GHANA SHIPPING ACT, 2003 (ACT 645) SS 350-462

350. Power of receiver in case of ship in distress

(1) The receiver may with a view to saving shipwrecked persons or preserving a vessel, and its cargo or apparel require

(a) a person the receiver considers appropriate to assist the receiver;

(b) the master or person in charge of a vessel near at hand to give the aid to the other master or men or vessel that is in that master’s or person’s power to do; and

(c) the use of available machinery, vehicle or equipment.

(2) A person who refuses, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a request or demand made 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.

351. Power to pass over adjoining lands

(1) Where a vessel is wrecked, stranded or in distress, a person may for the purpose of rendering assistance to the vessel and its cargo or apparel or of saving the life of a person

(a) pass and repass, with or without vehicles, machinery or equipment over adjoining lands unless there is a public road equally convenient, and

(b) deposit on those lands the cargo or any other articles recovered from the vessel, without being hindered or being subject to liability for trespass by the owner or occupier, but that person may not cause more damage to the adjoining lands than is reasonably necessary for the purpose of rendering the assistance.

(2) The damage sustained by the owner or occupier of a land as a result of the exercise of the rights conferred by subsection (1) shall be a charge on the vessel and its cargo or articles in respect of which the damage is caused, and the amount payable in respect of the damage shall in case of dispute be determined and be recoverable in the same manner as the amount of salvage is determined and recovered under this Part.

(3) An owner or occupier of land who

(a) impedes or hinders a person in the exercise of the rights conferred under subsection (1), whether by locking gates or refusing on request to open gates,

(b) impedes or hinders the deposit of cargo or any other articles recovered from a vessel as mentioned above on the land, or

(c) prevents or endeavours to prevent they cargo or any other article from remaining deposited on the land for a reasonable time until it can be removed to a safe place of public deposit, 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.

352. Power of receiver to prevent plunder of and disorder on wrecked ship

(1) Where a vessel is wrecked, stranded or in distress in Ghanaian waters or on the shores of Ghana, and a person plunders, creates disorder or obstructs the preservation of the ship or of the shipwrecked persons or the cargo or apparel of the ship, the receiver of the wreck shall cause that person to be apprehended.

(2) The receiver may use reasonable force necessary for the suppression of the plundering, disorder or obstruction referred to in subsection (1), and may order a person to assist the receiver in doing so.

(3) Where a person dies or sustains an injury by reason of resisting the receiver or a person acting under the orders of the receiver in the execution of the duties entrusted to the receiver under this Part, neither the receiver nor the person acting under the receiver’s orders is liable to punishment or to pay damages by reason of the person dying or sustaining the injury.

353. Examination on oath regarding ships in distress

(1) Where a vessel is or has been in distress in Ghanaian waters, the receiver or, in the receiver’s absence, a magistrate shall as soon as it is convenient examine on oath a person belonging to the ship, or any other person who is able to give an account of the cargo or stores on the following matters:

(a) the name and description of the vessel;

(b) the name of the master and of the owner;

(c) the names of the owners of the cargo;

(d) the ports, from and to which the vessel was bound;

(e) the occasion of the distress of the vessel;

(f) the services rendered; and

(g) any other matters or circumstances relating to the vessel or to the cargo on board the vessel which the person holding the examination thinks necessary.

(2) The person holding the examination under subsection (1) in relation to a ship shall make a record in writing, and shall send a copy to the Director-General.

(3) The Director-General shall where necessary, cause a copy of the record to be placed in a conspicuous place in the office of the Authority in the area in which the ship was in distress.

(4) The person holding an examination under subsection (1) shall for the purpose have all the powers of a surveyor.

354. Rules to be observed by person finding wreck

(1) Where a person finds or takes possession of a wreck within Ghana, or where a wreck found or taken possession of outside Ghana is brought within Ghana, the person who finds the wreck or takes possession shall,

(a) if the person is the owner, give notice to the receiver for the area in which the wreck is, stating that that person has found or taken possession of the wreck and describing the marks by which the wreck may be recognised; or

(b) if that person is not the owner, as soon as possible deliver the wreck to the receiver of the area.

(2) The Director-General may dispense with a delivery required under subsection (1) (b) in respect of the wreck on the condition that the Director-General thinks fit.

(3) A person who fails, without reasonable cause, to comply with subsection (1) relating to the wreck commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units and in addition shall, if the person is not the owner,

(a) forfeit a claim to salvage, or

(b) pay to the owner of the wreck, if it is claimed, or if it is unclaimed, to the person entitled to it, twice the value of the wreck, which may be recovered in the same way as a judgment by the Court.

355. Penalty for taking wreck at the time of casualty

(1) Where a vessel is wrecked, stranded or in distress in Ghanaian waters or on the shores of Ghana, the cargo or any other articles belonging to or separated from the vessel which are washed ashore or otherwise lost or taken from the vessel shall be delivered to a receiver.

(2) A person whether the owner or not of the cargo or article referred to in subsection (1) who conceals or keeps possession of the cargo or article or refuses to deliver the cargo or article to the receiver or a person authorised by the receiver to demand the cargo or article, 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) A receiver or a person authorised by the receiver to demand the delivery to the receiver or authorised person of the cargo or article referred to in subsection (1) may take the cargo or article by force from the person refusing to deliver it to the receiver or authorised person.

356. Notice of wreck to be given by receiver

Where the receiver takes possession of the wreck, the receiver shall within forty-eight hours

(a) cause to be posted at the nearest police station to the wreck or otherwise publish in the manner that the receiver considers fit, a description of the wreck and of the marks by which it is distinguished, and

(b) if in the receiver’s opinion the value of the wreck exceeds the cedi equivalent of US $5000, send a copy of the description to the Director-General.

357. Delivery of wreck to owner

(1) The owner of a wreck in the possession of the receiver, on establishing the owner’s claim to the satisfaction of the receiver within six months from the time when the wreck came into the possession of the receiver and on paying the salvage fees and any other expenses due, is entitled to have the wreck or the proceeds of it delivered to the owner.

(2) Where a wreck or any other article which belongs to or forms part of a foreign vessel which has been wrecked in Ghanaian waters or on the shores of Ghana, is found on or near the shores of Ghana, the consular officer of the country to which the vessel belongs, or in the case of cargo, the consular officer of the country of which the owner of the cargo is a citizen, shall in the absence of the owner and of the master or any other agent of the owner, be considered to be the agent of the owner, so far as relates to the custody and disposal of the wreck or other article.

358. Immediate sale of wreck by receiver

(1) The receiver may at any time sell the wreck in the receiver’s custody, if in the receiver’s opinion it

(a) is under the value of the cedi equivalent of US $2 500,

(b) is so damaged or of a perishable nature that it cannot be kept without it losing its value,

(c) is not of sufficient value to pay for storage, or

(d) has not been removed within a time specified by the owner.

(2) The proceeds of the sale made under subsection (1) shall, after defraying the expenses, be held by the receiver for the same purposes, and be subject to the same claim, rights and liabilities as if the wreck had remained unsold.

359. Wrecked goods subject to duties

(1) Wrecks that constitute foreign goods being brought into Ghana are subject to the same duties as those to which the goods would be subject if they were imported into Ghana.

(2) Where a question arises as to the origin of the goods referred to in subsection (1), they shall be considered to be the produce of the country which the Commissioner of Customs, Excise and Preventive Service may on investigation determine.

(3) The Commissioner of Customs, Excise and Preventive Service shall permit

(a) the goods, wares and merchandise saved from a ship stranded or wrecked on its southbound voyage to be forwarded to the port of its original destination; and

(b) the goods, wares and merchandise saved from a ship stranded or wrecked on its northbound voyage to be returned to the port from which they were shipped, but the Commissioner of Customs, Excise and Preventive Service is responsible for the due protection of those goods.

360. Right to unclaimed wreck

The Government is entitled to the unclaimed wreckage found within a part of Ghana or found or taken possession of outside Ghana and brought into Ghana, except where the Government has granted the right to the wreck to any other person.

361. Disposal of unclaimed wreck

Where an owner does not establish a claim to a wreck which

(a) has been found in Ghana or found or taken possession of outside Ghana and brought into Ghana, or

(b) has been in the possession of a receiver of wrecks for six months, the receiver shall sell the wreck and pay to the Republic the proceeds of sale after deducting the expenses of the sale, the fees payable to the receiver and the amount of salvage payable to salvers that the Director-General may in each case determine.

362. Delivery of unclaimed wreck by receiver not to prejudice title

On delivery of a wreck or payment of the proceeds of sale of a wreck by the receiver of the wreck under this Part, the receiver shall be discharged from liability but the delivery shall not prejudice or affect a question which may be raised by third parties concerning the right or title to the wreck.

