(1) Where the interest of a mortgagee in a ship or share in it is transmitted on death, bankruptcy, or by any lawful means other than by a transfer under this Act, the transmission shall be limited to the person to whom the interest is transmitted.

(2) The transmission shall contain a statement of the manner in which, and the person to whom, the property has been transmitted, and shall be accompanied by evidence as is required by this Part in the case of a transmission of the ownership of a ship or a share in it.

(3) The Registrar shall, on the receipt of the declaration and the production of the evidence specified in this Part, enter the name of the person entitled under the transfer in the register as the mortgagee of the ship or a share in it.

59. Authority to sell mortgage out of Ghana

(1) Where a registered owner of a Ghanaian ship or a share in it, desires to dispose of the ship or the share in it by sale or mortgage at a place out of Ghana, the registered owner may make application, by declaration in writing, to the Registrar.

(2) The application shall contain

(a) the name and address of the person by whom the power mentioned in the certificate is to be exercised, together with,

i. in the case of a sale, the minimum price at which a sale is to be made if it is intended to fix any such minimum, or

ii. in the case of a mortgage, the maximum amount, if it is intended to fix any such maximum,

(b) the place where the power is to be exercised, or, if no place is specified, a declaration that the power may be exercised anywhere as may be specified, and

(c) the time limit within which the power may be exercised.

(3) Subject to section 60 (1), in the case of an application to dispose of a ship by way of sale the Registrar shall enable the applicant to dispose of the ship or the share in the manner required in accordance with subsection (4).

(4) On receipt of an application made under this section, the Registrar shall enter in the register book a statement of the particulars set out in the application, and shall grant to the applicant a certificate of sale or a certificate of mortgage, as the case may require.

(5) A certificate of sale and a certificate of mortgage of a ship shall

(a) be in the prescribed form,

(b) not authorise a sale or mortgage to be made in Ghana or by a person not named in the certificate, and

(c) contain a statement of the particulars set out in the application and also a statement of any registered mortgages or sale and the relevant certificates issued.

60. General rules for certificate of sale

(1) A certificate of sale shall not be granted except for the sale of an entire ship and the certificate shall not be granted under this Part, except on the application made by declaration in writing of the persons who appear on the relevant register to be interested in the ship as owners or mortgagees.

(2) The power conferred by the certificate shall be exercised in conformity with the directions contained in it.

(3) An agreement for sale entered into in good faith in the exercise of the power conferred by the certificate to a purchaser for valuable consideration shall not be invalidated by reason of the person, by whom the power was given, dying at any time between the giving of the power and the completion of the sale.

(4) Whenever the a certificate contains a specification of the place at which, and a time limit not exceeding twelve months within which the power is to be exercised, a sale made in good faith to a purchaser for valuable consideration without notice shall not be invalidated by reason of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the person by whom the power was given.

61. Procedure where ship under certificate of sale granted in Ghana

(1) Where a Ghanaian ship is sold to a person qualified to own a Ghanaian ship, in exercise of a power conferred by a certificate of sale granted under this Part,

(a) the transfer of the ship shall be made by a bill of sale and the certificate of sale issued shall be produced to a proper officer at the place where the ship is sold who shall endorse the certificate of sale with a statement of the fact that the ship has been sold, and shall forthwith notify the Registrar;

(b) the ship may be registered anew in the manner provided by this Act; and

(c) the Registrar on receipt of the certificate of sale and the ship’s certificate of registry from a proper officer shall endorse them to the effect that the ship has been sold and the sale shall be entered in the relevant register.

(2) Where a Ghanaian ship is sold to a person not qualified to own a Ghanaian ship in the exercise of a power conferred by a certificate of sale, granted under this Part,

(a) the certificate of sale and the certificate of registry shall be produced to the proper officer at the place where the ship is sold, and the officer shall endorse a statement that the ship has been sold to a person not qualified to own a Ghanaian ship;

(b) the officer making the endorsements shall forward the certificates of sale and registry, each being duly endorsed, to the Registrar;

(c) the Registrar, shall on receipt of the certificates of sale and registry make an entry of the sale in the relevant register;

(d) the registration of the ship shall be considered as closed, except as far as it relates to any unsatisfied mortgages or existing certificate of mortgage entered in it;

(e) where default is made in the production of the certificates mentioned in this subsection, the person to whom the ship is sold shall be considered to have acquired no title to or interest in the ship; and

(f) the person on whose application the certificate of sale was granted under this subsection, and the person exercising the powers conferred thereby, each commits an offence.

(3) Where an agreement for sale is not entered into, in exercise of the power conferred by a certificate of sale granted under this Part, that certificate shall be delivered to the Registrar, and the Registrar shall cancel the certificate, and enter the cancellation in the register.

62. Registration in Ghana where ship sold under certificate of sale granted by a foreign State

(1) Where a ship registered in a foreign country is sold in exercise of a power conferred by a certificate of sale granted under the law of that country to a person qualified to own a Ghanaian ship, that ship may be registered in Ghana in accordance with this section.

(2) Application for registration anew shall be made to the Registrar and shall be accompanied with the bill of sale by which the ship is transferred, the certificate of sale and the certificate of registry of the ship.

