Govt issues draft ‘Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020’ for public consultation

New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday said it has issued draft ”Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020” for public consultation.

The proposed legislation aims to repeal and replace the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 has been drafted with the primary aim of promoting the growth of Indian shipping industry by incorporating the best practices adopted by other advanced countries like the US, Japan, UK, Singapore and Australia, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said in a statement.

“The draft of the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 is issued for seeking the feedback and suggestions from the public,” it said.

All up-to-date International Maritime Organisation (IMO) conventions/protocols, to which India is a party, have been adopted in it.

Adequate provisions are incorporated to ensure the safety and security of vessels, the safety of life at sea, prevent marine pollution, provide for maritime liabilities and compensations, and ensure comprehensive adoption of India’s obligations under international conventions, the statement said.

The bill proposes to do away with the requirement of general trading license for Indian vessels, enables electronic means of registration, and grants statutory recognition to electronic agreements, records, and logbooks, in addition to electronic licenses, certificates and payments.

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