363. Removal of wreck by port, harbour or other authority

(1) Where a vessel is sunk, stranded, wrecked or abandoned in a port, harbour, lake, river, waterway or water course in the country under the control of a public authority in a manner which in the opinion of the authority, is likely to be an obstruction or danger to navigation or to life boats engaged in life boat service in that port, harbour, lake, river, waterway or watercourse, the relevant authority shall serve notice on the owner of the vessel to remove the vessel within thirty days of receipt of the notice and if the owner fails to remove the vessel within the specified period, the relevant authority may

(a) take possession of, and raise, remove or destroy the whole or a part of the vessel;

(b) lift or buoy the vessel or part of the vessel until it is raised, removed or destroyed;

(c) subject to subsections (2) and (3), sell in a manner that it thinks fit the vessel or the part raised or removed, and also any other property recovered in the exercise of its powers under this section, and out of the proceeds of the sale reimburse itself for the expenses incurred, and hold the remainder in trust for the persons entitled to it, except that the remainder shall be paid to the relevant authority unless it is claimed by a person entitled to it within one year of the sale.

(2) Except in the case of property which is of a perishable nature, or which would deteriorate in value by delay, a sale shall not be made under this section, until at least seven clear days notice of the intended sale has been given, by advertisement in a local newspaper circulating in or near the district in which the relevant authority is located, or in any other manner that the relevant authority thinks fit.

(3) If before a property is sold under this section, the owner pays to the relevant authority the expenses of the removal and the storage and the cost of the notice issued by the authority, the property shall be delivered to the owner.

(4) The value of the property if it is to be sold shall be ascertained by agreement between the authority and the owner or, failing the agreement, by a person named for the purpose by the Director-General.

(5) A sum received by the authority referred to in subsection (1) in respect of the property, under subsection (3) shall for the purposes of subsection (1), be considered to be the proceeds of sale of the property.

(6) Where the proceeds of sale of the property sold under this section are less than the cost incurred by the relevant authority, that authority may recover the difference from the owner of the vessel concerned by civil action.

(7) In the event that the wreck has no value, the authority may, acting under this section claim the expenses of removal from the owner of the wreck.

364. Breaking up and removal of wrecks

(1) Where a person, who is the owner of a vessel or a wrecked, submerged, sunken or stranded vessel or who is the agent or servant of the owner, wishes to break up the vessel prior to its removal from Ghana, that person shall, before commencing salvage or breaking up operations, obtain the written permission of a receiver.

(2) On receipt of an application for permission to break up a vessel, the receiver may before granting the permission

(a) stipulate conditions the receiver considers necessary to minimise the risks or effects of any pollution, and

(b) require security of a reasonable amount that the receiver considers necessary to ensure the safe and effective removal of the vessel or a portion of it.

(3) A person who, without the prior written permission of a receiver, does or causes to be done a salvage or breaking up operation of a vessel or a wrecked, submerged, sunken or stranded vessel lying within Ghana 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.

365. Extent of power of removal of wreck

The provisions of this Part relating to the removal of wrecks shall apply to every article or thing that is or forms part of the tackle, cargo, stores, bunkers or ballast of a vessel.

366. Taking wreck to a foreign port

A person who takes a vessel whether stranded, derelict or otherwise in distress, found in Ghana into a foreign port and sells the vessel or any part of the cargo or apparel or anything that belongs to that vessel or the wreck, 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.

367. Boarding of wrecked vessels

(1) A person shall not without the leave of the master, board or endeavour to board a vessel which is wrecked, stranded or in distress, unless that person acts under the authority of the receiver or a person lawfully acting as a receiver.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1)

(a) 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; and

(b) may be removed by the master of the vessel, if necessary, by force.

(3) A person who refuses to allow a person duly authorised by a receiver to board a wreck 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.

368. Interfering with wreck

(1) A person shall not

(a) impede or hinder or attempt in any manner to impede or hinder, the saving of

i. a vessel stranded or in danger of being stranded or otherwise in distress; or

ii. a part of the cargo or apparel of any wreck;

(b) conceal a wreck or deface or obliterate the marks on it; or

(c) without good cause carry away or remove any part of a vessel stranded or in danger of being stranded or otherwise in distress, or any part of the cargo or apparel or any wreck.

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

369. Receiver to apply for search warrant

A receiver may under this section apply to a magistrate for a search warrant where the receiver suspects or receives information that a wreck is secreted or is in the possession of a person who is not the owner, or that a wreck is otherwise being improperly dealt with.

PART TWELVE
Salvage
370. Definitions

For the purposes of this Part,

“damage to the environment” means substantial physical damage to human health or resources in coastal or inland waters or areas adjacent to these places, caused by pollution, contamination, fire, explosion or similar major incidents;

“maritime casualty” means a collision of vessels, stranding or any other incident of navigation or any other occurrence on board a vessel or external to it, resulting in material damage or imminent threat of material damage to the vessel or cargo;

“property” includes the property not permanently and intentionally attached to the shoreline and the freight at risk;

“salvage operation” means an act or activity undertaken to assist a vessel or any other property in danger in navigable waters or in any other waters;

“salvage services” means services rendered in direct connection with salvage operations;

“salver” means a person rendering salvage services;

“Salvage Convention” means the International Convention on Salvage of 1989.

371. Non-application to platforms and drilling units

This Part does not apply to fixed or floating platforms or to mobile offshore drilling units when the platforms or units are on location engaged in the exploration, exploitation or production of sea-bed mineral resources.

372. Non-application to foreign state-owned vessels

(1) This Part does not apply to warships or any other non-commercial vessels owned or operated by a foreign State and entitled at the time of salvage operations to sovereign immunity under generally recognised principles of public international law unless that State has decided to apply the Salvage Convention to the ships or vessels.

(2) For the purposes of proceedings under this Act, a certificate signed by the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation, setting out a state’s decision to apply the Salvage Convention to ships and vessels referred to in subsection (1) and the terms and conditions of the application, is prima facie evidence.

373. Salvage of life

(1) Where services are rendered

(a) wholly or in part in Ghanaian waters in saving life from a vessel or aircraft, or

(b) outside Ghanaian waters, in saving life on a Ghanaian vessel, the owner of the vessel, aircraft, cargo or apparel in respect of which the life was saved shall pay to the salver a reasonable amount of salvage to be determined in the manner set out in this Part.

(2) Salvage in respect of the preservation of life, when payable by the owners of a vessel shall have priority over all other claims for salvage.

(3) Salvage is not due from a person who has been saved.

374. Salvage of cargo

(1) Where a vessel or aircraft is wrecked, stranded or in distress in Ghanaian waters or on the shores of Ghana, and services are rendered by a person

(a) in assisting the vessel or aircraft or saving the cargo or apparel of the vessel or a part of it, or

(b) other than the receiver of wrecks, the owner of the vessel, aircraft, cargo, apparel or wreck shall pay to the salver, a reasonable amount of salvage, which shall be determined in the manner set out in this Part.

(2) A salver of human life, who has participated in services in the event of a maritime casualty salvage is entitled to an appropriate share of the remuneration awarded to the salver for salvaging the vessel or any other property or preventing or minimising damage to the environment.

375. Services excluded from salvage remuneration

A provision of this Part does not entitle a person to salvage remuneration,

(a) in respect of salvage services rendered contrary to the express and reasonable prohibition of the services on the part of the vessel or aircraft or by the owner of property to which the services are rendered; or

(b) in respect of services rendered by a tug

i. to the vessel or aircraft which the tug is towing; or

ii. in relation to the cargo of that vessel or aircraft, except where the services are of an exceptional character outside the scope of the contract of towage;

(c) if that person caused the distress giving rise to the salvage, intentionally or through negligence; and

(d) if and to the extent that it appears that that person has concealed or unlawfully disposed of any of the property salvaged.

376. Conditions for salvage remuneration

(1) Except as otherwise provided in section 382, remuneration is not due under this Act if the salvage operations had no useful result.

(2) A salver is entitled to remuneration under this Part although the vessel or aircraft performing the salvage operation and the vessel, aircraft, cargo or any other property salvaged belong to the same owner.

377. Salvage contracts

(1) Sections 397 to 404 apply to a salvage operation unless a contract expressly or by implication provides otherwise.

(2) The master of a Ghanaian vessel shall, with the owner’s consent, have the authority to conclude contracts for salvage operations on behalf of the owner of the vessel and the master and the owner of a Ghanaian vessel shall have the authority to conclude contracts on behalf of the owner of the property on board the vessel.