(3) The Registrar, on registration of a ship anew shall,

(a) retain the certificates of sale and registry, and endorse on each of the certificates an entry of the fact of the sale having taken place;

(b) forward the certificates to the Registrar at the ship’s former port of registry;

(c) enter in the relevant register the particulars that are, by this Act, required to be entered in it on the first registration of a ship in Ghana; and

(d) state the registered mortgages or certificates of mortgage enumerated on the certificate of sale.

(4) Where a ship is registered under this Part,

(a) the description of the ship contained in its former certificate of registry may be transferred into the relevant register without the ship being resurveyed,

(b) the declaration to be made by the purchaser shall be the same as is required to be made by an ordinary transferee, and

(c) the persons on the register interested in that ship as owners or mortgagees shall have the same rights, and their rights shall be determined in the same manner, as if that ship had been first registered in Ghana in the manner provided in this Act and as if any unsatisfied mortgages or existing certificates of mortgage had been entered in the register at that port.

63. Rules as to certificate of mortgage

The following rules shall be observed as to a certificate of mortgage:

(a) the power conferred by the certificate shall be exercised in conformity with the directions contained in the certificate;

(b) every mortgage executed under the certificate shall be registered by the endorsement of a record on the certificate by the proper officer at the place where the mortgage is executed;

(c) a mortgage executed in good faith under it shall not be invalidated by reason of the person by whom the power was given dying at any time between the giving of the power and execution of the mortgage;

(d) if the certificate contains a specification of the place where and a time limit, not exceeding twelve months, within which the power is to be exercised, a mortgage executed in good faith to a mortgagee without notice shall not be invalidated by reason of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the person by whom the power was given;

(e) a mortgage which is registered on the certificate shall have priority over all mortgages of the same ship or a share created subsequent to the date of the entry of the certificate in the relevant register;

(f) where there is more than one mortgage registered in respect of a ship the respective mortgagees claiming under them are entitled, despite an express, implied or constructive notice, to priority according to the date and time that each mortgage is registered on the certificate, and not according to the date of the mortgage;

(g) subject to the preceding rules, a mortgagee whose mortgage is registered on the certificate shall have the same rights and powers, and is subject to the same liabilities, as the mortgagee would have had if the mortgage had been registered in the register book instead of on the certificate;

(h) the discharge of a mortgage registered on the certificate may be endorsed on the certificate by the Registrar or a proper officer on the production of the evidence that is required by this Act to be produced to the Registrar for the entry of the discharge of a mortgage in the relevant register;

(i) on the endorsement on the certificate being made, the interest which passed to the mortgagee shall vest in the same person in whom it would have vested if the mortgage had not been made having regard to the intervening acts and circumstances; and

(j) on the delivery of a certificate of mortgage to the Registrar, the Registrar shall after recording it in the register book in such manner as to preserve the priority of an unsatisfied mortgage registered in the register book, cancel the certificate and enter the fact of the cancellation in the register.

64. Loss of certificate of sale or mortgage

On proof at any time to the satisfaction of the Registrar that a certificate of sale or mortgage is lost or destroyed, or is so damaged as to be useless and that the powers given have never been exercised, or, if they have been exercised, then, on proof of the several matters and things that have been done under it, the Registrar may issue a new certificate or direct entries to be made in the register book, or any other things to be done, which might have been made or done if the loss, destruction or damage had not occurred.

65. Revocation of certificate of sale or mortgage

(1) The owner of a Ghanaian ship, or a share in it in respect of which a certificate of sale or mortgage has been granted may by an instrument signed by the owner authorise the Registrar to give notice to every officer that the certificate is revoked.

(2) Notice shall accordingly be given and be recorded by the authorised officer receiving it.

(3) After the notice has been recorded by the proper officer,

(a) the certificate shall be considered to be revoked in respect of a sale or mortgage made at that place;

(b) the notice shall be produced to a person who applies for the purpose of effecting or obtaining a transfer or mortgage under the certificate; and

(c) an authorised officer shall inform the Registrar by whom the certificate was granted whether a previous exercise of the power to which the certificate refers has taken place.

Maritime Liens
66. Maritime liens

Subject to this Act, any of the following claims against an owner, demise charterer, manager or operator of a vessel shall be secured by a maritime lien on the vessel:

(a) claims for wages and any other sums due to the master, officers and the other members of the vessel’s complement in respect of their employment on the vessel including costs of repatriation and social insurance contributions payable on their behalf;

(b) claims in respect of loss of life or personal injury occurring, whether on land or water, in direct connection with the operation of the vessel;

(c) claims for reward for salvage of the vessel;

(d) claims for ports, canal and other waterway dues and pilotage dues;

(e) claims based on tort arising out of physical loss or damage caused by the operations of the vessels other than loss of or damage to cargo, containers and passengers’ effects carried on the vessel.

