Drastic fine increase for errant merchant ships | Daily News


Drastic fine increase for errant merchant ships

The Government has proposed a drastic increase to the fines related to merchant ships that contravene the laws meant for the better safety at sea.

It has been proposed to increase the fine for a passenger ship going to sea from any port or place in Sri Lanka without a duly issued safety certificate from Rs.200 for every passenger carried on board the ship to Rs 1 million.

Similarly, the fine for a cargo ship sailing without a duly issued safety certificate has been proposed to be increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5 million.

The certificates are issued by the Director-General of Merchant Shipping. The fines for alteration in ship after issuing the certificate and for forgery of certificate have been enhanced from Rs.3,000 to Rs.10 million. An imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years can also be imposed on the above two offences.

The Government will present a Bill to amend the Merchant Shipping Act, No. 52 of 1971 to give effect to the above enhancement of fines and more provisions and increases in the fines related to ship safety, its equipment and installations, stability of ships, fire protection, life-saving appliances, radio communications, safety of navigation, the carriage of dangerous goods, safety measures for high-speed craft, maritime security and nuclear ships. The above laws have been made in line with the International Convention on Safety of Life at Sea and Protocol 1988. The Bill was gazetted last week on the orders of Ports and Shipping and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka.

The Bill will be presented in Parliament for the First Reading at a future date.

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