GHANA SHIPPING ACT, 2003 (ACT 645) SS 115-231

GHANA SHIPPING ACT, 2003 (ACT 645)
115. Seafarer’s certificate of discharge

(1) Subject to section 171 a master shall sign and give to a seafarer discharged from the master’s ship, on the seafarer’s discharge or on payment of the seafarer’s wages, a certificate of the seafarer’s discharge in an approved form specifying the period of the seafarer’s service and the time and place of discharge.

(2) A certificate of discharge under subsection (1) shall not contain a statement as to the wages or the quality of work of the discharged seafarer.

(3) A master shall on the discharge of every certificated officer whose certificate of competency had been delivered to and retained by the master, return the certificate to the officer.

116. Character report

(1) When a seafarer is discharged from a Ghanaian ship, the master of the ship shall make a character report in the prescribed form, in which the master

(a) shall report on the conduct, character and qualifications of the seafarer being discharged, or

(b) may state that the master declines to give a report on the conduct, character and qualifications of the seafarer being discharged.

(2) The master who discharges a seafarer shall, subject to section 172 and if the seafarer so desires, give the seafarer a copy of the character report on that seafarer.

(3) A person who

(a) knowingly makes a false report on a seafarer’s character,

(b) forges or fraudulently alters a certificate of discharge or a character report or copy of a character report, or

(c) uses a certificate of discharge or character report that is forged or fraudulently altered or that does not belong to the person, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

117. Discharge on change of ship’s registry

(1) Where a Ghanaian ship ceases to be registered as a Ghanaian ship, a seafarer employed to work in the ship shall be discharged from the ship, unless the seafarer consents in writing to continue employment in the ship.

(2) In a situation under subsection (1) the provisions of this Part relating to the payment of a seafarer’s wages and the power of the Registrar of seafarers or any other proper officer to decide disputes about wages shall apply in relation to the seafarer’s wages as if the ship had remained registered in Ghana.

118. Employment of children or persons under eighteen years

(1) A person under the age of eighteen years shall not be employed in a Ghanaian ship except

(a) for work approved by the Authority on board a “school-ship” or “training ship”; or

(b) where the Authority having due regard to the health and physical condition of that person and to the prospective and immediate benefit to that person of the employment, certifies that the employment will be beneficial to that person.

(2) A person under the age of eighteen years shall not be employed in any capacity on a ship unless there has been delivered to the master of the ship a certificate granted by a duly qualified medical practitioner certifying that that person is fit to be employed in that capacity.

(3) A medical certificate issued under subsection (2),

(a) shall be valid for one year from the date of issue, unless earlier revoked; and

(b) may at any time be revoked by a duly qualified medical practitioner if the medical practitioner is satisfied that that person is no longer fit for work.

(4) A person under the age of eighteen years shall not be employed to work in the engine room of a ship, unless that person is an apprentice working under supervision.

119. Changes in crew of certain ships

(1) The master of a Ghanaian ship trading outside Ghanaian waters shall before leaving Ghana, sign and send in the prescribed form to the Board a full and accurate statement of every change that takes place in that master’s crew before finally leaving.

(2) A master who, without reasonable cause, fails to comply with subsection (1) 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.

120. Change of master

(1) Where, during the voyage of a Ghanaian ship, the master is removed, superseded by some other person or for any other reason ceases to have command of the ship, the master shall deliver to the master’s successor the certificate of registry and the various documents relating to the crew and the navigation of the ship which are in the master’s custody.

(2) A master who fails to deliver the relevant documents to the master’s successor 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.

(3) The successor to every master shall immediately on assumption of the command of a ship enter in the official log book a list of the documents delivered to that successor.

121. Regulations for conditions of service

(1) The Minister may make Regulations as the Minister considers necessary to provide for,

(a) the conditions of service of persons serving on Ghanaian ships and Ghanaian nationals serving in foreign ships; and

(b) matters connected with the service referred to in paragraph (a) and, in particular, relating to

i. apprenticeship to sea service;

ii. the implementation of an international convention relating to the employment, welfare, security, certification or status of seafarers;

iii. the avoidance of agreements made contrary to the Regulations;

iv. wages in general, and the rights related to persons employed in Ghanaian ships, securing safe working conditions, the health and welfare of seafarers and apprentices employed in ships;

v. the accommodation to be provided for seafarers and apprentices on board ships, the location and standard of accommodation and the questions relating to the accommodation of seafarers and apprentices on board; and

vi. engagement by foreign ships of Ghanaian nationals.

(2) In making Regulations under subsection (1), the Minister shall consider the following International Maritime Conventions:

(a) Convention Concerning Minimum Standards in Merchant Ships, (1976);

(b) Convention Concerning Wages, Hours of Work on Board Ship and Manning (Revised), 1958;

(c) Convention Concerning the Medical Examination of Seafarers, (1946);

(d) Convention Concerning Crew Accommodation on Board Ship (Revised), 1949;

(e) Convention Concerning Crew Accommodation on Board Ship (Supplementary Provisions), 1970; and

(f) International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended (S.T.C.W.).

122. Use of English language

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the correspondence, documents, forms or any other writings for the purposes of this Act shall be in the English language, and in the case of crew agreement, official log book and muster lists, in a prescribed form except that another language version of a document may be appended to the English language version.

(2) The written signs displayed on board a Ghanaian ship shall be in the English language, with another language version appended if the master considers it necessary.

123. Crew’s knowledge of English

(1) Where in the opinion of the Board the crew of a Ghanaian ship consists of, or includes persons who may not understand orders given to them in the course of their duty because of,

(a) their insufficient knowledge of English, and

(b) absence of adequate arrangements for transmitting orders in a language of which they have sufficient knowledge, the Board shall serve notice on the master and the ship shall not proceed to sea until the Board is satisfied that the situation has been rectified.

(2) If a ship goes to sea or attempts to proceed to sea in contravention of this section both the owner and the master commits an offence and are 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.

Wages and Emoluments
124. Time and manner of payment of wages

The master or owner of a Ghanaian ship trading outside Ghanaian waters shall pay to each seafarer belonging to that ship the seafarer’s wages, if demanded, within two days after the arrival of the ship at the port where the crew is to be discharged or on the seafarer’s discharge, whichever happens first.

125. Delivery of account of wages

(1) The master of a Ghanaian ship shall, before being paid off or discharging a seafarer, deliver at the time and in the manner provided for by this Act a full and true account of the seafarer’s wages and deductions to be made from them.

(2) The account shall be delivered to the seafarer not less than twenty-four hours before the seafarer is discharged or paid off.

126. Deductions from wages

(1) Except in respect of a matter that happens after the delivery, a deduction from the wages of a seafarer shall not be allowed unless it is included in the account delivered under section 125.

(2) The master shall, during the voyage, record in a book kept for that purpose, the various issues in respect of which the deductions are made and shall if required produce the book at the time of the payment of wages and also on the hearing before a competent authority of a complaint or question relating to that payment.

127. Settlement of wages

(1) When a seafarer is discharged and the settlement of the seafarer’s wages is completed, the seafarer shall sign a release, in an approved form, of the claims in respect of the past voyage or engagement and the release shall be signed by the master or owner of the ship.

(2) The signed and attested release, shall operate as a discharge and settlement of the demands between the parties to it in respect of the past voyage or engagement.

(3) The release shall be delivered to and retained by the owner for a period of seven years after the expiration of the agreement and shall be produced on demand by the Registrar of seafarers or any other proper officer.

128. Registrar’s decision on wages

(1) Where the nature and the amount involved in a dispute between a master or owner and any of the master’s crew is raised before the Registrar of seafarers and both parties agree in writing to submit the same to the Registrar, the Registrar shall hear and decide the question submitted.

(2) An award made by the Registrar on the submission is conclusive as to the rights of the parties and the submission of the award is admissible in evidence.

129. Registrar shall require ship’s documents

(1) In proceedings under this Act before the Registrar of seafarers relating to the wages, claims or discharge of a seafarer, the Registrar may

(a) require the owner or the owner’s agent or the master or a mate or any other member of the crew, to produce the log books or any other documents in that person’s possession,

(b) deal with a matter in question in the proceedings, and

(c) require the attendance and examination of a person who has information on the matter.

(2) A person who fails without reasonable cause to comply with the requirements of the Registrar under subsection (1) 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.

(3) In proceedings under this Act before the Registrar of seafarers relating to the wages, claims or disputes or discharge of a seafarer, the travelling and any other expenses incurred by the Registrar shall be met by the owner or master of the ship in dispute.

130. Rate of exchange

Where a seafarer has agreed with the master of a Ghanaian ship for payment of the seafarer’s wages or a part of it in a specific currency, a payment of or on account of the seafarer’s wages if made in a currency other than that stated in the agreement, shall, despite anything in the agreement, be made at the current official rate of exchange for the amount stated in the agreement and the rate of exchange shall be endorsed on the agreement by a proper officer at that place.

131. Limited power of Registrar to settle wage disputes

Where, before the Registrar of seafarers or a proper officer, a question as to wages is raised between the master or owner of a ship and a seafarer, and the amount does not exceed the cedi equivalent of US $1000 the Registrar or the officer may on the application of either party decide the question, except that if the Registrar or the officer is of the opinion that the question is one which ought to be decided by a Court, the Registrar may refuse to decide it.

132. Court may award interest on wages due where there is no crew agreement

A court may in an action for the recovery of wages order the master of a ship or a person employed in a ship otherwise than under a crew agreement to pay in addition to the sum due, interest on it at the rate of twenty percent per annum or at a lower rate as the Court may specify starting from seven days after the sum became due and ending when the sum is paid; but where it appears to the Court that the delay in paying the sum due was by mistake and not attributable to a default of the master or any other agent of the owner, it may refuse to allow payment of interest on the wages.

