MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT  2007

 

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I : Administration of the Act

1.     Administration of Act and delegation of powers.

2.     Agency for Maritime Safety Administration.

3.     Returns as to merchant shipping, etc., to the Minister.

4.     Appointment of officers.

PART II: Restriction on Trading in Nigeria 5. Certificate of licence required by all ships trading in Nigeria.

National Character of Ships

5.     [Repealed by Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act]

6.     Need to show colours.

7.     National character of ships to be declared before clearance.

8.     Penalty for unduly assuming Nigerian character.

9.     Penalty for concealment of Nigerian or assumption of foreign character.

10.    Penalty for acquiring ownership if unqualified.

11.    Liabilities of ships not recognised as Nigerian ships.

12.    Penalty for carrying improper colour.

Name of Ship

13.    Name of ship.

14.    Change of nature of ship.

15.    Minister to make rules regarding name of ship.

 

PART III: Registration and Licensing of Ships

Registries of Ships

16.    `Registry of ships

17.    Register or books

18.    Qualification for owning Nigerian ships

19.    Obligation to register ships

 

Procedure for Registraton

20.    Minister to make regulations.

21.    Application for Registration.

22.    Survey and measurement of ship.

23.    Marketing of ship.

24     .Declaration of ownership in registry.

25.    Entry of particulars in register.

26.    Entry of particulars in register.

27.    Managing owner to be registered.

28.    Cancellation of registration

29.    Restriction on deregistration of ship.

 

Certificate of Registry

30.    Issue and custody of certificate of registration

31     .Use of impoper certificate .

32.    Power to grant new certificate.

33.    Endorsement of change of master on certificate.

34.    Endorsement of change of ownership on certificate of registry.

35.    Endorsement of change of ownership on certificate registry.

36.    Re- registration of abandoned ships

37.    Provisional certificate for ship which in foreign country becomes Nigerian owned.

38.    Temporary passes instead of certificate of registry.

39.    (Absent in Official Gazzette)

40     Procedure for registration of alteration.

41.    Provisional certificate where ship registered anew.

42.    Procedure for registration anew.

 

Transfer of Registry

43.    Transfer of registry within Nigeria.

44.    Nigerian licensed ships.

 

Forfeiture of ships.

45.    Proceedings on the forfeitures of ships.

 

Incapacitated persons.

46.    Provisions for cases of infancy.

 

Trusts and Equitable Rights.

47.    Notices of trust not acceptable.

48.    Equities not excluded by Act and liabilities of owner.

 

Declaration, etc.

49.    Power of Registrar to dispense with declarations and other evidence.

50.    Mode of other declaration

51.    Evidence of other foreign registers.

52.    Forms of documents and instructions as to registry.

53.    Forgery of documents and false declarations.

 

PART IV: Mortgages

54.    Mortgage of ship or share in ship.

55.    Obligation of mortgagor to disclose existing liabilities.

56.    Entry of discharge of mortgage

57.    Priority of mortgages.

58.    Powers of mortgagee.

59.    Transfer of mortgage.

60.    Transmission of interest in mortgage by death, bankruptcy, etc.

 

Mortgages and Transfer of Nigerian Ships out of Nigeria

61.    Authority to sell or mortgage out of Nigeria.

62.    Rules as to certificates of mortgage.

63.    Loss of certificate of sale or mortgage.

64.    Revocation of certificate of sale or mortgage.

 

PARTV

Certificate of Sale

65.    General rules for certificates of sales.

66.    Procedure where ship sold under certificate of sale granted in Nigeria.

 

PART VI: Maritime Liens

67.    Source of maritime liens.

68.    Priority of maritime liens.

69.    Order of priority of maritime liens.

70.    Rights of ship builder and ship repairer.

71.    Overriding nature of maritime lien.

72.    No lien attaching to claims related to oil pollution or radio-active material.

73.    Extinguishing period for maritime liens.

74.    Interpretation of limitation period.

75.    Effects of forced sale of ship.

76.    Proceeds of sale.

77.    Certificate of sale by court.

 

PART VII: Transfers and Transmissions

78.    Transfer by bill of sale.

79.    Registry of transfer.

80.    Transmission of property in ship on death, bankruptcy, etc.

81.    Order for sale on transmission to unqualified person.

82.    Transfer on sale of ship by order of court.

 

PART VIII: Certificate of Competency of Masters and Crew

83.    Regulations regarding manning and qualifications of persons serving on Nigerian ship.

84.    Power to exempt ship.

85.    Approval of foreign certificate.

86.    Tribunal of Inquiry.

87.    Tribunal may recommend cancellation, etc., of a certificate.

88.    Cancellation of certificate by the Minister.

89.    Appeals against cancellation, etc., of certificate.

90.    Offences.

 

PART IX: Employment of Seamen

91.    Seafarer Services Office, NMLA No. 46 of2003.

92.    Functions of superintendent.

 

Agreement for Sea Service

93.    Agreement with crew.

94.    Form, period and conditions of agreement.

95.    Provisions for termination.

96.    Special provisions as to agreement with crew of a sea-going ship.

97.    Special provisions as to agreement with crew of a ship other than a sea-going ship.

98.    Fees upon engagement and discharge.

99.    Changes in crew of sea-going ships to be reported.

100. Certificate as to agreement with crew of sea-going ship.

101. Certificate as to agreement with the crew of a ship other than a sea-going ship.

102. Copy of agreement not to be made accessible.

103.  Forgery, etc., of agreement with crew.

104. Alterations of agreement with crew.

105. Seaman not to be bound to produce agreement.

 

Agreement with Local Seamen

106. Engagement of local seamen.

107. Engagement between masters of foreign ships and local seamen.

108.  Penalty for breach.

109. Inspection of foreign ships in connection with engagement of local seamen.

 

Discharge of Seamen 110. Procedure on discharge of seamen, etc.

111.  Report of seaman's character.

112. Fake or forged certificate of report of character.

 

Special Provision as to Seamen Left Behind Abroad

113.  Certificate of proper officer required where seaman left behind abroad.

114. Account of wages in case of seaman left behind on ground of unfitness, etc.

115. Payment of wages of seaman left behind on ground of unfitness, etc.

116. Application by appropriate officer of payments on account of seaman left behind in foreign country.

117.  Repatriation of seaman on termination of service at foreign port.

 

Distressed Seamen

118.  Rules as to relief and maintenance of distressed seamen.

119.  Provisions for relief and maintenance of distressed or shipwrecked seaman.

120. Recovery of money advanced for distressed seaman.

121. Mode for providing for return.

122. Decision on questions as to return port.

123. Provisions as to taking distressed seaman on ship, etc.

124. Appropriate officer may require master of Nigerian ship to take seaman in distress.

 

Payment of Wages

125.  Payment of wages before superintendent.

126. Master to deliver account of wages.

127. Deductions from wages.

128. Notice of disrating of seaman.

129. Time of payment of wages of sea-going ships.

130. Time of payment of wages for Nigerian ship other than a sea-going ship.

131. Settlement of wages.

132. Decision on wages by superintendent.

133. Power of superintendent to require production of ship's papers.

134. Rule as to payment of seaman in currency other than that mentioned in the agreement.

 

Annual Leave with Pay for Seamen

135. Leave entitlement.

136. Pro-rata entitlement for periods less than one year.

137. Unavoidable absence to be counted as part of period of service.

138. Periods not to be counted as part of leave.

139. Leave pay in advance.

140. Payment in lieu of leave.

141. Divisibility of leave pay.

142. Place of taking of annual leave.

143. Agreement to relinquish right to leave null and void.

144. Cancellation of annual leave emergency.

 

Advance and Allotment of Wages

145. Advances restricted.

146. Allotment notes.

147. Allotment through savings banks.

148. Master to give facilities.

149. Right of suing on allotment notes.

 

Rights of Seamen in respect of Wages

150. Time for payment of an allotment note.

151. Right to wages, etc., when to begin.

152. Right to recover wages and salvage not to be forfeited.

153. Wages not to depend on freight.

154. Wages on termination of service by wreck.

155. Wages on termination of service by illness.

156. Wages not to accrue during refusal to work or imprisonment.

157. Forfeiture of wages, etc., of seaman when illness caused by his own default.

158. Court's order on cost of punishment may be deducted from wages.

159. Compensation to seaman improperly discharged.

160. Restriction on sale of a charge upon wages.

 

Mode of Recovering Wages

161. Summary proceedings for wages.

162. Savings for cases of ships other than Nigerian ships.

163. Remedies of master for wages disbursements, etc.

164. Powers of court in case of unreasonable delay in paying master's wages.

 

Powers of Court to Rescind Contracts

165. Power of court to rescind contract between owner or master and seaman or cadet.

 

Property of Deceased Seaman

166. Property of seaman who dies during voyage.

167. Dealing with and account of property of seaman who dies during voyage.

168.  Penalty for non-compliance with provisions as to property of the deceased seaman.

169. Recovery of wages of seaman with owner of ship.

170. Property of seaman dying in Nigeria.

171. Payment over of property of deceased seaman by the superintendent.

172. Dealing with deceased seaman's property when he leaves a will.

173. Claims by the children.

174. Dealing with unclaimed property of deceased seaman.

175. Forgery of documents, etc., for the purpose of obtaining property of deceased seaman.

 

PART X: Welfare of Seamen Provisions, Health and Accommodation

176. Definition.

177. Regulations relating to crew accommodation.

178. Complaints as to provisions of water.

179. Inspection of provisions and water.

180. Allowance of short or bad provisions.

181. Weights and measures on board.

182. Ship to carry medicines, etc., in accordance with scale.

183. Inspection of medicines, etc.

184. Expenses of medical attendance in case of injury or illness.

185. Recovery of expenses from owner.

186. Accommodation of seamen, etc.

187. Certain ships to carry medical practitioner.

188. Penalty on master for filthy condition of passenger carrying ship.

189. Medical inspection of seaman.

 

Prevention of Accident to Seaman

190. Accidents to be reported and investigated.

191. Superintendent to investigate serious accident.

192. Minister to make regulations.

193. Minister to promote training in accident prevention.

                         

Facilities for making Complaints 194. Facilities for making complaints.

 

Provisions as to Discipline

195. Misconduct endangering life or ship.

196. Notice of absence from ship or duty given by seaman or cadet.

197. General offences against discipline.

198. Summary remedies not to affect other remedies.

199. Penalty for false statement as to last ship or name.

200.  Deductions of fines from wages and payment to superintendent. 20 1. Penalty on stowaways.

202. Master's powers of arrest.

 

PART XI: Registers

Official Log-books

203. Official log-books as evidence.

204. Entries required in official log-book.

205. Offences in respect of official log-books.

206. Delivery of official log-books to the superintendent.

207. Official log-books to be sent to Registrar of Ships on transfer or loss of ship.

 

Registration and Returns

208.  Register of Seamen.

209. Return of births and deaths on Nigerian ships.

210. Transmission of documents to Minister.

211. Documents to be handed over to successor on change of master.

 

Miscellaneous

212. Minister may dispense with transaction before superintendent.

213. Deposit of documents at overseas port.

214. Conflict of laws.

215. Application to unregistered ships.

 

PART XII: Safety of Life at Sea

General Provisions

216.  Application of some related maritime safety Conventions and Protocols.

217.  Regulations.

218. Breach of safety regulations.

 

Survey of Ships

219. Surveyors of ships.

220. Ships to be surveyed annually.

221. Surveyor's record of inspections and certificates.

222. Ships not to proceed to sea without certificate of survey.

223. Declaration of survey and partial surveys.

224. Owner may appeal if surveyor refuses declaration.

225. Surveyors to make returns.

226.  Recognition of certificate of survey granted in other countries.

 

Certificates

227. Issue of certificates of survey

228. Issue of safety certificates to passengers ships, e.t.c

229. Issue to cargo ships of safety equipment and exemption certificates

230. Issue to cargo ships of radio certificates and exemption certificates

231. Issue of general safety certificates, etc., on partial compliance with rules

232. Transmission of certificates.

233. Modification of provisions for exemption of ships

234. Notice of alterations and additional surveys

235. Certificate to be posted on board

236. Prohibition on proceeding to sea without appropriate certificates.

237. Modification of Safety Convention certificates in respect of lifesaving appliances.

238.           Duration of certificates.

239. Expired and cancelled certificates to be given up.

240. Extension of certificates.

241. Safety Convention certificates and admissibility in evidence.

242.  Issue of certificates by one Government at request of another.

243. Forgery of certificates.

 

Safety Convention Ships of other Countries

244. Certificates of Convention ships of other countries.

245. Modified survey of passenger ships holding Convention certificates.

246.  Modified survey of cargo ships holding Convention certificates.

247. Miscellaneous privileges of ships holding Convention certificates.

248. Further provisions as to the production of Convention certificates.

249. Interpretation of this Part.

 

PART XIII: Construction of Ships

250. Construction rules.

251. Ships built in Nigeria.

 

Lifesaving Appliances

252.  Rules for lifesaving appliances.

253.  Ships to be provided with lifesaving appliances.

254. Inspection of ships for purposes of rules.

 

Boat Drill and Fire Drill

255. Boat and fire drill.

 

Adjustment of Compasses 256. Ships to have compasses adjusted.

PART XIV: Radio Rules

257   Radio rules.

 

Radio Surveyors

 258.         Appointment of Radio Surveyors.

 

PART XV: Safety Provisions for Miscellaneous Vessels

259. Safety rules for miscellaneous vessels.

260.  Exemption of certain ships from certain provision of this Part.

261. Survey of small fishing boats and other craft.

262. Fishing boats in certain circumstances deemed to be passenger or cargo ships.

263. Water and provisions for passengers.

264.  Pilot ladders.

265.  Countries to which Safety Convention applied.

 

PART XVI: Safety of Navigation

Prevention of Collisions

266. Collision rules.

267. Owners and masters to observe collision rules.

268.  Inspection for enforcing collision rules.

269. Duties of master in case of collision.

270. Collision to be entered in official log-book.

271.  Application of collision rules to foreign ships and aircraft.

272. General duty to render assistance.

 

Signal of Distress

273. Signals of distress.

274. Obligation to assist vessels in distress, etc.

 

Dangers to Navigation

275. Report of dangers to navigation.

 

Report of Accidents and Loss of Ship

276. Accidents to be reported to Minister.

277. Notice to be given of apprehended loss of ship.

 

Search for Missing Ships

278.  Search for missing ships.

279. Search and rescue regulations.

 

PART XVII: Unseaworthy Ships

280. Penalty for sending unseaworthy ships to sea.

281.  Implied obligation as to seaworthiness.

282. Power to detain unsafe Nigerian ships.

283. Liability for costs of detention and damages.

284. Security for costs may be required.

285. Detention of unsafe foreign ships.

286. Complaint of unseaworthiness, etc., by crew.

287. Liability for costs and compensation on survey pursuant to complaint by crew.

 

Overloading and Overcrowding in Ships exempt from Survey

288. Rules for preventing overloading and overcrowding.

 

PART XVIII: Load Lines

289.  Interpretation of this Part.

290. Exceptions.

291.  Countries to which Load Line Convention applies.

292. Load Line Regulations.

293   Certificates issued under the Load Line Convention.

294. International and local Load Line Certificates.

295. Certificates issued by other Governments.

296. Certificates issued at the request of other Governments.

297. Regulations as to the validity offoreign certificates.

298. Power to make exemption orders.

299.  Further powers to exempt ships of novel design.

300. Extent of exemption.

301.  Issue of exemption certificates.

302. Duration and extension of exemption.

303. Effect of Load Line Certificate.

304. Duration, renewal and cancellation of Load Line Certificate.

305. Ships not to proceed to sea without Load Line Certificate.

306. Deck Cargo Regulations.

307. Inspection of Nigerian load line ships.

308. Notice to be given of alterations affecting position of ship's load lines.

309. Submersion of load lines.

310. Alteration or defacement ofload line marks.

311. Ships not to proceed to sea unless complying with Load Line Regulations.

312. Production of Load Line Certificates ofN igerian ships.

313. Production of Load Line Certificates of foreign ships.

314. Submersion ofload lines of foreign ships.

315. Posting up of Load Line Certificates and entry of load line details in ship's log-book.

316. Inspection of ships regarding lines.

317. Contravention of Load Line Regulations and detention of ships.

 

PART XIX: Carriage of Bulk Cargoes

318. Bulk Cargo Regulations.

319. Precautions regarding grain cargoes. 320. Offences.

321. Safe containers.

 

PART XX: Dangerous Goods

322. Regulations on dangerous goods.

323. Carriage and marking of dangerous goods.

324. Offences.

325.  Rejection and disposal of dangerous goods by ship.

326. Forfeiture of dangerous goods.

 

PART XXI:Tonnage Measurement

327. Survey.

328. Minister to make Tonnage Regulations.

329. Tonnage of foreign ships.

330. Foreign and other measurements.

331. Alteration between surveys.

332. Appointment of surveyors.

333. Marking of ships.

 

PART XXII: Passenger Ships

334. Power of the Minister to make regulations respecting passenger ships.

335. Offences in connection with passenger ships

 

PART XXIII: Prevention of Pollution from Ships

336. (1) Application of maritime Conventions for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, etc.