(3) A provision of this section shall not affect the application of section 376 or the duties to prevent or minimise damage to the environment provided in paragraph (b) of section 379 and paragraph (b) of section 380.

378. Annulment or modification of contracts

A contract relating to salvage or any of its terms may be annulled or modified by a Court, where it appears to the Court that

(a) the contract had been entered into under undue influence or the threat of danger and the terms of the contract are inequitable, or

(b) the payment under the contract is excessively high or too small for the services actually rendered.

379. Duties of salver

A salver owes a duty to the owner of the vessel or other property in danger to

(a) carry out the salvage operation with due care;

(b) exercise due care to prevent or minimise damage to the environment in performing the duty specified in paragraph (a) of this section;

(c) seek assistance from other salvers whenever the circumstances reasonably so require; and

(d) accept the intervention of other salvers when reasonably requested to do so by the owner or master of the vessel or other property in danger, except that the amount of the salver’s reward shall not be prejudiced where the salver proves that the request was unreasonable.

380. Duties of owner and master

The owner or master of a vessel or the owner of other property in danger owes a duty to the salver

(a) to co-operate fully with the salver during the course of the salvage operations;

(b) in performing the duty specified in paragraph (a) to exercise due care to prevent or minimise damage to the environment; and

(c) when the vessel or any other property has been brought to a place of safety to accept delivery when reasonably requested to do so by the salver.

381. Powers of the Authority as regards protection of maritime environment

(1) The Director-General in consultation with the Minister and the Environmental Protection Agency shall

(a) give directions in relation to any salvage operation,; and

(b) take measures in accordance with generally recognised principles of public international law to protect the environment from pollution following a maritime casualty or acts relating to the casualty which may reasonably be expected to result in harmful consequences to the environment.

(2) The Director-General shall in pursuit of subsection (1) take into account the need for co-operation among salvers, other interested parties and the Authority in order to ensure the efficient and successful performance of salvage operations for the purpose of saving life and property in danger, as well as preventing damage to the environment.

(3) A public officer or any other person acting under the directions of the Director-General is under a duty to exercise due care in preventing or minimising damage to the environment.

(4) A public authority or an officer who is reasonably within the vicinity of a vessel or person in distress or in danger of being lost at sea shall render assistance to salve the vessel and life by co-operating in

(a) the procurement and provision of facilities to the salvers,

(b) the admission to the port of vessels in distress,

(c) ensuring the efficient and successful performance of the salvage operation for the purpose of salvaging life and property, and

(d) preventing or minimising damage to the environment.

382. Criteria for fixing salvage reward

Salvage reward shall be fixed with a view to encouraging salvage operations, taking into account

(a) the salved value of the vessel and any other property;

(b) the skill and effort of the salvers in preventing or minimising damage to the environment;

(c) the measure of success obtained by the salver;

(d) the nature and degree of the danger;

(e) the skill and efforts of the salvers in salvaging the vessel, any other property and life;

(f) the time used and the expenses and losses incurred by the salvers;

(g) the risk of liability and any other risks run by the salvers or their equipment;

(h) the promptness of the services rendered;

(i) the availability and use of vessels or any other equipment intended for salvage operations; and

(j) the state of readiness and efficiency of the salvers’ equipment and their value.

383. Responsibility for payment of reward

(1) Payment of a reward determined in accordance with section 382 shall be made by the owners of the vessel and any other property interests in proportion to their respective interest in the property salvaged.

(2) For expediency, the ship-owner shall pay the amount on behalf of interests referred to in subsection (1) subject to the right of the ship-owner to be reimbursed by the other interests.

(3) A ship-owner who makes the payment under subsection (2), may require the other parties with interest to provide security not exceeding the values of their respective salvaged interests until the ship-owner has been fully reimbursed.

384. Quantum of reward

The salvage remuneration excluding the interest and recoverable legal costs that may be payable shall not exceed the salvaged value of the vessel and any other property salvaged.

385. Special compensation

(1) A salver is entitled to special compensation equivalent to the expenses of the salver from the owner of a vessel where the salver has carried out salvage operations in respect of the vessel itself or its cargo which was a threat to the environment and has failed to earn a reward under this Part which is equivalent to the special compensation assessable under subsections (2) and (3) or as defined in subsection (4).

(2) Where in the circumstances stated in subsection (1), the salver has during salvage operations prevented or minimised damage to the environment, the special compensation payable by the owner to the salver under subsection (1) may be increased up to a maximum of thirty percent of the expenses incurred by the salver.

(3) A Court or a person determining the award may, where it is considered fair and just, increase the special compensation, bearing in mind the criteria set out in section 382; but the total increase shall not be more than one hundred percent of the expenses incurred by the salver.

(4) For the purposes of this section “salver’s expenses” means the out of pocket expenses reasonably incurred by the salver in the salvage operation and a fair rate for equipment and personnel actually and reasonably used in the salvage operation, taking into consideration the criteria set out in paragraphs (h), (i) and (j) of section 382.

(5) The total special compensation assessable under this section shall be paid only if and to the extent that the compensation is greater than a reward recoverable under section 382.

(6) Where the salver, in carrying out the salvage operations, has acted negligently and failed to prevent or minimise damage to the environment, the salver may be deprived of the whole or a part of a special compensation payable under this section.

(7) A provision of this section shall not affect the right of any other recourse available to the owner of the vessel.

386. Services rendered under existing contracts

A payment shall not become due under this Part unless the services rendered exceed what can be reasonably considered as due performance of a contract entered into before the danger giving rise to the salvage operations.

387. Apportionment between salvers

(1) The apportionment of a reward, fixed under section 382, between salvers shall be made on the basis of the criteria listed in that section.

(2) The apportionment between the owner, master and any other persons in the service of each salvaging vessel shall be determined by the law of the State in which the vessel is registered.

(3) Where the salvage referred to in subsection (1) has not been carried out from a vessel, the apportionment shall be determined by the law governing the contract between the salver and the servant of the salver and in the absence of formal contract the Court or person determining the apportionment and disbursement shall apply general principles of law to the cases in order to reach a just and equitable decision.

388. Salver’s misconduct

A salver may be deprived of the whole or part of the payment due to that salver under this Part to the extent that the salvage operation has become unnecessary or more difficult because of a fault or neglect on the salver’s part or if the salver has been guilty of fraud or any other dishonest conduct.

389. Maritime lien

A salver’s maritime lien shall not be affected under Part Three except that the salver may not enforce the salver’s lien when reasonable security for the salver’s claim, including interest and costs, has been duly tendered or provided.

390. Duty to provide security

(1) A person liable to make a payment under this Act shall on the request of the salver give security to the satisfaction of the salver for the claim, including interest and costs of the salver.

(2) Despite subsection (1), the owner of the salvaged vessel shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the owners of the cargo provide security to the satisfaction of the owner of the vessel or of the salver for the claims against the owners of the cargo, including interest and costs, before the cargo is released.

(3) The salvaged vessel and its property shall not without the consent of the salver be removed from the port or place at which they first arrive after the completion of the salvage operation, until security to the satisfaction of the salver has been put up for the salver’s claim against the relevant vessel or its property.

(4) A Court may on application by the salver in a dispute between the salver and the person liable to pay for the claim under this Part, or between the owner of the vessel and the owner of the cargo, relating to security to be provided, decide the amount and the terms of the security.

391. Interim payment

(1) The Court adjudicating the claim of the salver may on the application of the salver, make an interim order for payment to the salver of an amount that the Court considers fair and just.

(2) In the event of an interim payment under subsection (1) the security provided under section 390 shall be reduced accordingly.

392. State-owned cargoes

Non-commercial cargoes owned by a state and entitled at the time of salvage operations, to sovereign immunity under recognised principles of public international law, are not subject to seizure, arrest or detention by legal process, or to an action in rem without the express consent of the State owner of the cargo.

393. Humanitarian cargoes

Humanitarian cargoes donated by a State are not subject to seizure, arrest or detention, where that State has agreed to pay for salvage services rendered in respect of the humanitarian cargoes.

394. Determination of salvage dispute

(1) Disputes as to the amounts of salvage, whether of life or property and whether rendered within or outside Ghana arising between the salver and the owners of any vessel, aircraft, cargo, apparel or wreck shall if not settled by agreement, arbitration or otherwise, be determined summarily by a District Court where

(a) the parties to the dispute consent,

(b) the value of the property salvaged does not exceed the cedi equivalent of US $50 000, or

(c) the amount claimed does not exceed the cedi equivalent of US $50 000.

(2) A dispute relating to salvage may be determined on the application of the salver or of the owner of the property salvaged or of their respective agents.