67. Priority of maritime liens

Subject to section 74 (5) and (6) the maritime liens set out in section 66 shall take priority over registered mortgages which comply with the following conditions;

(a) the mortgages have been effected and registered in accordance with the laws of the country in which the vessel is registered;

(b) the register and any instruments required to be deposited with the Registrar in accordance with the law of the country in which the vessel is registered is open to public inspection and extracts from the register and copies of the instruments can be obtained from the Registrar;

(c) where the register or an instrument referred to in paragraph (b) specifies at least the name and address of the person in whose favour the mortgage has been effected or that it has been issued to the bearer and the maximum amount secured, if that is the requirement of the law of the country of registration; and

(d) the maximum amount secured is specified in the instrument creating the mortgage and the date and any other particulars which, according to the law of the country of registration, determine the ranking in relation to other registered mortgages are stated.

68. Order of priority of liens

(1) The maritime liens set out in section 66 shall rank in the order listed, except that maritime liens securing claims for cost of salvage of the vessel shall take priority over all other maritime liens which have been attached to the vessel prior to the time when the operations giving rise to those liens were performed.

(2) The maritime liens set out in paragraphs (a), (b), (d) and (e) of section 66 shall rank pari passu as among themselves.

(3) Maritime liens to secure claims for the cost of salvage of a vessel shall rank in the inverse order of the time when the claim secured accrued, and the claims shall be considered to have accrued on the date on which each salvage operation was terminated.

69. Rights of ship builders and ship repairers

Where a preferential right arises, pursuant to the law relating to bankruptcy or insolvency, in respect of a ship in the possession of

(a) a ship builder in order to secure claims for the building of the ship, or

(b) a ship repairer in order to secure claims for the repair of the ship, the right shall be postponed to all the maritime liens set out in section 66 but may take precedence over a mortgage or any other preferential right registered under this Part so long as the ship is in the possession of the ship builder or ship repairer.

70. Characteristics of maritime liens

Subject to section 68, maritime liens follow the vessel despite a change of ownership or of registration or flag.

71. Claims arising from radioactive products

A maritime lien shall not be attached to a vessel to secure claims set out in paragraph (b) or (e) of section 66 which arises from

(a) damage in connection with the carriage of oil or any other hazardous or noxious substances by sea for which compensation is payable to the claimants under international conventions or under the laws of Ghana which provide for strict liability and compulsory insurance or any other means of securing the claims; or

(b) the radioactive properties or a combination of radioactive properties with toxic, explosives or any other hazardous properties of nuclear fuel or radio-active products or waste.

72. Extinction of maritime liens

(1) The maritime liens set out in section 66 are extinguished after a period of one year unless, prior to the expiring of the period, the vessel has been arrested or seized, and the arrest or seizure leads to a forced sale.

(2) The one-year period referred to in subsection (1) shall commence,

(a) with respect to the maritime liens set out in section 66 (a), from the date of the claimant’s discharge from the vessel; or

(b) with respect to the maritime liens set out in section 66 (b) to (e), on the date when claims secured under the section arise, and are not subject to suspension or interruption, except that time shall not run during the period when the arrest or seizure of the vessel is not permitted by law.

73. Notice of forced sale

(1) Prior to a forced sale of a vessel in Ghana, the Authority shall ensure that notice in accordance with this Act is served on,

(a) the authority in charge of the register of the state of registration,

(b) holders of registered mortgages, which have not been issued to bearer,

(c) holders of registered mortgages issued to bearer and all holders of maritime liens, and

(d) the registered owner of the vessel.

(2) The notice shall be given at least thirty days prior to the forced sale and shall contain,

(a) the time and place of the forced sale and the particulars concerning the forced sale or the proceedings leading to the forced sale that the Authority shall determine as being sufficient to protect the interest of the persons entitled to notice; or

(b) where the time and place of the forced sale cannot be determined with certainty, the appropriate time and anticipated place of the forced sale and the particulars concerning the forced sale that the authority conducting the proceedings shall determine as being sufficient to protect the interests of persons entitled to notice.

(3) Where notice is given in accordance with paragraph (b) of subsection (2), additional notice of the actual time and place of the forced sale shall be provided when known but, in any event, not later than seven days prior to the forced sale.

(4) The notice specified in subsections (2) and (3) shall be in writing and may be given by registered mail, or given by an electronic or any other appropriate means which confirm the receipt by persons interested as specified in subsection (1) if known.

(5) In addition to the other provisions of this section, the notice shall be given by press announcement in the state where the forced sale is to be conducted and, if considered appropriate by the authority conducting the forced sale in any other publications.

74. Effect of forced sale

(1) On the forced sale of a vessel in Ghana, the registered mortgages, except those assumed by the purchaser with the consent of the holders, and the liens and any other encumbrances of whatever nature shall cease to attach to the vessel, provided that,

(a) at the time of the sale the vessel is within the jurisdiction of Ghana, and

(b) the sale was effected in accordance with this Act.

(2) The costs and expenses arising out of the arrest, seizure and subsequent sale of a vessel shall be paid first out of the proceeds of sale and these shall include the costs for the upkeep of the vessel and the crew as well as wages, other sums and costs referred to in section 66 (a), incurred from the time of arrest or seizure.

(3) The balance of the proceeds shall be distributed to the extent necessary to satisfy the respective claims in accordance with this Act.

(4) On satisfaction of the claims, the residue of the proceeds shall be paid to the owner and the money shall be transferable through the banks.

(5) In the event of the forced sale of a stranded or sunken vessel following its removal by a public authority in the interest of safe navigation or the protection of the marine environment, the costs of the removal shall be paid out of the proceeds of the sale before any other costs secured by a maritime lien on the vessel.

(6) Where at the time of the forced sale the vessel is in the possession of a shipbuilder or a ship repairer who under this Act enjoys a right of retention, the shipbuilder or ship repairer shall surrender the possession of the vessel to the purchaser, but the shipbuilder or ship repairer is entitled to obtain satisfaction of the claim of the shipbuilder or ship repairer out of the proceeds of sale after the satisfaction of the claims of holders of maritime liens mentioned in section 66.

(7) The Authority shall ensure that the proceeds of a forced sale are transferable.

75. Disposition of proceeds of sale

The costs awarded by a Court and arising out of the arrest and subsequent sale of a ship shall be paid first out of the proceeds of the sale, and the balance of the proceeds shall be distributed, to the extent necessary to satisfy their claims, among

(a) the holders of maritime liens under section 66,

(b) the holders of preferential rights under section 69, and

(c) the holders of mortgages and any other preferential rights registered under this Part.

76. Issue of certificate that a ship is free of mortgages, liens

(1) Where a vessel registered in a state party to the International Convention on Liens and Mortgages, 1993 is the subject of a forced sale in any state party, the Authority shall, at the request of the purchaser, issue a certificate to the effect that the vessel is free of all registered mortgages, except those assumed by the purchaser, and of all liens, and encumbrances, provided that,

(a) at the time of the sale the vessel is within the jurisdiction of Ghana, and

(b) the sale was effected in accordance with this Act.

(2) On the production of the certificate the Registrar shall,

(a) delete all registered mortgages except those assumed by the purchaser,

(b) register the vessel in the name of the purchaser, and

(c) issue a certificate of deregistration for the purpose of a new registration.

Miscellaneous Provisions on Registration of Ships
77. Provisions relating to infancy or other incapacity

(1) A Court may on application made in connection with registration appoint a guardian or a committee if by reason of infancy, unsoundness of mind or any other cause a person interested in a ship or a share in it is incapable of making a declaration or doing anything required or permitted to be done in connection with registration under this Act.

(2) The person appointed shall make a declaration as nearly as possible corresponding with the circumstances and perform any act or thing in the name and on behalf of the incapacitated person.

(3) The acts done by the person in the name and on behalf of the incapacitated person shall be as effectual as if done by the infant, person of unsound mind or incapacitated person.

78. Notice of trusts not to be received

(1) A notice of a trust, express, implied or constructive, shall not be entered in the register or be receivable by the Registrar.

(2) The registered owner of a ship or of a share in it shall dispose of the ship or the share in it in the manner provided for in this Act and give a valid receipt for the money paid or advanced by way of consideration.

79. Definition of “beneficial interest” and equities not excluded by Act

The expression “beneficial interest”, wherever used in this Part includes interests arising under contract and other equitable interests, and accordingly despite,

(a) any provisions in this Act for preventing notice of trusts from being entered in the register or received by the Registrar,

(b) the powers of disposition and of giving receipts conferred by this Act on registered owners and mortgagees, or

(c) the provisions of this Act relating to the exclusion of unqualified persons from the ownership of Ghanaian ships, interests arising under contract or other equitable interests may be enforced by or against owners and mortgagees of ships in respect of their interest in it in the same manner as in respect of any other personal property.

80. Liability of beneficial owner

(1) Where a person has a beneficial interest, other than a mortgage, in a ship or a share in a ship registered in the name of another person as owner, the person interested as well as the registered owner shall be subject to the pecuniary penalties imposed by this or any other enactment on the owner of a ship or shares in it.

(2) Proceedings may be taken for the enforcement of the penalties against both or either of the parties mentioned in subsection (1).

81. Registration of ship’s managing owner or manager

(1) The name and address of the managing owner for the time being of a ship registered at a port in Ghana shall be registered with the Registrar at the port.

(2) Where there is no managing owner there shall be registered the name of the person to whom the management of the ship is entrusted to.

(3) A person whose name is registered under subsection (2) shall, for the purpose of this Act, be under the same obligations, and be subject to the same liabilities, as if the person were the managing owner.

(4) Where default is made in complying with this section the owner is liable.

(5) Where there are more than one managing owner each managing owner is liable in proportion to that owner’s interest in the ship, to a fine not exceeding in the aggregate five hundred penalty units for each time the ship leaves a port in Ghana without the name and address of the managing owner being registered.

82. Power of Registrar to dispense with declaration

Where, under this Part a person is required to make a declaration on behalf of that person or of a body corporate, or evidence is required to be produced to the Registrar, and it is shown to the satisfaction of the Registrar that for any reason that person is unable to make the declaration, or that the evidence cannot be produced, the Registrar may, with the approval of the Director-General and on the production of any other evidence, and subject to the terms that the Registrar may think fit, dispense with the declaration or evidence.

83. Mode of declarations

(1) Declarations required to be made under this Part shall be made before the Registrar, a proper officer or any other person authorised by law to administer oaths.

(2) Declarations required to be made under this Part may be made on behalf of a body corporate by the secretary, or any other officer of the body corporate authorised by the directors for the purpose.

84. Application of fees

The fees authorised to be charged under this Part shall, except where otherwise provided in this Act, be applied in the payment of the general expenses of carrying into effect the functions of the Authority under this Act and any other enactment.

85. Returns to be made by the Registrar

The Registrar of Ships shall submit to the Director-General returns of the registrations, transfers, transmissions, mortgages and any other dealings with ships which have been registered by or communicated to the Registrar in the capacity as Registrar and the names of persons concerned and any other particulars directed by the Director-General.

86. Inspection of books and documents admissible in evidence

(1) Any person may, on application to the Registrar during office hours and on payment of fees determined from time to time by the Board inspect a register book.

(2) The following documents are admissible as evidence in the manner provided by this Act:

(a) a register book under this Part, on its production from the custody of the Registrar or any other person who has lawful custody of it;

(b) a certificate of registry under this Act signed by the Registrar or any other proper officer;

(c) an endorsement on a certificate of registry signed by the Registrar or any other proper officer; and

(d) a declaration made in pursuance of this Part in respect of a Ghanaian ship.

(3) A copy or transcript of the register of Ghanaian ships kept by the Authority is admissible in evidence and has the same effect as the original register of which it is a copy or a transcript.

87. Documents and instructions as to registration in prescribed form

(1) The following instruments and documents shall be in a form prescribed by legislative instrument by the Minister,

(a) certificate of survey;

(b) declaration of ownership by an individual owner;

(c) declaration of ownership on behalf of body corporate as owner;

(d) certificate of registry;

(e) provisional certificate;

(f) declaration of ownership by an individual transferee;

(g) declaration of ownership on behalf of body corporate as transferee;

(h) declaration of owner taking by transmission; and

(i) declaration of mortgagee taking by transmission.

(2) The Director-General may direct an officer of the Authority with regard to,

(a) the manner of making entries in the register books;

(b) the execution and attestation of powers of attorney;

(c) the evidence required for identifying a person;

(d) the reference to the Director-General of a question involving doubt or difficulty; and

(e) generally any act or thing to be done in pursuance of this Part as the Director-General thinks fit.

88. Forgery of documents

A person who forges, or fraudulently alters or assists in forging or fraudulently altering, or procures to be forged or fraudulently altered, any register book, builder’s certificate, certificate of survey, certificate of registry, declaration, bill of sale or instrument of mortgage, under this Part, or an entry or endorsement required by this Part to be made in or on any of those documents, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

89. False declaration

(1) A person who, in the case of a declaration made in the presence of, or produced to a Registrar under this Part or in a document or any other evidence produced to the Registrar,

(a) wilfully makes, or assists in making, or procures to be made a false statement concerning the title to or ownership of, or the interest existing in any ship, or any share in a ship, or

(b) utters, produces or makes use of a declaration or document containing a false statement knowing the same to be untrue, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(2) Subject to subsection (1) a person who wilfully makes a false declaration concerning the person’s qualification or the qualification of any other person or body corporate to own a Ghanaian ship or a share in it, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousands five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years or to both the fine and the imprisonment, and the ship or share shall be subject to forfeiture under this Act, to the extent of the interest of the declarant, unless it is proved that the declaration was made without authority of that person or that body corporate.

90. Liabilities of persons on unregistered ship

Where a Ghanaian ship is required to be registered under this Act, and is not registered, a person found on that ship shall be dealt with in the same manner as if the ship were a registered Ghanaian ship.

91. Fees

The Board shall determine the fees payable in respect of the registration, and the transfer including transmission, new registration, mortgage and transfer of mortgage of ships.

PART TWO
National Character and Flag
92. National character of ship to be declared before clearance

(1) A customs officer shall not grant a clearance to a ship unless the master has declared the name of the nation to which the master claims the ship belongs, and the officer shall on the declaration write the ships name on the clearance.

(2) Where a ship attempts to proceed to sea without a clearance, it may be detained until the declaration is made.

93. National colours

The national flag of Ghana is declared to be the national colours for all Ghanaian ships.

94. Right to fly the flag of Ghana

(1) A ship registered or licensed in accordance with this Act as a Ghanaian ship shall fly the national flag of Ghana.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not be construed as prohibiting ships which are exempt from registration or licensing under this Act from flying in Ghanaian waters the national colours of Ghana.

95. Showing of national colours

(1) A Ghanaian ship shall hoist the proper national colours

(a) on a signal being made to her from a ship or an aircraft of the Armed Forces;

(b) on entering or leaving a Ghanaian or foreign port;

(c) when passing a warship; and

(d) while in a Ghanaian port, from sunrise to sunset.

(2) Where default is made in complying with this section the master of the ship commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months.