337. Further provision for prevention of pollution from ships.

 

PART XXIV: Liability in Collision Cases

338. Interpretation of this Part.

339.  Application of this Part.

340. Rules as to division of loss.

341. Damage for personal injury.

342. Right of contribution.

343. Limitation of actions.

 

Damages in Collision Cases

344. Application.

345. Measure of damage.

346. Burden of proof of loss or damage.

347. Total loss.

348.  Damage to vessel.

349. Property on board.

350.  Interest.

351. Currency for payment.

 

PART XXV: Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims

352. Persons entitled to limit liability.

353. Claims subject to limitation.

354. Where rule in this Part not applicable.

355. Conduct barring limitation.

356.  Counterclaim.

 

Limits of Liability

357   General limits.

358   Limit for passenger claims. 359 Units of Account.

360   Aggregation of claims.

 

PART XXVI

Wrecks

361. Interpretation of this Part.

362. Application.

 

Receiver of Wreck

363. Receiver and assistant receivers.

364. Determination of hazard.

365. Marking of wrecks.

366. Duty to remove hazardous wrecks.

367. Ship owner may contract removal.

368. Receiver to set deadlines, etc.

 

Fees of Receivers of Wreck

369. Receiver's fee.

 

Vessels in Distress

370.  Duty of Receiver where vessels in distress.

371. Powers of the Receiver in case of vessels in distress.

372. Power to pass over adjoining lands.

373. Power of Receiver to suppress plunder and disorder by force.

374. Examination in respect of ship in distress.

 

Dealing with Wreck

375. Rules to be observed by persons finding wreck.

376. Penalty for taking wreck at time of casualty.

377. Notice of wreck to be given by Receiver.

378. Claims of owner of wreck.

379. Immediate sale of wreck by Receiver in certain cases.

 

Unclaimed Wreck

380. Unclaimed wreck to be sold and proceeds paid into general revenue.

381. Delivery of unclaimed wreck by Receiver not prejudice title.

 

Removal of Wrecks

382. Removal of wrecks by Receiver.

383. Breaking and removal of wrecks.

384. Power of removal to extend to tackle, cargo, etc.

385. Interfering with wrecked vessel.

386.  Summary procedure for concealment of wreck.

 

PART XXVII:  Assistance to and Salvage of Vessels

387. Interpretation of this Part.

388. Duties of owner, etc., master and salvor.

389. Contracts, services and equitable agreements.

390. Conditions and amount of reward.

391. Duty to render assistance and salvor's misconduct.

392. Criteria for fixing reward and salvor misconduct.

393. Special compensation for salvage operation.

394. Apportionment between salvors.

395. Salvage of human life.

396. Claims and actions.

397. Duty to provide security.

398.  Interim payment.

399.  Limitation of action.

400.  Exclusion.

401. Power to make regulations.

402. Salvage of life, cargo or wreck within Nigeria.

403. Determination of salvage disputes.

404. Valuation, detention and sale by Receiver.

405. Apportionment by Receiver and court.

 

PART XXVIII: Legal Proceedings

Prosecution of Offences

406. Institution of prosecutions.

 

Imprisonment in lieu of Fine

407. General power of ordering imprisonment in default of payment of penalty.

 

Jurisdiction

408. Provision as to jurisdiction in case of offences.

409. Jurisdiction over ships lying off the coasts.

410. No jurisdiction for extra-territorial offences.

411. Power to apply Act to ships of other countries, and to exempt such ships.

412. Offences committed in foreign ports or on the high seas by officers and seamen of Nigerian ships.

413. Power of court or tribunal in trying offences.

 

Depositions

414. Depositions as evidence when witness cannot be produced.

 

Detention of Ship and Distress on Ship

415 Enforcing detention of ship.

416. Notice to be given to consular officer where proceedings taken in respect of foreign ships.

417. Cost of detaining ship.

418. Sums ordered to be paid leviable by distress on ship.

 

Evidence and Service of Documents

419. Proof of attestation not required.

420. Admissibility of documents in evidence.

421. Service of documents.

 

Protection of Officers, etc.

422. All officers, etc., deemed public officers.

423. Protection of public officers.

 

Transmission of Documents

424. Notices, etc., in writing and provision for posting.

 

Exemption of Certain Ships, etc.

425. Exemption of naval ships.

426. Minister may exempt vessel, etc.

 

PART XXIX: Investigations and Inquiries into Shipping Casualties

427.  Power of Minister to appoint inspector, and powers of inspector.

428. Marine Boards.

429. Shipping casualties.

430.  Grounds for cancellation of suspension of certificate. 43 1. Appeal to court.

432. Further powers of Marine Board.

 

Board of Survey

433. Board of Survey.

 

Scientific Referees 434. Reference in difficult cases to scientific persons.

PART XXX: Subsidiary Legislation

435. General power to make regulations.

436. General power of exemption.

437. Applicable Conventions, etc.

438.  Penalty in subsidiary legislation.

439.  Applied legislation.

 

PART XXXI: Repeals and Transition

Repeals, etc.

440.  Repeal of Cap. 224 L.F.N. 1990.

441. Consequential amendments.

442. Contravention of International Conventions.

 

Transitional Provisions

443. The Schedules.

444.  Regulations for resolving transitional difficulties.

445.  Interpretation.

446.  Short title.

                                                                                                     

 

 

 

 

MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT

An Act to provide for merchant shipping; and for related matters.

 

Commencement                                  [28th Day of May, 2007)

 

ENACTED by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

PART I  - Administration of the Act

1.     Administration of Act and delegation of powers

(1)    Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Minister shall have the general superintendence of the matters to which this Act relates.

(2)    The Minister may, by writing under his hand, delegate any of the powers or duties of a routine nature conferred on him under this Act.

 

(3)    Any power or duty lawfully exercised by an officer, office or organisation to whom it has been delegated under subsection (2) of this section, shall be deemed to have been exercised as fully as if the power or duty was exercised by the Minister himself.

 

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed as allowing the delegation of any power to make regulations or any order for the purposes of this Act.

 

2.     Agency for Maritime Safety Administration

(i)   The Agency of Government established and responsible for Maritime Safety, Ad- ministration and Security shall be the implementing agency for this Act.

(ii)   The Minister may, from time to time give to the Agency, such general directions, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act or any regulations made under this Act on the policy to be pursued in the administration of Maritime Safety, as the Minister may consider necessary, and the Agency shall immediately take such steps as are necessary or expedient to give effect to the directions.

 

3.     Returns as to merchant shipping, etc., to the Minister

All consular officers of Nigeria abroad, the Nigerian Ports Authority, officers of the Nigerian Customs Service and the superintendent of Seafarer Services Office shall make and send to the Minister such returns or reports on any matter relating to merchant shipping and seamen as the Minister may require.

 

4.     Appointment of officers

There may be appointed for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act such persons, in addition to any officer who may be appointed under any other provision ofthis Act, as may from time to time be necessary.

 

[SECTION 5 IS REPEALED BY COASTAL AND INLAND SHIPPING (CABOTAGE) ACT)

PART II - Restriction on Trading in Nigeria

5.         Certificate of licence required by all ships trading in Nigeria

(1)        No ship shall operate commercially in or from the waters of Nigeria unless the ship is-

(a)        a registered Nigerian ship;

(b)       provided with a certificate of foreign registration or other document similar or equivalent to that required by this Act;

(c)        registered by the law of a country other than Nigeria as a ship of that country and is by the law of that country exempted from registration;

(d)        pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, exempted from registration under this Act; or

(e)        a licensed Nigerian ship operating solely within the waters of Nigeria

(2)        The Minister may by notice exempt generally or specifically from registration under this Act, a licensed Nigerian ship or a class of Nigerian ship when operating out- side the waters of Nigeria.

(3)        Every register, certificate or licence authorised or required by this section may be proved certified under the hand of the Minister, the Registrar of Ships or any person duly authorised to deputise for the Registrar, or any other person who has charge of the original and is required to furnish to every person applying at a reasonable time for the same and paying such fee as shall be prescribed.

(4)        Every document when proved as required under subsection (3) of this section shall, until the contrary is proved, be received as evidence of all matters recited, stated or appearing in it.

(5)        Any owner, charterer, agent or master of a ship who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than five hundred thousand naira and the ship shall be liable to be detained by any officer of customs or other designated officer.

 

National Character of Ships

6. Need to show colours

(1)    A Nigerian ship shall hoist the national colour-

(a)    on a signal being made to the ship by any ship which forms part of the naval forces of Nigeria, or which is commanded by an officer of any such forces on full pay; and

(b)    if the ship is of fifty tons gross tonnage or upwards, on entering or leaving any port in a foreign country.

(2)    Where a ship fails to hoist its flag as provided under this section, the master of the ship commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

 

7.     National character of ships to be declared before clearance

(1)    A collector of customs shall not grant a clearance for any ship under this Act unless the master of the ship declares to the collector of customs the name of the country to which the ship belongs.

(2)    A collector of customs shall upon the declaration made to him of the country to which the ship belongs inscribe the name of the country on the clearance.

(3)    A ship that attempts to proceed to sea without clearance of a collector of customs may be detained by the collector of customs until the declaration is made by the master of the ship.

 

8.     Penalty for unduly assuming Nigerian character

(1)    A foreign ship shall be liable to forfeiture if a person uses the national colours and assumes the national character of Nigeria on board the foreign ship for the purpose of making that ship appear to be a Nigerian ship, unless the assumption made or the distinctive flag, ensign, pendant or marking was used, for the purpose of escaping capture by an enemy or by a ship of war in the exercise of a belligerent right.

(2)    In any proceedings for enforcing forfeiture under subsection (1) of this section, the burden of proving a title to use any colours, flag, ensign, pendant or marking referred to in subsection (1) of this section and assuming any character referred to in that subsection, lies on the person using and assuming the same.

 

9.     Penalty for concealment of Nigerian or assumption of foreign character

(1)    If the master or owner ofa ship which is owned wholly by persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship does anything or permits anything to be done or carries or permits to be carried, any papers or documents, with intent to-

(a)    conceal from any person who is under the law, entitled to inquire into the fact that the ship is a ship owned wholly by persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship; or

(b)    assume a foreign character; or

(c)    deceive any person so entitled to inquire into the ownership of the ship,  the ship shall be liable to forfeiture under this Act.

(2)    The master of a ship which is liable to forfeiture under subsection (1) of this sec- tion, if he commits or is privy to the commission of the offence, shall on conviction be liable to a fine not less than five hundred thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not less than two years or both.

 

10.   Penalty for acquiring ownership if unqualified

(1)    If any person who is not qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship acquires as owner, any interest in a ship legal or beneficial, otherwise than by such transmission as is provided for in this Part of this Act-

(a)    which is registered in Nigeria and owned wholly by persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship; and

(b)    which uses the national colours and assumes the national character of Nigeria, that interest is liable to forfeiture.

 

(2)    Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting a Nigerian ship which is exempted from registration under this Part of this Act, from using on the coasts or inland waters of Nigeria, the national colours of Nigeria, or any other national colours which any ship is for the time being entitled to wear in accordance with any Act or rule of law.

 

11.   Liabilities of ships not recognised as Nigerian ships

(1)    Where a ship which is owned wholly by persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship is not recognised as a Nigerian ship under this Act, the ship shall not be entitled to-

(a)    any benefits, privileges, advantages or protection that are usually enjoyed by Nigerian ships; or

(b)    use the national colours or assume the national character of Nigeria.

(2)    The payment of dues, the liability to fines and forfeiture and the punishment of offences committed on board the ship or by any person belonging to the ship, shall be dealt with in the same manner in all respects as if the ship was registered in Nigeria and recognised as a Nigerian ship.

 

12.   Penalty for carrying improper colour

(1)    If there are hoisted on board-

(a)    any Nigerian ship any colours or pendant usually worn by ships of the naval forces of Nigeria or the distinctive national colours of any country except the national colours as the ship is, for the time being, allowed to wear in accordance with any written law or any other lawful authority; and

 

(b)    a foreign ship any colours or pendant other than the proper national colours of the ship or any other pendant or colours which the ship is, under the law of the foreign country in which the ship is registered or belongs and is for the time being allowed to wear,  the master of the ship or the owner, if he is on board or every other person hoisting the pendant or colours, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not less than two hundred thousand naira.

(2)    Any commissioned officer on full pay in any of the armed forces of Nigeria or any collector of customs, or, in the case of any Nigerian ship, any authorised officer, may board any ship on which any pendant or colours are hoisted contrary to this section and seize and take away the pendant or colours, and any such pendant or colours shall be forfeited.

 

Name of Ship

13.   Name of ship

(1)    Every ship shall be registered by name in the register and accordingly, no two or more ships shall bear the same name.

(2)    The Registrar may refuse to register a ship by a name proposed for registration if the name is already the name of a Nigerian ship or a name calculated to deceive or to offend the public interest.

(3)    A Nigerian ship shall not be described by any name other than that by which the ship is for the time being registered.

(4)    Where a foreign ship, not having at any previous time been registered in Nigeria, becomes the property of persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship, no person shall apply to register that ship at a port of registry in Nigeria except by the name which the ship bore as a foreign ship immediately before the ship became the property of per- sons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship:

Provided that no registrar at any port of registry in Nigeria shall knowingly register the ship by any other name without the prior approval in writing of the Agency.

 

(5)    A person who acts or permits any person under his control to act, in contravention of this section or omits to do or permits any person under his control to omit to do, anything required by this section, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira; and, except in the case of an application being made under this section with respect to a ship which has not at any previous time been registered in Nigeria, the ship may be detained until this section is complied with.

 

14.   Change of nature of ship

(1)            If the approval of the Agency is required to enable a ship to be registered in Nige- ria in the name by which it is proposed to be registered or if the Agency's approval is required to change the name of any ship registered in Nigeria an application shall be made to the Agency in writing.

(2)    Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act and any rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to this Act, the Agency may, in its discretion, give approval to the registration of the ship by the name proposed or as the case may be, to the proposed change of the name by which the ship is registered.

(3)    Upon giving an approval under subsection (2) of this section, the Agency may, and shall in any case where any rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to section 15 so direct, require notice of the approval to be given in such form and manner as it thinks fit or as the rules require, before the name of the ship is marked on the ship or before the name of the ship is entered on the register, or, in the case of a change of name of a ship registered in Nigeria, before the name of the ship is altered in the register.

(4)    The approval of the Agency under this section shall be in writing signed by the Minister or on his behalf by any person authorised by the Minister and if the approval is given under any rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to this Part shall contain a statement of the conditions, if any, subject to which the approval is given.

(5)    On the approval of the Agency under this section being obtained, and upon the giving of such notice, if any, as is required-

(a)    if the approval relates to an application to register a ship in Nigeria, the Registrar to whom the application is made, upon delivery to him of the document signifying the Agency's approval and on the other requisites to registration being duly complied with, shall register the ship by the name proposed in accordance with the provisions of this Part; or

(b)    if the approval relates to an application to change the name of a ship registered in Nigeria, the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, upon delivery to him of the ship's certificate of registry and the document signifying the Agency's approval, shall alter the name in the register book, and shall endorse and sign a memorandum of the alteration on the ship's certificate of registry.

(6)    When the name of a ship registered in Nigeria is changed under this section, the name of the ship upon its bows and stem shall immediately be altered correspondingly and if default is made in compliance with this subsection, the owner of the ship commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira and the ship may be detained by a customs officer or detaining officer until this subsec- tion is complied with.

(7)    Any document purporting to signify the approval of the Agency in respect of an application under this section and to be signed by the Minister or any person authorised by him for the purpose, shall be admissible in evidence.

 

15.   Minister to make rules regarding name of ship

(1)    The Minister may make rules prescribing the circumstances in which, and the conditions subject to which the Agency's approval may be given to the registration of a ship in Nigeria by a proposed name and the rules may prescribe the form of notice to be given before the name of the ship is marked on the ship, or before the name of the ship is entered on the register, or, in the case ofa change of name ofa ship registered in Nigeria, before the name of the ship is altered in the register.

(2)    If in respect of any ship, default is made in compliance with any conditions sub- ject to which the approval of the Agency is granted under any rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to this section, the owner of the ship commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fme not less than one hundred thousand naira.

 

PART III - Registration and Licensing of Ships Registries of Ships

16.   Registry of ships

(1)    There shall be maintained a Central Ship Registry for the registration and licens- ing of Nigerian ships.

(2)    The Minister may, from time to time, by notice published in the Gazette appoint other places for the registration of ships and at each such place there may be appointed a fit person to be the Registrar of Ships.

(3)    No Registrar shall be liable to damages or otherwise for any loss accruing to any person by reason of any act done or default made by him as Registrar, unless the default happened through his neglect or wilful default.

(4)    For the purposes of this Part of this Act, Registrar includes a Deputy Registrar. (5) For the purposes of this Part of this Act, "ship" includes any barge, lighter or like vessel used in navigation in Nigeria and however propelled, so however, that no self- propelled vessel which is less than 15 gross tons shall be subject to registration.

 

17.   Register or books

(1)    The Registrar of Ships shall keep such register or books as may be deemed necessary including the following:

(a)    a register for merchant ships;

(b)    a register for fishing vessels;

(c)    a register for ships under construction;

(d)    a register for ships on bareboat charters and other charters exceeding 12 months duration;

(e)    a register for licensed ships below 15 gross tons;

(f)     a register for Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) and Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO).

