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Antigua & Barbuda Legislation

The laws relating to Merchant Shipping in Antigua and Barbuda are in two main forms.  Primary legislation which is the Merchant Shipping Act, as amended, and which is made by the Parliament and Secondary legislation which is made by the Minister in conjunction with Parliament in accordance with powers to do so that are contained in the Act.  Secondary legislation is in the form of Merchant Shipping Regulations. Copies of legislation should be retained on board commercial vessels of greater than 24m length. Such copies may be in electronic form provided arrangements are made to enable them to be accessed by the appropriate seafarers.


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The Antigua and Barbuda Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act, 2014

This ACT amends the Antigua and Barbuda Merchant Shipping Act, 2006, in order to update the primary Merchant Shipping Legislation in line with developments at an International level. The main areas covered are;

  • The removal of the restrictions on the registration of passenger ships and high speed craft so that these vessels types can now be registered;
  • An increased choice of ports of registry for commercial and pleasure yachts plus small commercial vessels;
  • Formalization of the issuance of temporary permissions where breakdowns have occurred on board ships;
  • Implementation of Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims Convention;
  • Implementation of Ballast Water Management Convention;
  • Implementation of Anti-fouling systems Convention;
  • Implementation of Bunker Oil Civil Liability Convention;
  • Shipboard personnel definitions with special training and security training requirements as a result of the Manila amendments to the STCW Convention; and
  • Removal of ships from the register in given circumstances.
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The Antigua and Barbuda Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act, 2007

This ACT amends the Antigua and Barbuda Merchant Shipping Act, 2006, so as to permit the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping to establish offices outside of Antigua and Barbuda, to allow registration for ships under construction, to establish registration fees and criteria for the refund of fees, to extend to Antigua and Barbuda the provisions of Annex VI of the International Convention to Prevent Pollution from Ships, to revise the provisions relating to births and deaths at sea and for incidental and connected purposes.

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Shipping (Small Commercial Vessels) regulations 2008

These regulations apply the Caribbean Small Commercial Vessels Code to vessels operating in Antigua and Barbuda and less than 24 metres in length and to Antigua and Barbuda  registered commercial vessels of less than 24 metres operating on international voyages in the Caribbean area.

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MS (Maritime Labour Convention 2006) Regulations 2012

These are the Antigua and Barbuda regulations that give effect to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC).  The regulations came into force in 2012 and apply the full requirements of the MLC to Antigua and Barbuda ships.

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Antigua and Barbuda Merchant Shipping Act, 2006

This is the primary law of Antigua and Barbuda relating to the registry of ships and the maintenance of safety standards.  As primary legislation it provides the powers for the Minister to make regulations and the Director to make Directives.

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Antigua and Barbuda Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act 2006

Ths is the first amendment to the primary Merchant Shipping Act of 2006.  It makes minor changes to the main Act.