133. Allotment notes

(1) A seafarer may, by means of an allotment note issued in accordance with Regulations made under this section, allot a part of the wages to which the seafarer will become entitled in the course of the seafarer’s employment in a Ghanaian ship.

(2) The Minister may make Regulations

(a) relating to the limitations to which a seafarer’s right to make an allotment are subject;

(b) prescribing the form of allotment notes; and

(c) relating to the right of a person named in an allotment note to sue in that person’s own name.

134. Wages where service is terminated

(1) Where the service of a seafarer terminates before the date contemplated in the agreement, by reason of the seafarer being left on shore outside Ghana because of the seafarer’s unfitness or inability to proceed with the voyage, the seafarer is entitled to wages for the time served but not for any further period.

(2) Where the service of a seafarer terminates before the date contemplated in the seafarer’s agreement, by reason of the loss or foundering of the seafarer’s ship, the seafarer is entitled to receive wages in respect of each day on which the seafarer is in fact unemployed during a period of two months from the date of termination of the service, at the rate to which the seafarer was entitled at that date, unless the seafarer obtains other suitable employment.

135. Protection of seafarer’s rights and remedies

(1) A seafarer’s lien on a ship, remedies for the recovery of wages, right to wages in case of wreck or loss of the seafarer’s ship, and the rights the seafarer may have or obtain in the nature of salvage shall not be renounced by an agreement.

(2) A stipulation in an agreement inconsistent with subsection (1) or any other provision of this Act is void.

(3) Subsection (1) does not affect a term of an agreement that relates to the remuneration to be paid to a seafarer belonging to a ship which is to be employed on salvage service.

136. Claims against seafarer’s wages for maintenance

(1) Where, during a seafarer’s employment in a ship, expenses are incurred by a public officer for the benefit of a dependant of the seafarer and the expenses are of a kind specified in the Regulations and further conditions, as may be so specified, are satisfied, the public officer may by notice in writing require the person employing the seafarer

(a) to retain for a period specified in the notice a proportion of the seafarer’s net wages as may be specified, and

(b) to give to the public officer notice in writing of the seafarer’s discharge from the ship; and the person employing the seafarer shall comply with the notice and give notice in writing of its contents to the seafarer.

(2) For the purposes of this section,

(a) a seafarer’s dependants are the seafarer’s spouse and any other person under the age of eighteen years whom the seafarer is liable to maintain or to whom the seafarer is liable to make contributions under an enactment; and

(b) the Minister may by Regulations prescribe for payment

i. of expenses incurred in providing a dependant with accommodation, care and exercising supervision over the dependant,

ii. of any other expenses incurred for the benefit of the dependant, and

iii. to be made to the dependant, except that the Regulations may not prescribe for the payment of expenses unless they are expenses that a Court may order.

(3) Not more than the following proportion of a seafarer’s net wages shall be retained under subsection (1):

(a) one-half, if the notice or notices relate to one dependant only, or

(b) two-thirds, if the notice or notices relate to two or more dependants.

(4) Where a public officer has served a notice under this section on a person employing a seafarer, a competent Court may, on the application of the officer, make an order for the payment to the officer of a sum, not exceeding the proportion of the seafarer’s wages which that person is required by virtue of this section to retain, as the Court having regard to the expenses incurred by the officer and the seafarer’s means, considers fit.

(5) A sum paid out of a seafarer’s wages in pursuance of an order under this section shall be considered to be paid to the seafarer in respect of the seafarer’s wages; and the service on the person who employed the seafarer of the order or of an order dismissing the application, shall terminate the period for which that person is required to retain the wages.

(6) An application for an order under this section for the payment of a sum by the person who employs a seafarer shall be considered, for the purposes of any proceedings, to be an application for an order against the seafarer, but the order, when served on that person, shall have effect as an order against that person and may be enforced accordingly.

(7) A notice or an order under this section may be served by registered post.

(8) The Minister may make Regulations specifying,

(a) the expenses in respect of which a notice may be served by a public officer under subsection (1);

(b) the conditions that must be satisfied if a notice is to be served;

(c) that the duration of a notice begins with the service of that notice and ends after a specified number of days after the seafarer’s discharge from the seafarer’s ship;

(d) the form of the notice and the information to be contained in it; and

(e) the amounts to be deducted from a seafarer’s wages in computing the seafarer’s net wages for the purposes of this section, includes amounts stipulated in allotment notes issued under section 133.

137. Master’s remedies, remuneration and disbursements

(1) The master of a Ghanaian ship, has the same rights, liens and remedies for the recovery of the master’s wages as a seafarer has for the seafarer’s wages under this Act or any other law.

(2) The master of a Ghanaian ship, and every person lawfully acting as master of that ship by reason of the death or incapacity from illness of the master of the ship, has the same rights, liens and remedies for the recovery of disbursements or liabilities properly made or incurred by that person on account of the ship as a master has for the recovery of the master’s wages.

(3) Where, in proceedings regarding the claim of a master in respect of wages or disbursements or liabilities mentioned in subsection (2), the rights of set-off or counterclaim is made, the Court may enter into and adjudicate on all questions including the counterclaim and settle all accounts arising or outstanding and unsettled between the parties to the proceeding and may direct payment of any balance found to be due.

138. Wages not to depend on freight

(1) The right to wages shall not depend on the earning from freight, and every seafarer and apprentice who would be entitled to demand and recover any wages if the ship in which the seafarer serves has earned freight, shall, subject to any other rules of law and conditions applicable to the case, be entitled to demand and recover wages although freight has not been earned, but in the event of wreck, or loss of the ship, proof that the seafarer has not made the utmost effort to save the ship, cargo and stores, shall bar the seafarer’s claim for wages.

(2) Where a seafarer or an apprentice who is entitled by virtue of this section to demand and recover wages, dies before the wages are paid, the wages shall be paid and applied in the same way as the wages of a seafarer who dies during a voyage.

139. Refusal to work

A seafarer is not entitled to wages at any time during which the seafarer unlawfully refuses or neglects to work when required, whether before or after the time fixed by the agreement for the seafarer to begin work, or for a period during which the seafarer is lawfully imprisoned for an offence committed by the seafarer, unless the Court hearing the case otherwise directs.

140. Illness caused by own default

(1) Where a seafarer is, by reason of illness incapable of performing the seafarer’s duty, and it is proved that the illness has been caused by the seafarer’s own wilful act or default, or is a sickness or infirmity wilfully concealed at the time of engagement, the seafarer is not entitled to wages for the period during which the seafarer is, by reason of the illness, incapable of performing the seafarer’s duty.

(2) Subsection (1) does not affect the rights of a seafarer to a payment or other benefits to which the seafarer is entitled under a law providing for compensation to an injured or sick worker.

141. Costs of procuring conviction

When in a proceeding relating to a seafarer’s wages it is shown that the seafarer has, in the course of the voyage, been convicted of an offence and punished by imprisonment or a fine, the Court hearing the case may direct a part of the wages due to the seafarer, not exceeding one month’s wages, to be applied in reimbursing the costs properly incurred by the master in procuring the conviction and punishment.

142. Improper discharge

Where a seafarer who has signed an agreement is discharged otherwise than in accordance with the terms of the agreement,

(a) before the commencement of the voyage, or

(b) before one month’s wages are earned, without the seafarer’s fault or consent, the seafarer is entitled to receive from the master or owner, in addition to the wages the seafarer might have earned, due compensation for the damage caused to the seafarer by the discharge, not exceeding one month’s wages; and the seafarer may recover that compensation as if it were wages duly earned.

143. Protection of wages

(1) The following provisions apply to wages due or accruing to a seafarer:

(a) subject to section 136, wages are not subject to attachment by any court;

(b) an assignment or sale of wages before they are due does not bind the person making it;

(c) a power of attorney or authority for the receipt of wages may be revoked; and

(d) a payment of wages to a seafarer is valid in law notwithstanding that the wages have been sold, assigned, attached or encumbered.

(2) Subsection (1) does not affect the provisions of this Act with respect to allotment notes.

(3) This section does not apply to a disposition relating to the application of wages,

(a) in the payment of contributions to a fund declared by the Regulations to be a fund to which this section applies, or

(b) in the payment of contributions in respect of the membership of a body declared by the Regulations to be a body to which this section applies.

144. Leave and holidays

(1) A seafarer is entitled after twelve months of continuous service on a Ghanaian ship, or for the same employer, to annual leave with pay, the duration of which shall be not less than thirty working days for each year of service.

(2) For the purpose of calculating the time for which annual leave is due,

(a) periods between consecutive crew agreements shall be included in the reckoning of continuous service referred to in subsection (1);

(b) short interruptions of service not due to the act or default of the employee and not exceeding a total of six weeks in any twelve months do not break the continuity of the periods of service that precede and follow them; and

(c) continuity of service is not interrupted by a change in the management or ownership of the ships in which the person concerned has served.

(3) The following are not included in computing the period of leave:

(a) interruptions of service due to sickness or injury, and

(b) public holidays.

(4) In addition to the entitlement under subsection (1), every member of the crew of a Ghanaian ship is entitled to twelve days annual leave with pay and to payment in lieu of public holidays as the Government may decide, and if the length of continuous service is less than twelve months, then the annual leave with pay shall be pro-rata.

145. Seafarer may sue for wages

(1) Subject to section 136, a seafarer or a person duly authorised on the seafarer’s behalf, may, as soon as the wages due to the seafarer become payable, sue for them in a court having jurisdiction in the place at which the seafarer’s service is terminated or at which the seafarer is discharged, or at which a master or an owner or any other person on whom the claim is made, resides.

