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Draft Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020

  • IASbaba
  • November 27, 2020
  • 0
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Draft Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Infrastructure

In news

  • 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.

Key takeaways

  • 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.

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