(3) The Court or the arbitrators to whom a dispute on salvage is referred for determination may for the purpose of determining the dispute invite as an assessor, a person knowledgeable in maritime affairs who shall be paid as part of the costs of the proceedings, the sum determined by the Court or the parties for the services of that person.

395. Summary determination of salvage disputes

(1) Disputes relating to salvage which are to be determined summarily as set out in section 394 shall,

(a) where the dispute relates to the salvage of a wreck, be referred to the District Court that has jurisdiction at or near the place where the wreck is found; or

(b) where the dispute relates to salvage in the case of services rendered to a ship, an aircraft, or to the cargo or apparel or in saving life be referred to a District Court at or near the port in Ghana into which the ship is first brought after the occurrence which gave rise to the salvage claim.

(2) The District Court may, for the purpose of determining the dispute, seek the assistance of a person conversant with maritime affairs as an assessor and the assessor shall be paid in respect of the services of the assessor and as part of the cost of the proceedings the sum provided by the Authority.

396. Valuation of property salvaged

(1) Where a dispute relating to salvage arises, the receiver of the area where the property is situated in respect of which the salvage claim is made may, on the application of either party, appoint a valuer to value the property, and where a valuation is made the receiver shall give copies of the valuation to both parties.

(2) A copy of a valuation made under subsection (1) signed by the valuer as certified true copy is admissible in evidence in subsequent proceedings.

(3) The Authority may determine the fees which shall be paid in respect of a valuation made under this section by the person applying for the valuation.

397. Detention of property liable to salvage by receiver

(1) Where salvage is due to a person under this Act, the receiver shall,

(a) where the salvage is due in respect of services rendered in assisting the vessel or aircraft or in saving life or in saving the cargo or apparel, detain the vessel or aircraft and cargo or apparel; and

(b) where the salvage is due in respect of the saving of a wreck and the wreck is not sold as unclaimed under this Act, detain the wreck.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the receiver shall detain the vessel or aircraft and the cargo or apparel or the wreck, until payment is made for salvage or pro-cess is issued for the arrest or detention of the person liable to pay for the salvage by a Court.

(3) The receiver may release the vessel, aircraft, cargo, apparel or wreck detained under this section, where security is given

(a) to the satisfaction of the receiver, or

(b) to the satisfaction of a Court where the claim for salvage exceeds the cedi equivalent of US $5 000 and a question is raised as to the sufficiency of the security.

(4) A security given for salvage under this section exceeding the cedi equivalent of US $5 000 may be enforced by a Court in the same manner as if bail had been granted by that Court.

398. Sale of detained property

(1) The receiver may sell the vessel, aircraft, cargo, apparel or wreck detained by the receiver under section 397, where the person liable to pay for the salvage in respect of which the property is detained is aware of the detention, in the following circumstances:

(a) where the amount is not disputed and payment of the amount due is not made within thirty days after it has become due;

(b) where the amount is disputed but an appeal does not lie from the decision of the Court to which the dispute was referred, and payment is not made within thirty days after the decision of the Court; or

(c) where the amount is disputed after a decision has been given by a Court and payment is not made within thirty days or proceedings are not commenced for obtaining leave to appeal.

(2) The proceeds of sale of the vessel, aircraft, cargo, apparel or wreck shall, after deduction of the costs of the sale, be applied by the receiver in payment of the costs of salvage.

(3) The balance of the proceeds shall be paid to the owners of the property, or any other person entitled to the proceeds or in the absence of those owners or that person, to the Authority.

399. Apportionment of small amounts of salvage

(1) Where the aggregate amount of salvage payable in respect of salvage services rendered in Ghana has been finally determined by a District Court in the manner provided by this Part or by agreement, and does not exceed the cedi equivalent of US $5 000 and a dispute arises as to the apportionment among several claimants, the person liable to pay the amount may pay the amount to the receiver.

(2) The receiver may receive the amount referred to in subsection (1) and issue a receipt in respect of the amount with a certificate stating the amount paid and the services in respect of which it is paid.

(3) A receipt issued under subsection (2) is a full discharge and indemnity to the person by whom the amount is paid, against any claim.

(4) The receiver shall promptly distribute the amount received by the receiver under this section among the persons entitled to it in the shares and proportions that the receiver considers fit, and may retain the money which appears to the receiver to be payable to a person who is absent.

400. Apportionment of salvage by Court

Where the aggregate amount of salvage payable in respect of salvage services rendered in Ghana has been finally ascertained and the amount exceeds the cedi equivalent of US $1 000 and where the aggregate amount of salvage payable in respect of salvage services rendered outside Ghana has been finally ascertained, if a delay or dispute arises as to its apportionment the Court may

(a) cause the amount to be apportioned among the persons entitled in a manner that it considers just, and may for that purpose, appoint a person to carry that apportionment into effect; or

(b) compel a person in whose hands or under whose control the amount may be, to distribute the amount or to bring it into court to be dealt with as the Court directs.

401. Salver’s right to interest

A salver is entitled to be paid interest on any payment due to the salver under this Part, and the amount of the interest shall be at the discretion of the Court or person adjudicating the case.

402. Application to the Government

(1) Where salvage services are rendered by or on behalf of the Government, or with the aid of Government property, the Government is entitled, subject to the Regulations, to claim salvage in respect of the services and shall have the same rights and remedies as any other salver.

(2) Subject to the provisions of the law relating to proceedings against the Government, this Part shall apply in relation to salvage services rendered in assisting a ship or an aircraft of the Government, or in saving life from it, or in saving the cargo or equipment belonging to the Government, in the same manner as if the ship or aircraft or cargo or equipment belonged to a private person.

(3) A provision of this Part shall not prejudice the right of a salver carrying out salvage under section 379 to avail that salver of the rights and remedies provided in this Part including remuneration where the salvage operation is voluntary and beyond the normal official duties of the salver.

403. Limitation of actions

(1) An action shall not be instituted in respect of salvage services unless the proceedings are commenced within two years after the date of completion of the salvage operations.

(2) The person against whom the claim is made may at any time during the period of two years referred to in subsection, (1) extend the period by a declaration to the claimant and may in the same manner further extend the period.

(3) An action for indemnity by a person liable under this Part may be instituted within two years after the date of termination of the salvage operations, but the Court may on justifiable grounds extend the limitation period to the extent and on the conditions that it considers fit.

404. Publication of judicial and arbitral awards

Subject to the consent of the parties to a salvage action, a judicial or arbitral award resulting from it may be published in the Gazette.

PART THIRTEEN
Passenger Ships
405. Power of the Minister to make Regulations in respect of passenger ships

(1) The Minister may make Regulations

(a) in respect of accommodation facilities and provisions on board ships which carry passengers to or from a port in Ghana;

(b) requiring the preparation and furnishing of particulars of the passengers to or from a port in Ghana;

(c) regulating the number of passengers which a ship may carry from a port in Ghana whether or not the ship is a passenger ship; and

(d) to prescribe the terms and conditions on which a ship may carry passengers between ports in Ghana.

(2) In making Regulations under subsection (1) the Minister shall consider the 1974 International Convention on the carriage of passengers and their luggage on board ships and the amendments to it.

(3) The Minister may waive or vary the Regulations referred to in subsection (1) in respect of their application to licensed Ghanaian ships which carry passengers and operate solely within Ghanaian waters.

406. Offences in connection with passenger ships

(1) A person commits an offence if that person

(a) on account of being drunk and disorderly is refused entry to a passenger ship or where that person is already on board, is requested by the owner or a person in the employment of the owner to leave the ship, and although the fare paid has been returned or tendered to that person, that person persists in attempting to enter the ship, or where that person is already on board, does not leave the ship;

(b) after a warning by the master or any other officer of a ship, molests or continues to molest a passenger on board the ship;

(c) on account of a ship being full, is refused admission or requested to leave the ship by the owner or a person in the owner’s employ after having the amount of a fare paid by that person returned or tendered to that person, that person nevertheless persists in attempting to enter the ship, or where that person is already on board, does not leave the ship;

(d) travels or attempts to travel on a ship without first paying the fare and with intent to avoid payment of the fare;

(e) having paid the fare to travel on a ship for a certain distance, knowingly and wilfully proceeds in the ship beyond that distance without first paying the fare for the additional distance;

(f) on arriving on a ship at a point to which the fare has been paid, knowingly refuses or neglects to leave the ship;

(g) while on board a ship fails, when requested by the master or any other officer to pay the fare or exhibit a ticket or any other receipts showing payment of the fare as is usually given to persons travelling by and paying their fare for the ship; or

(h) wilfully does or causes to be done anything in a manner so as to obstruct or damage a part of the machinery or tackle of the ship, or to obstruct, impede or molest the crew or any of them in the navigation or management of the ship or otherwise in the execution of their duty on or about the ship.

