Draft Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Infrastructure
- Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has issued a draft of the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 for public consultation.
- It aims to repeal and replace the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838.
- The Bill has provisions for repatriation of abandoned seafarers to improve their welfare on abandoned vessels.
- The Bill does away with requirement of general trading licence for Indian vessels to promote ease of doing business.
- It also enables electronic means of registration, and grants statutory recognition to electronic agreements, records, and log-books.
- The Bill has clauses to increase India’s tonnage and to make the vessel a tradeable asset.
- It also seeks to introduce for the first-time statutory framework for regulating maritime emergency response against maritime incidents to promote India as a bankable shipping jurisdiction and avoid situations leading to wreck.
- To make India an active enforcement jurisdiction, the Bill incorporates powers of the Director-General to take action against vessels that are unsafe, and pose a threat to safety of life at sea and environment
- It also encourages active enforcement of pollution prevention standards.