GHANA SHIPPING ACT, 2003 (ACT 645) SS 463-482

Miscellaneous
463. Definition of authorised officer

In this Part, “authorised officer” includes

(a) the Director-General,

(b) a surveyor of ships, and

(c) a person appointed to exercise a power under this Act.

464. Powers of authorised officers to board ships

(1) An authorised officer, alone or with another person, may go on board a ship in Ghana where the officer

(a) suspects that an offence under this Act has been or is about to be committed on the ship, or

(b) considers it necessary to do so in the discharge of a duty imposed on the officer by this Act or any other enactment.

(2) Where a ship is registered in Ghana the powers conferred by this section on an authorised officer may also be exercised outside Ghana by a proper officer, in addition to an authorised officer.

(3) A master of a ship who without reasonable excuse refuses to allow an officer to board the ship in the exercise of the powers conferred on the officer by subsection (1) or (2), 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.

465. Power to require production of documents

(1) Where an authorised officer has reason to suspect that the provisions of this Act, or of a law relating to shipping or seafarers, is not being complied with that officer may

(a) require the owner, master or a member of the crew of a Ghanaian ship to produce an official log book or any other document relating to the crew or a member in the person’s possession or control;

(b) require a master to produce a list of all persons on board the ship of that master, and take copies of the official log books or documents, or of any part of them;

(c) muster the crew of that ship; or

(d) summon the master to appear and give an explanation concerning the ship or the crew or the official log books or documents produced or required to be produced.

(2) A person who on being requested by an authorised officer

(a) fails without reasonable excuse to produce to that officer an official log book or document as requested,

(b) refuses to allow the official log book to be inspected or copied,

(c) impedes a muster of the crew required under this section,

(d) refuses or neglects to give any explanation which that person is required to give, or

(e) knowingly misleads or deceives an authorised officer who demands any explanation, 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.

466. Inspection of ships

(1) For the purpose of ensuring that the provisions of this Act and the Regulations are complied with, an authorised officer may at a reasonable time

(a) inspect a ship and its equipment or a part of it,

(b) inspect articles on board a ship and a document carried on the ship,

(c) ensure compliance with an international convention relating to shipping to which Ghana is a party, and

(d) where the ship is registered in Ghana, the powers conferred by this section may also be exercised on a ship outside Ghana by an authorised officer.

(2) A person exercising powers under this section

(a) shall not unnecessarily detain or delay a ship, and

(b) may where necessary in consequence of an accident or for any other reason require a ship to be taken into dock for a survey of its hull or machinery.

(3) Where an authorised officer has reasonable grounds to believe that there are on any premises provisions and water intended for supply to a ship registered or licensed in Ghana which, if provided on the ship, would not be in accordance with the Regulations made under section 152, the authorised officer may enter the premises and inspect the provisions and water for the purpose of ascertaining whether they are in accordance with the Regulations.

(4) A person who

(a) obstructs an authorised officer in the exercise of the powers of the authorised officer under this section,

(b) fails without reasonable cause to comply with a requirement made under subsection (2), or

(c) refuses or fails to give an authorised officer reasonable facilities for the exercise of the powers of the authorised officer under this section, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

467. Report by surveyor to Director-General

The Director-General may require a surveyor to report to the Director-General on

(a) the nature and causes of an accident or a damage which a ship has sustained or caused, or is alleged to have sustained or caused;

(b) whether the provisions of this Act or he Regulations made under it have been complied with; and

(c) whether the hull and machinery of a ship are sufficient and in good condition.

468. Powers of surveyor

(1) A surveyor of ships in the execution of the duties of a surveyor may

(a) go on board a ship and inspect the ship or a part of it, or any of the machinery, boats, equipment or articles on board, or any of the certificates of an officer to which the provisions of this Act apply;

(b) investigate and report to the Director-General on the nature and causes of an accident or any damage which a ship has sustained or caused or is alleged to have sustained or caused;

(c) require the attendance of the persons to appear before the surveyor and examine them on oath or affirmation for the purpose of the surveyor report; and

(d) require answers or returns to the inquiries.

