The Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred by section 218A read with section 457 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958) makes Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour) Amendment Rules, 2021 to amend the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour) Rules, 2016. They shall be deemed to have come into force on the December 26, 2020.
- In the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour) Rules, 2016, rule 8 relating to Seafarers’ employment agreements, the following sub–rule shall be inserted,
(9) A seafarer’s employment agreement shall continue to have effect while a seafarer is held captive on or off the ship as a result of acts of piracy or armed robbery against ships,regardless of whether the date fixed for its expiry has passed or either party has given notice to suspend or terminate it.
Explanation. –For the purposes of this sub–rule. –
a.the term“piracy”shall have the same meaning as assigned in Article 101 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982;
b.the term “armed robbery against ships” means any illegal act of violence or detention or any act of depredation, or threat thereof, other than an act of piracy, committed for private ends and directed against a ship or against persons or property onboard such a ship, within a country’s internal waters, archipelagic waters and territorial sea, or any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described above’.
- In the principal rules, in rule 9 relating to Wages, the following sub–rule shall be inserted:
“(6) Where a seafarer is held captive on or off the ship as a result of acts of piracy or armed robbery against ships, wages and other entitlements, including repatriation, under the seafarers’ employment agreement, relevant collective bargaining agreement or these rules, as applicable including the remittance of any allotments as provided in sub–rule (4), shall continue to be paid and ensured by the ship–owner during the entire period of captivity and until the seafarer is released and duly repatriated in accordance with rule 12 or, where the seafarer dies while in captivity, until the date of death as determined in accordance with rule 9.
Explanation.–For the purposes of this sub–rule, the terms “piracy” and “armed robbery against ships” shall have the same meaning as assigned in sub–rule (9) of rule 8.”
- In the principal rules, in rule 12, relating to Repatriation, the following sub–rule shall be inserted:
“(18) The entitlement to repatriation may lapse if the seafarers concerned do not claim it within a period of three (03)years or as provided in the collective agreements, except where they are held captive on or off the ship as a result of acts of piracy or armed robbery against ships.
Explanation: For the purposes of this sub–rule, the terms piracy and armed robbery against ships shall have the same meaning as assigned in sub–rule (9) of rule 8.”
- In the principal rules, after rule 26 relating to ‘On board complaint procedures’, the following rule shall be inserted,namely: –
“26A Marine casualties. –The issues related to marine or shipping casualties shall be dealt in accordance with the provisions for Investigations and Inquiries under the Act.