(2)    Entries in the books referred to in subsection (1) of this section, shall be made in accordance with the following provisions:

(a)    an individual may be registered as sole owner of a ship in his own name;

(b)    a person shall not be entitled to be registered as owner of a fractional part of a share in a ship; but any number of persons not exceeding five may be registered as joint owners of a ship or of any share therein;

(c)    joint owners shall be considered as constituting one person only as regards the persons entitled to be registered, and shall not be entitled to dispose in severalty of any interest in a ship, or in any share the interest in respect of which they are registered;

(d)    a corporation may be registered as owner by its corporate name.

 

(3)    Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act relating to registration and licensing of ships, any vessel intending to operate within the coastal and inland waters of Nigeria shall obtain operational permits from the relevant agencies of Government.

 

Qualifications for Owning Nigerian Ships

18.   Qualification for owning Nigerian ships

(1)    Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section and of any rules made or deemed to have been made hereunder, a ship shall not be registered in Nigeria under this Act unless the ship is owned wholly by persons of the following descriptions (in this Act referred to as "persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship"):

 

(a)    Nigerian citizens;

(b)    bodies corporate and partnerships established under and subject to Nigerian laws, having their principal place of business in Nigeria;

(c)    such other persons as the Minister may, by regulations prescribe.

(2)    The Minister may make rules with respect to the manner in which Nigerian Government ships, or any class of those ships, may be registered under this Act; and, subject to any modifications which may be made by those rules either generally or in respect of any specified class of ships, this Act shall apply to Nigerian Government ships which are registered in accordance with the rules as if they were ships registered in the manner hereinafter provided.

(3)    Where the Minister has reason to believe that there is some doubt as to the title of any ship registered in Nigeria under this Act to be so registered, the Minister may direct the Registrar at the port of registry of the ship to require that evidence be given to his satisfaction that the ship is entitled to be so registered.

(4)    If, within such time as may be determined by the Minister, not being less than thirty days, evidence to the satisfaction of the Registrar of the title of the ship to be registered is not given, the ship shall be liable to forfeiture.

 

19.   Obligation to register ships

(1)    Whenever a ship is owned wholly by persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship, the ship shall be registered in Nigeria in the manner provided in this Part of this Act or in any other country in accordance with the laws of that country, unless the ship- is, pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, exempted from registration under this Act.

(2)    The Minister may, if he thinks fit, by notice in the Gazette generally or specially exempt a ship not exceeding fifteen tons employed solely on the coasts or inland waters of Nigeria from registration under this Act.

(3)    Any ship, other than a Nigerian licensed ship, which does not comply with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, shall not be recognised as a Nigerian ship.

(4)    If the master of any ship which is owned wholly by persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship fails on demand to produce a certificate of registration of the ship or such other evidence to satisfy the Minister that the ship complies with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, the ship may be detained until that evidence is produced.

(5)    Any ship, which is registered at a port in Nigeria immediately before the com- mencement of this Act, shall be a registered ship under this Act if Nigerian citizens or a body corporate owns it, unless the Minister directs otherwise.

(6)    A bareboat chartered ship shall, upon registration fly the Nigerian flag and be re- garded as a Nigerian registered vessel whilst the charter persists.

(7)    The Registrar shall notify the former port of registry of a Nigerian bareboat char- tered ship of the registration of the ship in Nigeria and satisfy him that the registration in that port is suspended.

(8)    The Registrar shall require production of the information and documentation specified in section 21, subsection (4) (a), (c), (j), (g), (h) and section 22 of this Act prior to the registration of a bareboat charter.

(9)    A charter of less than 12 months' duration other than a bareboat charter, shall be licensed and such a chartered vessel shall not fly the Nigerian flag and not be regarded as a Nigerian registered vessel.

(10)  The registration of a charter shall be renewed annually and the charterer shall  furnish the Registrar with information concerning-

(a)    the duration of the charter party;

(b)    the parties to the charter;

(c)    the hire cost;

(d)    the route on which the vessel is expected to ply;

 

(e)    the type of goods, which are expected to be carried.

(11) Every vessel registered in Nigeria and every chartered vessel shall be subject to the payment of such annual fee as the Minister may by order impose.

(12)  An owner, charterer or operator of a vessel who fails to pay the fee shall be li- able to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

 

Procedure for Registration

20.    Minister to make regulations

The Minister may make regulations relating to the procedure for the registration of Nigerian ships, which regulations shall not be inconsistent with the provision ofthis Act.

 

21.   Application for registration

(1)    An application for registration of a ship in Nigeria under this Act shall be made formally in writing to the Registrar at a port of registry in Nigeria in such form as the Minister may, from time to time, approve.

(2)    An application under this section shall-

(a)    in the case of an individual be made by the person requiring to be registered as owner or by one or more of the persons so requiring, if more than one, or by his or their agent; and

(b)    in the case of a corporation, by its agent.

(3)    The authority of an agent shall be testified by writing, if appointed by an individual, under the hands of the appointors, and if appointed by a corporation, under the common seal of the corporation.

(4)    The Registrar shall be furnished with the following information and documentation before proceeding with the registration of a ship under this Act:

(a)    the full names, addresses and occupations of the purchaser or purchasers of the ship;

(b)    evidence of ability or experience of the purchasers to operate and maintain the vessel;

(c)    the ownership of shares in the company applying to register the ship;

(d)    the apportionment of shares in the vessel;

(e)    in the case of a ship with a previous registration, a bill of sale with warranty against liens and encumbrances from the sellers;

(f)     the log-book of the ship for inspection by the Registrar;

 

(g)    evidence of financial resources sufficient for the operation and maintenance of the ship; and

(h)    the certificate of incorporation and Articles of Association of the company.

 

22.   Survey and measurement of ship

(1)    The owner of a ship or an applicant who is applying for the registration of a ship under section 21 of this Act shall on or before making the application, cause the ship to be surveyed by a Surveyor of Ships and the tonnage of the ship to be ascertained in accordance with the Tonnage Regulations made under this Act.

(2)    The surveyor shall, upon making the survey, deliver to the owner or applicant a tonnage certificate signed by the surveyor and the certificate shall be delivered to the Registrar before the ship is registered.

(3)    A surveyor's tonnage certificate shall be in a form approved by the Minister, and shall specify the ship's tonnage and build, and such other particulars descriptive of the identity of the ship as the Minister may, from time to time, require.

 

23.   Marking of ship

(1)    Every ship in respect of which an application for registration under section 21 of this Act is made shall, before it is registered, be marked permanently and conspicuously to the satisfaction of the Minister as follows:

 

(a)    the name of the ship shall be marked on each of its bows, and the name of the ship and the name of the ship's port of registry shall be marked on the stem of the ship, on a dark background in white or yellow letters, or on a light back- ground in black letters, such letters to be of a length not less than four inches and of a proportionate breadth;

 

(b)    the official number and the number denoting the ship's registered tonnage shall be cut in on the main beam of the ship;

(c)    a scale denoting the ship's draught of water shall be marked on each side of the stem and of the stem post of the ship in Roman capital letters or in figures not less than six inches in length, such that the lower line of the letters or figures coincides with the draught line denoted by the scale and those letters or figures shall be marked by being cut in and painted white or yellow on a dark background,  or in such other way as the Minister may approve.

 

(2)    The marks required by this section shall be permanently continued, and no alteration shall be made in the marks except in the event of any of the particulars denoted by them being altered as provided by this Act.

 

(3)    The owner or master of any ship who-

 

(a)    fails to keep the ship marked as is required by this section in the case of ships of that class registered in Nigeria; or

(b)    conceals, removes, alters, defaces or obliterates, or suffers any person under his control to conceal, remove, alter, deface or obliterate, any of the marks on the ship, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, or for the purpose of escaping capture by an enemy,  commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thou- sand naira.

(4)    Where a Surveyor of Ships or an inspector certifies that a ship registered in a for- eign country is insufficiently or inaccurately marked, the ship may be detained until the insufficiency or inaccuracy is remedied.

 

(5)    No ship registered in a foreign country shall be detained under this section if the owner or master of the ship shows that the ship is marked, and has been kept marked, in accordance with the law of the country in which the ship is registered.

24.   Declaration of ownership in registry

(1)    A person shall not be registered as the owner of a ship, or of a share of the ship, until the person or in the case of a corporation, the person authorised by this Part of this Act to make declarations on behalf of the corporation makes and signs a declaration of ownership referring to the ship as described in the surveyor's tonnage certificate and containing the following particulars:

 

(a)    a statement of the person's qualification to own a registered Nigerian ship, or, in the case of a corporation, of the circumstances of the constitution and business of the corporation as proof of qualification to own a registered Nigerian ship;

(b)    a statement of the time when, and the place where, the ship was built or if the ship was built in a foreign country and the time and place of building are unknown, a statement that the ship was built in a foreign country and that the declarant does not know the time and place of the ship's building; and, in addition, in the case of a foreign ship, a statement of the ship's foreign name or in the case of a ship condemned, a statement of the time, place and court at and by which it was condemned;

 

(c)    a statement of the name of the master of the ship;

 

(d)    a statement of the number of shares in the ship of which the owner or the corporation, as the case may be, is entitled to be registered as owner;

(e)    a declaration that, to the best of the knowledge and belief of the owner of a ship, no unqualified person or body of persons is entitled as owner to any legal or beneficial interest in the ship or any share in the ship.

(2)    Where a declaration is made under this section that a former registration of a ship has been deleted, evidence of the deletion shall be produced.

(3)    A declaration of ownership by an individual owner and a declaration of owner- ship on behalf of a corporation as owner shall each be made in the form approved for the purpose by the Minister.

 

25.    Evidence on first registration

 

(1)    An application for the registration of a ship in Nigeria on the first registration of the ship shall produce the following evidence in addition to the declaration of ownership:

 

(a)    in the case of a ship built in a foreign country, a certificate signed by the builder of the ship, and containing a true account of-

(i)     the proper denomination and tonnage of the ship as estimated by the  applicant;

 

(ii)    the time when, and the place where, the ship was built;

(iii)    the name of the person, if any, on whose account the ship was built; (iv) if there has been any sale, the bill of sale under which the ship, or a share in the ship has become vested in the applicant for registration; and

(b)    in the case of a ship that has been sold by any competent court, an official copy of the bill of sale.

(2)    Where a declarant under subsection (1) of this section, makes the declaration of ownership of a ship and declares that the time and place of the building of the ship are unknown to him, or that the builder's certificate cannot be procured, the declarant shall be required to produce only the bill of sale under which the ship or a share in the ship, became vested in the applicant for registration.

(3)    The owner or applicant for the registration of a ship built in Nigeria, may request the builder of the ship to deliver to the owner a signed certificate containing the particulars specified in paragraph (a) of subsections (1) and (2) of this section and the builder shall, when so requested, deliver the certificate.

(4)    A builder who fails to comply with subsection (3) of this section or wilfully makes a false statement in a certificate given under that subsection, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than three hundred thousand naira.

 

(5)    In this section, "builder", in the case of a ship built in Nigeria, includes any per- son to whom the Minister grants a licence to carry on the business of builder of a ship, and in the case of a ship built in a foreign country, includes any person who is recognised in accordance with the law of that country.

 

26.   Entry of particulars in register

 

(1)    The Registrar shall, as soon as the requirements of this Part of this Act preliminary to registration have been complied with, enter in the register, the-

(a)    name of the ship and the previous name and registry if any;

(b)    details comprised in the surveyor's tonnage certificate;

(c)    particulars of the origin of the ship stated in the declaration of ownership;

(d)    name, address and occupation of the registered owner or owners of the ship and where there are more than one, what share in the ship is held by each owner;

(e)    name of the builders, the place and year the ship was built;

(f)     particulars of any mortgage, liens or similar charges regarding the ship;

 

(g)    international call sign of the ship if a call sign has been assigned to the ship;

 

(h)    name, address and, as appropriate, the nationality of the bareboat charterer;

 

(i)     name, address and, as appropriate, the nationality of the operator, when the operator is not the owner or the bareboat charterer.

 

(2)    The Registrar shall, on the registration of a ship, retain in his possession the following documents in addition to the documentation prescribed in section 21 (4) of this Act:

 

(a)    the surveyor's tonnage certificate;

(b)    the builder's certificate, if any;

(c)    all declarations of ownership;

(d)    any bill of sale of the ship previously made; and

(e)    the copy of the condemnation, if any.

27.   Managing owner to be registered

(1)    The Registrar shall cause the name and address of the managing owner for the time being of every ship registered in Nigeria to be registered in the register at the ship's port of registry.

 

(2)    Where there is no managing owner of a ship, the name of the ship's agent or other person to whom the management of the ship is entrusted by or on behalf of the owner shall be registered and any person whose name is so registered shall, for the purposes of this Act, be under the same obligations, and subject to the same liabilities, as the managing owner.

 

(3)    The owner of a ship who makes a default in complying with the provisions of this section, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hun- dred thousand naira and to an additional fine not less than fifty thousand naira for each occasion on which the ship leaves any port in Nigeria while that default continues.

 

28.   Cancellation of registration

 

The Registrar shall cancel the registration of a ship registered in Nigeria at any time the ship-

 

(a)    appears to be registered also in a foreign country; or

 

(b)    ceases to comply with the qualifications for the ownership of a Nigerian ship as required by section 18 ofthis Act; or

 

(c)    appears to have been lost, abandoned or broken up.

 

29.   Restriction on deregistration of ship

 

The Registrar shall not permit the deregistration of a ship registered under this Act without the consent in writing of all the registered holders of mortgages on the ship registered under this Act.

 

Certificate of Registry

 

30. Issue and custody of certificate of registration

 

(1)    The Registrar shall on completion of the registration of a ship, issue a certificate of registration in such form as may be approved by the Agency.

 

(2)    The certificate of registration of a ship, whether or not the ship is a Nigerian ship, shall be used only for the lawful navigation of the ship, and shall not be subject to detention by reason of any title, lien, charge or interest which the owner or mortgagee or any other person has or claims to have on or in the ship.

 

(3)    A person who has in his possession or under his control, the certificate of registration of a ship shall not refuse or omit, without reasonable cause, to deliver the certificate on demand to the person entitled to the custody of the certificate for the purposes of the lawful navigation of the ship, or to any Registrar, ship surveyor, collector of customs or other person entitled by law to require its delivery.

(4)    Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (3) commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fme not less than twenty thousand naira.

 

(5)    If, in any proceedings in respect of an offence under this section, the court is of the opinion that the certificate of registration is lost, the court shall certify the loss and cause a copy of the certification to be transmitted to the Agency.

 

31.   Use of improper certificate

The owner or master of a ship who uses or attempts to use for the navigation of the ship, a certificate of registration not legally granted in respect of the ship whether or not the ship is a Nigerian ship commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than three hundred thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both, and, in addition, the ship shall be liable to forfeiture.

32.   Power to grant new certificate

(1)    The Registrar at the port of registry ofa ship registered in Nigeria may, with the approval of the Agency and on the delivery to him of the certificate of registration of the ship, grant a new certificate in lieu of the old one.

(2)    In the event of the certificate of registration ofa ship registered in Nigeria being lost or destroyed, the Registrar at the port of registry of the ship shall upon being satisfied of the loss or destruction grant a new certificate of registration in lieu of the original certificate of the registration.

(3)    If, in the case of a ship registered in Nigeria, the event referred to in subsec- tion (2) of this section, occurs while the ship is at a port outside Nigeria, or if, after the occurrence of the event, the ship first arrives at a port outside Nigeria, the master of the ship, or another person having knowledge of the facts of the case, shall furnish the appropriate officer at that port with a declaration stating the facts of the case and the names and descriptions of the registered owners of the ship and the proper officer may, upon the declaration, grant a provisional certificate of registration, in a form approved by the Agency and the provisional certificate shall contain a statement of the circumstances in which it is granted.

(4)    Whenever the appropriate officer grants a provisional certificate under subsec- tion (3) of this section, the officer shall transmit a copy of that certificate to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

 

(5)    The master of a ship in respect of which a provisional certificate has been granted under subsection (3) of this section, shall within ten days after the first subsequent arrival of the ship at a port in Nigeria, deliver the provisional certificate-

(a)    to the Registrar at that port; or

 

(b)    if there is no Registrar at that port, to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

(6)    If the master of the ship fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (5), he  commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thou- sand naira.

(7)    If a provisional certificate is delivered under subsection (5) to a Registrar who is not the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, he shall immediately forward the certificate to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

(8)    Upon receipt of a provisional certificate granted under this section, the Registrar at the ship's port of registry shall grant a new certificate of registration.

33.    Endorsement of change of master on certificate

(1)    Where the master of a ship registered in any foreign country is changed in consequence of the removal of the master by a marine court under this Act, the court shall cause a memorandum of the change to be endorsed on the certificate of registration of the ship and cause a copy of the endorsement to be transmitted to the Agency.

(2)    Where the master of a ship registered in Nigeria is changed while the ship is at a port in Nigeria for any cause other than that mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, the Registrar at the port, or, if there is no Registrar at the port, the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, shall endorse and sign a memorandum of the change on the ship's certificate of registry.

(3)    Where the master of a ship registered in Nigeria is changed while the ship is at a port out of Nigeria, the appropriate officer at the port shall endorse and sign a memorandum of the change on the ship's certificate of registry but if the change occurs in consequence of the removal of the master of the ship by a competent court in a foreign country, or in consequence of the sentence of a competent naval court constituted under the law of a foreign country the court shall cause a memorandum of the change to be endorsed on the ship's certificate of registry.

