Mercantile Marine Act, 1955

Custody of certificate.

34.—(1) The certificate of registry shall be used only for the lawful navigation of the ship, and shall not be subject to detention by reason of any title, lien, charge or interest whatever had or claimed by any owner, mortgagee or other person to, on or in the ship.

(2) If any person, whether interested in the ship or not, refuses on request to deliver up the certificate of registry when in his possession or under his control to the person entitled to the custody thereof for the purposes of the lawful navigation of the ship, or to any registrar, officer of customs and excise or other person entitled by law to require such delivery, any court capable of taking cognizance of the matter may summon the person so refusing to appear before the court, and to be examined touching such refusal, and unless it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that there was reasonable cause for such refusal, such person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction thereof, to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, but if it is shown to the court that the certificate is lost the person summoned shall be discharged and the court shall certify that the certificate of registry is lost.

(3) If the person so refusing is proved to have absconded so that the process of a court cannot be served on him, or if he persists in not delivering up the certificate, the court shall certify the fact, and the same proceedings may then be taken as in the case of a certificate mislaid, lost or destroyed, or as near thereto as circumstances permit.