(2) A Court on a complaint on oath made to it for the purposes of proceedings under this section may summon the master or owner or any other person to appear before the Court to answer the complaint.

(3) On the appearance of the master or owner or other person, the Court may examine the parties and their respective witnesses on oath regarding the complaint and the amount of wages due, and may make an order for the payment of any wages found due that appears reasonable and just.

(4) Where a master or owner or that other person does not appear, the Court, on proof that the master or owner or that other person was duly summoned, may examine the complainant and the complainant’s witnesses on oath regarding the complaint and the amount of wages due, and may make an order for the payment of wages found due that appears reasonable and just.

(5) Where an order under this section for the payment of wages is not obeyed within twenty-four hours of its being made the Court may issue a warrant to levy the amount of the wages awarded together with all the charges and expenses incurred in connection with the distress, levy and the enforcement of the order by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the person on whom the order is made.

(6) Where sufficient distress cannot be found the Court may cause the amount of the wages, charges and expenses to be levied on the ship in respect of which the wages were earned or on the tackle and apparel, but if the ship is not within the jurisdiction of the Court, a levy shall not be made on the ship but the Court may cause the person on whom the order for payment is made to be arrested and committed to prison for a term not exceeding twelve months unless the payment is made earlier.

146. Jurisdiction of Court in the recovery of wages

A court of competent jurisdiction may hear and determine an action by or on behalf of a seafarer or an apprentice for the recovery of wages, where

(a) the owner of the ship is bankrupt, or

(b) the ship is under arrest or is sold by the authority of the Court.

147. Power to rescind contracts

(1) Where proceedings are instituted in a Court in relation to a dispute between an owner or a master of a ship and a seafarer, arising out of or incidental to their relationship the Court may, considering all the circumstances, rescind a contract between the owner or master and the seafarer, or a contract or the articles of apprenticeship, on terms that the Court considers just.

(2) The jurisdiction of a Court under subsection (1) is in addition to any other jurisdiction that the Court can exercise.

Property of Deceased Seafarer
148. Property of deceased seafarer

(1) Where a seafarer belonging to a Ghanaian ship dies during a voyage, the master of the ship shall take charge of the money or personal effects of the deceased seafarer that are on board the ship.

(2) The master shall enter in the official log book,

(a) a statement of the amount of the money and a description of the effects, and

(b) a statement of the wages due to the deceased, the amount of deductions to be made from the wages and the balance of the wages due.

(3) The entry shall be signed by the master and attested by a mate or any other member of the crew.

(4) The master may cause any of the effects of a deceased seafarer to be sold.

(5) The master of the ship shall without delay furnish the Registrar of seafarers with a statement of the property of the deceased seafarer.

(6) The money, effects and balance of wages mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) and the proceeds of the sale mentioned in subsection (4) are in this Act referred to as the “property of the seafarer”.

149. Delivery of deceased seafarer’s property

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the property of the seafarer shall be delivered, by the master of the ship by the most practicable means to the personal representative of the deceased or if there is no personal representative, the master shall deliver the property of the seafarer to the Registrar of seafarers or to the proper officer for disposal,

(a) in accordance with the law for determining the distribution or succession of personal property of deceased persons of the place in which the deceased was last resident, or

(b) in accordance with the order of a court that has jurisdiction to determine the distribution of the property of the deceased.

(2) A master may deduct from the property of the seafarer the expenses properly incurred in complying with subsection (1).

(3) The master shall then deliver a statement of account to the Registrar of seafarers in respect of the property of the deceased seafarer.

150. Forgery of documents

(1) A person commits an offence, if that person for the purpose of obtaining for that person or for any other person, a property of a deceased seafarer,

(a) forges or fraudulently alters a document purporting to show or assist in showing a right to that property;

(b) makes use of a document that has been forged or fraudulently altered as described in paragraph (a);

(c) knowingly gives or assists in giving or procures to be given a false evidence;

(d) knowingly makes a false representation; or

(e) knowingly assists in procuring a false evidence or representation to be given or made.

(2) A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.

Occupational Safety
151. Occupational safety Regulations

(1) The Minister may make Regulations for securing as far as is practicable, safe working conditions and safe means of access for masters and seafarers employed in Ghanaian ships, and requiring the reporting of injuries sustained by them.

(2) In addition to subsection (1), Regulations under this section may

(a) require the maintenance, inspection and testing of an equipment and impose conditions on its use;

(b) require, prohibit, or regulate the use of protective clothing or equipment;

(c) limit the hours of employment of seafarers in a specified operation or in any specified circumstances; and

(d) make provision for the performance, by persons appointed from among the persons employed in a ship, of functions to be prescribed under the Regulations.

(3) In making Regulations under this section, the Minister shall consider the Convention concerning the Prevention of Occupational Accidents to Seafarers, (1970) of the International Labour Organisation.

Required Provisions and Water for Ships
152. Provisions and water

(1) The Minister may make Regulations requiring provisions and water to be provided for seafarers employed in Ghanaian ships or a class of ships specified in the Regulations.

(2) The Minister may exempt a ship from any of the requirement by the Regulations, generally or in respect of a particular voyage.

(3) Where a person authorised to inspect provisions and water to be supplied to seafarers employed in a Ghanaian ship, is not satisfied that they are in accordance with the Regulations, the ship, if in Ghana, may be detained.

153. Complaints as to provisions and water

(1) Where three or more members of the crew of a Ghanaian ship consider that the provisions and water provided for the use of the crew are at any time of poor quality or insufficient, they may complain to the Registrar of seafarers or the proper officer, who may examine the provisions and water complained of, or cause them to be examined.

(2) Where the person making an examination under this section finds that the items are of poor quality or insufficient, that person shall communicate that fact in writing to the master of the ship, and if the master fails to provide provisions or water fit for human consumption, 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.

(3) The person making the examination shall enter a statement of the result of the examination in the official log book and send a report to the Registrar of seafarers and that report is admissible in evidence.

(4) Where the person making the examination certifies in the statement that there was no reasonable ground for the complaint, each of the complainants shall be liable to forfeit to the owner out of the complainant’s wages a sum not exceeding one week’s wages.

154. Allowance for short or bad provisions

(1) If during the voyage of a Ghanaian ship the allowance of provisions provided for a seafarer is less than that prescribed or any of those provisions are of poor quality, the seafarer shall receive by way of compensation for the deficiency or poor quality, for so long as it lasts, the amounts that may be prescribed to be paid to the seafarer in addition to the seafarer’s wages, and is recoverable as wages.

(2) Where the deficiency occurred because the provisions are supplied in improper quantities and proper equivalent substitutes were supplied in lieu of those circumstances it shall be taken into consideration for the purposes of subsection (1) and the compensation shall be reduced or denied accordingly.

155. Weights and measures

(1) The master of a Ghanaian ship in which provisions are supplied to the crew shall keep on board proper weights and measures for determining the quantities of the several provisions, and the master shall allow the weights and measures to be used in the presence of a witness at the time of the distribution of the provisions whenever a dispute arises regarding the quantities.

(2) A master who fails to comply with subsection (1) 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.

Health and Welfare
156. Medical fitness Regulations

(1) The Minister may make the Regulations which are necessary for conducting medical examinations of all persons seeking employment in any capacity on board Ghanaian ships and for the issue of medical certificates in respect of those persons.

(2) In making Regulations under subsection (1), the Minister shall have regard to the Convention concerning the Medical Examination of Seafarers, 1946, the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended.

157. Crew accommodation Regulations

(1) The Minister may make Regulations with respect to the crew accommodation to be provided in Ghanaian ships.

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) may in particular

(a) prescribe the minimum space per person which shall be provided as sleeping accommodation for seafarers and the maximum number of persons who may use a specified part of such sleeping accommodation;

(b) prescribe the equipment to be provided for the sleeping accommodation, mess rooms, sanitary accommodation and galleys in a ship;

(c) regulate the spaces in the ship in which the crew accommodation or a part of it may be located and the standards to be observed in the construction, equipment and furnishing of that accommodation;

(d) provide for the protection of the crew against injury, condensation, heat, cold and noise on a ship;

(e) prescribe the water, heating, lighting, ventilation and sanitary facilities to be supplied on a ship;

(f) require the submission to a surveyor of ships of plans and specifications of works proposed to be carried out for the purpose of the provision or alteration of the accommodation and authorise the surveyor to inspect the works;

(g) provide for the maintenance and repair of the accommodation and prohibit or restrict the use of the accommodation for purposes other than those for which it is designed; and

(h) provide for the inspection, measuring and marking of crew accommodation on a ship and its certification for the purpose of ascertaining tonnage.

(3) Regulations made under this section may

(a) exempt a particular ship or a class of ships from any of the requirements of the Regulations; and

(b) require the master of a ship or an officer authorised by the master for the purpose to carry out the inspections of the crew accommodation as may be prescribed.

(4) In this section “crew accommodation” includes sleeping accommodation, mess rooms, sanitary accommodation, store rooms and catering accommodation provided for the use of seafarers, but does not include accommodation which is also used by or provided for the use of passengers.

(5) In making Regulations under this section, the Minister shall have due regard to the requirements of the Convention Concerning Crew Accommodation on Board Ships (Revised), 1949 and Supplementary Provisions, (1970) of the International Labour Organisation.

158. Certificated cook to be carried

(1) A Ghanaian ship of one thousand gross tons or more trading from and beyond the waters of Ghana shall carry a duly certificated ship’s cook.

(2) Where in the opinion of the Authority there is an inadequate supply of certificated ships’ cooks it may exempt a particular ship from the requirements of this section for a specified period.

159. Medical stores Regulations

(1) The Minister may make Regulations requiring Ghanaian ships to carry the medicines, medical stores, appliances and books containing instructions and advice specified in the Regulations.