(4)    Where any Registrar, not being the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, or any appropriate officer, makes an endorsement under this section, he shall immediately notify the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

 

(5)    The owner of a power driven craft of not less than 15 gross tons operating solely on inland waters shall, from time to time, keep a continuous record of the persons in charge of that craft and the engines of the craft and the record shall contain the name, address and certificate number of the said person and the dates when he assumed command and left the craft.

(6)    The owner shall produce such record at any time on demand by any officer of the Minister, and any owner who fails to comply with this subsection commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than twenty thousand naira.

34.   Endorsement of change of ownership on certificate of registry

(1)    Whenever a change occurs in the registered ownership of a ship registered in Nigeria, the change of ownership shall be endorsed on the certificate of registration by the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, or by the Registrar or appropriate officer at any port at which the ship arrives after the registration officer is advised of the change by the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

(2)    The master shall, for the purpose of an endorsement of the certificate of registration of the ship by the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, immediately deliver the certificate to the Registrar after the change, if the change occurs when the ship is at the port of registry but if the change occurs during the absence of the ship from that port and the endorsement under this section is not made before her return, then, upon her first return to that port.

(3)    The Registrar at any port of registry, not being the ship's port of registry, or any appropriate officer required by this section to make an endorsement on the certificate of registration of a ship registered in Nigeria, may require the master to deliver the ship's certificate of registration to him, as long as the ship is not detained; and the master shall deliver the certificate accordingly.

(4)    Where any Registrar, not being the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, or any proper officer, makes an endorsement under this section in respect of any ship, he shall forthwith notify the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

(5)    The master of a ship who fails to deliver the ship's certificate of registration to a Registrar or the appropriate officer when required under this section to do so, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

(6)    Where the ownership of any ship registered in Nigeria is changed, the Registrar at the ship's port of registry may, on the application of the owner of the ship, register the ship anew, notwithstanding that a new registration is not required under this Part of this Act.

 

35. Endorsement of change of ownership on certificate of registry

 

(1)    If a ship registered in Nigeria-

 

(a)    is actually or constructively lost, taken by the enemy, burnt or broken up; or delivery up of certificate when ship is lost or ceases to be a Nigerian ship;

 

(b)    ceases to be entitled to be registered under this Act by reason of a transfer to a person not qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship; or for any other reason except the transfer of its registry to a port in another country,  the owner of the ship or any share in the ship shall, immediately on obtaining knowledge of the event, if notice has not already been given, give notice to the Registrar at the port of registry of the ship.

(2)    The Registrar upon receiving notice under subsection (1) of this section, shall make an entry of the notice in the register, and the registration of the ship in that register shall be considered as closed except so far as relates to any unsatisfied mortgage or existing certificate of mortgage entered in it.

(3)    Whenever an event under subsection (1) of this section occurs, the master of the ship, except where the ship's certificate of registration is lost or destroyed, shall, if the event occurs in Nigeria or at any port, within ten days of the occurrence, or, if the event occurs elsewhere within ten days after the arrival of the master in Nigeria or at any port, deliver the ship's certificate of registration to the Registrar at the port at which the event occurs or at which the master first arrives after the event or if there is no Registrar at that port to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

(4)     If the event in subsection (1) or (2) of this section occurs at any port outside Nigeria, or if after the event, the master first arrives at any port outside, he shall deliver the ship's certificate of registration to the appropriate officer at the port.

(5)    Any owner or master of a ship who fails, without reasonable cause, to comply with the provisions of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

(6)    If a ship's certificate of registration is delivered under subsection (3) of this section to a Registrar who is not himself the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, or to an appropriate officer, that Registrar or an appropriate officer shall immediately forward the certificate to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

(7)    For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a ship shall be deemed to be constructively lost if there is, in respect of that ship, a constructive total loss within the meaning of that expression in the Marine Insurance Act.

36.   Re-registration of abandoned ships

If a ship ceases to be registered in Nigeria by reason of having been-

(a)    wrecked or abandoned; or

(b)    for any other reason except capture by the enemy; or

(c)    transferred to a person not qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship or transfer of its registry to a port in a foreign country,  the ship shall not be registered in Nigeria until the ship has, at the expense of the applicant for re-registration, been inspected by a Surveyor of Ships and certified by the surveyor to be seaworthy.

37.   Provisional certificate for ship which in a foreign country becomes Nigerian owned

(1)    If, at a port in a foreign country, a ship becomes the property of persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship and one or more of those persons or the master of the ship authorised to do so by him or them declare to the appropriate officer at the port an intent to apply to have the ship registered in Nigeria, the appropriate officer may grant to the master of the ship, on application by him, a provisional certificate, in a form approved by the Minister, stating the--

(a)    name of the ship;

(b)    time and place of the purchase of the ship and the names and addresses of the purchasers;

(c)    name of the master; and

(d)    best particulars respecting the tonnage, build and description of the ship which he is able to obtain,  and shall immediately forward a copy of the certificate to the Minister.

(2)    A provisional certificate granted in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, shall be deemed to be a certificate of registration until the expiry of six months from the date on which it was granted, or until the arrival of the ship at a port in Nigeria, whichever is the earlier date and shall after the arrival of the ship in Nigeria have no effect.

(3)    The master of a ship in respect of which a provisional certificate is granted under this section shall, within ten days of the ship's first arrival at a port in Nigeria, deliver the certificate to the Registrar at the port or if there is no Registrar at the port, to the Registrar at the ship's intended port of registry.

(4)    Any master who fails to comply with subsection (3) of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

38.   Temporary passes instead of certificate of registry

(1)    Where the Minister is by reason of special circumstances, satisfied that permis- sion be granted for a ship to pass from any port In Nigeria to any other port in a foreign country without being previously registered, the Minister may direct the Registrar to grant a pass in respect of that ship specifying->

(a)    the voyage which the ship is thereby authorised to make; and

(b)    the item for which, and any limits within which, the pass remains valid, the Registrar so directed, shall grant the pass accordingly.

 

(2)    A pass granted under this section shall be in form approved by the Minister; the pass granted under the corresponding provisions of the law of any country other than Nigeria, shall, for the time and within the limits mentioned in the pass have the same effect as a certificate of registration-

 

(a)    in Nigeria, the Registrar at the port at which the alteration is made, or if there is no Registrar at the port, the Registrar at the ship's port of registry;

 

(b)    elsewhere, on the ship's first arrival at a port in Nigeria after the alteration, the Registrar or appropriate officer, shall, upon application being made to him and on receipt of a certificate from a Surveyor of Ships stating the particulars of the alteration cause the alteration to be registered in accordance with the provisions of section 47 of this Act or direct that the ship be registered anew in accordance with the provisions of section 49 of this Act.

 

(3)    Whenever a ship registered in Nigeria is altered as provided in subsection (1) of this section, application to register that alteration shall be made in accordance with the provisions of subsection (3) of this section.

(4)    If the owner of a ship that is altered fails to comply with the provisions of this section, he commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira and in addition to a further fine not less than ten thousand naira for every day during which the offence continues after conviction.

(5)    In this section, "surveyor of ship" includes any person who is, under the law of the country in which the ship is surveyed, qualified to survey ships for the purpose of ascertaining the tonnage of the ships in accordance with the tonnage regulations ofthat country.

39 ********************************************************

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The text for section 39 was omitted in the Federal Gazette and not available at the time of print.]

 

40.        Procedure for registration of alteration

 

(1)    Where a Registrar or appropriate officer, on an application as to an alteration in a ship registered in Nigeria, causes the alteration to be registered, the certificate of registration of the ship shall be produced to him; and the Registrar or proper officer shall, in his discretion, either retain the certificate of registration and grant a new certificate of registration containing a description of the ship as altered or endorse and sign on the existing certificate a memorandum of the alteration.

(2)    Where any Registrar, not being the Registrar at the ship's port of registry or any appropriate officer grants a new certificate or endorses an existing certificate under this section, he shall immediately send a report of the particulars of the case to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, containing a statement similar to that contained in the certificate or endorsement, and accompanied, where a new certificate of registration has been granted, by the former certificate of registration.

(3)    The particular of the alteration made in a ship and the fact that a new certificate has been granted or an endorsement has been made, shall be entered in the register by the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

41.   Provisional certificate where ship registered anew

(1)    Where a Registrar who is not the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, or any appropriate  officer, on an application as to an alteration in a ship registered in Nigeria, directs the ship to be registered anew the Registrar or officer shall grant a provisional certificate, describing the ship as altered, or provisionally endorse the particulars of the alteration on the existing certificate.

(2)    Where a Registrar or appropriate officer grants a provisional certificate or provisionally endorses a certificate under this section, the Registrar or officer shall add to the certificate or endorsement a statement that the certificate or endorsement is made provisionally and send a report of the particulars of the case to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, containing a statement similar to that contained in the certificate or endorsement.

(3)    The master of every ship in respect of which a provisional certificate is granted or endorsed under this section shall, within ten days of the ship's first arrival after the grant of the provisional certificate or endorsement at a port in Nigeria, deliver that certificate to the Registrar at the port or if there is no Registrar at that port, to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

 

(4)    Any master of a ship who fails to comply with subsection (3) of this section commits an offence and on conviction liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

 

(5)    If, under this section, a ship's certificate of registration is delivered to a Registrar who is not himself the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, he shall immediately for- ward the certificate to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

 

(6)    When any ship in respect of which a provisional certificate is granted or a certificate is endorsed under this section, first arrives after the grant or endorsement at a port in Nigeria, application for registration of that ship anew shall be made to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, and the other requisites for registration shall be complied with.

 

(7)    The owner of a ship under this section who fails to comply with this section, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than two hundred thou- sand naira in addition to a further fine not less than ten thousand naira for every day during which the offence continues after conviction.

 

42.   Procedure for registration anew

(1)    When a ship registered in Nigeria is to be registered anew, the Registrar at the ship's port of registry shall proceed as in the case of first registration; and on the delivery to the Registrar of the existing certificate of registration and on compliance with the other requisites for registration or if the registration anew is to take place in consequence of a change of ownership, such of the requisites as the Registrar thinks material, the Registrar shall make the registration anew and grant a certificate of the registration.

(2)    When a ship is registered anew, the former register of the ship shall be considered as closed, except so far as relates to any unsatisfied mortgage or existing certificates of sale or mortgage entered on the register while the names of all persons appearing on the former register to be interested in the ship as owners or mortgagees shall b entered on the new register and the registration anew shall not in any way affect the rights of any of those person

 

Transfer of Registry

 

43.   Transfer of registry within Nigeria

 

(1)    The registration of any ship registered in Nigeria may be transferred from the existing port of registry to another port of registry in Nigeria on the application by declaration in writing, of all persons appearing on the register to be interested in it as owners or mortgagees made to the Registrar at the ship's existing port of registry.

 

(2)    When an application is made under subsection (1) of this section the Registrar shall transmit notice of the application to the Registrar at the intended port of registry, with a copy of all particulars relating to the ship and the names of all persons appearing on the register to be interested therein as owners or mortgagees.

 

(3)    The ship's certificate of registration shall be delivered to the Registrar at the ex- isting or intended port of registry, and, if delivered to the former, shall be transmitted to the Registrar at the intended port of registry.

 

(4)    On the receipt of the certificate of registration and all other particulars relating to a ship under this section, the Registrar at the intended port of registry shall enter in the register, all the particulars and names so transmitted and grant a fresh certificate of registration after which the ship shall be considered as registered at the new port of registry, and the name of the ship's new port of registry shall be substituted for the name of the ship's former port of registry on the ship's stem.

(5)    A transfer under this section shall not affect the rights of any person appearing on the register to be interested in the ship as owner or mortgagee, and the rights shall, in all respects, continue in the same manner as if the transfer had not been effected.

44.   Nigerian licensed ships

(1)    A Nigerian ship not exceeding 15 tons may be licensed under this Part of this Act; and when licensed, the ship shall be known as a Nigerian licensed ship and be subject to such conditions as the Minister may, from time to time, prescribe.

(2)    Every licence in respect of a Nigerian licensed ship shall have stated in it-

(a)    that the ship is owned by a person or body corporate ordinarily resident in Nigeria; and

(b)    that license shall become void if the ship, or any share in the ship is transferred, mortgaged or charged to any person or body corporate without the written permission of the Minister.

(3)    No Nigerian licensed ship shall proceed outside Nigeria unless express provision to the contrary is contained in the licence of the ship or unless it is necessary to do so due to stress of weather or other cause beyond the control of the master.

(4)    A master of a ship who contravenes the provisions of subsection (3) of this section and any person who aids or abets the master, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira and in addition the licence of the ship may be revoked by the Minister.

(5)    The Minister may make regulations regarding the licensing of ships and boats and the regulations may specify the manning, and the safety and fire fighting equipment required to be carried by the ships, and any other provisions which may appear to the Minister to be necessary for the carrying into effect of this section.

(6)    The licence of a ship and boat shall be renewed annually and upon the payment of such licensing fees as the Minister may, from time to time, by order specify.

Forfeiture of Ships

45.   Proceedings on forfeiture of ship

(1)    Where any ship has either wholly or as to any share therein, become liable to for- feiture under this Part of this Act-

(a)    any commissioned officer on full pay in any of the armed forces of Nigeria, or any collector of customs, or any appropriate officer;

(b)    if the ship is a Nigerian ship, any officer on full pay in any of the armed forces, or any appropriate officer, may seize and detain the ship and bring her for adjudication before a court of competent jurisdiction.

(2)    Where a ship is brought before a court, whether by an officer or a collector of customs as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section or by any other officer or official acting in accordance with the law, the court subject to subsection (4) of this section shall adjudge the ship and may order that the ship with the ship's tackle, apparel and furniture be forfeited to the Government of Nigeria, and may make such other order as the court deems just.

(3)    An officer or a collector of customs mentioned in this section shall not be held responsible civilly or criminally in respect of any seizure or detention under this section notwithstanding that the ship has not been brought in for adjudication or if so brought in, is declared not liable to forfeiture, if it is shown to the satisfaction of the court before which any trial relating to the ship or seizure or detention is held that there were reasonable grounds for the seizure or detention.

(4)    If a court before which a ship seized or detained is brought, finds out that there were no reasonable grounds for the seizure or detention of the ship under this section, the court may award costs and damages to the party aggrieved, and make such other order in the circumstance as the court thinks just.

Incapacitated Persons

46.   Provision for cases of infancy and other disability

(1)    If by reason of infancy, mental disorder or defect or any other cause a person in- terested in a ship or share in a ship is incapable of making any declaration or doing any act required or permitted by this Part of this Act to be made or done in connection with the registration of the ship or any share in the ship-

(a)    the legal guardian or representative of the person; or

(b)    the committee, manager or administrator or any person appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction on application made on behalf of the incapable person or of any other person interested, may make that declaration or a declaration as nearly corresponding to it as the circum- stances permit, and do that act in the name and on behalf of the person.

(2)    Any act done by the appropriate representative under subsection (1) of this sec- tion shall be as effectual as if done by the person for whom he acted.

Trusts and Equitable Rights

47.   Notices of trusts not acceptable

(1)    No notice of any trust, express, implied or constructive shall be entered in any register or received by any Registrar at a port of registry in Nigeria.

(2)    Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act and subject to any rights and powers appearing by the register to be vested in any other person, the registered owner of a ship registered in Nigeria, or any share in the ship, has power absolutely to dispose of the ship or share in the manner provided in this Part of this Act, and to give effectual receipts for any money paid or advanced by way of consideration.

48.   Equities not excluded by Act and liabilities of owner

(1)    An interest arising under a contract or any other equitable interest may be en- forced by or against the owner and mortgagee of a ship in respect of their interests in the ship, in the same manner as in respect of any other personal property without prejudice to-

(a)    the provisions of this Act for preventing notice of trusts from being entered in the register or received by the Registrar;

(b)    the powers of disposition and of giving receipts conferred by this Act on regis- tered owners and mortgagees;

(c)    the provisions of this Act relating to the exclusion of unqualified persons from the ownership of ships registered in Nigeria.

(2)    Where a person is beneficially interested otherwise than by way of mortgage, in a ship registered in any foreign country or any share in the ship, and the ship or share is registered in the name of any other person as owner, the person so interested shall, as well as the registered owner, be subject to all pecuniary penalties imposed by this Act or any other Act on the owner of a ship or share in a ship and proceedings may be taken for the enforcement of any such penalties against both or either of the persons with or without joining the other.

(3)    In this Part of this Act-

 

"beneficial interest" includes interests arising under contract and other equitable interests.

Declarations, etc.

 

49.   Power of Registrar to dispense with declarations and other evidence

Where a person is required to make a declaration under this Part of this Act on behalf of himself or any corporation and produce any evidence to the Registrar, and it is shown to the satisfaction of the Registrar that for a reasonable cause the person is unable to make the declaration, or that the evidence cannot be produced, the Registrar may, with the approval of the Minister, and on the production of any such other evidence and subject to such terms as the Minister thinks fit, dispense with the declaration or evidence.

 

50.   Mode of declaration

(1)    A declaration required by this Part shall be made before any Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths.

(2)    A declaration required by this Part may be made on behalf of a corporation by the Secretary or by any other officer of the corporation authorised by the corporation for the purpose.

51.   Evidence of other foreign registers

(1)    Any register under this Part and any declaration made in pursuance of this Part in respect of a ship shall be admissible in evidence.

(2)    A copy or transcript of the register of ships kept by the Registrar of Ships at any port of registry in any foreign country, or a copy or transcript of any master register of ships kept under the authority of the Government of the foreign country shall be admissible in evidence and have the same effect to all intents as the original register of which it is a copy or transcript.

