Merchant Shipping Bills on oil pollution levies approved

International merchant shipping protocols met…..

oil_tankerAccording to a cabinet statement, a number of draft Merchant Shipping Bills from the minister of transport dealing with South Africa’s signature to international conventions on oil pollution have been approved, thus giving effect to obligations under the international maritime protocols regarding damage, loss through oil pollution at sea and the collection of levies.
The first draft Bill is the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Bill relating to the International Maritime Organisation Protocol of 1992, giving effect to law to in South Africa which will be in terms of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, a centralised body dealing with oil pollution at sea and compensation to a point, it appears.

Access to body of funds

Also approved by cabinet is the Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Bill which has as its purpose the implementation of aligning to the Protocol to the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, known as the Fund Convention.

This important legislation gives South Africa access to the Fund Convention, an internationally resourced compensation fund which contributes to damages arising from oil spills and which is basically financed and run by cargo vessel owners.

The Bill defines the work of this fund further by stating that such “is to pay compensation to victims of pollution damage where they have been unable to obtain compensation, or compensation in full, under the provisions of the Civil Liability Convention”, described in the first draft Bill.

Liabilities defined and oil defined

Both of these Bills, inter alia, deal with questions of liability, compensation, loss or damage caused by contamination of oil from tankers.

Also proposed and approved by cabinet are two more Bills, the Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Contributions Bill and the Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Administration Bill, the first named Bill allowing for the inclusion of South Africa in the International Maritime Organisation Protocol and for it to be implemented.

SARS get in

The last named Bill, the Merchant Shipping Administration Bill, enables SARS to collect levies and for them to pay over to the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund such contributions in terms of the Contributions Bill, this therefore being “a money bill” in terms of the Constitution.

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