Merchant Shipping Act, 1906

Inspection of provisions and water.

26.(1) An inspecting officer appointed under section two hundred and six of the principal Act may inspect (either on board the ship or before shipment) any provisions or water intended for the use of the crew of any British ship which is going from any port in the United Kingdom and for which an agreement with the crew is required under the Merchant Shipping Acts (other than provisions provided by the crew themselves), and if he finds that the provisions or water are in any respect deficient in quality, the ship shall be detained until the defects are remedied to his satisfaction:

Provided that any inspection of provisions or water under this section shall be made before shipment whenever practicable, and, if the master, owner, or agent of a ship gives notice to the inspecting officer that any provisions or water for the ship are ready for inspection, the inspecting officer shall not have power to inspect any such provisions or water under this section if they are at a convenient place for inspection, except within forty-eight hours after the notice is given, without prejudice to the power of the inspecting officer to inspect any provisions or water not specified in the notice or without unnecessarily delaying the ship to proceed on board the ship in order to satisfy himself that there has been no evasion of the requirements of this section by the substitution of other provisions or water for those which have been inspected on shore or specified in a notice as being the provisions or water for the ship, or otherwise.

(2) Where any provisions or water are found deficient in quality under this section, the master of the ship shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding a hundred pounds, unless the court before which the case is tried think that the finding of the inspecting officer was not justified; but if the master of the ship shows to the satisfaction of the court that the responsibility for the defects in the provisions or water rests either with the owner of the ship, or any agent of the owner of the ship, or with the person who has supplied the provisions or water, that agent, owner, or person shall be liable to conviction for the offence instead of the master, and the master shall be exempt.

(3) The master of the ship and any other person having charge of any provisions or water liable to inspection under this section shall give the inspecting officer every reasonable facility for the purpose of his inspection under this section, and, if he refuses or fails to do so shall be liable for each offence on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds.