Merchant Shipping Act
(Original Enactment: Act 19 of 1995)
REVISED EDITION 1996
(30th April 1996)
An Act relating to merchant shipping.
[2nd February 1996]
—(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“alteration” includes deterioration;
“Authority” means the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore established under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act 1996;
[Act 7 of 1996.]
“beneficial interest” includes interests arising under contract and other equitable interests;
“cargo ship” means any ship which is not a passenger ship;
“certificated officer” means any officer holding a certificate issued or deemed to have been issued in accordance with regulations made under section 47;
“collision regulations” means regulations made under section 100(2)(h);
“consular officer” includes —
a consul, ambassador, high commissioner, commissioner or other head of a diplomatic mission;
a charge d’affairs; and
a counsellor, secretary or attache of an embassy or other mission;
“court”, in relation to any proceedings, includes any court having jurisdiction in the matter to which the proceedings relate;
“crew agreement” means an agreement made pursuant to section 53;
“Director” means the Director of Marine appointed under section 4 and includes the Deputy Director of Marine;
“effects” includes clothes and documents;
“equipment”, in relation to a ship, includes every fitting, thing or article belonging to, on or in the ship used or to be used in connection with, or necessary for the navigation or safety of, the ship or persons on board or the prevention of pollution, whether or not the fitting, thing or article is prescribed by this Act and, in particular, includes machinery, boilers, cargo handling gear and any fitting, thing or article prescribed by this Act;
“harbour craft” means any ship that is used solely within the limits of the port that may be declared under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act 1996;
“load line” means a line indicating the maximum depth to which a ship, other than a passenger ship, may be loaded in circumstances prescribed by regulations made under section 100 and determined in accordance with those regulations;
“master” includes every person, except a pilot, having command or charge of any ship;
“name” includes a surname;
“natural resources” means the mineral and other non-living resources of the seabed and its subsoil;
[56/2004 wef 25/01/2005]
“officer” includes a master, a mate, an engineer, a helmsman and an engine driver of any ship;
“off-shore industry mobile unit” means
a vessel that is used or intended for use in exploring or exploiting the natural resources of the subsoil of any seabed, or in any operation or activity associated with or incidental thereto, by drilling the seabed or its subsoil, or by obtaining substantial quantities of material from the seabed or its subsoil, with equipment that is on or forms part of the vessel; and
a barge or like vessel fitted with living quarters for more than 12 persons and used or intended for use in connection with the construction, maintenance or repair of any fixed structure used or intended for use in exploring or exploiting the natural resources of the subsoil of any seabed, or in any operation or activity associated with or incidental thereto;
[56/2004 wef 25/01/2005]
“passenger” means a person carried on board a ship with the knowledge or consent of the owner, manager, charterer, operator, agent or master of the ship, not being —
a person employed or engaged in any capacity on board the ship on the business of the ship;
a person on board the ship in pursuance of an obligation imposed on the master by any law (including a law of a country other than Singapore) to convey persons left behind in any country on being shipwrecked, distressed or by reason of circumstances that could not have been prevented or forestalled by the owner, manager, charterer, operator, agent or master of the ship;
a person temporarily employed on the ship in port; or
a child below one year of age;
“passenger ship” means a ship which carries more than 12 passengers;
“pilot” means any person who does not belong to, but has the conduct of, a ship;
“port” includes place;
“Port Health Officer” means any person appointed as a Port Health Officer under the Infectious Diseases Act [Cap. 137];
“Port Master” means the Port Master appointed under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act 1996 and includes any Deputy Port Master;
“port of return” means such port as is agreed upon by the master or seaman and his employer in the crew agreement or otherwise, or, in the absence of agreement —
Singapore, in the case of a master or seaman who is resident in Singapore; or
the port where the master or seaman was employed or joined the ship, in any other case;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of Singapore ships;
“representation” means probate, administration, confirmation or other instrument constituting a person the executor, administrator or other representative of a deceased person, and “legal personal representative” means the person so constituted executor, administrator or other representative of a deceased person;
“salvor”, in relation to salvage services rendered by the officers or crew or part of the crew of any naval ship, means the person in command of that ship;
“sea” includes any waters within the ebb and flow of tide;
“seaman” includes every person employed or engaged in any capacity on board a ship on the business of the ship, other than —
the master of the ship;
a pilot; or
a person temporarily employed on the ship in port;
“ship” means any kind of vessel used in navigation by water, however propelled or moved and includes —
a barge, lighter or other floating vessel;
an air-cushion vehicle, or other similar craft, used wholly or primarily in navigation by water; and
an off-shore industry mobile unit;
[56/2004 wef 25/01/2005]
“Singapore ship” means a ship registered, provisionally or otherwise, under Part II and its registry is not closed or deemed to be closed or suspended under that Part;
“subdivision load line” means a line indicating the maximum depth to which a passenger ship may be loaded having regard to the extent to which it is subdivided and to the space for the time being allotted to passengers as determined in accordance with regulations made under section 100;
“voyage”, in relation to a ship, means the whole time and the whole distance when the ship is at sea between the ship’s port of departure and its port of arrival;
“wages” includes emoluments;
“young person” means any person who has not attained the age of 18 years.
(2) References in this Act —
to a failure to do any act or thing include references to a refusal or neglect to do that act or thing;
to going to sea include, in the case of a Singapore ship, references to going to sea from any country outside Singapore;
to dying in a ship include references to dying in a ship’s boat or life raft and to being lost from a ship, ship’s boat or life raft; and
to this Act include references to regulations made under this Act.
(3) For the purposes of this Act —
a seaman is discharged from a ship when his employment on that ship is terminated;
a seaman discharged from a ship in any country and left there shall be deemed to be left behind in that country notwithstanding that the ship also remains there; and
a ship shall be deemed to have gone to sea if it has got under way for any purpose except for the purpose of moving the ship from one berth or place in a port to another berth or place in the port.
3. This Act, with the exception of Part VIII or where the contrary intention appears, shall not apply to or in relation to any ship belonging to the naval, military or air forces of Singapore or any other country.
—(1) The Authority may appoint a Director of Marine and a Deputy Director of Marine.
(2) If the Director is temporarily absent from Singapore or temporarily incapacitated by reason of illness or for any reason temporarily unable to perform his duties, a person may be appointed by the Authority to act in the place of the Director during any such period of absence from duty.
(3) The Director may appoint such number of officers as he thinks fit for the purpose of carrying out all or any of the functions conferred on the Director by this Act.
(4) The Director may delegate to any officer appointed under this section all or any of the powers conferred on the Director by this Act, except the powers conferred by section 113.
—(1) The Director may appoint, either generally or for special purposes or on special occasions, any person to be a surveyor of ships or a radio surveyor for the purposes of this Act.
(2) Every surveyor of ships and every radio surveyor shall have and perform the powers, functions and duties prescribed by this Act.