(2) A person summoned under paragraph (c) of subsection (1) shall be paid the expenses which would be paid to a witness attending on subpoena to give evidence before a court.

469. Returns by surveyors

(1) Surveyors shall make returns to the Surveyor-General as the latter requires, with respect to

(a) surveys and inspections of ships,

(b) machinery, equipment and cargo of ships including the loading of ships carried out under this Act, and

(c) any other details of ships as may be prescribed.

(2) An owner, master or engineer of a ship surveyed by a surveyor shall on demand give to the surveyor the information and assistance within the power of that owner, master or engineer as the surveyor may require for the purpose of making a return under subsection (1).

(3) An owner, master or engineer of a ship who fails without reasonable cause to give information or assistance required under subsection (2) after a demand by a surveyor 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.

470. Receipt of fee by surveyor an offence

A surveyor of ships who fraudulently demands or receives directly or indirectly a fee, gratuity or remuneration in respect of duties performed by that surveyor under this Act except as directed by the Director-General, 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.

471. Obstruction of surveyor

(1) A person shall not wilfully impede or obstruct a surveyor in the execution of the duties of the surveyor under this Act, whether on board a ship or elsewhere.

(2) A person who wilfully impedes a surveyor of ships or a person having the powers of a surveyor of ships in the execution of the duty of the surveyor, whether on board a ship or elsewhere commits an offence 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.

472. Power of arrest

(1) An authorised officer, officer of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, or police officer may arrest without warrant, a person who in the presence of the officer commits an offence under this Act or the Regulations.

(2) An article, in respect of which an offence referred to in subsection (1) is believed to have been committed may, unless sooner given up by an order of a Court, be impounded and taken to the police station and kept there, until the charge relating to the offence is disposed of by due process of law.

473. Books

(1) Subject to this Act, the Authority may on the directions of the Minister prepare and issue forms for a book, an instrument or a paper required under this Act, other than those required under Part Three.

(2) The Minister shall cause every form to be sealed with the seal of the Minister or marked with some other distinguishing mark, before finally directing the Authority and on making an alteration on a form give notice to the public in a manner that the Minister considers necessary to prevent inconvenience to the public.

(3) The Minister may cause forms to be supplied at moderate charges to the Customs Houses and Shipping Offices in Ghana.

(4) A book, instrument or paper, if made in a form purporting to be the proper form and if sealed in accordance with this section, shall be considered to be in the form required by this Act unless the contrary is proved.

474. Exemption from stamp duty

The following instruments are exempt from stamp duty:

(a) an instrument used by or under the direction of the Director-General in carrying into effect the provisions of this Act, and

(b) an instrument which is made under this Act.

475. Offences in respect of use of forms

A person who

(a) without reasonable cause uses a form not approved by the Minister in a case where the approved form is under this Act required to be used, or

(b) prints, sells or uses a document purporting to be a form approved by the Minister under this Act, knowing that the form has not been approved, prepared or issued by or on the direction of the Minister, 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 or the imprisonment.

476. Power to apply Act to ships of other countries, and to exempt such ships

Where

(a) the Authority is satisfied that the provisions of the law of a foreign country applicable to ships registered in or belonging to that country are substantially the same or equally effective as any of the provisions of this Act or the Regulations;

(b) it is proved that a ship of that country complies with the corresponding provisions of the laws of that country in which it is registered or to which it belongs, and

(c) the Director-General is satisfied that the government of that country has provided or undertaken to provide for the exemption of Ghanaian ships while they are at a port in that country, from the corresponding provisions of the law of that country, the Authority may by executive instrument direct that all or any of the provisions of this Act or the Regulations shall not apply in respect of a ship registered in or belonging to that country while it is at a port in Ghana.