(2) The owner and master of every ship shall ensure that the ship carries medicines, medical stores, appliances and books in accordance with the scales laid down in the Regulations.

(3) Where a surveyor or any other officer of the Authority is of the opinion that the medicines, medical stores, appliances and books on a Ghanaian ship are deficient in quantity or quality or are placed in improper receptacles, the surveyor shall give notice of this in writing to the master, owner or agent of the ship, and the ship may be detained.

160. Right to medical treatment

(1) Where the master of a Ghanaian ship or a seafarer belonging to a Ghanaian ship in the course of duty gets injured or becomes ill and the illness is not as a result of the master’s or seafarer’s own wilful act or default, the owner of the ship shall defray, without a deduction on that account from wages the expense of

(a) providing the necessary surgical and medical advice,

(b) attendance to a health facility and medicines, and

(c) the maintenance of the master or seafarer, until the master or seafarer recovers from the injury or illness or dies or is returned to a proper port in accordance with section 202.

(2) The owner of the ship shall defray

(a) the cost of conveyance, and

(b) in the case of death, the burial expenses, of a master or seafarer under subsection (1).

(3) The owner of a ship shall defray the expenses of

(a) the removal and of providing the necessary medical advice,

(b) medicine and attendance at a health facility and medicine, and

(c) maintenance,

of a master or seafarer who on account of an illness or injury is temporary removed from the ship for the purpose of preventing infection or otherwise for the convenience of the ship or the injured or ill master or seafarer.

(4) In all other cases a reasonable expense duly incurred by the owner for a master or seafarer in respect of illness, and also the reasonable expenses duly incurred by the owner in respect of the burial of a master or seafarer who dies while on duty, shall, if duly proved, be deducted from the wages of the master or seafarer.

161. Recovery of expenses from owner

(1) Where any of the expenses in respect of the illness or injury of a master or seafarer, which are to be paid by the owner, are paid by an officer on behalf of the Government, or if any other expenses in respect of the illness or injury of a master or seafarer whose wages are not accounted for under this Act to that officer, are so paid, the expenses shall be repaid to that officer by the owner of the ship.

(2) Where the expenses are not repaid, the amount of the expenses shall be a charge on the ship, and shall be recoverable from

(a) the owner of the ship for the time being, or

(b) the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the loss or transfer in any case where the ship has been lost or has been transferred, and the amount shall be regarded as a debt due to the Government recoverable by ordinary process of the law.

(3) In proceedings for recovery, a certificate of the facts signed by the officer, together with the vouchers, as the case requires, shall be sufficient proof that the expenses were duly paid by that officer.

162. Effect of workman’s compensation

The eligibility of a seafarer to receive medical aid or periodical payments at the expense of the seafarer’s employer under the terms of an enactment providing for compensation to injured or sick workers cancels the right of the seafarer to receive medical treatment under section 160

(a) if that seafarer receives that medical aid, and

(b) for so long as the seafarer receives the periodic payments.

163. Medical practitioners to be carried

(1) A Ghanaian ship trading outside Ghanaian waters that proceeds from a port with more than one hundred persons on board shall carry on board as part of its complement a duly qualified medical practitioner.

(2) The owner of a Ghanaian ship commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years or to both the fine and the imprisonment in respect of every voyage in which the ship is in contravention of subsection (1).

164. Facilities for making complaints

(1) Where a seafarer, while on board a Ghanaian ship, informs the master that the seafarer wishes to make a complaint to the Registrar of seafarers or a judicial officer or to the proper officer against the master or any of the crew, the master shall as far as the services of the ship will permit, allow the seafarer to go ashore, so that the seafarer can make the complaint,

(a) if the ship is then at a place where there is a proper officer or the Registrar of seafarers, or

(b) if the ship is not at a place where there is a proper officer or the Registrar of seafarers then on her arrival at that place.

(2) A master of a ship who fails to comply with this section without reasonable cause, 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.

Protection of Seafarers from Imposition
165. Assignment and sale of salvage

Subject to this Act, an assignment or sale of a salvage payable to a seafarer that is made before the salvage accrues does not bind the person making the assignment or sale, and a power of attorney or an authority for the receipt of the salvage may be revoked regardless of its terms.

166. Seafarer’s debts

A debt exceeding a prescribed percentage of a seafarer’s total earnings as indicated in the crew agreement, if incurred by the seafarer after the seafarer is engaged to serve, is not recoverable until the service agreed to, is concluded.

167. Misconduct endangering life of ship

A master or seafarer, belonging to a Ghanaian ship, who by wilful breach of duty or by neglect of duty or while in a state of intoxication

(a) does an act which could cause the immediate loss, destruction of, or serious damage to the ship, or to endanger immediately the life of a person belonging to or on board the ship, or

(b) refuses or omits to do a lawful act for preserving the ship from immediate loss, destruction, or serious damage or for preserving a person belonging to or on board the ship from immediate danger to life, 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.

168. General offences against discipline

(1) A seafarer or an apprentice lawfully engaged on a Ghanaian ship who commits any of the following offences is liable to be punished summarily in the following manner:

(a) if the seafarer or apprentice leaves the ship without leave after the ship’s arrival at a port, and before the ship is placed in security, the seafarer or apprentice is liable to forfeit out of the seafarer’s or apprentice’s wages a sum not exceeding one week’s pay;

(b) if the seafarer or apprentice is summarily convicted of wilful disobedience to a lawful command, the seafarer or apprentice is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month and in addition to forfeit, at the discretion of the Court, out of the seafarer’s or apprentice’s wages a sum not exceeding two days’ pay;

(c) if the seafarer or apprentice is summarily convicted of continued wilful disobedience to a lawful command or continued wilful neglect of duty, the seafarer or apprentice is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, and at the discretion of the Court, to forfeit a sum not exceeding two days’ pay for each day during which the offence continues or the expenses properly incurred in hiring a substitute;

(d) if the seafarer or apprentice assaults the master or a mate or an officer of the ship, the seafarer or apprentice 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;

(e) if the seafarer or apprentice conspires with a member of the crew to disobey a lawful command, or to neglect duty, or to impede the navigation of the ship or the progress of the voyage, the seafarer or apprentice is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both the fine and the imprisonment;

(f) if the seafarer or apprentice wilfully damages the ship, or dishonestly misappropriates or converts to the seafarer’s or apprentice’s own use, or commits criminal breach of trust or wilfully damages any of the ship’s stores or cargo, the seafarer or apprentice commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to forfeit out of the seafarer’s or apprentice’s wages a sum equal to the loss sustained, and in addition, at the discretion of the Court, to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months; or

(g) if the seafarer or apprentice is summarily convicted of an act of smuggling, by which loss or damage is occasioned to the master or owner of the ship, the seafarer or apprentice is liable to pay to the master or owner a sum sufficient to reimburse the loss or damage and the whole or a proportionate part of the seafarer’s or apprentice’s wages may be retained in satisfaction or on account of that liability, despite a further penalty.

(2) A seafarer or an apprentice does not commit an offence under subsection (1) by reason only of the seafarer or apprentice refusing duty during a lawful strike after the ship has arrived at a port in Ghana and has been secured in good safety to the satisfaction of the master and the port authority.

(3) A forfeiture or any other payment imposed in respect of an offence under subsection (1) shall not exceed one-half of one month’s salary in any one month, and shall leave the seafarer a sum which is sufficient for the maintenance of the seafarer and the seafarer’s dependants.

(4) The master of a ship may in addition to a punishment imposed on a seafarer who contravenes any of the provisions of subsection (1), discharge the seafarer.

169. Desertion and absence without leave

(1) Where a seafarer lawfully engaged on a Ghanaian ship or an apprentice belonging to a Ghanaian ship deserts ship, the seafarer or apprentice commits the offence of desertion and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months and in addition

(a) the seafarer or apprentice is liable to forfeit all or part of any effect the seafarer or apprentice leaves on board, and

(b) the wages which the seafarer or apprentice has then earned, and if the master or owner of the ship has engaged a substitute in the seafarer’s or apprentice’s place at a higher rate of wages than the rate at which wages had been stated to be paid to the seafarer or apprentice, the seafarer or apprentice shall be called on to pay the excess.

(2) Where a seafarer lawfully engaged on a Ghanaian ship or an apprentice belonging to a Ghanaian ship neglects or refuses without reasonable cause to

(a) join the ship,

(b) proceed to sea on the ship,

(c) is absent without leave at,

i. any time within the period of twenty-four hours immediately before the ship sails for a port either at the commencement of or during the voyage, or

ii. at any other time from the ship or duty without sufficient reason, and the act or omission does not constitute the offence of desertion, the seafarer or apprentice commits the offence of absence without leave and is liable on summary conviction to

(d) a term of imprisonment not exceeding two months;

(e) forfeit a sum not exceeding two days’ wages; or

(f) a fine not exceeding six days’ wages for each day during which the offence continues, or the expenses incurred in hiring a substitute.

170. Improper negotiation of advance

(1) Where a seafarer lawfully engaged on a Ghanaian ship has received under the seafarer’s agreement an advance note, and after negotiating the advance note wilfully or through misconduct fails to join the ship or deserts before the note becomes payable, the seafarer commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(2) Subsection (1) does not limit or otherwise prejudice a remedy, by action or otherwise

(a) of a person in respect of the negotiation of the advance note, or

(b) which an owner or master would otherwise have for breach of contract.

171. Certificate of discharge may be withheld

(1) Where it is shown to the satisfaction of the Registrar of seafarers that a seafarer lawfully engaged in and belonging to a Ghanaian ship has wilfully or through misconduct failed to join the ship, the Registrar may in writing direct that the seafarer’s certificate of discharge should be withheld for the period specified in the direction.