(2) A person who commits an offence under this section 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.

PART FOURTEEN
Limitation and Division of Liability
407. Interpretation

For the purposes of this Part,

“salvage operation” includes the operations referred to in section 409 (1) (d), (e) and (f);

“salvage services” means services rendered in direct connection with salvage operations;

“salver” means a person rendering salvage services;

“ship” includes every description of lighter, barge or similar vessel, however propelled and any structure launched and intended for use in navigation as a ship or as a part of a ship;

“ship-owner” includes charterer, manager or operator of a ship;

“Unit of Account” means the special drawing right as defined in section 2 of Article XXI of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund.

408. Persons entitled to limit liability

(1) Ship-owners and salvers may limit their liabilities in accordance with this Part.

(2) An insurer of liability for claims subject to limitation under this Part is entitled to the benefit of limitation to the same extent as the assured.

(3) A person for whose act, neglect or default, the ship-owner or salver is responsible, may limit the person’s liability under this Part.

409. Claims subject to limitation

(1) Subject to sections 410 and 411, the following claims are subject to limitation of liability regardless of the basis of liability:

(a) claims in respect of loss of life or personal injury or loss of or damage to property, including damage to harbour works, basins and waterways and aids to navigation, that occur on board or in direct connection with the operation of the ship or with salvage operations, and consequential loss resulting from these;

(b) claims in respect of loss resulting from delay in the carriage by sea of cargo, passengers or their luggage;

(c) claims in respect of any other loss resulting from infringement of rights other than contractual rights, that occur in direct connection with the operation of the ship or salvage operations;

(d) claims in respect of the raising, removal, destruction or the rendering harmless of a ship which is sunk, wrecked, stranded or abandoned, including anything that is or has been on board the ship;

(e) claims in respect of the removal, destruction or the rendering harmless of the cargo of a ship; and

claims of a person other than the person liable in respect of measures taken in order to avert or minimise loss for which the person liable may limit liability in accordance with this Part, and further loss caused by those measures.

(2) The claims referred to in subsection (1) are subject to limitation of liability even if brought by way of recourse or for indemnity under a contract or otherwise, except that the claims referred to in paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of subsection (1) are not subject to limitation of liability where the claims relate to remuneration under a contract with the person liable.

410. Liability against ships and invoking limitation not an admission of liability

For the purposes of this Part, the liability of a ship-owner includes liability in an action against the ship of the ship-owner, and the act of invoking limitation does not constitute an admission of liability.

411. Claims exempted from limitation

Limitation of liability under this Part does not apply to

(a) claims for salvage or contribution in general average;

(b) claims by employees of the ship-owner or employees of the salver whose duties are connected with the ship or the salvage operations, including claims of their heirs, dependants or any other persons entitled to make the claims,

i. if under the contract of service between the ship-owner or salver and the employees, the ship-owner or salver is not entitled to limit the liability of the ship-owner in respect of the claims; or

ii. if the ship-owner is under a contract that provides for a limited liability of an amount greater than that provided for in section 414; and

(c) claims in respect of air-cushioned vehicles and floating platforms constructed for the purpose of exploring or exploiting the natural resources of the sea-bed or the sub-soil of the sea-bed.

412. Conduct barring limitation

A person liable is not entitled to limit liability if it is proved that the loss resulted from that person’s personal act or omission with the intent to cause the loss, or from that person’s recklessness and with knowledge that the loss would probably be the result.

413. Set off of claims

Where a person entitled to limitation of liability under this Part has a claim against the claimant arising from the same issue, their respective claims shall be set off against each other and the provisions of this Part shall only apply to the balance.

414. Limits of liability calculation

The limits of liability for claims other than those provided for in section 415, that arises on a distinct occasion, shall be calculated as follows:

(a) in respect of claims for loss of life or personal injury, 333,000 Units of Account for a ship with a tonnage not exceeding five hundred tons; for a ship with a tonnage exceeding five hundred tons, the following amounts in addition to the 333,000 Units of Account:

i. for each ton from 501 to 3,000 tons, 500 Units of Account;

ii. for each ton from 3,001 tons, to 30,000 tons, 333 Units of Account;

iii. for each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, two hundred and fifty Units of Account; and

iv. for each ton in excess of 70,000 tons, 167 Units of Account;

(b) any other claim, 167,000 Units of Account for a ship with a tonnage not exceeding five hundred tons; for a ship with a tonnage exceeding five hundred tons the following amount in addition to the 167,000 Units of Account:

i. for each ton from 501 to 30,000 tons, 167 Units of Account;

ii. for each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 125 Units of Account; and

iii. for each ton in excess of 70,000 tons, 83 Units of Account.

415. Priorities

(1) Where the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (a) of section 414 is insufficient to pay the claims mentioned in full, the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (b) of section 414 shall be available for payment of the unpaid balance of claims under paragraph (a) and the unpaid balance shall rank rateably with claims under paragraph (b).

(2) Despite the right of claim for loss of life or personal injury referred to in paragraph (a) of section 414, claims referred to in section 418 shall have priority over the claims referred to in paragraph (b) of section 414.

(3) The limitation of liability for a salver not operating from a ship or for a salver operating solely on the ship to, or in respect of which the salver is rendering salvage services, shall be calculated according to a tonnage of one thousand five hundred tons.

416. Measurement of ship’s tonnage

For the purposes of this Part, a ship’s tonnage shall be her gross tonnage as defined in the Tonnage Regulations made under this Act.

417. Limitation of liability of port and owners of docks

(1) The owners of a dock, canal, harbour or port are not liable for a loss or damage caused to

(a) a vessel, or

(b) goods, merchandise or other things whether on board a vessel or not, in excess of an aggregate amount equivalent to 70 Units of Account for each ton of the tonnage of the largest ship which has visited that dock, canal, harbour or port within five years to the occurrence of the loss or damage.

(2) For the purposes of this section a ship shall not be considered to have visited a dock canal, harbour or port by reason of the fact that

(a) it has been built or fitted out within the area,

(b) it has taken shelter within the area, or

(c) it has passed through the area on a voyage between two places both situated outside that area.

(3) The limitation of liability under this section shall relate to the whole of a loss or damage which may arise on one distinct occasion, although the loss or damage may be sustained by more than one person, and shall apply whether the liability arises at common law or under an enactment despite anything contained in any enactment.

(4) For the purposes of this section, the owner of a dock, canal, harbour or port includes a person who or an authority that has the control and management of a dock, canal, harbour or port and a ship repairer using the dock, canal, harbour or port.

(5) A provision of this section does not impose a liability in respect of a loss or damage on an owner or authority in a case where a liability would not have existed if this Act had not been enacted.

418. Limitation for passenger claims

(1) The limitation of liability of a ship-owner in respect of claims on a distinct occasion for loss of life or personal injury to passengers of a ship shall be an amount of 46,666 Units of Account multiplied by the number of passengers which the ship is authorised to carry according to the ship’s certificate, but not exceeding 25 million Units of Account.

(2) For the purposes of this section claims for loss of life or personal injury to passengers of a ship means a claim brought by or on behalf of a person carried in that ship,

(a) under a contract of passenger carriage, or

(b) who, with the consent of the carrier, is accompanying a vehicle or live animals which are covered by a contract for the carriage of goods.

419. Conversion of Unit of Account to Ghanaian currency

The amounts referred to in sections 414 and 418 shall be converted into cedi according to the value of the cedi to a Unit of Account on the date the security or guarantee referred to in section 421 is deposited.

420. Aggregation of claims

(1) The limitation of liability determined in accordance with section 414 applies to the aggregate of the claims which arise on a distinct occasion against

(a) the ship-owner and a person for whose act, neglect or default the ship-owner may be responsible;

(b) the ship-owner of a ship rendering salvage services from that ship and the salver operating from that ship and a person responsible for the act, neglect or default; or

(c) the salver who is not operating from a ship or who is operating solely on the ship to, or in respect of which, the salvage services are rendered and a person responsible for the act, neglect or default.

(2) The limitation of liability determined in accordance with section 418 applies to the aggregate of the claims referred to in that section which may arise on a distinct occasion against the ship-owner and a person responsible for the act, neglect or default of the ship-owner.

421. Provision of security and release of ship

(1) A person alleged to be liable and seeking to limit liability under this Part shall deposit into Court an amount equivalent to at least the limit provided for in section 414 or section 418 as appropriate, in the form of a security or guarantee, together with interest from the date of the occurrence that gives rise to the liability until the date the security or guarantee is deposited, and the amount shall be available only for the payment of claims in respect of which limitation of liability can be invoked.