477. General power to make Regulations

The Minister may by legislative instrument make Regulations generally for carrying out the provisions of this Act and may in particular make Regulations

(a) providing for anything which is to be prescribed under this Act;

(b) prescribing the fees to be charged for any services rendered or acts performed under this Act;

(c) prescribing for the control of ships, the regulation of maritime traffic, the administration of maritime search and rescue within Ghanaian waters;

(d) relating to registration of ships (section 3);

(e) relating to method of ascertaining tonnage of ship generally or tonnage of ships in compliance with international conventions (section 21);

(f) for markings on ships and exemptions from marking (section 27);

(g) relating to certificate of registry (sections 28 and 29);

(h) relating to the licensing of Ghanaian ships (section 42);

(i) to provide for manning of Ghanaian ships including inland watercrafts and qualifications of officers and crew (section 99);

(j) relating to discipline aboard Ghanaian ships (section 110);

(k) to provide for conditions of service of persons serving in Ghanaian ships and Ghanaians serving on foreign ships (section 121);

(l) to prescribe for occupational safety (section 151);

(m) to prescribe for provisions and water to be provided for seafarers employed in Ghanaian ships and any class of ships specified in the Regulations (section 152);

(n) to prescribe for medical examinations of persons employed on board ships and the issue of medical certificates in respect of these persons (section 156);

(o) to prescribe for provision of crew accommodation on board Ghanaian ships (section 157);

(p) to require Ghanaian ships to carry medicines, medical stores, appliances and books containing instructions and advice as specified in the Regulations (section 159);

(q) prescribe for official log book to be kept in a Ghanaian ship of not less than one hundred gross tons and a Ghanaian ship trading from Ghana (section 206);

(r) in respect of prevention of collisions at sea and in other navigable waters, lights to be carried and exhibited and steering and sailing rules to be observed by ships (section 217);

(s) relating to signals of distress and urgency (section 230);

(t) for the removal of obstructions or impediments to navigation in a port or harbour or approach to a port or harbour (section 246);

(u) relating to

i. system of lighting, marks, and features and other characteristics of aid to navigation in conformity with international practice (section 248); and

ii. navigation aids, dues and exemption from payment of the dues;

(v) relating to safety at sea in conformity with international safety conventions (section 252);

(w) relating to survey of ships (section 254);

(x) prescribing cargo ship construction and survey regulations (section 276);

(y) prescribing safety requirements and providing for the inspection, survey and issue of safety certificates in respect of ships (section 299);

(z) to give effect to the Load Line Convention, prescribing load line requirements and providing for the issue of Ghanaian Load Line Certificates in respect of ships to which the Load Line Convention does not apply (section 303);

(aa) relating to the validity of Load Line Certificates issued in respect of a foreign ship
(section 308) and carriage of deck cargo (section 316);

(bb) relating to carriage of bulk cargo having regard to the applicable international
conventions (section 328);

(cc) relating to the carriage of dangerous goods on ships (section 331);

(dd) in respect of passenger ships to prescribe for

i. accommodation facilities and provisions on board ships which carry passengers to or from a port in Ghana;

ii. preparation and furnishing of particulars of passengers to or from a port in Ghana.

iii. the number of passengers to be carried and terms and conditions for carrying passengers (section 405).

478. Fees

The fees prescribed by Regulation shall be paid in respect of

(a) a certificate issued by the Authority in respect of a survey,

(b) inspection of a ship or for a service provided in the engagement and the discharge of seafarers,

(c) inspection of registers,

(d) examinations of seafarers, and

(e) verifying sea service or reproducing copies of documents.

479. Publication of international conventions ratified by the Republic

(1) The Director-General shall from time to time by notice in the Gazette publish

(a) the international conventions including amendments to them and replacements and any other international instruments which apply to Ghana, and the reservations entered into by Ghana; and

(b) those international conventions, including amendments to them and replacements of them and any other international instruments which cease to apply to Ghana.

(2) The Director-General shall keep a copy of

(a) the instruments referred to in subsection (1) that have application in Ghana, and

(b) notices issued under this Act, and shall on payment of a prescribed fee make copies available for inspection and for the taking of copies by members of the public, seafarers or persons concerned with or having an interest in ships or shipping.

PART NINETEEN
Final and Transitional Provisions
480. Application of this Act

(1) This Act applies to

(a) Ghanaian ships wherever they may be; and

(b) any other ships while in a port or place in or within the territorial and other waters of Ghana.