(2) While a seafarer’s certificate of discharge is withheld, a person who has custody of the document may, despite anything in any other enactment, refuse to furnish copies of the certificate of discharge or certified extract of the particulars of service or character.

172. Summary remedies not to affect other remedies

A provision of sections 169 and 170 shall not take away or limit a remedy by action before a Court which an owner or a master would have had recourse to for breach of contract in respect of the matters constituting an offence under those sections but for those provisions, but an owner or a master shall not be compensated more than once in respect of the same damage.

173. False statement as to last ship

Where a seafarer on or before being engaged, wilfully and fraudulently makes a false statement of the name of the seafarer’s last ship or alleged last ship, or wilfully makes a false or fraudulent statement of the seafarer’s own name, the seafarer 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.

174. Deserters from foreign ships

(1) Where it appears to the Authority that reciprocal facilities will be given by the government of a foreign country for apprehending and repatriating a seafarer who deserts in that country from a Ghanaian ship, the Authority may declare by publication in the Gazette that this section shall apply in the case of that country subject to the limitations that the Authority may impose.

(2) Where a seafarer or an apprentice deserts in Ghana from a ship registered in a country to which this section applies, the master of the ship may apply to a Court for assistance in apprehending the deserter.

(3) The Court shall give the assistance within its power, and for that purpose the Court may on information given on oath, issue a warrant for the deserter to be conveyed on board the ship or delivered to the master or mate of the ship or to the owner of the ship or the owner’s agent in order to be conveyed on the ship.

175. Proof of desertion when wages are to be forfeited

(1) Where a question arises as to whether the wages of a seafarer or an apprentice are forfeited under this Part for desertion from a Ghanaian ship, it is sufficient for the person attempting to enforce the forfeiture to show that

(a) the seafarer or apprentice was duly engaged in or belonged to the ship,

(b) the seafarer or apprentice left the ship before the completion of the voyage or engagement, or

(c) an entry of the seafarer’s or apprentice’s desertion was duly made in the official log book.

(2) The desertion shall be considered to be proved so far as it relates to a forfeiture of wages under this Part, unless the seafarer or apprentice can produce a proper certificate of discharge or can otherwise show to the satisfaction of the Court that the seafarer or apprentice had satisfactory reasons for leaving the ship.

176. Application of proceeds from forfeiture

(1) Where the wages or effects are forfeited under this Part for desertion from a ship, the effects may be sold, and the wages or the money arising from the sale of the effects shall be applied towards reimbursing the expenses caused by the desertion to the master or owner of the ship, and the balance remaining shall be paid to the Registrar of seafarers.

(2) Where the wages are forfeited under this Part for a cause other than desertion, the forfeiture shall in the absence of a specific provision to the contrary be in favour of the master or owner by whom the wages are payable.

177. Question of forfeiture decided in suit for wages

A question concerning the forfeiture of or deductions from the wages of a seafarer or apprentice under this Part may be determined in proceedings instituted with respect to those wages although the seafarer or apprentice has not been prosecuted for the offence that gives rise to the question.

178. Deduction of penalty from wages

(1) A penalty imposed on a seafarer for an act of misconduct for which the seafarer’s agreement imposes the penalty, is subject to the following:

(a) on the offender being discharged, where the offence and the entry in the official log book is proved to the satisfaction of the Registrar of seafarers or a proper officer, the master or owner shall deduct the penalty from the wages of the offender; and

(b) the penalty deducted shall be paid to the Registrar of seafarers, and if the master or owner of the ship fails without reasonable cause to pay the penalty, the master or owner commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(2) An act of misconduct for which a penalty is imposed and paid by or deducted from the wages of a seafarer shall not be otherwise punished under this Act.

179. Penalty on stowaways

(1) A person who goes to sea in a ship without the consent of the owner, master or a mate or of the person in charge of the ship or any other person entitled to give that consent, 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.

(2) A person who goes to sea in a ship without consent as specified under subsection (1) shall so long as that person remains on the ship, be considered to belong to the ship and shall be subject to the same penalties and punishments for offences constituting or encouraging a breach of discipline, as if that person were a member of the crew and had signed the crew agreement.

180. Trade disputes involving seafarers

(1) An enactment concerning trade unions or labour shall so far as it relates to the immunity of persons from legal proceedings for acts committed in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute, apply to seafarers as it applies to other persons.

(2) Despite anything in an agreement, a seafarer employed on a Ghanaian ship may terminate the employment on that ship by leaving the ship in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute, after giving to the master not less than forty-eight hours notice of the seafarer’s intention to do so.

(3) A seafarer shall not, unless the notice is withdrawn, be compelled to go to sea within forty-eight hours after giving notice under subsection (2) but the notice is of no effect unless at the time it is given the ship is in Ghana and securely moored in a safe berth.

(4) In this section “trade dispute” means a dispute between employers and seafarers, or between seafarers and seafarers or involving a person and which is connected with the employment or with the conditions of labour.

181. Offences to be entered in official log book

Where in respect of a Ghanaian ship, an offence is committed under section 168 or 169, or an act of misconduct is committed for which the agreement of the person committing the offence provides for a fine, and it is intended to enforce the fine,

(a) an entry of the offence or act shall be made in the official log book and signed by the master and an officer or the master and one crew member;

(b) before the arrival of the ship at the next port, or if the ship is at the time in port, the offender shall, if still in the ship, be given a copy of the entry or the entry shall be read over distinctly and audibly to the offender, and the offender may reply as the offender thinks fit;

(c) a statement that a copy of the entry was furnished or that the entry was read over to the offender and in either case the reply made by the offender, shall similarly be entered and signed in the log book;

(d) in subsequent legal proceedings the entries made under this section shall if practicable be produced or proved; and

(e) if the entry is not recorded, a Court may refuse to receive evidence of the offence or act of misconduct.

Relief and Repatriation of Seafarers
182. Repatriation of seafarers

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, it is an implied term of every agreement entered into for the employment of a seafarer in a Ghanaian ship that where the agreement terminates at a port other than the port of engagement, the seafarer shall be returned to a proper return port at the expense of the master or owner of the ship.

(2) The owner, master or agent of the ship shall make the necessary arrangements to defray the expenses incurred for the return of a seafarer pursuant to subsection (1).

(3) Subsection (1) applies whether an agreement terminates by

(a) expiry of time,

(b) consent of the parties,

(c) shipwreck,

(d) sale of the ship,

(e) the inability of the seafarer to proceed in the ship by reason of sickness or injury, or

(f) by any other cause.

183. Seafarer to bear expense of repatriation in certain cases

(1) A seafarer who has been left behind or discharged from a ship as a result of the seafarer’s

(a) desertion,

(b) imprisonment, or

(c) inability to proceed to the ship because of an illness or infirmity that was wilfully concealed at the time of the engagement of the seafarer, is not entitled to be returned at the expense of the master or owner under section 182.

(2) The owner, master or agent of the ship from which a seafarer mentioned in subsection (1) has been left behind or discharged, shall make the necessary arrangements to defray the expenses incurred for the return of the seafarer to a proper return port as if the seafarer were entitled to it.

(3) An owner, a master or an agent shall be reimbursed for the expenses incurred under subsection (2) out of the wages owed to the seafarer at the time the seafarer left the ship or out of the proceeds from the sale of any of the seafarer’s effects left on board the ship.

(4) Where this is not sufficient, the owner, master or agent may take the legal action that the owner, master or agent considers appropriate.

(5) Despite subsection (1), (3) or (4) the owner, the master or the agent shall ensure that the seafarer does not become a charge on the Republic.

184. Duty of Registrar of seafarers

(1) Where a seafarer is to be left behind or discharged from the seafarer’s ship at a port other than the seafarer’s port of engagement, the Registrar of seafarers or proper officer may demand from the owner, master or agent, a guarantee for the proper discharge of the obligations imposed by section 182 or 183.

(2) Where a guarantee required under this section is refused the Registrar of seafarers or proper officer may withhold consent to the discharge of the seafarer concerned.

185. Application to foreign vessels

Sections 162 and 182 to 184 apply in respect of a vessel that engages a seafarer or apprentice in Ghana, and “owner” in that context includes a person appointed or nominated by the owner, or the charterer, if the vessel is on demise charter, to act as the owner’s or charterer’s agent and who was acting as such at the time the seafarer or apprentice was engaged.

186. Wages and effects of seafarer left behind

(1) Where a seafarer belonging to a Ghanaian ship is left at a place other than a proper return port, the master of the ship shall, subject to this section and as soon as practicable, enter in the official log book a statement of the effects left on board by the seafarer and an account of wages due to the seafarer at the time when the seafarer was left behind.

(2) On the termination of the voyage during which the seafarer was left behind, the master shall furnish to the Registrar of seafarers or the proper officer, within forty-eight hours after the arrival of the ship at the port at which the voyage terminates, a delivery account and a retention account.

(3) The master shall if required by the Registrar of seafarers, furnish the vouchers that are reasonably required to verify the delivery and retention accounts.

(4) The master of a ship shall deliver to the Registrar of seafarers, if the Registrar will receive them, the effects of a seafarer as shown in a delivery account and subject to the reimbursement allowed under subsection (5), the amount due on account of wages as shown in that account and the Registrar of seafarers or proper officer shall give to the master a receipt for the effects or amount delivered.

(5) The master of a ship is entitled to retain out of the wages the sums shown in a retention account that appear to the Registrar of seafarers to be owing or payable to the master of the ship and for that purpose the Registrar of seafarers or proper officer shall allow those sums to be retained by the master, out of the amount due on account of wages shown in the delivery account and where that amount is not sufficient, for the remainder to be raised and paid to the master out of the effects.