(2) A security or guarantee deposited by a person or the insurer of a person mentioned in paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (1), or subsection (2) of section 420, shall be deemed to have been deposited by the persons mentioned in that section.

422. Distribution of the fund

(1) Subject to sections 414 and 418, the proceeds of the security or guarantee deposited with the Court shall be distributed among the claimants in proportion to their established claims.

(2) The Court may stay proceedings pending in relation to the matter, and may proceed in any manner, subject to the orders of the Court, as to the exclusion of the claimants who do not claim within a specified time and as to payment of costs, that the Court thinks just.

(3) A lien or any other right in respect of a ship or property shall not affect the proportions in which the amount is distributed among several claimants.

(4) Sums paid for or on account of loss or damage in respect of the liability of owners shall be limited under the provisions of this Part and costs incurred in relation to them may be brought into account among part owners of the same ship in the same manner as money disbursed for their use.

(5) Where the person liable or the insurer of that person has settled the claim, that person shall be subrogated to the rights which the person so compensated would have enjoyed under this Part before the proceeds of the security or guarantee are distributed.

(6) In making a distribution in accordance with this section, the Court may postpone the disbursement of a part of the amount to be distributed that it considers appropriate having regard to the claims subrogated or as may otherwise be established later.

423. Bar to other actions

(1) Where a security or guarantee has been deposited with the Court in accordance with section 421, a person who has made a claim against the security or guarantee shall be barred from exercising a right in respect of the claim against any other assets of a person by or on behalf of whom the security or guarantee has been deposited.

(2) Where a ship or any other property is seized or arrested in connection with a claim which appears to the Court to be founded on liability to which limitation is applicable under this Part, and in respect of which a security or guarantee is deposited, the Court shall order the release of the ship or property if the security or guarantee has been deposited in Ghana or

(a) at the port where the occurrence took place, or, if it took place out of port, at the first port of call thereafter;

(b) at the port of disembarkation in respect of claims for loss of life or personal injury; or

(c) at the port of discharge in respect of damage to cargo, but where the release is ordered the person on whose application it is ordered shall be considered to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court to adjudicate on the claim.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) shall apply only if the claimant brings a claim before the Court and the security or guarantee deposited with the Court is actually available and freely transferable in respect of that claim.

424. Rules as to division of loss

(1) Where, by the fault of two or more vessels, damage or loss is caused to one or more of those vessels, to their cargoes or freight, or to the property on board, the liability to make good the damage or loss shall be in proportion to the degree in which each vessel was at fault except that where, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, it is not possible to establish different degrees of fault, the liability shall be apportioned equally.

(2) A provision of this section shall not

(a) operate to render a vessel liable for a loss or damage if the vessel has not by a default contributed to the loss or damage;

(b) affect the liability of a person under a contract of carriage or any other contract; or

(c) be construed as imposing a liability on a person from which liability that person is exempted by a contract or by law.

425. Damages for personal injury

(1) Where loss of life or personal injury is suffered by a person on board a vessel owing to the fault of that vessel and another vessel, the liability of the owners of the vessels shall be joint and several.

(2) A provision of this section shall not be construed as depriving a person of a right of defence which that person apart from this section might have in an action brought against that person by the person injured or a person entitled to sue in respect of the loss of life, or shall not affect the right of a person to limit the person’s liability in cases to which this section relates in the manner provided by law.

426. Definition of “freight”

In sections 424 and 428 “freight” includes passage money and hire, and references to damage or loss caused by the fault of a ship includes references to a salvage or any other expenses consequent on that fault recoverable at law as damages.

427. Right of contribution

(1) Where loss of life or personal injury is suffered by a person on board a vessel owing to the fault of that vessel and another vessel and a proportion of the damages is recovered against the owners of one of the vessels which exceeds the proportion in which the vessel was at fault, the owners may recover by way of contribution the amount of the excess from the owners of the other vessel to the extent to which that other vessel was at fault, but an amount shall not be so recovered which could not, by reason of a statutory or contractual limitation of or exemption from liability, or which could not, for any other reason, have been recovered in the first instance as damages by a person entitled to sue.

(2) In addition to any other remedy provided by law the persons entitled to a contribution shall for the purpose of recovering the contribution and subject to the provisions of this Act have the same rights and powers as the person entitled to sue for damages in the first instance.

428. Limitation of actions

(1) Subject to this section, an action shall not be brought to enforce a claim or lien against a ship or the owners of the ship in respect of a damage to or loss of another ship, her cargo or freight, or any other property on board, or in respect of loss of life or personal injury suffered by a person on board that other ship, caused by the fault of the ship, whether that other ship is wholly or partly at fault unless proceedings are commenced within two years from the date when the damage or loss or injury was caused.

(2) An action shall not be brought under this Act to enforce a contribution in respect of an overpaid proportion of damages for loss of life or personal injury unless proceedings are commenced within one year from the date of payment.

(3) A court may in accordance with the rules of court extend a period on the conditions that it thinks fit and shall do so, if satisfied that during the period there has not been a reasonable opportunity to arrest the defendant ship within the jurisdiction of the Court or within the territorial seas of the country to which the plaintiff resides or has a principal place of business.

PART FIFTEEN
Court of Survey
429. Court of Survey

(1) The High Court is a Court of Survey for a port in Ghana and shall for that purpose consist of a Justice of High Court sitting with two assessors appointed for each case by the Chief Justice.

(2) The assessors are persons with nautical, engineering or any other special skills and experience, one of whom shall be nominated by the Authority or, in the case of a foreign ship, by the consular officer of the country to which the ship belongs who is at or near the port, where the cause of action has arisen.

430. Jurisdiction of Court of Survey

The Court of Survey shall have the power and the duty to hear matters referred to it under this Act.

431. Power and procedure of Court of Survey

(1) The following provisions apply in relation to the power and proceedings of a Court of Survey concerning a ship which is the subject of an action before the Court

(a) the case shall be heard in open court;

(b) the Justice and each assessor may survey the ship and go on board the ship and inspect the machinery equipment and cargo and may require the unloading or removal of the cargo, ballast or tackle, and shall for the purposes have all the powers of a surveyor;

(c) the Court may order the ship to be surveyed and appoint a competent person to survey the ship and report to the Court;

(d) the Justice shall have the same power as the Authority to order the ship to be released or finally detained, but unless one of the assessors agrees with an order for the detention of the ship, the ship shall be released wherever detained; and

(e) the owner or the master of the ship and a person appointed by the owner or master, may attend at an inspection or survey made under of this section.

(2) The Court may make the order with respect to the costs of an inquiry or investigation under this Act that it thinks fit, and the costs are recoverable in the same manner as a judgment debt.

PART SIXTEEN
Inquiries and Investigations into Marine Casualties
432. Investigations of shipping casualties

(1) Where any of the following casualties occurs,

(a) the loss or presumed loss, stranding, grounding, abandonment of, or damage to, a ship,

(b) a loss of life caused by fire on board, or by an accident to a ship or ship’s boat, or by an accident occurring on board a ship or ship’s boat, or

(c) a damage caused to or by a ship, and, at the time of its occurrence, the ship was a Ghanaian ship or the ship or ship’s boat was in Ghanaian waters, the Authority may cause a preliminary inquiry into the casualty to be held by a person appointed for the purpose by the Director-General.

(2) Whether or not a preliminary inquiry into the casualty has been held under subsection (1), the Authority may cause a formal investigation to be conducted by a Wreck Commissioner.

433. Preliminary inquiry

For the purposes of a preliminary inquiry under section 432, the person holding the inquiry shall have the powers of a surveyor under this Act.

434. Formal investigation

(1) The Authority may appoint a Wreck Commissioner to hold a formal investigation into a shipping casualty under this Part.

(2) There shall be appointed not less than two assessors who are persons who have nautical, engineering or any other special skills or knowledge as the occasion demands, to assist the Wreck Commissioner in a formal investigation.

(3) Where a formal investigation involves or is likely to involve a question of cancellation or suspension of the certificate of an officer, the Wreck Commissioner shall hold the investigation with the assistance of not less than two assessors who are persons who have experience in merchant marine as master or chief engineer of a foreign ship.

(4) The Director-General of the Authority shall render assistance to the Wreck Commissioner as lies in the power of the Director-General in a formal investigation.

(5) The Wreck Commissioner, after hearing the case shall make a full report containing a statement of the case and the recommendations of the Wreck Commissioner together with extracts from the evidence, and each assessor shall sign the report or state in writing to the Authority the dissent of the assessor and the reasons for the dissent.