(2) This Act does not apply to

(a) ships and aircrafts of the Ghana Armed Forces; and

(b) ships and aircrafts of a foreign visiting Armed Forces.

(3) This Act applies to the Republic of Ghana.

481. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the contexts otherwise requires,

“agent” in relation to a ship means an agent of the owner, not being a managing owner, vested with a specific authority by the owner;

“aircraft” includes any ship or vessel designed for flying but capable of being manoeuvred on water and is a seaplane or a ship or vessel able to alight on or hover over water;

“apprentice” includes a trainee officer, a cadet and any other ratings in sea service;

“Authority” means the Ghana Maritime Authority;

“bankruptcy” includes insolvency and any other process leading to the liquidation of assets;

“Board” means the governing board of the Ghana Maritime Authority;

“cargo” includes livestock:

“cargo ship” means a ship which is not a passenger ship or a fishing vessel;

“citizen” means a citizen of Ghana;

“company” means a body corporate registered under the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179) or a partnership registered under the Incorporated Partnership Act, 1962 (Act 152);

“consular officer” means a person discharging the duties of a consular officer on behalf of the Government and when used in relation to any other country, means the officer recognised by the Government as a “consular officer” of that other country;

“Court” includes tribunals;

“crew” in relation to a ship includes seafarers and apprentices;

“declaration of transmission” means a declaration which authenticates a transmission as is referred to in section 46;

“deposition” includes summary of evidence;

“Director-General” means the Director-General appointed under section 8 of the Ghana Maritime Authority Act, 2002 (Act 630);

“duly qualified medical practitioner” means a person registered or licensed under the Medical and Dental Act, 1972, (N.R.C.D. 91).

“fishing vessel” means a mechanically propelled vessel used for catching fish, whales, seals, walrus or other living resources of the sea but does not include a vessel with an outboard motor;

“foreign ship” means a ship which is not a Ghanaian ship;

“Ghana” includes Ghanaian waters;

“Ghanaian Government ship” means a ship which belongs to the Government but does not include a ship which forms part of the Armed Forces of Ghana;

“Ghanaian ship” means a ship which is

(a) registered or licensed in Ghana under this Act, or

(b) owned by Ghanaians but exempted under this Act from being registered or licensed;

“Ghanaian waters” means the internal waters including inland waters and the territorial seas of Ghana;

“Government” means the Government of the Republic of Ghana;

“grain” includes millet, wheat, maize (corn), oats, rye, barley, rice, pulses and seeds;

“identity mark” means the combination and sequence of letters and numbers referred to in section 17;

“inland waters” means the internal waters of Ghana which are navigable;

“inland water craft” includes a vessel, other than a canoe, which is habitually used on a river or lake;

“internal waters” means the waters landward of the territorial sea baselines of Ghana as provided in the Maritime Zones (Delimitation) Act, 1986 (P.N.D.C.L. 159).

“international voyage” means a voyage from a port in one country to a port in another country;

“licensed Ghanaian ship” means a ship or vessel that is licensed under section 40;

“Liens and Mortgages Convention” means the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to Maritime Liens and Mortgages, 1993;

“local trade in Ghanaian waters” means the transporting locally of passengers or goods or the carrying on of any other operation or activity, within Ghanaian waters including inland waters for profit or reward;

“machinery” includes propulsion systems, steering systems, pressurised containers and pumping systems, windlasses, electrical systems and similar apparatus required for, or affecting, the safety or operation of a ship or the safety of the personnel on board a ship;

“managing owner” in relation to a ship includes a person not being an agent in whom an owner of the ship has vested authority to manage and operate the ship;

“master” includes every person who lawfully has, for the time being, command or charge of a ship;

“merchant ship” means a ship other than a fishing vessel, or a pleasure craft or a ship which forms part of the Armed Forces of Ghana or of another country;

“Minister” means the Minister charged with responsibility for Maritime Affairs;

“national of Ghana” means

(a) a citizen;

(b) a body corporate established by or under an enactment of Ghana and which has its principal place of business in Ghana;