52.   Forms of documents and instructions as to registry

(1)    A Registrar shall not be compelled without the special direction of the Minister, to receive and enter in the register any bill of sale, mortgage or other instrument for the disposal or transfer of any ship or share or interest in the ship made in any form other than that for the time being required under this Part of this Act or which contains any particulars other than those contained in that form.

(2)    The Minister may, for the carrying into effect of this Part of this Act, give such instructions as he thinks fit to the Registrar as to--

(a)    the manner of making entries in the register;

(b)    the execution and attestation of powers of attorney;

(c)    any evidence required for identifying any person;

(d)    the referring to him of any question involving doubt or difficulty; and

(e)    generally, any act or thing to be done in pursuance of this Part of this Act.

 

53.   Forgery of documents and false declarations

( 1)   Every person who--

(a)    forges or fraudulently alters or assists in forging or fraudulently altering; or

(b)    procures to be forged or fraudulently altered, any register, builder's certificate, surveyors tonnage certificate, certificate of registry, declaration, bill of sale, instrument of mortgage or certificate of sale or mortgage under this Part of this Act, or any document signifying the Minister's consent to any transaction under this Part, or any entry or endorsement required by this Part to be made in or on any of those documents, commits an offence.

(2)    A person who, in the case of any declaration made in the presence of, or produced to, a Registrar or an appropriate officer under this Part of this Act, or in any document or other evidence produced to a Registrar or an appropriate officer-

(a)    wilfully makes or assists in making or procures to be made, any false statement concerning the title to or ownership of or the interest existing in any ship or any share in the ship; or

(b)    utters, produces or makes use of any declaration or document containing any false statement, knowing the same to be false, commits an offence.

(3)    A person who wilfully makes a false declaration touching the qualification of himself or of any other person or of any corporation to own a registered Nigerian ship or any share in the ship, commits an offence and the ship or share shall be liable to forfeiture under this Act to the extent of the interest of the declarant in the ship unless it is proved that the declaration was made without authority of that other person or corporation on behalf of whom the declaration is made.

(4)    Any person who commits an offence under this section is on conviction liable to a fine of not exceeding two hundred thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not less than two years or to both.

 

PART IV

Mortgages

54.   Mortgage of ship or share in ship

(1)    A ship registered in Nigeria, or a share in the ship may be made a security for a loan or other valuable consideration, and there shall be a proper written instrument creating the security (in this Part of this Act referred to as "a mortgage").

(2)    Where a mortgage on a ship is produced to the Registrar at the ship's port of reg- istry, the Registrar shall record the mortgage in the register.

 

(3)    Mortgages shall be recorded by the Registrar in the order in which they are pro- duced to the Registrar for that purpose and the Registrar shall endorse and sign a memorandum on each mortgage, stating the date and time of the record.

 

55.   Obligation of mortgagor to disclose existing liabilities

 

(1)    The mortgagor shall before executing any mortgage disclose in writing to the mortgagee the existence of any maritime lien, prior mortgage, or other liability in respect of the ship to be mortgaged and of which the mortgagor is aware.

 

(2)    If a mortgagor under subsection (1) of this section fails to comply with this sec- tion, the mortgage debt shall, at the election of the mortgage holder, become immediately due and payable, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the mortgage.

56.   Entry of discharge of mortgage

 

If a mortgage is discharged, the Registrar shall, on the production of the mortgage and a receipt for the money endorsed on the mortgage duly signed and attested, make an entry in the register to the effect that the mortgage has been discharged and on the entry being made, the estate if any, which passed to the mortgage shall vest in the person in whom, having regard to intervening acts and circumstances, if any, it would have vested if the mortgage had not been made.

57.    Priority of mortgages

 

(1)    If there are more mortgages than one registered in respect of a ship or share, the mortgagees shall, notwithstanding any express, implied or constructive notice, be entitled in priority one over the other, according to the date on which each mortgage is recorded in the register and not according to the date of each mortgage itself.

(2)    A registered mortgage of a ship or share in the ship shall not be affected by any act of bankruptcy committed by the mortgagor after the date of the record of the mort- gage, notwithstanding that the mortgagor at the commencement of his bankruptcy had the ship or share in his possession, order or disposition, or was the reputed owner of the ship and the mortgage shall be preferred to any right, claim or interest in the ship of the other creditors of the bankruptcy, or of any trustee or assignee in their behalf.

58.   Powers of mortgagee

(1)    Except as may be necessary for making a mortgaged ship or share in the ship available as a security for the mortgage debt, the mortgagee shall not, by reason of the mortgage, be deemed the owner of the ship or share, nor shall the mortgagor be deemed to have ceased to be the owner of the ship.

(2)    Every registered mortgagee has power absolutely to dispose of the ship or share in respect of which he is registered, and to give effectual receipts for the purchase money; but, where there are more persons than one registered as mortgagees of the same ship or share, a subsequent mortgagee shall not, except under the order of a court of competent jurisdiction, sell the ship or share without the consent of every prior mortgagee.

 

59.   Transfer of mortgage

(1)    A registered mortgage of a ship registered in Nigeria or a share in the ship may be transferred to any person.

(2)    On the production of an instrument effecting a transfer of mortgage and of the mortgage to which it relates, the Registrar shall record the transfer by entering in the register, the name of the transferee as the mortgage of the ship or share, and shall endorse and sign on the mortgage and on the instrument effecting the transfer, a memorandum stating that the transfer has been recorded by the Registrar and the date and time of the record.

60.   Transmission of interest in mortgage by death, bankruptcy, etc.

(1)    If the interest of a mortgagee in a ship registered in Nigeria, or any share in the ship is transmitted to any person on the death or bankruptcy of the mortgagee, or by any lawful means, other than by a transfer under this Part of this Act, the transmission shall be authenticated by a declaration of the person to whom the interest is transmitted.

(2)    A declaration made under this section shall-

(a)    be in a form approved by the Minister; and

(b)    contain a statement of the manner in which, and the person to whom, the property has been transmitted; and

(c)    be accompanied by such evidence as is required by this Part of this Act in the case of a corresponding transmission of the ownership of a ship or share in a ship.

(3)    The Registrar on the receipt of the declaration, and the production of the evidence as provided in subsection (2) of this section, shall enter the name of the person entitled under the transmission in the register as the mortgagee of the ship or share.

 

Mortgages and Transfer of Nigerian Ships out of Nigeria

 

61.   Authority to sell or mortgage out of Nigeria

(1)    If a registered owner of a ship registered in Nigeria or a share in the ship is desirous of disposing by way of sale or mortgage of the ship or share in it at any place out of Nigeria, he may make application, by declaration in writing, to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry.

 

(2)    In an application under subsection (1) of this section, the registered owner shall set out-

(a)    the name and address of the person in whose favour the application for sale or mortgage is made, together with-

 

(i)             in the case of a sale, the minimum price at which the sale is to be made, if it is intended to fix any such minimum, or

(ii)    in the case of a mortgage, the maximum amount of the mortgage, if it is intended to fix any such maximum;

(b)    the place where the power is to be exercised, or, if no place is specified, a dec- laration that the power may be exercised anywhere, subject to the provisions of this Act;

(c)    the limit of time within which the power may be exercised.

(3)    In the case of an application to dispose of a ship by way of sale, under subsection (1) of section 62 of this Act, the Registrar shall enable the applicant to dispose of the ship or share in the manner desired in accordance with subsection (4) of this section.

(4)    The Registrar shall enter in the register, a statement of the particulars set out in the application and shall grant to the applicant a certificate of sale or a certificate of mortgage, as the case may require.

(5)    A certificate of sale and a certificate of mortgage shall-

(a)    each be in a form approved by the Minister for the purpose;

 

(b)    not authorise any sale or mortgage to be made in Nigeria, or by any person not named in the certificate; and

 

(c)    contain a statement of the particulars set out in the application, and also a statement of any registered mortgages and certificates of sale or mortgage affecting the ship or share in respect of which the certificate is given.

(6)    Any document purporting to signify the consent of the Minister to the grant of a certificate of sale and purporting to be signed by the Minister or any person authorised by him for the purpose, shall be admissible in evidence.

62.    Rules as to certificates of mortgage

 

(1)    The power conferred in a certificate of mortgage shall be exercised in conformity with the directions contained in the certificate.

 

(2)    Every mortgage made under a certificate of mortgage shall be registered by the endorsement of a record of the mortgage on the certificate by the appropriate officer at the place at which the mortgage is made.

(3)    A mortgage made in good faith under a certificate of mortgage shall not be impeached by reason of the death of the person by whom the power was given before the making of the mortgage.

(4)    Whenever a certificate of mortgage contains a specification of the place at which, and a limit of time not exceeding twelve months within which, the power is to be exercised, a mortgage made in good faith to a mortgagee without notice shall not be impeached by reason of the bankruptcy of the person by whom the power was given.

(5)    Every mortgage which is registered, as prescribed in subsection (2) of this section on the certificate shall have priority over all mortgages of the same ship or share created subsequently to the date of the entry of the certificate in the register and if there are more mortgages than one registered, the respective mortgagees claiming under the certificate shall, notwithstanding any express, implied or constructive notice, be entitled one before the other according to the date at which each mortgage is registered on the certificate, and not according to the date of the mortgage.

(6)    Subject to the rules set out in this section, every mortgagee whose mortgage is registered on the certificate shall have the same rights and powers and be subject to the same liabilities as the mortgagee would have had and been subject to if his mortgage had been registered in the register instead of on the certificate.

(7)    The discharge of any mortgage registered on the certificate of mortgage may be endorsed on the certificate by a Registrar or an appropriate officer on the production of such evidence as is, by this Act required to be produced to the Registrar on the entry of the discharge of a mortgage in the register and on that endorsement being made, the interest, if any, which passes to the mortgagee shall vest in the same person or persons in whom it would, having regard to the intervening acts and circumstances, if any, have vested if the mortgage had not been made.

(8)    On the delivery of any certificate of mortgage to the Registrar by whom it was granted, the Registrar shall, after recording in the register in such manner as to preserve its priority, any unsatisfied mortgage registered on the certificate cancel the certificate and enter the fact of the cancellation in the register and every certificate so cancelled shall be void.

63.   Loss of certificate of sale or mortgage

 

On proof at any time to the satisfaction of the Minister that a certificate of sale or mortgage is lost or destroyed or damaged as to be useless and that the powers thereby given have never been exercised, or if they have been exercised, then, on proof of the several matters and things that have been done under the powers, the Registrar by whom the certificate was granted may, with the consent of the Minister, as circumstances require, issue a new certificate or direct such entries to be made in the register or such other things to be done, as might have been made or done if the loss, destruction or damage had not taken place.

 

64.   Revocation of certificate of sale or mortgage

(1)    The registered owner of a ship registered in Nigeria, or a share in the ship in respect of which a certificate of sale or mortgage has been granted, specifying the places where the power given by the certificate is to be exercised, may, by an instrument under his hand, authorise the Registrar by whom the certificate was granted to give notice to the appropriate officer at every such place that the certificate is revoked.

(2)    The Registrar shall, upon being authorised in subsection (1) of this section, give the required notice and the appropriate officer shall record the notice upon receiving it and after it is recorded, the certificate shall be deemed to be revoked in respect of any sale or mortgage which may be made after that in the place.

 

PART V

Certificates of Sale

65.   General rules for certificates of sales

(1)    A certificate of sale of a ship shall not be granted under this Act except-

 

(a)    for the sale of an entire ship; and

(b)    upon an application, made by declaration in writing by all persons appearing on the register to be interested in the ship, as owners or mortgagees of the ship.

(2)    The power conferred by a certificate issued under this Act shall be exercised in conformity with the directions contained in the certificate.

(3)    A sale made in good faith in exercise of the power conferred by a certificate is- sued under this Act to a purchaser for valuable consideration shall not be impeached by reason of the death of the person who gave the power before the sale.

(4)    Whenever any certificate of sale contains a specification of the place atwhich, and a limit of time not exceeding twelve months within which the power is to be exer- cised, a sale made in good faith to a purchaser for valuable consideration without notice, shall not be impeached by reason of the bankruptcy of the person by whom the power was given.

66.   Procedure where ship sold under certificate of sale granted in Nigeria

(1)    If a ship registered in Nigeria is sold in exercise ofa power conferred by a certifi- cate of sale granted under this Part of this Act to persons qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship-

(a)    a transfer of the ship shall be made by a bill of sale in the manner provided by this Part; and the bill of sale, when duly executed, and the certificate of sale shall be produced to the appropriate officer at the place at which the ship is sold, and that officer shall, upon the production, endorse and sign on the certificate of sale a memorandum of the fact of the sale of the ship and shall immediately notify the Registrar at the ship's port of registry;

(b)    the ship shall be registered anew in Nigeria in the manner provided by this Part of this Act or in any other country in the manner provided by the law of that country; and

(c)    the Registrar at the ship's former port of registry in Nigeria, upon receipt from the Registrar at the port at which the ship is registered a new certificate of sale and the ship's former certificate of registration on each of which is endorsed an entry of the fact of the sale, shall enter the sale of the ship in the register and the registration of the ship in that Register shall be considered as closed, except as far as relates to any unsatisfied mortgages or existing certificates of mortgage entered in the register.

(2)    If a ship registered in Nigeria is sold in exercise of a power conferred by a certificate of sale, granted under this Part of this Act, to persons not qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship-

(a)    the certificate of sale and the certificate of registration shall be produced to the appropriate officer at the place at which the ship is sold and the officer shall retain those certificates and endorse and sign on each of the certificate a memorandum of the fact that the ship had been sold to persons not qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship;

(b)    the appropriate officer making the endorsements required by paragraph (a) of this subsection shall forward the certificates of sale and registration, each being duly endorsed, to the Registrar at the ship's port of registry;

(c)            the Registrar at the ship's port of registry, upon receipt of the certificates of sale and registration each being endorsed in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection, shall make an entry of the sale in his register and the registration of the ship shall be considered as closed, except as far as it relates to any unsatisfied mortgages or existing certificate of mortgage entered in the register; and

(d)    if default is made in the production of the certificates mentioned in this subsection, the persons to whom a ship is sold shall be considered to have acquired no title to, or interest in, the ship, and the person on whose application the certificate of sale was granted, and the person exercising the powers conferred thereby, commits an offence under this Act and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

(3)    If no sale is made in exercise of the powers conferred by a certificate of sale granted under this Part of this Act, that certificate shall be delivered to the Registrar by whom it was granted, and that Registrar shall upon the delivery to him of the certificate cancel the certificate and enter the fact of the cancellation in the register and every certificate so cancelled shall be void.

PARTVI

Maritime Liens

67.   Sources of maritime liens

The following claims shall be secured by maritime liens on the ship:

(a)    wages and other sums due to the master, officers and other members of the ship's complement in respect of their employment on the ship;

(b)    disbursements of the master on account of the ship;

(c)    claims in respect of loss of life or personal injury occurring whether on land or on water in direct connection with the operation ofthe ship;

(d)    claims for salvage, wreck removal and contribution in general average;

(e)    claims for ports, canal and other waterways, dues and pilotage dues.

68.   Priority of maritime liens

The maritime liens listed in section 67 have priority over mortgages and preferential rights registered under this Act or which arise under the law relating to bankruptcy or any other law and no other claim shall have priority over the maritime liens listed except as provided in this Act.

69.   Order of priority of maritime liens

(1)    The maritime liens listed in section 67 of this Act, shall rank in the order in which they appear in that section except that the liens contained in section 67 (1) (d) take priority over all others if the others were registered prior to the time when the operations giving rise to the liens contained in the said section 67 (1) (d) were performed.

(2)    Claims for contribution on general average shall be deemed to have accrued on the date on which the general average act was performed and claims for salvage shall be deemed to have accrued on the date on which the salvage operation was terminated.

70.   Rights of ship builder and ship repairer

(1)    Notwithstanding any other law relating to the priority of liens, the lien or right of retention which-

(a)    a ship builder may have to secure claims for the building of the ship;

( b)   a ship repairer may have to secure claims for the repairs of the ship, shall be postponed to all maritime liens set out in section 67 of this Act, but may be preferred to registered mortgages or preferential rights as long as the ship remains in his possession.

 

(2)    For the purposes of this Act the liens or right of retention referred to in subsection (1) of this section is extinguished where the ship builder or ship repairer ceases to be in possession of the ship.

71.   Overriding nature of maritime lien

(1)    The maritime liens set out in section 67 of this Act arise whether the claims se- cured by the liens are against the owner or against the demise or other charterer, manager or operator of the ship.

(2)    Subject to the provisions of section 75 of this Act, the maritime liens securing the claims set out in section 67 of this Act, remain attached to the ship notwithstanding any change of ownership or of registration of the ship.

72.   No lien attaching to claims related to oil pollution or radio-active material

No maritime lien which arises out of or results from oil pollution or the radio-active properties or a combination of radio-active properties with toxic, explosive or other hazardous properties of nuclear fuel or of radio-active product or waste shall attach to a ship for the purpose of securing any claim set out in section 67 (1) (c) of this Act.

73.   Extinguishing period for maritime liens

The maritime liens set out in section 67 of this Act, shall be extinguished after a period of one year from the time when the claims secured by the lien arose, unless prior to the expiry of the period the ship was arrested and the arrest led to proceedings for a forced sale.