(6) The Authority shall pay the costs of a formal investigation.

(7) For the purposes of this Part, the Wreck Commissioner holding a formal investigation shall have the powers of a District Court and of a surveyor in the exercise of the function of a surveyor under this Act.

(8) A formal investigation into a shipping casualty shall be conducted in the same manner as the trial of a case by a District Court.

435. Power of Authority as to certificates

(1) The Director-General, on the recommendation of the Wreck Commissioner, shall cancel or suspend the certificate of an officer issued in Ghana whether the holder is a citizen or not if the Wreck Commissioner finds that

(a) the loss, abandonment or serious damage to a ship or loss of life has been caused by the wrongful act or default of the officer, or

(b) the officer is unfit to discharge the duties of office by reason of incompetence or misconduct or for any other reason has been seriously negligent in the discharge of the duties of office, except that at least one of the assessors shall agree with the finding of the Wreck Commissioner.

(2) The Wreck Commissioner shall in all cases send a full report of the case together with the evidence to the Director-General.

(3) Where a certificate referred to in subsection (1), of an officer has been issued by a foreign government or authority, the Director-General shall forward a copy of the report of the formal investigation to the appropriate government or authority of the state concerned with recommendations to take action against the officer which that government or that authority considers appropriate.

436. Limitation on power of the Director-General as to certificate

A certificate shall not be cancelled or suspended by the Director-General under this Part, unless the holder of the certificate has before the commencement of formal investigation been furnished with a statement of the case on which the formal investigation was ordered.

437. Delivery of certificate

An officer whose certificate is cancelled or suspended by the Director-General shall deliver the certificate to the Director-General on demand and if the officer fails to comply, the officer 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 then fine and the imprisonment.

438. Right of appeal against the Director-General’s decision

An officer aggrieved by the decision of the Director-General to suspend or cancel the certificate of the officer may appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction.

439. Rehearing of investigations

(1) The Director-General may order a case to be reheard whether generally or partially in any case under this Part where a formal investigation into a shipping casualty has been held

(a) if new evidence which could not be produced at the investigation is discovered, or

(b) if for any other reason there is in the opinion of the Director-General grounds for suspecting that there has been a miscarriage of justice.

(2) The Director-General may order the case to be reheard by the Wreck Commissioner by whom the case was heard in the first instance or by a different Wreck Commissioner as the Director-General may appropriately determine.

(3) The owner of a ship, or any other person who has an interest in a formal investigation, and is affected by the decision of the Wreck Commissioner, may appeal from that decision in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as are applicable to a decision for the cancellation or suspension of the certificate of an officer.

PART SEVENTEEN
Legal Proceedings
Jurisdiction
440. Jurisdiction in case of offences

(1) For the purpose of determining jurisdiction under this Act, an offence shall be considered to have been committed and a cause of complaint to have arisen at the place where the offence was actually committed or cause of complaint arose, or at a place where the offender or person complained against is found.

(2) Where, in legal proceedings under this Act, a question arises whether a ship or person is or is not within the provisions of this Act, that ship or that person shall be taken to be within these provisions unless the contrary is proved.

441. Provisions as to mortgages of ships sold to foreigners

Where the registration of a ship is considered to be closed under section 10 on account of a transfer to a person not qualified to be an owner of a Ghanaian ship, an unsatisfied mortgage may, if the ship comes within the jurisdiction of a Court, be enforced by the Court despite a transfer, except in cases where the ship has been sold under a judgment of a Court.

442. Jurisdiction over ships lying off the coast

Where a Court has jurisdiction within a district which is situated on the coast of a sea, or abutting on or projecting into a bay, channel, lake, river or any other navigable water, the Court shall have jurisdiction over a vessel being on, or lying or passing off that coast, or being in or near that bay, channel, lake, river or navigable water and over persons on board that vessel as if the vessel or persons were within the limits of the ordinary jurisdiction of the Court.

443. Jurisdiction in case of offences on board ship

Despite anything contained in the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) as amended or in any other enactment, where a person

(a) who is a citizen is charged with an offence committed on board

i. a Ghanaian ship on the high seas, or in a foreign port, river or harbour, or

ii. a foreign ship, or

(b) who is not a citizen a, has been charged with an offence committed on board a Ghanaian ship on the high seas, is found within Ghana, a Court that would have had jurisdiction to try the offence, if the offence had been committed within the limits of its ordinary jurisdiction, shall have jurisdiction to try the offence.

444. Offences at foreign ports

An offence against property or a person committed in or at a place ashore, afloat or in a foreign port by a master or seafarer who at the time when the offence was committed or within three months before the offence was committed, was employed in a Ghanaian ship, shall be considered to be an offence committed on a Ghanaian ship and the offender is liable to be tried by a Court having jurisdiction under section 443.

445. Jurisdiction in collision and other cases

(1) A Court in Ghana shall not entertain an action in personam to enforce a claim to which this section applies unless

(a) the habitual residence or place of business of the defendant is within Ghana,

(b) the cause of action arose within the territorial waters of Ghana or within the limits of a harbour or port of Ghana, or

(c) an action arising out of the same incident or series of incidents is proceeding in the Court, or has been heard and determined in Court.

(2) A Court in Ghana shall not entertain an action in personam to enforce a claim to which this section applies until proceedings previously brought by the plaintiff in a court outside Ghana against the same defendant in respect of the same incident or series of incidents have been discontinued or otherwise come to an end.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) apply to counterclaims, being counterclaims in proceedings arising out of the same incident or series of incidents, as they apply to actions in personam, and a reference to the plaintiff shall be a reference to the plaintiff or the defendant in a counterclaim.

(4) Subsections (1) to (3) shall not apply to an action or a counterclaim if the defendant submits or has agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the Court.

(5) Subject to subsection (4) where a Court has jurisdiction for the purposes of this Act, to entertain an action in personam to enforce a claim to which this section applies where any of the conditions specified in subsection (1) is satisfied, the rules of court relating to the service of process outside the jurisdiction shall apply.

446. Actions in rem

In any case in which an action may be brought against a ship other than actions arising from claims to the possession or ownership of a share in it, or a claim in respect of a mortgage or charge on a ship or a share, where the person who would be liable on the claim in an action in personam, when the cause of action arose, was the owner or charterer of, or in possession or in control of the ship, the admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court may, whether the claim gives rise to a maritime lien on the ship or not, be invoked by an action in rem against

(a) that ship, if at the time when the action is brought, the ship is beneficially owned in respect of all the shares by that person; or

(b) any other ship which, at the time when the action is brought, is beneficially owned as under paragraph (a); but in determining whether a person would be liable on a claim in an action in personam, it shall be assumed that the habitual residence or a place of business of that person is within Ghana.

Detention of Ships and Distress on Ships for Damage Caused
447. Power to detain foreign ships

(1) Where

(a) damage has been caused in a part of the world to property belonging to the Government, a citizen or a body corporate resident in Ghana by a foreign ship; or

(b) a claim is made for damages by or on behalf of a citizen, in respect of personal injuries, including fatal injuries against the owners of a foreign ship, and at any time after that period that ship or any other ship wholly and beneficially owned by the same owner is found in Ghana, the High Court may, on being satisfied that the damage or injury was caused by the misconduct or want of skill of the master or crew of the ship, issue an order to an officer of the Authority or an officer of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service requiring the officer to detain the ship until the time that the owner, master or agent has satisfied the claim arising out of the damage or injury.

(2) The owner or agent of the ship shall obey the decision, suit or any other legal proceedings that may be instituted in respect of the damage or injury and pay costs and damages that may be awarded by the Court.

(3) An officer to whom the order is given shall detain the ship accordingly.

(4) Where it appears that before an application can be made under this section the ship in respect of which the application is to be made would have departed from Ghana, the ship may be detained for a time that will allow the application to be made or adequate security to be provided in respect of the application and the result shall be communicated to the officer detaining the ship.

(5) In legal proceedings in relation to damage or personal injury, the person giving security shall be made defendant and shall be stated to be the owner of the ship that has occasioned the damage or injury.

448. Enforcing detention of ships

(1) Where under this Act a ship is to be detained, a commissioned officer on full pay in the Ghana Armed Forces, a proper officer of Customs, or an officer of the Authority designated by the Board for the purpose may enforce the detention of the ship.

(2) Where a ship during detention, or after service on the master of the order or a notice of an order for detention, proceeds to sea before it is released by a competent authority, the master of ship, as well as the owner, and a person who sends the ship to sea each 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.

