Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Act 2014

Requirement to register certain ships

11. (1) Subject to subsections (2), (9) and (10), all ships operating domestically, including—

(a) a fishing boat in respect of which a sea-fishing boat licence has been granted or is required to be held under section 4 (inserted by section 97 of the Act of 2006) of the Act of 2003,

(b) personal watercraft and small fast powered craft, and

(c) a ship carrying not more than 3 passengers for the purposes of angling as exempted in the Licensing of Passenger Boats (Exemption) Regulations 2002 ( S.I. No. 274 of 2002 ) from the requirement to be licensed under section 14 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1992 ,

are required to be registered on the Register in accordance with this Act.

(2) This section does not apply to—

(a) a recreational craft which is less than 24 metres in load line length, or

(b) a warship.

(3) For the purpose of compliance with subsection (1), a registration, for the time being in force, conferring nationality from another state shall be an acceptable form of registration.

(4) The Minister may prescribe the categories or types of ships that are required to register on specific Parts of the Register when operating domestically and owned by qualified persons not holding a current registration conferring nationality from another state.

(5) The Minister may prescribe the length overall and other particulars of personal watercraft or small fast powered craft and the total engine propulsion power of a small fast powered craft in lieu of that contained in the definitions of “personal watercraft” and “small fast powered craft”, as the case may be.

(6) (a) A ship required to be registered on the Register shall have its operations controlled and directed from within the State in accordance with regulations made by the Minister.

(b) In making regulations under paragraph (a), the Minister may set different and separate requirements and conditions in relation to different categories and types of ship, for different types of registration, for different Parts of the Register and for different circumstances and purposes.

(7) A person who fails to comply with or contravenes a regulation under subsection (6) commits an offence.

(8) (a) The name, address and contact details of the manager of the ship, a designated person ashore and a representative person if applicable, shall be disclosed on application to register a ship under this Act.

(b) Except in circumstances arising from the sudden death or serious illness of the owner or manager of the ship, the designated person ashore or representative person, the owner of a ship shall give the Minister at least 30 days notice on an approved form of any proposed change in the name, address or contact details provided in accordance with paragraph (a).

(c) The responsibility and authority of a designated person ashore includes monitoring the safety and pollution prevention aspects of the operation of the ship and ensuring that adequate resources and shore based support are applied, as required.

(9) The Minister may prescribe certain ships or types of ships to be exempt from the requirement under subsection (1) to be registered on the Register.

(10) The requirements of subsection (1) do not apply in circumstances where ships are commandeered and used for periods of time of short duration, not exceeding one month, by a member of the Defence Forces, the Revenue Commissioners, the Irish Coast Guard or the Garda Síochána for law enforcement or emergency response purposes.

(11) The owner of a ship that is required to be registered under this Act that is not so registered commits an offence.

(12) A ship shall not be registered if it is registered under the law of another state.

(13) A person who registers a ship in contravention of subsection (12) commits an offence.

(14) In this section—

“controlled and directed” means compliance with requirements relating to having an office, a designated person ashore, a representative person or a manager within the State, as appropriate, and associated responsibilities in relation to a ship as deemed necessary by the Minister and set out in regulations made by the Minister under this section;

“designated person ashore” means a person ashore having direct access to the shipowner or, where the shipowner has transferred responsibility for the operation of the ship to an operating company, having direct access to the highest level of management of the operating company.