74.   Interpretation of limitation period

 

Prior to the forced sale of a ship, the court shall cause at least thirty days' written notice of the time and place of the sale to be given to-

(a)    all holders of registered mortgages and of other preferential rights which have not been issued to the bearer;

(b)    the holders of registered mortgages and rights issued to the bearer and to the holders of the maritime liens set out in section 67 of this Act, whose claims have been notified to the officers;

(c)    the Registrar of Ships.

 

75.   Effects of forced sale of ship

(1)    In the event of the forced sale of a ship, all mortgages and preferential rights, except those assumed by the purchaser with the consent of the holders, and all liens and other encumbrances of whatsoever nature shall cease to attach to the ship.

(2)    No charter patty or contract for the use of the ship shall be deemed a lien or enumbrance for the purposes of this section.

76.   Proceeds of sale

The costs awarded by a court and arising out of the arrest and subsequent sale of a ship and the distribution of the proceeds shall first be paid out of the proceeds of the sale and the balance shall be distributed among the holders of-

 

(a)    maritime liens under section 67 of this Act;

(b)    preferential rights under section 70 of th is Act; and

(c)    mortgages and other preferential rights registered under this Part of this Act,  in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act and to the extent necessary to satisfy the claims of the holders.

 

77.   Certificate of sale by court

(1)    Where a ship registered in any foreign country has been the subject of a forced sale in Nigeria and the proceeds of the forced sale have been distributed in accordance with section 76 of this Act, the court shall, at the request of the purchaser, having ascertained that the provisions of this Part of this Act have been complied with, cause to be issued, a certificate to the effect that the ship is sold free of all mortgages and all liens and other encumbrances, except those assumed by the purchaser.

(2)    Upon production by the purchaser of a ship under subsection (1) of this section, of a certificate described in that subsection relating to any ship registered under this Act, the Registrar shall delete all registered mortgages and other preferential rights except those assumed by the purchaser and register the ship in the name of the purchaser or issue a certificate of de-registration as the case may be.

 

PART VII

 

Transfers and Transmissions

78.   Transfer by bill of sale

(1)    Where a ship or any share in the ship registered in Nigeria is disposed of to person qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship, they shall be transferred by a bill of sale.

(2)    The bill of sale shall contain such description of the ship as is contained in the surveyor's tonnage certificate or other description sufficient to identify the ship to the satisfaction of the Registrar, and shall be in such form as may be approved by the Minis- ter and executed by the transferor in the presence of one witness at least and the witness shall add his occupation and address after his signature.

79.   Registry of transfer

(1)    Where a ship registered in Nigeria or any share in the ship, is transferred, the transferee shall not be registered as owner of the ship or share until he or in the case of a corporation, the person authorised by this Act to make declarations on behalf of the corporation, makes and signs a declaration referring to the ship, (in this Part referred to as a "declaration of transfer").

(2)    A declaration of transfer shall be in the form approved by the Minister.

(3)    Every bill of sale for the transfer of a ship registered in Nigeria, or a share in the ship shall, when duly executed, be produced to the Registrar at the ship port's of registry, with the declaration of transfer; and the Registrar shall upon the production, enter in the register the name of the transferee as the owner of that ship or share, and shall endorse on the bill of sale the fact that the entry has been made, with the date and time of the entry.

(4)    Bills of sale of a ship, or of a share in the ship shall be entered in the register in the order of their production to the Registrar.

80.   Transmission of property in ship on death, bankruptcy, etc.

 

(1)    When the property in a ship registered in Nigeria, or any share in the ship, is transmitted to a person qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship on the death or bankruptcy of any registered owner, or by any lawful means other than by a transfer under this Act-

 

(a)    the person shall authenticate the transmission by making in a form approved by the Minister and by signing a declaration (in this Part referred to as a "declaration of transmission") statement for the share required to be contained in the declaration of transfer or as near to it as circumstances permit and also a statement of the manner in which, and the person to whom, the property has been transmitted;

(b)    the declaration of transmission shall, if the transmission is consequent on death be accompanied by a grant of probate or letters of administration in the estate of the deceased owner, proof of survivorship to the satisfaction of the Registrar; and

(c)    the declaration of transmission shall, if the transmission is consequent on bankruptcy, be accompanied by such evidence as is for the time being receivable in any court in Nigeria as proof of the title of persons claimed under a bankruptcy.

(2)    The Registrar, on receipt of the declaration of transmission so accompanied, shall-

(a)    enter in the register the name of the person entitled under the transmission as owner of the share in the ship the property in which has been transmitted; and

(b)    where there is more than one person entitled, enter the names of all those persons, but those persons however numerous shall, for the purpose of ownership in the register be considered as one person.

81.   Order for sale on transmission to unqualified person

 

(1)    Where the property in a ship registered in Nigeria, or a share in the ship, is trans- mitted on death, or bankruptcy or otherwise to persons not qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship, a court of competent jurisdiction may, on application by or on behalf of the unqualified persons, order a sale of the property so transmitted, and direct that the proceeds of the sale, after deducting the expenses of the sale, be paid to the persons entitled under the transmission or otherwise as the court may direct.

 

(2)    The court may require any evidence it thinks requisite in support of the application,and may make the order on such terms and conditions as the court thinks just, or may refuse to make the order, and generally act in the case as the justice of the case requires.

 

(3)    Every application for sale under this section, shall be made within thirty days after the occurrence of the event on which the transmission took place, or within such further time, not exceeding one year from the date of the occurrence, as the court may allow.

82.   Transfer or sale of ship by order of court

When a court of competent jurisdiction, whether under this Act or otherwise, orders the sale of any ship or share in the ship, the order shall contain a declaration vesting in a person named in the order, the right to transfer that ship or share; and the person so named shall upon receiving the right be entitled to transfer the ship or share in the same manner and to the same extent as if the person were the registered owner of the ship or share and every Registrar shall obey the requisition of the person so named as if that person were the registered owner.

PART VIII

Certificate of Competency of Masters and Crew

83.   Regulations regarding manning and qualifications of persons serving in Nigerianship

(1)    The Minister may make such regulations as he considers necessary or expedient for the manning requirements for Nigerian ships, qualifications of officers and seamen of the ships and for matters connected with the manning and qualification and without prejudice to the generality of such powers, the Minister may make regulations-

(a)    determining the categories of Nigerian ships by reference to their tonnage capacity, the nature of their cargo and the trading areas or voyages in which they are engaged;

(b)    with respect to the manning requirements in relation to such classes or descriptions of ships as may be prescribed, trading in such areas as may be prescribed, and in particular requiring ships to carry such number of qualified officers of any description, qualified doctors and qualified cooks and such number of other seamen or qualified seamen of any description as may be specified in the regulations;

(c)    prescribing conditions as to the nationality of a person for service on board a Nigerian ship or any ship engaged in local trade in Nigerian waters;

(d)    requiring that in any case a ship shall be under the charge of a properly certificated master and that watches at sea and in port shall always be kept by appropriately qualified officers;

(e)    requiring officers and seamen and other persons performing prescribed functions in relation to the operation and maintenance of ships to be holders of certificates of competency, proficiency, qualification, authorisation or otherwise and to satisfy such other conditions as may be prescribed, including conditions as to nationality and providing for the grant, revocation, extension, validation, suspension, endorsement or variation and the form and recording of the certificates;

(f)     relating to the holding and conduct of examinations for the certificates, the qualifications of candidates for such examinations and the qualifications of the examiners and the appointment, removal, re-appointment and the remuneration of the examiners, the fees for the examinations, and all such matters as the Minister may think necessary or expedient for the purpose of such examinations;

(g)    providing for the exemption of persons with prescribed qualifications or ex- perience from the whole or parts of examinations for the certificates;

(h)    providing for the programmes of training and the curricula of study to be fol- lowed in the training of seafarers;

(i)     providing for the establishment, maintenance and operation of schools for the training of persons for certification as seafarers, and designating, from time to time, of institutions as recognised or affiliated places of training;

(j)     prescribing the manner in which enquiries may be instituted before a tribunal appointed under this Act, the procedure to be followed in the conduct of such proceedings and matters incidental to or consequential on the proceedings;

 

(k)    prescribing medical examinations, hours of work, safe working conditions and any other matter which may be, or is required by this Act to be prescribed.

(2)    Regulations made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section may, in respect of the breach of any provisions of the Regulations provide penalties not less than one hundred thousand naira or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

 

84.   Power to exempt ship

The Minister may exempt any ship or class of ships from the requirements of any regulation made under section 83 of this Act and the exemption shall be confined to a particular period or to one or more particular voyages.

 

85.   Approval of foreign certificate

(1)    The Minister may approve in writing, a certificate of competency issued in accor- dance with any law in force in such country as may be prescribed, and any certificate so approved shall remain approved as long as it remains valid in that country.

 

(2)    Where a person holding a certificate referred to in subsection (1) of this section is desirous of serving on a Nigerian ship as master, deck officer or engineer, the Minister may direct that the person-

(a)    where he is a citizen of Nigeria, be granted a certificate of equivalent grade under this Act;

(b)    where he is not a citizen of Nigeria, be issued with a licence, authorising that person to serve on a Nigerian ship in the same capacity as if the certificate had been granted under this Act, subject to such conditions as the Minister may Impose.

(3)    A licence issued under subsection (2) of this section, shall-

(a)    during the currency of the licence have the same force as a certificate of competency granted under this Act and may be cancelled or suspended for like reason;

(b)    be valid for a period of five years from the date of issue, and may be renewed upon such conditions as may be prescribed by the Minister.

 

86.   Tribunal of Inquiry

The Minister may from time to time appoint a Tribunal of Inquiry of not less than three or more than five persons at least one of whom shall be a ship's senior officer, to enquire in accordance with such provisions as may be prescribed, into any question whether a seafarer-

(a)    is suffering from any habit or any mental or physical condition which renders him unfit to be a seafarer;

(b)    is guilty of dishonesty, incompetence or misconduct in the performance of his functions as a seafarer;

(c)    procured his certificate of competency as a result of any misleading, false or fraudulent misrepresentation,  and the Tribunal appointed pursuant to this section shall, in respect of the matter enquired into, make such recommendations as it thinks fit to the Minister.

 

87.   Tribunal may recommend cancellation, etc., of a certificate

Where a Tribunal holding a formal investigation under this Act, into a shipping casualty finds that loss of life or loss or abandonment of, or serious damage to, any ship has been caused by the wrongful act or default of a seafarer who holds a certificate issued or approved under this Act, the Tribunal may recommend to the Minister that the certificate be cancelled or suspended, or that the approval be withdrawn, as the case may be.

The Minister, acting on a recommendation made by a Tribunal under this Act, and consequent on conviction of a seafarer for such offence as may be prescribed by instru- ment in writing may-

 

(a)    cancel or suspend a certificate and order that it be surrendered at such place and within such time as the Minister may direct; or

(b)    withdraw the approval indefinitely or for such temporary period as the Minister may specify in the instrument.

89.   Appeals against cancellation, etc., of certificate

(1)    Any person who is aggrieved by an order of the Minister under section 88 of this Act, cancelling or suspending a certificate, or withdrawing an approval under this Act, may, subject to subsection (3) of this section, appeal to the court against the order within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2)    The court may-

(a)    dismiss the appeal and confirm the order;

(b)    allow the appeal and set aside the order;

(c)    vary the order as it thinks fit; and

 

(d)    where the matter had been enquired into by a Tribunal, allow the appeal and direct that the matter be re-heard by the same Tribunal or by another Tribunal appointed under section 86 of this Act.

90.   Offences

(1)    A person who--

(a)    serves as a seafarer on board a Nigerian ship without being the holder of a valid certificate appropriate to the category in which he is engaged to serve; or

(b)     on his own account or acting in the capacity of an agent, engages any person as a seafarer without taking all necessary steps to ascertain whether the person is the holder of a valid certificate appropriate to that category, commits an offence under this Act and on summary conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not less than two years or to both.

 

(2)    For the purpose of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section, where it is established that a seafarer is engaged to serve in any category without being the holder of a valid certificate appropriate to that category, the onus shall be on the person who engaged that seafarer to prove that he has taken all necessary steps to ascertain that the seafarer was at the time when he was engaged, the holder of a valid certificate appropriate to the capacity in which he is engaged to serve.

(3)      A person who--

(a)    makes or procures or assists in making any false representation for the purpose of obtaining for himself, or for any other person any certificate or any certified copy of the certificate; or

(b)    forges, assists in forging or procures the forging of the certificate or copy of the certificate;

(c)    fraudulently alters or assists in the fraudulent alteration of the certificate or copy, or procures it to be fraudulently altered; or

(d)    fraudulently makes use of any certificate or copy of the certificate that is forged, altered, cancelled, or suspended or to which he is not entitled; or

(e)    fraudulently lends his certificate to, or allows it to be used by, any other person; or

(f)     makes or has in his possession any document so closely resembling the certifi- cates as to be calculated to deceive,  commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not less than twenty- five thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.

(4)    A person who-

(a)    not being the holder of a valid certificate; or

(b)    during a period when his certificate is suspended or approval of his certificate is withdrawn, as the case may be,  takes or uses any title, addition or description implying or calculated to lead persons to believe that he is entitled to serve as a seafarer on a Nigerian ship, commits an offence and on conviction, is liable to a fine not less than twenty thousand naira or to imprison- ment not exceeding one year or to both.

(5)    Any seafarer who, without reasonable cause, fails to comply with a direction of the Minister to surrender his certificate commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than fifty thousand naira.

 

PART IX

 

Employment of Seamen

 

 91. Seafarer Services Office, NMLA No. 46 of2003

 

(1)    There shall be established an office to be known as Seafarer Services Office which shall have in other places Seafarer Services Sub-offices at which shall be con- ducted all the business as within Nigeria, connected with the engagement and discharge of seamen on board Nigerian ships.

 

(2)    There shall be appointed an officer of seamen and such other officers as may be necessary for service in the Office or Sub-offices.

 

(3)    Any act done by or to or before, any other officer pursuant to subsection (2), within the powers conferred upon him by the superintendent of Seafarer Services Office shall have the same effect as if done by, to or before the superintendent.

 

(4)    No seaman shall-

 

(a)    except with the approval of the Seafarer Services Office, be engaged to do duty on board a Nigerian or foreign ship provided that in the case of a foreign ship seamen may be engaged before a Consular Officer resident in Nigeria representing the flag of the foreign ship;

(b)    be engaged to do duty on board any Nigerian ship unless the seaman has pro- duced to the superintendent a certificate of discharge from the seaman's last ship or failing production of the certificate the seaman has given a satisfactory explanation to the superintendent of the cause of the non-production.

 

(5)    Any person who without reasonable cause engages a seaman in contravention of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than fifty thousand naira.

 

92.   Functions of superintendent

The functions of the superintendent are to-

(a)    conduct any business connected with the engagement and discharge of all persons who serve on board Nigerian ships and all seamen who are citizens of Nigeria and serve on foreign ships;

(b)    afford facilities for engaging and discharging seamen by keeping registers of  the names and conduct of-

 

(i)     seamen who apply to him for engagement;

(ii)    seamen shipped or discharged by him;

(iii)    seamen who produce continuous discharge certificates in proof of service in foreign or Nigerian ships;

(iv)   seamen who serve in Nigerian ships;

(c)    cause copies of the certificates referred to in paragraph (b) (iii) to be kept at his office;

(d)    perform such other duties relating to seamen, apprentices and ships as are by or in pursuance of this or any other enactment relating to shipping entrusted to him.

 

Agreements for Sea Service

 

93.   Agreement with crew

 

(1)    The Minister may make regulations relating to the making of agreements between the master and crew of a Nigerian ship.

 

(2)    The master of every Nigerian ship, except a ship of less than 80 tons exclusively employed in trading within such limits as may be prescribed, shall enter into an agree- ment, in accordance with this Part of this Act, with every seaman whom he carries to sea from any port in Nigeria.

 

(3)    The master in the case of a foreign ship, and the owner and master in the case of any other ship or a Nigerian ship, who carries any seaman to sea without entering into an agreement with the seaman in accordance with this Part, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less that one hundred thousand naira.

94.   Form, period and conditions of agreement

 

(1)    An agreement made by the master of a ship with a crew member shall be in the prescribed form and shall be dated at the time of the signature of the agreement and signed by the master before the crew member signs same.

 

(2)    The agreement made under subsection (1) of this section, may be for a definite period or for a voyage or for an indefinite period and shall state clearly the respective rights and obligations of each of the parties.

 

(3)    An agreement under this section shall contain the--

(a)    surname and other names of the seaman, the date of his birth or his age and his birth place;

(b)    place at which and date on which the agreement was completed;

(c)    name of the vessel or vessels on board which the seaman undertakes to serve;

(d)    nature and, as far as practicable, the duration of the intended voyage or engagement, or the maximum period of the voyage or engagement, and the places or parts of the world, if any, to which the voyage or engagement is not to extend;

(e)    number and description of the crew, specifying how many are engaged as sailors;

(f)     capacity in which the seaman is to serve;

(g)    time at which the seaman is to be on board or to begin work;

(h)    welfare and necessities of life for good health provided for each seaman;

(i)     wages which the seaman is to receive;

(j)     termination of the agreement and the conditions for the termination of the agreement such as-

(i)     if the agreement was made for a definite period, the date fixed for its expiry;

(ii)    if the agreement was made for a voyage, the port of destination and the time which has to expire after arrival of the ship before the seaman is discharged;

 

(iii)    if the agreement was made for an indefinite period, the conditions which entitle the parties to rescind the agreement as well as the required period of notice for rescission; so however that the period shall not be less for the ship owner than for the seaman;

(k)    annual leave with pay granted to the seaman after one year's service with the same shipping company; (f) any regulations as to conduct on board and as to fines, short allowance of provisions or other lawful punishment for misconduct which have been approved by the Minister as regulations proper to be adopted and which the parties agree to adopt.