(3) Where a ship proceeds to sea taking on board an officer authorised to detain the ship or a surveyor or any other officer performing the functions of office under this Act or any other enactment, the owner and master of the ship commits an offence and each is liable on summary conviction to

(a) 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;

(b) a fine of one hundred penalty units for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues; and

(c) pay the expenses of and incidental to the officer being taken to sea.

(4) An officer detaining a ship may place a police guard on that ship.

(5) A police guard placed on board a ship under subsection (4) shall take the necessary steps to prevent the ship from leaving the port.

(6) A person who obstructs an officer or a police guard or surveyor detaining a ship commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

(7) An officer detaining a ship shall notify the proper officer of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service that the ship is being detained.

(8) Where a ship is liable to detention under this Act, the proper officer of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service may detain the ship and refuse to clear that ship outwards.

(9) For the purposes of this section the expression “proper officer of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service” means the officer able to grant a clearance to the ship.

449. Notice to consular officer on detention of foreign ship

(1) Where

(a) a foreign ship is detained under this Act, or

(b) proceedings are taken under this Act against the master or owner of the ship, notice shall be served on the consular officer of the country to which the ship belongs, at or nearest the port where the ship is detained.

(2) The notice under subsection (1) shall specify the grounds on which the ship has been detained or on which the proceedings have been taken.

450. Distress of ships

Where a Court makes an order directing payment to be made of a seafarer’s wages, fines or any other sums of money, and the party directed to pay is the master or owner of a ship and the money is not paid at the time and in the manner ordered, the Court, may direct the amount unpaid to be levied in distress and sale of the ship, the tackle, furniture and apparel of the ship.

451. Inquiries into deaths of crew members and others

(1) Subject to subsection (5) where

(a) a person dies in a Ghanaian ship, or

(c) the master or a seafarer employed in a Ghanaian ship dies in a country outside Ghana, an inquiry into the cause of death shall be held by an officer of the Authority designated by the Director-General for the purpose.

(2) The officer holding an inquiry under subsection (1) shall for the purpose of the inquiry have all the powers of a surveyor under the Act.

(3) Where in the course of the inquiry it appears to the officer holding the inquiry that the death has been caused on board the ship by violence or other improper means, the officer shall report the matter to the Director-General, or if the emergency of the case so requires, shall take immediate steps to bring the offender to justice.

(4) The officer holding the inquiry under subsection (1) shall make a report of the findings to the Director-General and the Director-General shall, on request, make a copy of the report available to the next of kin of the deceased person or to any other person who appears to the Director-General to be interested.

(5) An inquiry shall not be held under subsection (1) where an inquest or inquiry into death is to be held or made under a law relating to inquests or criminal procedure.

452. Ship may be seized and sold if penalty not paid

(1) Where a conviction has been secured against the owner of a ship for a contravention of a provision of this Act, and a fine has been imposed

(a) the ship is able, if the fine is not paid, be liable to be seized after a reasonable notice that the Director-General may in each case determine has been given; and

(b) the ship may be sold by a person authorised for that purpose in writing by the Director-General and that person may by a bill of sale, give to the purchaser a valid title to the ship free from a mortgage or any other claim on it which at the time of the sale may be in existence.

(2) The remainder from the proceeds of sale after the payment of the fine and the costs of conviction, together with the costs of the seizure and sale, shall be paid over to the owner of the ship, or the mortgagee.

453. Conveyance of offenders and witnesses to Ghana

(1) Where a complaint is made to a consular officer of Ghana that

(a) an offence against the property or a person has been committed at a place, ashore or afloat, outside Ghana by a seafarer who at the time when the offence was committed or within three months before that time, was employed on a Ghanaian ship, or

(b) an offence on the high seas has been committed by a seafarer belonging to a Ghanaian registered ship, the consular officer may inquire into the case on oath, and may if necessary, take the steps in the power of the consular officer for the purpose of placing the offender under the necessary restraint and of sending the offender as soon as practicable in safe custody to Ghana.

(2) The consular officer may order the master of a ship registered in and bound for Ghana to receive and give passage and subsistence during the voyage to the offender and as many witnesses as can be given, suitable accommodation.

(3) The consular officer may endorse on the agreement with the crew of the ship the particulars with respect to an offender or witness sent in the ship as the Authority requires.

(4) A master of a ship to whose charge an offender is committed shall, on the arrival of the ship in Ghana, hand the offender over into the custody of a police officer, who shall take the offender before a Court to deal with the matter as in cases of offences committed on the high seas.

(5) A master of a Ghanaian ship who, when required by a consular officer to receive and give passage and subsistence to an offender or witness, does not do so or who does not deliver an offender committed to the charge of that master into the custody of a police officer as directed 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) The expense of imprisoning an offender and of conveying the offender and a witness to Ghana in a manner other than in the ship to which they respectively belong, shall where the expenses are not paid as part of the costs of the prosecution, be paid out of Government funds.

Prosecution and Compounding of Offences
454. Liability of ship owners

(1) Where a person is beneficially interested otherwise than by way of mortgage, in a ship or a share in a ship, the person interested, and the registered owner of the ship, are subject to all pecuniary penalties imposed by this Act or any other enactment on the owner of the ship or the owner of the share in a ship.

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

455. Offences by bodies of persons, servants and agents

(1) Where a body corporate, firm, association or any other body of persons is charged with an offence under this Act, every person who at the time of the alleged offence was a director, manager, secretary or similar officer or a partner of the body corporate, firm, association or body of persons, or was purporting to act in that capacity, also commits the offence and is also liable to the penalty provided for the offence unless that person proves

(a) that the offence was committed without the knowledge of that person and that the ignorance was not caused by the wilful default or neglect of that person, or

(b) that having regard to the nature of that person’s functions in that capacity and to all the circumstances, that person exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

456. General penalty and continuing offences

(1) A person who commits an offence under this Act, or does anything or omits to do anything in contravention of the provisions of this Act, for which a penalty is not provided elsewhere than in this section is liable 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) Where an offence under this Act is a continuing one, and a penalty is not provided in respect of the continuance every person who commits that offence is, in addition to any other liability, liable to a fine not exceeding fifty penalty units for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues.

457. Compounding of offences

(1) The Authority may compound an offence under this Act if the person suspected of having committed the offence pays a sum to be determined by the Authority but in any case not less than two hundred and fifty penalty units to the Authority.

(2) On the payment of a sum of money under subsection (1),

(a) the person suspected of having committed the offence in respect of which the payment has been made shall if the person is in custody be discharged;

(b) a ship detained in respect of the offence shall be released; and

(c) further proceedings shall not be taken against the person or ship in respect of that offence.

458. Admissibility of document in evidence

(1) Where a document is declared under this Act to be admissible in evidence, the document shall on its production from the proper custody, be admissible in evidence in a Court or before a person who has by law or consent of the parties the authority to receive evidence and subject to all just exceptions, shall be prima facie proof of the matters stated in it in pursuance of this Act or by an officer in pursuance of the duties of the officer.

(2) A copy of the document or an extract from it shall also be admissible in evidence if it is proved to be a copy or extract of the original, or if it purports to be a certified true copy or extract of the original signed by the officer in whose custody the original document was entrusted.

(3) A person who has by law or consent of the parties authority to receive evidence shall have the same powers as a Court to impound a document to which this section applies which has a false or counterfeit seal, stamp or signature affixed to it.

459. Service of documents

(1) Where for the purposes of this Act a document is to be served on any person, that document may be served

(a) in any case by delivering a copy personally to the person to be served, or by leaving a copy at the last place of abode of that person;

(b) if the document is to be served on the master of a ship, where there is one, or on a person belonging to a ship, by leaving the document for the master or person on board that ship with the person being or appearing to be in command or charge of the ship; and

(c) if it is a document to be served on the master of a ship, where there is no master, and the ship is in Ghana, on the managing owner, on an agent of the owner residing in Ghana, or where no agent is known or can be found, by affixing a copy of it in a conspicuous place on the ship.

(2) A person who obstructs the service on the master of a ship of a document under the provisions of this Act, commits an offence and on summary conviction is liable 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, and if the owner or master of the ship is privy to the obstruction, the owner or master is 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.

460. All officers to be public officers

An officer appointed or authorised under this Act is a public officer.

461. Protection of public officers

Subject to the Constitution, a suit shall not be maintained against a public officer for anything done or omitted to be done in good faith by that officer in the exercise or performance or in the purported exercise or performance of a power, an authority or a duty conferred or imposed on the officer under this Act.

462. Notices to be in writing

Where by or under this Act any notice, authority, order, direction or other communication is required or authorised to be given or made by the Director-General, to a person who is not an officer appointed under this Act, the notice, authority, order, direction or other communication shall be in writing.

PART EIGHTEEN

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