(6) Before allowing a sum to be retained or to be raised and paid, the Registrar of seafarers may require that evidence be provided by statutory declaration or otherwise that the sums are owing or payable to the master of the ship.

(7) The Registrar of seafarers shall deliver the remainder of the wages and effects to the person at the time and in the manner as may be prescribed, and shall render the accounts in respect of them as the Director-General may direct.

(8) The sums remitted under this section or arising from the sale of effects under this section, and not disposed of in accordance with this section, shall be retained by the Republic.

(9) The master of a ship who, without reasonable cause, contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and without prejudice to any other liability to which the ship might be subject is, on summary conviction, liable 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.

(10) In this section

(a) “delivery account” means an account of the effects and wages of a seafarer left behind or owing at the time a seafarer leaves or is discharged from the seafarer’s ship;

(b) “retention account” means an account of the expenses caused to the master or owner of a ship by the absence of a seafarer from the ship due to the seafarer’s desertion, neglect to join the ship, or conduct constituting an offence under section 168 or 169, including, in the case of a seafarer who is not entitled to be repatriated at the expense of the master or owner of the ship the provision made for the return of the seafarer to a proper return port;

(c) “effects” includes the proceeds of the sale of the personal property of a seafarer.

187. Liability of master

The master of a Ghanaian ship is not liable for the loss of effects or for the damage to the effects of a seafarer left behind or discharged at a port other than the seafarer’s proper return port, if the master proves to the Registrar of seafarers that the loss or damage occurred without the master’s neglect or consent after the seafarer left the ship.

188. Liability of Government

(1) The Government is not liable for anything done under section 186, except that if after the wages or effects of a seafarer have been dealt with under section 186 and legal proceedings are taken by the seafarer against the owner, the master or the agent of the ship in respect of the wages or the effects, the Director-General shall, if notice is given to the Director-General of the proceedings and a reasonable opportunity afforded the Director-General of appearing, comply with the order of the Court made as regards the wages or effects so far as the Director-General can do so out of the wages and effects remitted to the Authority in respect of the voyage of the ship.

(2) The Board may appear and be heard in the proceedings referred to in subsection (1).

(3) The Board may as it thinks fit meet a claim by a seafarer against the owner, master or agent of the ship in respect of the wages or effects dealt with under section 186 although legal proceedings have not been taken in respect of them.

(4) Where the Authority has given notice to the master or owner of the ship and the master or owner of the ship has not given written notice of the master’s or owner’s objection within ten days of the notice being given, the expense incurred by the Authority under this subsection is recoverable by the Government as a civil debt.

(5) For the purpose of this section, legal proceedings taken or a claim made by a person in whose favour an allotment note has been made are to be treated as proceedings taken or claim made by the seafarer. 0546384409

189. Non-application of section 186

Section 186 does not apply in the case of an absent seafarer where,

(a) the master of a ship satisfies the Registrar of seafarers that none of the effects of the seafarer has to the knowledge of the master been left on board the ship and that the master has paid the wages due to the seafarer;

(b) the master of the ship satisfies the Registrar or proper officer that the net amount due to the seafarer on account of wages, after taking into account the deductions lawfully made in respect of allotments, and advances for which provision is made by the crew agreement is less than the cedi equivalent of US $50; or

(c) the question of forfeiture of the wages and effects of the seafarer has been dealt with in proceedings lawfully instituted before the termination of the voyage or within forty-eight hours of the arrival of the ship at the port at which the voyage terminates.

190. Sale of seafarer’s effects

(1) The effects of a seafarer may after a reasonable time, be sold by the Registrar of seafarers in the manner that the Registrar thinks fit when they are delivered to the Registrar unless the Authority directs otherwise.

(2) Where the effects are not sold under subsection (1), unless they are delivered to the seafarer, they may be sold by the Authority as and when it considers fit.

191. Maintenance and return of seafarer who involuntarily terminates service

(1) Where during the existence of the crew agreement, the service of a seafarer belonging to a Ghanaian ship is terminated otherwise than by the consent of the seafarer, the master of the ship shall in addition to

(a) giving the seafarer a certificate of discharge required by this Act, and

(b) paying to the seafarer the wages to which the seafarer is entitled, make adequate provision in accordance with this Act for maintenance and return of the seafarer to a proper return port, and the master shall record the details of the steps taken as required by this Act in the official log book.

(2) Where a master fails without reasonable cause to comply with subsection (1), the expenses of maintenance and of the journey of the seafarer to the proper return port,

(a) if paid by the seafarer, are recoverable as wages due to the seafarer; and

(b) if paid by the Registrar of seafarers or proper officer or any other person, are a charge on the ship to which the seafarer belonged.

(3) A charge on a ship under subsection (2) (b) may be recovered,

(a) from the person who is the owner of the ship for the time being,

(b) if the ship has been lost, from the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the loss, or

(c) if the ship has been transferred to another person

i. from the new owner, or

ii. from the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the transfer, at the suit of the Registrar of seafarers or any other person who paid the expenses, or, if the expenses have been paid out of public money, as a debt to the Republic.

192. Discharge on change of ownership

(1) Where a Ghanaian ship is transferred or disposed of, a seafarer belonging to that ship shall be discharged unless the seafarer agrees in writing to complete the voyage of the ship if it is continued.

(2) Where a seafarer is discharged under subsection (1), the provisions of this Part relating to the certificate of discharge and the return of the seafarer to a proper return port apply as if the seafarer’s service had terminated otherwise than by the seafarer’s consent to be discharged during the existence of the agreement.

193. Certificate when seafarer is left behind

(1) Except where a seafarer is discharged under this Act, the master of a Ghanaian ship shall not leave a seafarer behind at a foreign port or place unless,

(a) the master had the certificate of the Registrar of seafarers or proper officer endorsed on the crew agreement certifying the cause of the seafarer being left behind, and

(b) the cause is unfitness or inability to proceed to sea, desertion or otherwise.

(2) The Registrar of seafarers or proper officer to whom an application is made for a certificate under this section may examine the grounds on which a seafarer is to be left behind and may for that purpose, if the Registrar thinks fit, administer oaths and grant or refuse the certificate as the Registrar thinks just, but a certificate shall not be unreason-ably withheld.

194. Non-compliance with provisions of this Part

Unless otherwise provided in this Part, a master of a ship who fails to comply with a provision of this Part 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.

195. Account of wages of seafarer left behind

(1) Where the master of a Ghanaian ship leaves a seafarer behind at a foreign port or place on the grounds of the seafarer’s unfitness or inability to proceed to sea, the master shall deliver to the person signing the certificate required by section 193 a full and true account of the wages due to the seafarer and, if that person is the proper officer, the master shall deliver the account in duplicate.

(2) A master who fails without reasonable cause to deliver the account required under subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two months.

196. Payment of seafarer’s wages to proper officers

(1) The master shall pay to the proper officer the wages due to a seafarer left behind on the grounds of the seafarer’s unfitness and inability to proceed to sea, if the officer will receive the wages.

(2) Where a payment is made under this section, the proper officer, if satisfied with the account, shall give a receipt for the payment.

(3) A payment under this section shall be made, whenever practicable, in cash, and where not practicable, by bank draft.

(4) A master who fails without reasonable cause to pay wages as provided by this section, 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.

197. Application of wages of seafarer left behind

Where the wages due to a seafarer left behind on the grounds of the seafarer’s unfitness or inability to proceed to sea, are paid to and accepted by the Registrar of seafarers or proper officer, that officer shall deal with them in the following manner:

(a) where the seafarer subsequently obtains employment at or leaves the port at which the payment was made, the officer shall retain out of the money the expenses that the owner or master is by this Act required to defray, and pay the remainder to the seafarer and deliver to the seafarer an account of the money received and expended on the seafarer’s behalf;

(b) where the seafarer dies before the seafarer’s ship leaves the port, the officer shall deal with the money as part of the property of a deceased seafarer; or

(c) where the seafarer is sent to a proper return port at the public expense under this Act, the officer shall account for the money to the Director-General, and after retaining the expenses duly incurred in respect of the seafarer except the expenses that the owner, master or agent of the ship is required by this Act to defray, the money shall be dealt with as wages of the seafarer.

198. Relief of distressed seafarer

(1) Where a seafarer

(a) is found in any place outside Ghana after having been shipwrecked from a Ghanaian ship, or

(b) by reason of having been discharged or left behind in a place outside Ghana from a Ghanaian ship which is in distress in that place, the Registrar of seafarers may provide relief to that seafarer in accordance with this Act.

(2) Relief is provided to the seafarer when provision is made

(a) for the return of the seafarer at the expense of the Government to a proper return port and also for the seafarer’s necessary clothing and maintenance until the seafarer’s departure from a return port,

(b) in the case of death, for burial expenses, and

(c) in the case of a ship wrecked seafarer, for the repayment of the expenses incurred in the seafarer’s conveyance to port after the seafarer’s shipwreck and the seafarer’s maintenance while being conveyed.

(3) A seafarer for whom relief is provided under subsection (1) (a) is included within the expression “distressed seafarer” in this Act.

199. Repayment of relief and return expenses

(1) Where expenses are incurred by a consular officer on behalf of the Government under section 198 or are incurred by the government of a foreign country and are to be repaid to the foreign country by the Government, the Authority may pay to the consular officer or foreign government the amount of the expenses out of the moneys available for that purpose or out of the money appropriated for that purpose by Parliament.

(2) Money paid by the Authority under subsection (1) together with the wages due to a distressed seafarer, is a charge on the ship to which the seafarer belonged, and is a debt due to the Government

(a) from the owner, master or agent of the ship at the time of the loss;

(b) where the ship has been transferred from the owner for the time being or from the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the transfer; or

(c) where the ship is a foreign ship, from the person who engaged the seafarer for service in the ship.

