On August 2, 2021, the Parliament passed the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021, which aims to replace over 100 years old Inland Vessels Act, 1917 (1 of 1917). Now the bill will be sent for the assent of President of India.

Key points:

The new Act will facilitate harmonised and effective regulation of the inland vessels and their seamless and safe navigation across the States. The benefits include:

  1. Uniform applicability of rules and regulations to ensure seamless, safe and economical trade and transportation by using inland waterways.
  2. Prescribing of standards for classification and categorization of mechanically propelled vessels, standards and processes involved in registration of vessel; standards for identification and categorization of special category vessels etc. by the Central Government and implementation of the provisions in compliance with the prescribed standards by State Governments.
  3. Preserving the statuses of authorities established by the respective State Governments and thereby ensures the effective administration of the provisions of the proposed legislation.
  4. Provides for a Central Data Base /E-Portal for registration/crew database thereby imbibing the spirit of Digital India Campaign.
  5. Stipulating higher standards to ensure safety of navigation, protection of life and cargo, prevention of environmental pollution, providing for healthier trade practices, constitution of the welfare fund, transparency and accountability of administrative mechanism, training and development of efficient and skilled workforce.
  6. Covers the future developments and technological advancements in vessel construction and usage. Regulating the technologically advanced vessels of the present and future identified as ‘Special Category Vessels’.
  7. Provisions regarding Wreck and Salvage introduced. Receiver of Wreck to be appointed by the State Government.
  8. Provisions regarding principles of liability and limitation of liability introduced. To ensure secure trade and trade practices, concept of insurance improvised and expanded.
  9. Provisions relating to casualties and investigation improvised.
  10. Ease of compliance for service provider and service users.
  11. Provides a platform for the State Governments to regulate the unregulated sector of non-mechanically propelled vessels.

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  • […] Parliament passes ‘Inland Vessels Bill, 2021’ to repeal and replace the existing Inland Vessels … […]

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