95.   Provisions for termination

 

An agreement entered into for a voyage, for a definite period, or for an indefinite period shall be duly terminated by-

 

(a)    the mutual consent of the parties;

(b)    the death of the seaman;

(c)    the loss or total unseaworthiness of the vessel;

(d)    any other circumstance that may be provided by law.

 

96.   Special provisions as to agreement with crew of sea-going ship

(1)    The special provisions in this section shall have effect with respect to the agree- ments made in Nigeria with the crew of sea-going ships.

(2)    The agreement shall, subject to the provisions of this Act as to substitutes, be signed by each seaman in the presence of the superintendent.

(3)    The superintendent shall cause an agreement under this section to be read over and explained to each seaman, or otherwise ascertain that each seaman understands the agreement before the seaman signs it and the superintendent shall attest to each signature of the seaman.

(4)    When the crew is first engaged, an agreement under this section shall be signed in duplicate, and one part retained by the superintendent, and the other shall be delivered to the master and shall contain a special place for the descriptions and signatures of substitutes or persons engaged subsequent to the first departure of the ship.

(5)    When a substitute is engaged in the place of a seaman who duly signed the agreement made before the superintendent and whose services are, within twenty-four hours before the ship puts to sea, lost by death, desertion or other unforeseen cause, the master shall before the ship puts to sea, if practicable, and if not, as soon afterwards as possible, cause the agreement to be read over and explained to the substitute, and the substitute shall upon the agreement being read to him sign the agreement in the presence of a witness, and the witness shall attest to the signature of the substitutes.

(6)    The agreement may be made for a voyage or, if the voyages of the ship average less than six months in duration, may be made to extend over two or more voyages and any agreement so extended shall be referred to as a "running agreement".

 

(7)    A running agreement shall not be for a period longer than six months, or the first arrival of the ship at the ship's port of destination in Nigeria after the expiration of that period, or the discharge of cargo consequent on the arrival.

 

(8)    On every return to a port in Nigeria before the final termination of a running agreement, the master shall make an endorsement on the agreement as to the engage- ments or discharges made or intended to be made before the ship leaves port or that all those made were made as required by law.

 

(9)    A master who wilfully makes a false statement in an endorsement referred to in subsection (8) of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a penalty not less than one hundred thousand naira.

 

(10)  The master of the ship shall deliver the running agreement endorsed to the su- perintendent, who shall, if the provisions of this Part relating to agreements have been complied with, sign the endorsement and return the agreement to the master.

 

97.   Special provisions as to agreement with crew of a ship other than a sea-going ship

(1)    The provisions of this section shall have effect with respect to an agreement made with the crew of a ship in Nigeria other than a sea-going ship, for which an agreement with the crew is required in this Part of this Act.

 

(2)    An agreement under this section may be made for service in a particular ship or for service in two or more ships belonging to the same owner, but, in the latter case, the nature of the service shall be specified in the agreement.

(3)    The crew or individual seaman shall be engaged before the superintendent in the same manner as they are required to be engaged for sea-going ships.

 

(4)    An agreement under this section for service in two or more ships belonging to the same owner may be made by the owner instead of the master, and the provisions of this Act with respect to the making of the agreement shall apply accordingly.

 

(5)    An agreement shall not be for a longer period than six months, or the first arrival of the ship at her final port of destination in Nigeria after the expiration of the period, or the discharge of cargo consequent on the arrival.

 

(6)    The owner of a ship or his agent may enter into a time agreement in the pre- scribed form with a seaman to serve in anyone or more ships belonging to the owner and the agreements may not necessarily expire at the time of the ship's agreement with the crew.

 

98.   Fees upon engagement and discharge

(1)    The fees payable upon an engagement and a discharge shall be as prescribed by the appropriate authority.

(2)    The superintendent shall cause a scale of the fees, together with a copy of this section to be conspicuously exhibited in the Seafarer Services Office and may require the payment of the fees before proceeding with any engagement or discharge.

(3)    The master of a ship who engages or discharges any seaman at the Seafarer Services Office shall pay to the superintendent the whole of the prescribed fees.

 

99.   Changes in crew of sea-going ships to be reported

(1)    The master of every sea-going ship whose crew was engaged before the superin- tendent shall, before finally leaving Nigeria, sign and send to the nearest superintendent, a full and accurate statement in the prescribed form, of every change which takes place in his crew before finally leaving Nigeria, and that statement shall be admissible in evidence.

(2)    A master who fails without reasonable cause to comply with the provisions of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

100. Certificate as to agreement with crew of sea-going ship

(1)    In the case of a sea-going Nigerian ship, on the due execution of an agreement with the crew in accordance with this Part of this Act, and where the agreement is a run- ning agreement, in compliance by the master, before the second and every subsequent voyage made after the first commencement of the agreement with the provisions of this Part respecting that agreement, the superintendent shall grant the master of the ship a certificate to that effect.

 

(2)    The master of every sea-going Nigerian ship shall, before proceeding to sea, pro- duce to the superintendent the certificate granted him under subsection (1) of this section and any such ship may be detained until the conditions precedent to the grant of the certificate exist.

(3)    The master of every sea-going Nigerian ship shall, within forty-eight hours after the ship's arrival at the ship's final port of destination in Nigeria or upon the discharge of the crew, whichever first happens, deliver his agreement with the crew to the superintendent and the superintendent shall give the master a certificate of the delivery.

 

(4)    A master of a ship who fails, without reasonable cause to deliver the agreement with the crew to the superintendent commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than fifty thousand naira.

 

101. Certificate as to agreement with the crew of a ship other than a sea-going ship

 

(1)    The owner or master of a Nigerian ship, which is not a sea-going ship shall, within twenty-one days after expiration of an agreement with the crew or within forty- eight hours of the ship's next arrival in Nigeria, whichever first happens, deliver or transmit the agreement to the superintendent in Nigeria.

(2)    The superintendent, on receiving an agreement under subsection (1) of this sec- tion, shall give the owner or master of the ship a certificate to that effect, and the ship may be detained until the conditions precedent to the grant of the certificate exist.

(3)    Any such owner or master who fails, without reasonable cause, to comply with this section shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not less than twenty thousand naira.

102. Copy of agreement not to be made accessible

(1)    The master of every Nigerian ship to which the provisions of section 93 of this Act apply, shall at the commencement of any voyage or engagement, cause a legible copy of the agreement with the crew without the signatures of the crew to be posted up in a part of the ship which is accessible to the crew.

 

(2)    Any master who fails, without reasonable cause, to comply with this section com- mits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than fifty thousand naira.

103.  Forgery, etc., of agreement with crew

(1)    A person who fraudulently alters, makes any false entry in or delivers a false copy of any agreement with the crew to the superintendent commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than five hundred thousand naira, or to imprisonment for a term not less than two years or both.

(2)    A person who assists in committing, or procures to be committed, any offence under this section, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than fifty thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not less than two years, or both.

104. Alterations in agreement with crew

Every erasure, interlineation or alteration in any agreement with the crew, except additions made for the purpose of shipping substitutes or persons engaged after the first departure of the ship, shall be wholly inoperative unless proved to have been made with the consent of all the persons interested in the erasure, interlineation or the alteration by the written attestation of the superintendent or appropriate officer.

105. Seaman not to be bound to produce agreement

In any legal or other proceedings, a seaman may bring forward evidence to prove the contents of any agreement with the crew or otherwise to support his case without producing, or giving notice to produce, the agreement or any copy of the agreement.

Agreement with Local Seamen

106. Engagement of Local Seamen

( 1)   Where in the case of seamen engaged in Nigeria who are nationals of or are domiciled in Nigeria it is agreed that the engagement of the seamen shall end at any port not in Nigeria, the agreement shall contain such stipulations as may be prescribed by the Minister from time to time.

(2)    Every stipulation under subsection (1) of this section shall be signed by the owner of the vessel or by the master on his behalf.

107.  Engagement between masters of foreign ships and local seamen

 

(1)    Where the master of a foreign ship at any port in Nigeria engages seamen who are nationals of or are domiciled in Nigeria to proceed to any port not in Nigeria, he shall, save in any case provided for in subsection (3) of section 94 of this Act, enter into an agreement with the seamen and the agreement shall be made before the superintendent in the manner provided for the making of agreements in the case of sea-going ships.

(2)    The provisions of section 106 of this Act respecting the stipulations to be con- tained in agreements under this section, and the making and signing of the same shall be applicable to the engagement of the seaman.

(3)    The master of any foreign ship shall, if so required by the superintendent, give to the superintendent a bond with the security of a person resident in Nigeria and approved by the superintendent for every such seaman and conditioned for the due performance of the agreement and any prescribed stipulations and for the repayment to the Government of Nigeria of all expenses which it may incur in respect of any such seaman who is discharged or left behind at any port out of Nigeria, and becomes distressed, and is relieved under the provisions of this Act.

108. Penalty for breach

Any master of foreign ships who engages any seaman who is domiciled in Nigeria otherwise than in accordance with this Part of this Act commits an offence and on con- viction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira for every such seaman so engaged.

109. Inspection of foreign ships in connection with engagement of local seamen

The superintendent may enter on board any foreign ship for the purpose of ascertaining that the requirements of section 107 of this Act have been complied with in respect of any seaman domiciled in Nigeria and engaged in Nigeria to proceed in the ship to any port not in Nigeria; and for these purposes, the superintendent shall have all the powers of an inspector under this Act.

Discharge of Seamen

110. Procedure on discharge of seamen, etc.

 

(1)    The master of a ship shall not discharge any seaman from any foreign ship in Nigeria without the approval of the superintendent or of the consular officer, if any, representing the nation to which the ship belongs, and unless due provision is made for the subsistence and maintenance of the seaman to the satisfaction of the consular officer.

(2)    A master of a ship who discharges a seaman in contravention of subsection (I) of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than two hundred thousand naira.

(3)    The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply in respect of any seaman who was engaged in Nigeria or any seaman who, being a Nigerian citizen or a foreign citizen domiciled in Nigeria, is discharged in accordance with the terms of his agreement.

(4)    The master of a ship shall not, except with the approval of the superintendent, discharge a seaman from any Nigerian ship, in any place other than at the Seafarer Services Office.

 

(5)    Whenever any seaman is discharged at the Seafarer Services Office from any ship within Nigeria, the master of the ship shall give to the seaman at the time of the discharge, a written certificate specifying the time and nature of service and the time and place of discharge of the seaman, signed by the master and if the master fails to do so, he commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

(6)    The master of a ship shall upon the discharge of a certificated officer whose cer- tificate of competency was delivered to and retained by the master return the certificate to the officer and if the master, without reasonable cause, fails to return the certificate, he commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

(7)            The master of a foreign ship or other person belonging to a foreign ship who wrongfully forces on shore and leaves behind, or otherwise wilfully leaves behind in Nigeria, any seaman or cadet belonging to the ship before the completion of the voyage for which the seaman or cadet was engaged, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not less than one year or to both.

111. Report of seaman's character

(1)    When a seaman is discharged before the superintendent, the master shall make and sign, in the prescribed form, a report of the conduct, character and qualifications of the seaman discharged, or may state in the form that he declines to give any opinion upon any or all of the particulars.

(2)    The superintendent before whom a discharge under this section is made shall, if the seaman desires, give to the seaman or endorse on his discharge, a copy of the report.

112.  Fake or forged certificate of report of character A person who-

(a)    makes a false report of character under this Part of this Act, knowing the same to be false; or

(b)    forges or fraudulently alters any certificate of discharge or report of character or a copy of a report of character or assists in committing or procuring the commission of any such offence; or

(c)    fraudulently uses any certificate of discharge or report of character, or copy of a report of character, which is forged or altered or does not belong to him, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than two hundred thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not less than two years or to both.

 

Special Provisions as to Seamen Leji Behind Abroad

113. Certificate of proper officer required where seaman left behind abroad

(1)    The master of a Nigerian ship shall not leave a seaman or cadet behind at any place out of Nigeria on shore or at sea except where-

(a)    a seaman is discharged in accordance with this Part of this Act; or

(b)    the service of a cadet is terminated in accordance with his training agreement;

(c)    the master previously obtains, endorsed on the agreement with the crew, the certificate of the appropriate officer at the port at which the seaman or cadet is left behind, stating the cause of his being so left behind, whether the cause be unfitness or inability to proceed to sea, desertion, disappearance or otherwise.

(2)    An appropriate officer shall, when an application is made for his certificate under subsection (1) of this section, inquire into the grounds on which the seaman or cadet is to be left behind, and may for that purpose, if he thinks fit, administer oaths or affirmations, and grant or refuse the certificate as he thinks just; but the appropriate officer shall not unreasonably withhold the certificate.

(3)    Where a seaman or cadet from a Nigerian ship is left behind at any place outside Nigeria on shore or at sea by reason of his desertion, absence without leave or failure to join the ship, the provisions of this Part of this Act and or the provisions of the First Schedule shall apply in respect of the seaman or cadet.

[First Schedule.]

(4)    The master of a ship who fails to comply with the requirements of this Part, commits an offence in addition to any other liability under this Act, and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not less than two years, or to both.

(5)    For the purposes of any proceedings under this section the burden of proving that the certificate was obtained, or could not be obtained without unreasonable delay to the ship, or was unreasonably withheld, shall lie on the master of a ship.

114. Account of wages in case of seaman left behind on ground of unfitness, etc.

(1)    Where the master of a Nigerian ship leaves a seaman behind on shore at any port out of Nigeria on the ground of the seaman's unfitness or inability to proceed to sea, the master shall deliver to the appropriate officer at the port, a full and true account of the wages due to the seaman and if the port is a port in a foreign country, the master shall deliver the account in duplicate.

(2)    A master of a ship who fails to comply with the requirements of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than fifty thousand naira.

115. Payment of wages of seaman left behind on ground of unfitness, etc.

(1)    Where a seaman is left behind at any port in a foreign country, on shore or at sea, the master shall pay the wages due to the seaman to the appropriate officer.

(2)    Where payment is made to an appropriate officer in a foreign country, the officer shall retain one duplicate of the account delivered to him, and, if satisfied with the ac-count, endorse on the other duplicate a receipt for the payment and return the duplicate account to the master of the ship.

(3)    The master of the ship shall-

(a)    if the voyage of the ship is to terminate in Nigeria within forty-eight hours after the arrival of the ship at the ship's port of destination in Nigeria;

(b)    if in the course of the voyage the ship touches and remains for forty-eight hours at any port in Nigeria; or

(c)    in any other case, within forty-eight hours after the ship's arrival at the ship's port of destination, deliver the duplicate account to the superintendent or appropriate officer at the port.

(4)    Payment under this section shall be made, whenever it is practicable, in cash and when not so practicable, by bills drawn on the owner of the ship.

(5)    Where payment is made by bills under this section-

(a)    the appropriate officer shall certify by endorsing-

(i)     on the bill that the bill is drawn for seamen's wages;

 

(ii)    on the agreement with the crew the amount for which the bill isdrawn; and

(iii)    such further particulars as the Minister may require;

(b)    if the bill is drawn by the master, the owner of the ship shall be liable to pay the amount to the holder or endorse the amount on the bill and it is not necessary, in any proceedings against the owner upon the bill, to prove that the master had authority to draw the bill;

(c)    a bill purporting to be drawn and endorsed under this section shall, if produced out of the custody of the Minister or the superintendent, be admissible in evidence; and any endorsement on any bill purporting to be made in pursuance of this section shall also be admissible as evidence of the facts stated in the endorsement.

(6)    A master of a ship who fails, without reasonable cause, to make the payment of wages provided for under this section, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than fifty thousand naira.

116. Application by appropriate officer of payments on account of seaman left be- hind in foreign country

Where the amount of wages due to a seaman left behind is, pursuant to section 115 of this Act, paid to an appropriate officer in a foreign country, the officer shall deal with the sum paid to him in the following manner:

(a)    if the seaman subsequently obtains employment at or quits the port at which the payment has been made, deduct out of the sum any expenses incurred by the appropriate officer in respect of the maintenance of the seaman pursuant to this Part of this Act except such expenses as the owner or master is by this Part of this Act required to defray, pay the remainder to the seaman and deliver to the seaman an account of the sums so received and expended on his behalf;

(b)    if the seaman dies before his ship quits the port, the appropriate officer shall deal with the sum as part of the property of a deceased seaman;

(c)    if the seaman is sent to a proper return port at the public expense in accordance with this Act or any regulations made under this Act, the appropriate officer shall account for the sum to the Minister and the sum, after any expense duly incurred in respect of the seaman have been deducted except such expenses as the owner or master is by this Part required to defray, shall be dealt with as wages of the seaman.

117. Repatriation of seaman on termination of service at foreign port

 

(1)    Where the service of a seaman or cadet belonging to a Nigerian ship terminates during the currency of the agreement at any port out of Nigeria, otherwise than by the consent of the seaman to be discharged, or otherwise than in accordance with the training agreement-

 

(a)    the master of the ship shall, apart from complying with the other applicable provisions of this Part, make adequate provision in accordance with this Part for the maintenance of the seaman or cadet and for his return to a proper return port; and

 

(b)    the appropriate officer shall endorse upon the agreement with the crew of the ship which the seaman or cadet is leaving the particulars of any provision so made.

