Members may wish to note a circular issued by the Director General of Shipping of India. The circular advises that the Government of India has amended the guidelines for chartering of ships under Sections 406 and 407 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. The amended guidelines prohibit Indian organisations from chartering cargo ships beyond twenty-five years old and gas carriers beyond thirty years old.
Concerned by the rising trend of marine accidents in and around Indian waters especially during rough weather, the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways setup a Committee in July 2007 to suggest urgent measures to reduce marine casualties. Since analysis of the accidents over the last three years showed a significant correlation between age of ships and the break-down which caused these casualties, the Committee recommended, inter-alia, the revision of guidelines to restrict the age of ships plying in Indian waters and tighter regime of surveys and inspections.
Accordingly, in the interest of maritime safety, it has been decided to modify existing guidelines for chartering of vessels under Sections 406 and 407 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 (M S Act). Existing DGS Circulars Nos. 7 of 2003 dated 11.06.03 and 8 of 2003 dated 14.08.2003 (read with clarifications vide Memorandum dated 21.11.2003 and 31.12.2003), restrict only the charters of tankers to those which are less than twenty-five (thirty years in the case of gas carriers) and are CAS and CAP-2 rated and classed with IACS.
It is now further decided, after taking into consideration the views and objections of a wide range of stakeholders, that, with effect from 15th May 2008, applications for permissions for chartering in / grant of licence to ships under Sections 406 and 407 of the MS Act either for single or specific voyages or time charters that enable ships to visit an Indian port or to ply in Indian territorial waters or the Indian EEZ will be entertained only as follows:
After numerous requests for clarification, the Directorate has since confirmed that:
The Club’s local correspondent has confirmed that the Circular concerns only ships contracted by Indian charterers.
Source of information:
Pandi Correspondents Pvt. Ltd.
Tel: +91 22 2281 1329
Use the following link to view the full text of the Circular on the Director General of Shipping (India) website. http://www.dgshipping.com/dgship/final/notices/sdcir1_2008.htm