“officer” in relation to a ship includes a master and deck officer, engineer, radio or medical officer;

“owner” in relation to a ship includes a demise or bareboat charterer and a managing owner;

“passenger” means a person carried on board a ship except

(b) the master, a member of the crew, or a person employed or engaged in any capacity on board the ship on the business of the ship and signed on the ship’s articles of agreement as that person;

(b) a child under one year of age; or

(c) a person carried on the ship under an obligation imposed on the master to carry shipwrecked, distressed or other persons, or by reason of any circumstances which neither the master nor the owner nor the charterer could prevent or foresee;

“passenger ship” means a vessel which is constructed for or which is habitually or on a particular occasion used for carrying more than twelve passengers;

“pilot” in relation to any ship means any person belonging to the ship who, for the time being, has control of the ship;

“pleasure craft” means a ship, however propelled, that is used exclusively for pleasure and does not carry passengers or cargo for hire or reward;

“port” has the same meaning as in the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority Act, 1986 (P.N.D.C.L. 160).

“port of registry” in relation to a ship means the port where the ship is for the time being1registered;

“prescribed” means prescribed by the Act or the Regulations;

“proper officer” in relation to a function or an activity under this Act means a person authorised to perform that function or activity and a consular officer;

“receiver” includes a receiver of wreck so designated under section 349;

“Registrar of Seafarers” means the Registrar of seafarers appointed under the Ghana Maritime Authority Act, 2002 (Act 630);

“Registrar of Ships” means the Registrar of Ghanaian ships appointed under the Ghana Maritime Authority Act, 2002 (Act 630);

“Regulations” means the relevant Regulations made under this Act;

“salvage” includes all expenses properly incurred by a salver in the performance of salvage service or salvage operations;

“seafarer” means a person employed or engaged in any capacity on board a ship, and includes apprentices except for the purposes of sections 183 to 206 inclusive, but does not include a master, pilot or a person temporarily employed on the ship while the ship is in port;

“ship” includes every description of vessel used in navigation, other than a canoe, however, propelled and other water craft propelled by oars;

“shipwrecked persons” means persons belonging to any ship referred to in 349;

“supernumerary” means a person employed on a ship not for regular service but for use in times of need;

“Surveyor” includes a Surveyor appointed under section 254 and the Surveyor-General;

“tackle” means, in relation to a vessel, the tackle machinery, gear apparatus, and appliances used on board a ship for loading and unloading;

“Tonnage Regulations” means the Tonnage Regulations made under section 21;

“vehicle” includes a vehicle of any description, whether propelled by mechanical power or otherwise, and whether used for drawing other vehicles or otherwise;

“vessel” includes every description of watercraft with its equipment whether self-propelled or not that is used or capable of being used on water as a means of transportation for the purposes of navigation, fishing or commerce or for any other purpose;

“wages” means remuneration to crew for the work done as agreed between the crew and vessel owner or managing owner;

“wreck” includes

(a) flotsam, jetsam, lagan, and derelict found in the waters or on the shores of Ghana,

(b) cargo, stores, tackle or equipment,

(c) the personal property of ship wrecked persons, and

(d) any wrecked or any part of a wrecked aircraft or any cargo;

“Wreck Commissioner” means a person appointed by the Director-General under section 434.

482. Repeals and savings

(1) The Merchant Shipping Act, 1963 (Act 183), as amended by the following enactments:

(a) the Merchant Shipping Act, 1963 (Amendment) Decree, 1969 (N.L.C.D. 372);

(b) the Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Law, 1991 (P.N.D.C.L. 248), is hereby repealed.

(2) Part One of the Fisheries Law, 1991 (P.N.D.C.L. 256) as retained by the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625) is hereby repealed.

(3) Notwithstanding the repeal under subsection (1) of this section, any instrument or notice issued, served or granted under the repealed enactment or any valid law in existence immediately before the coming into force of this Act, shall until revoked, amended or cancelled continue in force as if it were made or issued under this Act.

(4) In this section “instrument” means any Regulation, licence, certificate, validation, exemption, notice or other authority, issued, made or given.

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