(2)    If the master fails, without reasonable cause, to comply with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, the expenses of maintenance and of return to the proper return port shall-

(a)    if defrayed by the seaman or cadet, be recoverable as wages due to the seaman; and

(b)    if defrayed by the appropriate officer or by any other person unless the seaman or cadet has been guilty of barratry, be a charge upon the ship to which the seaman or cadet belonged, and may also be recovered in the same manner as seaman's wages are recoverable from-

(i)     the owner of the ship for the time being, or

 

(ii)    where the ship has been lost, the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the loss, or

(iii)    where the ship has been transferred to persons not qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship, the owners for the time being or the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the transfer, at the suit of the person defraying the expenses or if the expenses have been repaid to that person out of moneys allowed by the Minister as a debt due to the Federal Government.

(3)    When the master of a ship is required under subsection (1) of this section, to provide for the return of a seaman or cadet to a proper return port, the master may, instead of providing the seaman or cadet with-

(a)    a passage or the expenses of his journey; or

(b)    means to pay his passage or the expenses for his journey, deposit with the appropriate officer such sum as that officer considers sufficient to defray the expenses of the return of the seaman or cadet to a proper return port.

 

Distressed Seamen

118. Rules as to relief and maintenance of distressed seamen

 

(1)    The Minister may make rules with respect to the relief, maintenance and return to a proper return port of masters of ships, seamen and cadets who are shipwrecked or found otherwise in distress at any place beyond the limits of Nigeria in this Act referred to as distressed seamen.

 

(2)    Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, rules made pursuant to this section may make provisions-

 

(a)    for such conditions as are deemed expedient with regard to the relief and maintenance of a distressed seaman and his return to a proper return port; and

 

(b)    enabling the appropriate officer and in the case of expenses required to be incurred in Nigeria, the Minister or the superintendent, to defray any expenses properly incurred by or on behalf of any foreign country or by any person, in making arrangements for the return of a distressed seaman to a proper return port; and any expenses so incurred shall, for the purposes of this Part, be deemed to be expenses incurred on behalf of the distressed seaman.

(3)    Save as provided by this Act or any other written law, a master, seaman or cadet shall not be relieved, maintained or sent to a proper return port except in the cases and to the extent and on the conditions provided by rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to this section.

 

(4)    All expenses paid under this Act by or on behalf of the Federal Government for the relief of a distressed seaman shall be charged upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund without further appropriation than this section, and all sums received or recovered towards those expenses shall be paid into the Fund.

119.  Provisions for relief and maintenance of distressed or shipwrecked seaman

(1)    Where a distressed seaman-

(a)    whether or not he is a Nigerian citizen, is found at any place out of Nigeria discharged or left behind from any Nigerian ship or any Nigerian Government ship, or by reason of having been discharged or left behind from any such ship in any place out of Nigeria in distress in that place; or

(b)    who is a Nigerian citizen who was engaged by any person acting as principal or agent to serve on a ship belonging to the Government or a subject or citizen ofa foreign country, is in distress in any place out of Nigeria, an appropriate officer shall, in accordance with and on the conditions prescribed by rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to section 118 of this Act, provide in accordance with this Act, for the return of the distressed seaman to a proper return port.

(2)    The appropriate officer shall provide for the seaman the necessary clothing and maintenance he would require until his departure to a proper port and in addition, in the case of a shipwrecked seaman, for the repayment of any expenses incurred in the conveyance of the distressed seaman to port after the shipwreck and his maintenance while being so conveyed.

120. Recovery of money advanced for distressed seaman

(1)    Where any expenses, other than excepted expenses as defined by this section, are incurred by or on behalf of the Federal Government or are incurred by the Government of any foreign country and repaid to that Government by or on behalf of the Federal Government on account of any distressed seaman-

(a)    for the maintenance, medical expenses, necessary clothing and conveyance of the distressed seaman to a proper return port; or

(b)    in case of death of the distressed seaman for his burial, or otherwise in accor- dance with this Act, the expenses, together with the wages, if any, due to the distressed seaman, shall be charged upon the ship to which the distressed seaman belonged and shall be a debt due to the Federal Government from the master of the ship.

(2)    For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, the master of the ship includes-

(a)    the owner of the ship for the time being; or

(b)    where the ship has been lost, the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the loss; or

(c)    where the ship has been transferred to persons not qualified to own a registered Nigerian ship, the owners for the time being or the person who was the owner of the ship at the time of the transfer;

 

(d)    in the case of a seaman or cadet who belonged to any foreign ship, the person, whether principal or agent, who engaged the seaman or cadet for service on the ship.

 

(3)    The debt, in addition to any penalties which may have been incurred, may be re- covered by the Minister on behalf of the Federal Government in the court and in the manner in which wages may be recovered by seamen.

(4)    In any proceedings for the recovery of debt under this section, the production of the account, if any, of the expenses furnished in accordance with this Act and proof of payment of the expenses by or on behalf of the Minister or by Minister's direction, shall be sufficient evidence that the expenses were incurred or repaid under this Act by or on behalf of the Federal Government.

(5)    For the purpose of this section, "excepted expenses" means-

(a)    expenses incurred in cases where the certificate of the appropriate officer obtained on leaving a seaman or cadet behind states, or the Minister is otherwise satisfied, that the cause of the seaman or cadet being left behind is desertion, disappearance, imprisonment for misconduct or discharge from his ship by a naval court on the ground of misconduct; and

 

(b)    expenses incurred on account of the return to a proper return port of a distressed seaman who has been discharged at the port at which he was shipped, or at some neighbouring port.

 

121. Mode of providing for return

(1)    A distressed seaman may be sent to a proper return port by any reasonable route by land, sea or air or by any two or more of these modes of travel, in accordance with subsection (2) of this section.

(2)    Provisions shall, where practicable, be made for the return of the distressed sea- man by sea as to the whole or any part of the route by-

 

(a)    placing the seaman on board any ship which is in want of seamen to make up its complements;

 

(b)    providing the seaman with a passage on any ship or with the money for his passage on any such ship; and

(c)    as to any part of the route which is by land or by air, paying the expenses of the journey of the seaman and of his maintenance during the journey or providing him with means to pay those expenses.

122. Decision on questions as to return port

(1)    If any question arises as to what return port a distressed seaman is to be sent, in any case or as to the route by which the seaman should be sent, that question shall be decided by the appropriate officer.

(2)    In deciding a question in subsection (2) of this section, the appropriate officer shall-

(a)    have regard to the provisions of this Act relating to the proper return port; and

(b)    subject to the provisions of this Act, have regard to the convenience of the distressed seaman, the expense involved, and where that is the case, the fact that a ship, which is in want of seamen to make up its complement, is about to proceed to the proper return port.

 

123. Provisions as to taking distressed seaman on ship, etc.

(1)    Where a distressed seaman is, for the purpose of his return to a proper return port, placed on board any ship, the appropriate officer of the country in which the ship is, shall endorse on the agreement with the crew, the name of the distressed seaman so placed on board together with any particulars directed to be endorsed on the agreement by the law of that country.

(2)    Where a distressed seaman is provided with a passage on a ship and is not signed on as a member of the crew of the ship, on the production of-

 

(a)    a certificate, signed by the appropriate officer by whose arrangements a distressed seaman to whom any rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to section I 18 of this Act apply received on board any Nigerian ship, specifying the number and the names of the distressed seamen and the time when each of them was received on board; and

(b)    a declaration in writing made by the master of the ship, before the superintendent or appropriate officer stating the number of days during which each distressed seaman has received maintenance, the master of the ship shall be paid, in respect of the maintenance and passage of each distressed seaman so conveyed, maintained and provided for by him and shall be paid such sum for each day or part of a day as is allowed by any rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to section 118 of this Act.

124   Appropriate officer may require master of Nigerian ship to take seaman in distress

(1)    The appropriate officer may, in the case of any distressed seaman to whom any rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to section 118 apply, require the master of any Nigerian ship-

(a)    to receive on board the distressed seaman or as the case may be the seamen or cadets to whom the request relates (in this section included in the expression "distressed seaman"); and

(b)    to afford a distressed seaman passage and maintenance;  so however that a master shall not be required to receive more than one distressed seaman for every five hundred tons of his ship's tonnage.

(2)    Where an appropriate officer requires the master of a ship to receive and afford a passage and maintenance to a distressed seaman the master of the ship shall endorse upon the agreement of the ship such particulars as are required by any rules made or deemed to have been made pursuant to section 118 of this Act or by the Minister.

(3)    The master of a Nigerian ship who, pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, is required to receive and afford a passage and maintenance to any distressed seaman shall comply with the requirement and shall during the passage provide the distressed seaman with a proper berth or sleeping place, effectually protected against sea and weather.

(4)    A master of a ship who fails, without reasonable cause, to comply with the provisions of subsection (3) of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

 

Payment a/Wages

 

125.    Payment of wages before superintendent

(1)    Where a seaman is discharged before the superintendent, the seaman shall receive his wages which shall be paid by the owner or master of the ship to the superintendent through or in the presence of the superintendent unless otherwise directed by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(2)    The owner or master of a ship who pays the wages of a seaman within Nigeria in any other manner than as provided under subsection (1) of this section, commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a finee not less than one hundred thousand naira.

 

126. Master to deliver account of wages

(1)    The master of every ship shall, before paying off or discharging a seaman in Ni- geria, deliver at the time and in the manner provided by this Act a full and true account, in the prescribed form, of the seaman's wages and of all deductions to be made from the seaman's wages on any account whatever.

(2)    The account to be delivered by the master of a ship under subsection (1) of this section, shall be delivered-

(a)    where the seaman is not to be discharged before the superintendent, to the seaman himself not less than twenty-four hours before the seaman is discharged or paid off; and

(b)    where the seaman is to be discharged before the superintendent, to the seaman himself at or before the time of the seaman leaving the ship but not less than twenty-four hours before the discharge or payoff.

(3)            A master of a ship who fails, without reasonable cause, to comply with the provi- sions of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than one hundred thousand naira.

127. Deductions from wages

(1)    The master of a ship shall not deduct from the wages of a seaman who is paid off or discharged in Nigeria unless the deduction is included in the account delivered in pursuance of section 126 of this Act or in respect of a matter happening after the delivery.

(2)    The master shall, during each voyage, enter the various matters in respect of which deductions are made, with the amounts of the respective deductions, as they occur, in a book to be kept for that purpose, and shall, if required, produce the book at the time of the payment of wages, and upon a hearing before any competent authority, of any complaint or question relating to the payment.

 

128.      Notice of disrating of seaman

(1)    Where the master of a Nigerian ship disrates a seaman, he shall immediately enter or cause to be entered in the official log-book, a statement of the disrating and furnish the seaman with a copy of the entry.

(2)    Any reduction of wages, consequent on the disrating of a seaman shall not take effect until the entry required under subsection (1) of this section has been made and the copy so furnished.

(3)           Any reduction of wages consequent on the disrating of a seaman shall be deemed to be a deduction from wages within the meaning of sections 126 and 127 of this Act.

1 29. Time of payment of wages for sea-going ships

 

(1)    The owner or master of a sea-going Nigerian ship, other than a ship employed on a voyage for which a seaman by the terms of his agreement is wholly compensated, by a share in the profits of the adventure shall-

(a)    pay to each seaman on account, at the time when the seaman lawfully leaves the ship at the end of his engagement, one-fourth of the balance of wages due to him, and shall pay to the seaman the remainder of his wages within two clear days, exclusive of any Sunday or public holiday, after he so leaves the ship;

(b)    if the seaman consents, leave the final settlement of the seaman's wages to the superintendent, and the receipt of that officer shall, in that case, operate as if it were a release given by the seaman in accordance with this Part of this Act.

(2)    In the event of the seaman's wages or any part of the wages not being paid or settled in accordance with this section, and the delay is due to the act or default of the seaman or to any reasonable dispute as to liability or to any other cause which is not the wrongful act or default of the owner or master, the seaman's wages shall continue to run and be payable until the time of the final settlement of the wages.

 

130. Time of payment of wages for Nigerian ship other than a sea-going ship

(1)    The owner or master of every Nigerian ship, other than a sea-going ship, shall pay to each seaman his wages within two days after the termination of the agreement with the crew, or at the time when the seaman is discharged, whichever first occurs.

 

(2)    If the owner or master of a ship fails, without reasonable cause, to make payment at the time prescribed under subsection (1) of this section, he shall pay to the seaman a sum not exceeding the amount of two days' pay for each of the days during which payment is delayed but the sum payable shall not exceed ten days' double pay.

(3)    Any sum payable under this section may be recovered as wages.

131. Settlement of wages

(1)    Where a seaman is discharged from a Nigerian ship and the settlement of his wages is completed before the superintendent, the seaman shall sign in the presence of the superintendent, a release in the prescribed form, of all claims in respect of the past voyage or engagement, and the release shall also be signed by the master or owner of the ship and attested to by the superintendent.

(2)    A release signed and attested to under subsection (1) of this section, shall operate as a mutual discharge and settlement of all demands between the parties to the release in respect of the past voyage or engagement.

(3)    A release under this section shall be retained by the superintendent and, on production from his custody, shall be admissible in evidence.

(4)    Where the settlement of a seaman's wages is, by this Part of this Act, required to be completed through, or in the presence of the superintendent, no payment, receipt or settlement made otherwise than in accordance with this Part shall operate or be admitted as evidence of the release or satisfaction of any claim.

(5)    When payment is made by a master before the superintendent, the superintendent shall, if required, sign and give to the master a statement of the whole amount paid; and the statement shall, as between the master and his employer, be admissible as evidence that the master has made the payments mentioned in the statement.

(6)    A seaman may except from the release signed by him under this section, any specified claim or demand against the owner or master of the ship, and a note to any claim or demand so excepted shall be entered upon the release.

 

(7)    A release upon which an exception is entered shall not operate as a discharge or settlement of any claim or demand so noted, nor shall subsection (4) of this section apply to any payment, receipt or settlement made with respect to any such claim or demand.

132. Decision on wages by superintendent

(1)    Where a question as to wages is raised between the master or owner of a ship and a seaman or cadet before the superintendent, and the amount does not exceed ten thousand naira, the superintendent may on the application of any party involved, decide the question and the decision of the superintendent shall be final; but if the superintendent is of opinion that the question is one which ought to be decided by a court, he may refuse to make a decision on it.

(2)    Where any question of whatever nature and whatever amount in dispute, between a master or owner and any of the crew is raised before a superintendent and both parties agree in writing to submit the same to the superintendent, he shall hear and decide the question so submitted to him.

(3)    An award made by the superintendent upon the submission shall be conclusive as to the rights of the parties; and the submission or award shall not require a stamp; and a document purporting to be the submission or award shall be admissible as evidence of award or submission.

133.  Power of superintendent to require production of ship's papers

(1)    The superintendent in any proceedings before him relating to the wages, claims or discharge of a seaman, may require the owner or his agent, the master or any mate or other member of the ship's crew, to produce any log-book, paper or other document in his possession or power relating to a matter in question in the proceedings and may require the attendance of and examination of any of those persons, being then at or near the place, on the matter.

(2)    Any person required under subsection (1) to do anything who fails, without rea- sonable cause, to comply with the requisition commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not less than twenty-five thousand naira.

134. Rule as to payment of seaman in currency other than that mentioned in the agreement

Where a seaman agrees with the master of a Nigerian ship for payment of his wages in local currency or any other currency, any payment of, or on account of, his wages if made in any other currency than that stated in the agreement, shall, notwithstanding anything in the agreement, be made at the rate of exchange for the money stated in the agreement, for the time being current at the place where the payment is made.

Annual Leave with Pay for Seamen

Leave entittlement

Every seaman is entitled to annual leave, for minimum of 30 days with pay, for each year of service.

 

136.      Pro-rata entitlement for periods less than one year

A seaman whose length of service in anyone year is less than that required for the full entitlement prescribed in section 135 of this Act shall be entitled in respect of that year to annual leave with pay proportionate to his length of service during that year.

137. Unavoidable absence to be counted as part of period of service

Absence from work to attend an approved maritime vocational training course or for reasons beyond the control of the seaman concerned such as illness or injury shall be counted as part of the period of service.

 

138. Periods not to be counted as part of leave

The minimum annual leave with pay shall not include-

(a)    public holidays;

(b)    periods of incapacity for work resulting from injury;

(c)    temporary shore leave granted to a seaman whilst on cadetship;

(d)    compensatory leave of any kind.

139. Leave pay in advance

Every seaman who takes his annual leave shall receive in respect of the full period of the leave at least his normal monthly remuneration in advance of the leave.

 

140.    Payment in lieu of leave

A seaman who leaves or is discharged from the service of his employer before he takes the annual leave due to him shall receive his normal remuneration for the period of the leave.

 

141. Divisibility of leave pay

The division of the annual leave with pay into parts or the accumulation of the annual leave due in respect of one year together with a subsequent period of leave shall be permissible provided that the seaman so requests.

142. Place of taking of annual leave

 

(1)    No seaman shall be required without his consent to take annual leave due to him at a place other than the place where he was engaged or recruited.

(2)    Where the seaman is required to take his annual leave in