(3) A debt under this section, in addition to the penalties and consular fees incurred, shall be recovered by the Authority on behalf of the Government as a civil debt.

(4) In proceedings for recovery of a debt under this section, the production of an official account of the expenses incurred in accordance with this Act, and proof of payment of the expenses by or on behalf of the Government is prima facie evidence that the expenses were incurred or repaid under this Act by or on behalf of the Government.

200. Forcing Seafarer ashore

The master or crew of a Ghanaian ship who wrongfully forces a seafarer ashore and leaves the seafarer behind, or otherwise causes a seafarer to be wrongfully left behind at any place 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.

201. Proper return port

For the purpose of this Part, a “proper return port” is

(a) the port at which a seafarer was shipped or engaged,

(b) a port in the country to which the seafarer is ordinarily resident, or

(c) in the case of a discharged seafarer, some other port agreed to by the seafarer at the time of the seafarer’s discharge as the place the seafarer desires to be discharged.

202. Manner of return

(1) A seafarer may be sent to a proper return port by a reasonable route.

(2) Provision may be made for the return of a seafarer by

(a) providing the seafarer with suitable employment on board a ship that is proceeding to a proper return port and that is in need of men to make up its complement, or

(b) providing the seafarer with a passage in a ship or an aircraft or in any other public transport and providing for the seafarer’s maintenance during the journey.

(3) Where the master of a ship is required under this Part to provide for the return of a discharged seafarer to a proper return port, the master may, instead of providing the seafarer’s passage or the expenses of the seafarer’s journey, deposit with a proper officer the sum that the proper officer considers sufficient to defray the expenses of the return of the seafarer to a proper return port.

(4) Where a seafarer is repatriated as a member of a crew, the seafarer is entitled to the appropriate remuneration for work done during the voyage.

203. Return of seafarers to port

(1) When a question arises as to what return port a seafarer is to be sent or the route by which the seafarer should be sent, the question shall be decided by the Registrar of seafarers.

(2) In deciding the question of a seafarer’s return port, the Registrar of seafarers or proper officer shall consider

(a) the convenience of the seafarer and to the expense involved, and

(b) the fact that a ship is in need of men to make up its complement and is about to proceed to a proper return port or to a port in the vicinity of the return port.

(3) A provision in this section does not relieve the owner or master from the obligation and expense of returning the seafarer to the seafarer’s proper return port.

204. Authority may provide temporary relief

(1) The Authority may, whenever it considers it necessary, spend money to provide relief in the manner that it thinks appropriate for a shipwrecked, destitute or otherwise distressed seafarer

(a) not entitled to relief under this Act or under the laws of the country to which the seafarer’s ship belongs, or

(b) who is a citizen employed on a foreign vessel and discharged or left behind in a foreign country.

(2) The expenses incurred for a shipwrecked, destitute or otherwise distressed seafarer under this section, shall be repaid to the Authority by the owner, master or agent of the vessel to which the distressed seafarer belonged.

(3) The expenses stated in subsection (1) may be recovered by the Authority on behalf of the Government in the same manner as expenses incurred outside Ghana for distressed seafarers of a Ghanaian ship are recoverable.

205. Unauthorised presence on board ship

Where a ship registered in Ghana or any other country is in a port in Ghana and a person who is not a public officer or authorised by law to act

(a) goes on board the ship without the consent of the master of the ship or of any other person authorised to give consent, or

(b) remains on board the ship after being requested by the master, an officer of the Authority, a police officer or an officer of Customs, Excise and Preventive Service to leave the ship, that person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

PART FIVE
Official Log Book and Ordinary Ship’s Log
206. Official log book

(1) An official log book in the prescribed form shall be kept in a Ghanaian ship of one hundred gross tons or above, and also on a Ghanaian ship trading from and beyond the waters of Ghana.

(2) The Minister may make Regulations prescribing

(a) the form of the official log book;

(b) the particulars to be entered in the official log book;

(c) the persons by whom the entries are to be made, signed or witnessed; and

(d) the procedure to be followed in the making of the entries and their amendment or cancellation.

(3) The official log book may at the discretion of the master be kept distinct from or combined with the ordinary ship’s log, but in all cases the spaces in the official log book shall be duly filled with entries.

(4) An entry required to be made in an official log book

(a) shall be made as soon as possible after the occurrence to which it relates;

(b) if it is not made on the same day as the occurrence, it shall be made and dated to show the dates of the occurrence and the entry in respect of it; and

(c) if it is made in respect of an occurrence which happened before the arrival of the ship at its final port of discharge, the entry shall be made within twenty-four hours after that arrival.

(5) An entry in the official log book shall be signed by the master and by an officer or any other member of the crew, and if it is an entry of illness, injury or death, it shall also be signed by the medical practitioner on board.

(6) An entry made in an official log book in the manner provided by this Act is admissible in evidence to prove the facts stated in it.

207. Entries in official log book

The master of a ship for which an official log book is kept shall, subject to the Regulations made under section 206, enter or cause to be entered in the official log book particulars of

(a) every conviction by a Court of a member of the crew and the punishment imposed;

(b) every offence committed by a member of the crew for which it is intended to prosecute or to make a forfeiture or to impose a fine, together with the statement concerning the furnishing of a copy, or reading over, of the entry and concerning the reply made to the charge, as required by this Act;

(c) every offence for which punishment is imposed on board, and the nature of the punishment imposed;

(d) every case of illness or injury that happens to a member of the crew, with the nature and the medical treatment given;

(e) every refusal of a member of the crew to take antiscorbutic or medicines;

(f) every birth and every death which occurs and when it occurs;

(g) every marriage that takes place on board, with the names and ages of the parties;

(h) the name of every seafarer who ceases to be a member of the crew otherwise than by death, with the place, time, manner and cause of it;

(i) the wages due to a seafarer who dies during the voyage, and the gross amount of the deductions to be made from those wages;

(j) the sale of effects of a seafarer who dies during the voyage, with a statement of each article sold and the sum received from the sale;

(k) every collision with any other ship and the circumstances in which it occurred;

(l) the date and the time of the display in the ship of a notice containing particulars of the ship’s draught and freeboard; and

(m) any matter directed by this Act or the Regulations made under it to be entered.

208. Delivery of official log book to Director-General

(1) The master or owner of a Ghanaian ship which is required to carry an official log book under section 206 shall subject to subsection (2), deliver or transmit the log book for the period covering the previous crew agreement to the Director-General within seven days of the discharge of the crew and the cessation of the crew agreement.

(2) Where the crew of a Ghanaian ship referred to in subsection (1) is engaged under a running agreement referred to in section 112, the master or owner shall deliver or transmit the official log book to the Director-General within twenty-one days of the log book being completed.

(3) A master or owner of a ship who fails without reasonable cause to comply with a provision of this section commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment, and in a continuing offence to a fine of fifty penalty units for each day during which the offence continues.

209. Delivery of official log book

(1) Where, by reason of a transfer of ownership or a change of employment of a ship, the official log book ceases to be required in respect of the ship, the master or owner of the ship shall if the ship is then in Ghana, within one month or if it is elsewhere, within six months, after the cessation, deliver or transmit to the Director-General the official log book and the agreement with the crew duly made out up to the time of the cessation.

(2) Where a ship is lost or abandoned, the master or owner shall if practicable and as soon as possible, deliver or transmit to the Director-General the official log book duly made out up to the time of the loss or abandonment.

(3) The owner or master of a ship who fails without reasonable cause to comply with this section, 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.

210. Offences in respect of official log book

(1) Where an official log book is not kept in the manner required by or under this Act or where an entry directed by this Act to be made is not made at the time and in the manner directed by this Act, the master of the ship commits an offence and except as otherwise expressly provided in this Act in that respect, is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(2) A person who makes, procures to be made, or assists in making an entry in an official log book in respect of an occurrence previous to the arrival of the ship at its final port of discharge of the crew more than twenty-four hours after that arrival, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(3) A person who wilfully destroys, mutilates or renders illegible an entry in an official log book, or wilfully makes, procures to be made or assists in making false or fraudulent entry in, or omission from, an official log book commits an offence and is liable on 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.

211. Ordinary log book of a ship

(1) A Ghanaian ship shall carry on board an ordinary log book in which shall be recorded the daily activities of the ship and any other particulars as may be prescribed.

(2) The ordinary log book of a ship shall comprise a deck log book and an engine room log book where appropriate.

(3) Where a ship is not required by this Act to carry an official log book, or where it is not practicable for a ship to produce the official log book, the ordinary log book of the ship is admissible in evidence.

212. Returns of crew lists

(1) A master of a Ghanaian ship of not less than two hundred gross tons shall make and sign a list of the crew of the ship in the prescribed form containing

(a) the number and date of the ship’s register and its net tonnage;

(b) the length and general nature of the voyage or employment;

(c) the names, ages and places of birth of the crew members, their ratings on board, their last ships or any other employment and the dates and places of their last ships or other employment and the dates and places of their joining the ship;

(d) the names of any of the crew who have ceased to belong to the ship, with the times, places, causes and the circumstances;

(e) the names of any members of the crew members who have been maimed or hurt, with the times, places, causes and circumstances of the injury;

(f) the wages due at the time of death to any of the crew members who is dead;

(g) particulars of the property belonging to any of the crew members who is dead, with a statement of the manner in which the property has been dealt with, and the money for which any part of it has been sold where applicable; and

(h) details of a marriage that has taken place on board, with the date and the names and ages of the parties.