(3) Where there are hoisted on board a Ghanaian ship, the colours or pendants usually worn by ships of the Ghana Navy, or the national colours of any other country, the master of the ship or the owner, if the owner is on board the ship, and every other person hoisting the pendants or colours, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units and or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months in addition to the seizure of the colours or pendants by the Court.

(4) This section does not apply to fishing vessels exclusively employed in fishing, which are lettered and numbered and entered in the fishing vessel register.

96. Unauthorised use of national colours

(1) A person who uses or permits any other person to use the national colours on board a ship which is not a Ghanaian ship or in any other way makes a foreign ship or permits a foreign ship to be made to appear to be a Ghanaian ship,

(a) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the cedi equivalent of US $1 million or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years or to both the fine and the imprisonment; and

(b) the ship is liable to forfeiture under this Act, unless the use or assumption of appearance was made for the purpose of escaping capture by an enemy or a foreign warship exercising some belligerent right.

(2) In any proceedings under this section the burden of proving the right to use the national colours and to assume the appearance of a Ghanaian ship is on the person using the national colours or assuming the appearance.

97. Penalty for concealing Ghanaian character or assuming foreign character

(1) Subject to subsection (2), where the master or owner of a Ghanaian ship,

(a) does anything or permits anything to be done,

(b) carries or permits to be carried any papers or documents, with intent to deceive,

(c) conceals the Ghanaian character of the ship from any person entitled by the law of Ghana to investigate a Ghanaian ship,

(d) assumes a foreign character, or

(e) deceives any person so entitled, the owner or master commits an offence and that ship shall on conviction of the master or owner be forfeited to the Republic.

(2) Where the master or owner of the ship commits or is privy to the commission of the offence referred to in subsection (1), the master or owner sis liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the cedi equivalent of US $1 million or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

98. Penalty for acquiring ownership if unqualified

Where a person not qualified to own a Ghanaian ship acquires by transfer, an interest, legal or beneficial, in that ship and uses the national colours of Ghana or assumes a Ghanaian national character, that person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years or to both the fine and the imprisonment, and the interest of that person is liable to forfeiture under this Act.

PART THREE
Manning and Certification
99. Regulations regarding manning and qualifications of a person serving on a Ghanaian ship

(1) The Minister may make Regulations for the manning requirements for a Ghanaian ship including inland water crafts and the qualifications of officers and seafarers of the ship and for other related matters.

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) may include,

(a) provisions on the categories of Ghanaian ships by reference to their tonnage capacity, the nature of their cargo and the trading areas including inland waters or voyages in which they are engaged;

(b) the manning requirements in relation to classes or descriptions of ships including inland water crafts, trading in prescribed areas including inland waters, and in particular requiring ships to carry that description, qualified doctors and qualified cooks and the number of any other seafarers or qualified seafarers prescribed in the Regulations;

(c) conditions as to the nationality of a person for service on board a Ghanaian ship, or a ship engaged in local trade in Ghanaian waters;

(d) provisions requiring that a ship shall be under the charge of a properly certificated master and that watches at sea and in port are always kept by suitably qualified officers;

(e) provisions requiring officers, seafarers and any other persons performing prescribed functions in relation to the operation and maintenance of Ghanaian ships to be holders of certificates of competency, or otherwise and to satisfy any other prescribed conditions, including conditions as to nationality and prescribing for the grant, dispensation, revocation, extension, validation, suspension, endorsement or variation and recording of those certificates;

(f) provisions relating to the

i. conduct of examinations in respect of certificates of competency,

ii. issue of certificates of competency to masters, mates and engineers,

iii. the qualification of candidates for the examinations and the qualification and appointment of the examiners,

iv. the remuneration of examiners,

v. the fees for the examinations, and

vi. any other matters that the Minister thinks necessary for the purpose of the examinations,

(g) provisions for the exemption of persons with prescribed qualifications or experience from the whole or parts of the examinations for those certificates;

(h) provisions for the programmes of training and the curricula of study to be followed in the training of seafarers;

(i) provisions for the establishment, maintenance and operation of schools for the training of persons for certification as seafarers; and designating institutions as recognised or affiliated places of training;

(j) provisions prescribing the manner in which enquiries may be instituted before a board of enquiry appointed under section 102; and

(k) provisions prescribing any other matter which is required by this Act to be prescribed.

(3) In making Regulations under subsection (1) the Minister shall consider the relevant Conventions of the International Labour Organisation, the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended and any other related international conventions to which Ghana is a party.

100. Power to exempt

The Minister may exempt a ship or class of ships from the requirements of the Regulations made under section 99 and an exemption given under this section may be for a particular period or for one or more voyages.

101. Board of inquiry

Where there is an allegation that a seafarer

(a) is suffering from a habit or a mental or physical condition that renders the seafarer unfit to be a seafarer,

(b) is guilty of dishonesty, incompetence or misconduct in the performance of the functions as a seafarer, or

(c) procured the certificate of competency as a result of a misleading, false or fraudulent misrepresentation, the Authority may appoint a board of inquiry of two or three persons, one of whom is a senior officer of a ship, to enquire into the allegation and report its findings with its recommendations in writing to the Authority.

102. Powers of the board

A board appointed under section 101 shall have all the powers of a person holding an inquiry under the section.

103. Cancellation of certificate

The Board on the recommendation of

(a) a board of inquiry set up under section 101, or

(b) the Director-General, consequent on the conviction of a seafarer for an offence under this Act, may in writing, cancel or suspend a certificate issued under Regulations made under section 99 (2) (f) and order the certificate to be surrendered at a place and time it directs.

104. Revocation of certificate

The Board may, on the recommendation of

(a) a board of inquiry, or

(b) the Director-General as a result of the conviction of a seafarer, in writing withdraw indefinitely or temporarily an approval for a certificate issued under Regulations made under section 99 (2) (f).

105. Appeals against cancellation of certificate

A person who is aggrieved by a decision under section 103 or 104, cancelling or suspending a certificate, or withdrawing an approval under this Act, may appeal to the High Court against the decision.

106. Offences

(1) A person who

(a) serves as a seafarer on board a Ghanaian ship without being the holder of a valid certificate appropriate to the category in which the person is engaged to serve, or

(b) on that person’s own accord or acting in the capacity of an agent, engages any other person as a seafarer without taking the necessary steps to ascertain whether that other person is the holder of an appropriate valid certificate, commits an offence under this Act and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(2) For the purpose of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) if it is established that a seafarer is serving in a category without being the holder of a valid certificate appropriate to that category, the onus shall be on the person who engaged that seafarer to prove that the necessary steps were taken to ascertain that the seafarer was at the time when the seafarer was engaged, the holder of a valid certificate appropriate to the capacity in which the seafarer is engaged to serve.

(3) A person who

(a) makes or procures or assists in making a false representation for the purpose of obtaining for that person, or for any other person a certificate or a certified copy of a certificate,

(b) forges, assists in forging or procures the forging of a certificate or a copy of a certificate,

(c) fraudulently alters or assists in the fraudulent alteration of a certificate or a copy of a certificate, or procures a certificate knowing it to be fraudulently altered,

(d) makes use of a certificate or a copy of a certificate which is forged, fraudulently altered, cancelled, or suspended or which the person is not entitled to use,

(e) lends the certificate of that person to, or allows it to be used by, any other person; or

(f) has possession of or makes a document so closely resembling a certificate as to be calculated to deceive, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(4) Any person who

(a) not being the holder of a valid certificate, or

(b) during a period when the certificate of the person is suspended or approval for the certificate is withdrawn, takes or uses a title, implying or calculated to lead another person to believe that that person is entitled to serve as a seafarer on a Ghanaian ship, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(5) A seafarer who fails to comply with a direction of the Authority to surrender the certificate of the seafarer without reasonable cause commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

PART FOUR
Engagement and Welfare of Seafarers
107. Functions of Registrar of seafarers

(1) The functions of the Registrar of seafarers are,

(a) to conduct business connected with the engagement and discharge of

i. a person who serves on board a Ghanaian ship, and

ii. a Ghanaian seafarer who serves on a foreign ship;

(b) to afford facilities for engaging and discharging a seafarer by maintaining a register of the names and conduct of

i. seafarers who apply to the Registrar for engagement,

ii. seafarers shipped or discharged by the Registrar,

iii. seafarers who produce continuous discharge certificates in proof of service in foreign or Ghanaian ships, and

iv. seafarers who serve in Ghanaian ships;

(c) to cause copies of the certificates referred to in paragraph (b) (iii) to be kept at the Registrar’s office; and

(d) to perform any other duties entrusted to the Registrar relating to seafarers, apprentices and ships in pursuance of this or any other enactment relating to shipping.

(2) A person shall not engage or recruit a Ghanaian seafarer for employment on board a Ghanaian or foreign ship, without first obtaining a licence in the prescribed form from the Authority authorising that person to engage or recruit Ghanaian seafarers for sea service.

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than three hundred penalty units and not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.

108. Crew agreement

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the owner or master of every ship shall enter into an agreement in accordance with this Part with every Ghanaian seafarer whom the owner or master engages and every seafarer whom the owner or master engages in Ghana and carries to sea as one of the crew.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to

(a) ships under twenty-four metres in length not engaged on international voyages, and

(b) vessels of any length trading or operating solely within the inland waters of Ghana.

(3) The Authority may waive the requirements stipulated in subsection (1), or vary the contents of the approved form of the crew agreement in respect of a ship if it considers it expedient to do so.

(4) The Minister may make Regulations for the engagement and matters pertaining to the engagement of seafarers in respect of vessels under twenty-four metres in length or fifteen tons in weight which are not engaged on international voyages and vessels of any length or weight trading or operating solely within the inland waters of Ghana.

109. Contents of crew agreements

(1) A crew agreement shall be in a prescribed form, dated at the time of the first signature and shall be signed by the master before a seafarer signs the seafarer’s name.

