Maritime Safety Act 2005

Weighing of goods vehicles before loading onto ships.

22.—(1) (a) A goods vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer of a prescribed weight shall not be loaded onto a ship in a harbour in the State unless valid information in accordance with subsection (2) as to its weight (“vehicle weight information”) is provided by the operator of the vehicle beforehand to the master of the ship. This information shall be used by the master of the ship to determine whether or not the vehicle can be safely loaded and accommodated on the ship and, if so, to ensure the proper loading and accommodation of the vehicle on the ship.

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle which is used only for loading trailers or semi-trailers onto, and unloading them from, a ship.

(2) (a) Vehicle weight information in respect of a goods vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer shall consist of—

(i) a certificate or a machine-readable record obtained from a weighbridge or other weighing machine situated within the harbour premises of the harbour at which the ship is to be loaded, or

(ii) data transmitted electronically by such a weighbridge or other weighing machine,

giving the weight of the vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer and any load being carried by it, and shall relate—

(I) in the case of a goods vehicle, to the vehicle and its load, if any (but excluding its driver and any passenger carried by it), and

(II) in the case of a trailer or semi-trailer, to it and its load and, if it is being pulled by a tractor, that of the tractor pulling it.

(b) Reference to the load of a vehicle in paragraph (a) includes reference to—

(i) any water, fuel or accumulators used for the purpose of power for the propulsion of the vehicle, and

(ii) any loose tools and loose equipment.

(c) In exceptional circumstances, information obtained, with the consent of the Minister, from a weighbridge or other weighing machine situated outside the premises of the harbour at which the ship is berthed, may be accepted as valid information as to weight.

(3) The certificate, records and data referred to in subsection (2) shall be retained by the owner of the ship concerned, in accordance with arrangements specified by the Minister in a Marine Notice, and shall be made available in legible form to the Department on request during the period, being a period of not more than 12 months, provided for in those arrangements.

(4) A person who—

(a) supplies information for the purpose of this section which he or she knows or has grounds for believing that it is false, or

(b) forges or interferes with any document purporting to be a certificate or record referred to in subsection (2) or uses any such document or altered certificate or record or altered data with intent to deceive,

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or both.

(5) The Minister may by regulations exempt from compliance with subsection (1) or (3) a class or type of ship, and subject to any conditions, specified in the regulations.

(6) Every regulation made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

(7) In this section—

“harbour premises” in relation to any harbour, means the docks, landing places and other works and land for the time being vested in, belonging to or administered by a harbour authority (within the meaning of Part 2);

“Marine Notice” means a notice described as such and includes a subsequent Marine Notice amending or replacing a Marine Notice;

“goods vehicle” means a mechanically propelled vehicle constructed or adapted primarily for the conveyance of goods or burden of any description;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister;

“trailer” and “semi-trailer” means a trailer or semi-trailer constructed or adapted primarily for the conveyance of goods or burden of any description.