(2) The list of the crew in the case of ships

(a) trading exclusively within the home trade or inland waters shall be delivered or transmitted by the master or owner to the Director-General not later than twenty-one days after the 30th day of June and after the 31st day of December in each year;

(b) other than those referred to in paragraph (a) shall be delivered or transmitted by the master to the owner of the ship who shall produce the list on demand by the Director-General or other

(c) proper officer

i. within forty-eight hours after the arrival of the ship at its final port of destination in Ghana, or

ii. on the discharge of the crew, whichever first happens, and the Director-General or any other proper officer shall retain the list for a period of seven years after its receipt.

(3) Where a Ghanaian ship is lost or abandoned, the ship’s master or owner shall, if practicable and as soon as possible, deliver to the Director-General the list of the crew duly made up to the time of loss or abandonment.

(4) In this section, “crew” includes the master and apprentices on the ship.

213. Returns of births and deaths on Ghanaian ships

(1) The master of a Ghanaian ship shall on arrival at a port or at any other time and place as the Director-General may with respect to a ship or class of ships direct, deliver to the Director-General or proper officer, in the prescribed form, a return of the facts relating to births and deaths which the master is required by sections 207 and 212 to record.

(2) In respect of a death recorded the master shall notify the death to any person the deceased may have named as next-of-kin.

(3) When the return is made elsewhere other than in Ghana the proper officer shall send a certified copy of the return to the Director-General.

214. Returns of births and deaths of Ghanaian citizens on foreign ships

The master of a ship not registered in Ghana which in the course of or at the end of a voyage calls at a port in Ghana or any other place in Ghana as the Director-General may with respect to a ship or class of ships direct, shall on arrival at the port or any other place make a return of births and deaths of citizens that occurred on the ship, to the Director-General.

215. Returns to be sent to Registrar of births and deaths

The Director-General shall cause the information contained in a return referred to in sections 212, 213 and 214 to be sent to the Registrar of births and deaths.

216. Penalties imposed on master

The master of a ship who fails to comply with a requirement of section 213, 214 or 215 commits an offence and on summary conviction is liable to a fine of not less than one hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

PART SIX
Prevention of Collisions and Safety of Navigation
217. Collision Regulations

The Minister may make Collision Regulations

(a) for the prevention of collisions at sea and in all navigable waters;

(b) in respect of the lights to be carried and exhibited; and

(c) in respect of the steering and sailing rules to be observed by ships.

(3) In making the Regulations the Minister shall consider an international convention for the time being in force for the prevention of collisions at sea.

218. Ghanaian ships to observe Collision Regulations

(1) Owners and masters of Ghanaian ships shall comply with the Collision Regulations and shall not carry or exhibit any other lights or use any other fog signals than are prescribed by those Regulations.

(2) Where an infringement of a term of the Collision Regulations is caused by the wilful default of the master or owner of a ship, the master or owner commits an offence and on summary conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment exceeding three years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) apply to an owner and pilot of a seaplane on the surface of the water as they apply to an owner and master of a ship.

219. Foreign ships in Ghanaian waters

Regulations made under section 217 together with the provisions of this Part relating to collisions shall be observed by a ship and a seaplane of foreign registry within Ghanaian waters, and in an action before a Court in Ghana concerning a breach of the Collision Regulations arising within Ghanaian waters, a foreign ship or a seaplane shall be treated as if it were a ship and seaplane registered in Ghana.

220. Damage caused by non-observance of Collision Regulations

Where damage to a person or property arises from the non-observance by a ship, seaplane or craft of a provision of the Collision Regulations, the damage shall be deemed to have been occasioned by the wilful default of the person in charge of the ship, sea plane or craft at the time of the collision, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court that the circumstances of the case do not fall within the Regulations.

221. Inspection to enforce compliance with Collision Regulations

(1) A surveyor of ships may inspect a ship of any nationality in a port of Ghana to determine whether the ship is properly provided with lights and shapes and the means of making sound signals as required by the Collision Regulations.

(2) Where the surveyor finds that the ship is not so provided, the surveyor shall specify in writing the action required to rectify the deficiency and shall detain the ship until the deficiency is rectified.

(3) For the purpose of an inspection under this section, a surveyor shall have the powers provided under sections 466 and 468.

222. Duty to render assistance following collision

(1) After a collision between ships, the master of each ship shall if and so far as the master can do so without damage to the master’s own ship, crew and passengers,

(a) exert the best efforts to give to the other ship, the master, crew and passengers, practicable and necessary assistance to save them from a danger caused by the collision,

(b) stand by the other ship, until the master has ascertained that the ship has no need for further assistance, and

(c) give the master of the other ship the name and port of registry of the first ship, and the name of the port from which the first ship sailed and to which the first ship is bound.

(2) Where a master of a ship fails, without reasonable cause, to comply with subsection (1), the master commits an offence and on summary conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding to years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

223. Obligation to notify hazards of navigation

(1) The master of a Ghanaian ship, on encountering dangerous ice, a dangerous derelict, a tropical storm or any other direct danger to navigation, shall send information accordingly by any means of communication at the master’s disposal and in accordance with the prescribed Regulations to all ships in the vicinity or to the relevant authorities ashore.

(2) A person in charge of a radio station in Ghana or on board a Ghanaian ship shall on receiving the signal prescribed in the Regulations for indicating that a message is about to be sent under this section, refrain from sending messages for a time sufficient to allow other stations to receive the message, and if so required by Regulations made under subsection (1) shall transmit the message in the prescribed manner.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a “tropical storm” means a hurricane, typhoon, cyclone or any other storm of a similar nature, and a master of a ship shall be considered to have encountered a tropical storm if the master has reason to believe that there is such a storm in the vicinity of the master’s ship.

(4) A transmission of messages in pursuance of this section shall be without charge.

224. Master to proceed moderately in dangerous areas

When ice is reported on or near the course of a Ghanaian ship the master of the ship shall proceed at a safe speed adapted to the prevailing circumstances, or alter the course of the ship so as to keep clear of the ice reported and of the area of danger.

225. Offence and penalty

The master of a ship who fails to comply with section 224 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.

226. Obligation to assist ships in distress

(1) The master of a Ghanaian ship shall on receiving a signal at sea from any source that a ship or an aircraft or survival craft is in distress, hasten to assist the persons in distress and inform those persons immediately if possible that the master is doing so, and where

(a) the master is unable to do so, or

(b) in the special circumstances of the case the master considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to proceed to their assistance, the master shall enter in the log book of the ship the reason for failing to proceed to the assistance of the persons in distress.

(2) A master of a ship shall be released from the obligation imposed by sub-section (1) when the master learns that one or more ships, other than the master’s ship, have been requisitioned under section 227 and are complying with the requisition.

(3) Where a master fails to comply with the provisions of this section the master 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.

227. Right to requisition ships when in distress

(1) A master of a ship in distress, after consultation, so far as is possible with the masters of other ships which answer the call for assistance, has the right to requisition one or more of those ships as that master considers best able to render assistance.

(2) A master of a ship requisitioned shall comply with the requisition by hastening to assist the persons in distress.

(3) A master of a ship shall be released from the obligation imposed by sub-section (1), if that master is informed by the persons in distress or by the master of another ship which has reached those persons that assistance is no longer necessary.

228. Obligation to assist persons in danger at sea

(1) A master of a ship shall so far as the master can without serious danger to that master’s own ship, render assistance to every person, including an enemy, who is found at sea in danger of being lost.

(2) Where the master of a ship fails to comply with subsection (1), the master 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.

229. Salvage rights not affected

Compliance by a master with any of the provisions of this Part shall not affect the right of any other person to salvage.

230. Regulations for signals of distress

(1) The Minister may make Regulations relating to signals of distress and urgency and the signals prescribed by the Regulations shall be considered to be signals of distress and urgency.

(2) Where a master of a ship uses or displays or causes or permits a person under the master’s authority to use or display

(a) a signal except in circumstances and for the purposes prescribed, or

(b) a signal that is liable to be mistaken for a prescribed signal, the master commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units and in addition, the master is liable to pay compensation for the labour undertaken, risk incurred or loss sustained because the signal was taken to be a signal of distress or urgency, and the compensation may be recovered in the same manner in which salvage is recoverable.

(3) Where a master who contravenes subsection (2) is an officer certificated or licensed under this Act, the master is subject to an enquiry into the master’s conduct as provided in section 101.

231. Report of accidents to ships

(1) When a ship

(a) has sustained or caused an accident which occasions loss of life or a serious injury to a person, or

(b) has sustained a material damage affecting its seaworthiness or its efficiency in its hull or in any part of its machinery, the owner or master of the ship shall within twenty-four hours after the occurrence of the accident or the damage or as soon as possible after that, transmit to the Director-General or an officer of the Authority or to any other appropriate agency, a report of the accident or damage.

(2) A report of accident or damage to a ship made under subsection (1) shall be signed by the owner or master of the ship, and shall state

(a) the name of the ship, the port to which the ship belongs, the official number of the ship and the place where the ship is located,

(b) the circumstances in which the accident or damage occurred, and

(c) the probable cause of the accident or damage.

(3) Where the managing owner, or where a managing owner is not resident in Ghana, the agent of a ship to which this section applies has reason to believe that the ship has sustained damage or caused an accident, the managing owner or agent shall require proof that the accident or damage has been reported to the Authority by the master.

(4) Where the managing owner or agent has reason to believe that the accident or damage has not been reported, the managing owner or agent shall as soon as possible, send to the Director-General notice in writing stating the name of the ship, its official number, and its port of registry or the port to which it belongs, and stating to the best of the managing owner’s or agent’s knowledge and belief, the nature, the probable cause and extent of the accident or damage, and the location of the ship.

(5) The master or managing owner or agent who fails without reasonable cause to comply with this section 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.

(6) This section applies to Ghanaian ships, irrespective of where they are, as well as foreign ships navigating in Ghanaian waters.

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