(2) A crew agreement shall show the place at which it is made, the surname and other names of the seafarer, the seafarer’s birthplace and age or date of birth, and shall state clearly the respective rights and obligations of each of the parties, and shall contain as its terms the following particulars:

(a) the name of the ship in which the seafarer undertakes to serve;

(b) the nature and, as far as is practicable, the duration of the intended voyage or engagement, or the maximum period of the voyage or engagement, which shall not exceed twelve months;

(c) the port at which it is intended to discharge the crew and the places or ports of the world to which the voyage or engagement is not to extend;

(d) the number and description of the crew;

(e) if possible, the place and date at which each seafarer is to be on board or to begin work;

(f) the capacity in which each seafarer is to serve;

(g) the amount of wages which each seafarer is to receive;

(h) the prescribed scale of the provisions which are to be supplied to a seafarer;

(i) the time that is to expire after arrival at the port of discharge before a seafarer is discharged;

(j) Regulations as to conduct on board and as to fines, and any other lawful punishment for misconduct which have been made by the Minister and which the parties agree to adopt; and

(k) a list of persons under the age of eighteen years and the dates of their births.

(3) The crew agreement shall contain the accepted provisions between the master of the ship and the seafarer with regard to advances and wages to be paid.

(4) An agreement made to employ a seafarer under this section shall be terminated by,

(a) consent of the parties;

(b) the death of the seafarer;

(c) the loss or total unseaworthiness of the ship; or

(d) where the agreement relates to employment for a particular period

i. on the expiration of that period, or

ii. if the period expires during the voyage on arrival of the ship, at the next port of call.

110. Regulations for disciplinary offences

For the purpose of maintaining discipline on board Ghanaian ships, the Minister may make Regulations,

(a) making misconduct by seafarers on board a ship a disciplinary offence for which the master or an officer designated by the master may impose penalties;

(b) to provide for the setting up of a disciplinary committee consisting of persons employed in the ships and for the exercise by all or any of those members of the powers of the master in dealing with disciplinary offences;

(c) to provide for the payment of penalties for disciplinary offences; and

(d) prescribing the procedure for the hearing of appeals against penalties for disciplinary offences.

111. Disciplinary offence and criminal offence

Where a conduct is both a disciplinary offence and an offence against any other provision of this Act, and that offence has been dealt with as a disciplinary offence, the offence shall not be dealt with as an offence against that provision and vice versa.

112. Procedures relating to certain crew agreements

The following provisions shall have effect with respect to a crew agreement made in the case of a ship trading from and beyond the waters of Ghana:

(a) the agreement shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, apply to substitutes;

(b) the Registrar of seafarers shall cause the agreement to be read over and explained to each seafarer in a language which the seafarer understands before the seafarer signs it and the Registrar shall attest to each signature;

(c) the agreement shall be signed in duplicate when the crew is first engaged, and one copy forwarded to the owner of the ship and the other retained by the master;

(d) the crew agreement shall also contain a special place or form for the description and signature of a substitute, or a person engaged subsequent to the first departure of the ship;

(e) the master shall, where a substitute is engaged in the place of a seafarer who duly signed the agreement and whose services are within twenty-four hours of the ship proceeding to sea lost by death, desertion or any other unforeseen cause, cause the agreement to be read over and explained to the substitute in a language which the substitute understands;

(f) the substitute shall sign the crew agreement in the presence of a witness who shall attest the signature;

(g) an agreement may be made for a voyage or, if the voyage of the ship averages less than six months in duration, may be made to extend over two or more voyages;

(h) an agreement made to extend over two or more voyages is referred to as a “running agreement” in this Act;

(i) a running agreement shall not extend beyond the twelve months next following the date of the making of the agreement or the first arrival of the ship at her port of destination after the expiration of the twelve months;

(j) the master shall endorse an agreement for the engagement or discharge of a seafarer on every return to the port where the crew was engaged before the final expiration of a running agreement;

(k) the master shall ensure that engagements or discharges have been made or are intended to be made before the ship leaves port and that all those agreements comply with this Act;

(l) a master who wilfully makes a false statement in an endorsement commits an offence;

(m) the duplicate crew agreement retained by the owner of the ship on the first engagement of the crew shall be kept by the owner for a period of seven years after the expiration of the agreement and shall be produced on demand to the Registrar of seafarers or other proper officer; and

(n) except as provided in section 128 a crew agreement shall not deprive any court of its jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes in respect of the agreement.

113. Further provisions as to crew agreements

(1) The master shall, at the commencement of every foreign voyage or engagement, cause a legible copy of the crew agreement (omitting the signatories) to be displayed in some part of the ship which is accessible to the crew.

(2) An erasure, amendment or alteration in a crew agreement, except an addition made for the purpose of shipping a substitute or a person engaged after the first departure of the ship, shall be without effect unless proved to have been made with the consent of the persons interested in the erasure, amendment or alteration.

(3) In proceedings, a seafarer may introduce evidence to prove the contents of a crew agreement or otherwise to support the seafarer’s case without giving notice of intention to produce the agreement or a copy of the agreement.

(4) A person who fraudulently alters, makes a false entry in, or delivers a false copy of a crew agreement commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

114. Stipulations not to be contrary to law of flag state

Stipulations adopted by the parties shall not be contrary to the laws of the flag state of the ship in matters relating to wages and conditions of employment of a seafarer and master on board a ship.

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