Memorandum by the Department of Transport
MERCHANT SHIPPING (MINIMUM STANDARDS OF SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS)
REGULATIONS 1997 (S.I. 1997/529)
The Committee requested a memorandum on the following points:
(1) Indicate where the publications referred to in
the first two definitions in regulation 2(1) may be obtained or
inspected (as required by the Statutory Instruments Practice,
The documents can be obtained from the International Maritime
Organisation, 4 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SR. It is regretted
that this information was not included in the Explanatory Note.
(2) Explain, given the nature of the obligations
imposed by regulation 5 to ensure effective and adequate means
of communication, on what basis the power conferred by regulation
7 to "inspect any ship or hovercraft" (without more)
is sufficient to monitor compliance.
It is accepted that mere inspection of "the ship"
does not of itself monitor compliance, and powers to inspect documents
and working arrangements, and to quiz the crew, may also be needed.
As a matter of practice however, separate inspections for
separate purposes are not carried out. The Marine Safety Agency
has comprehensive ship inspection arrangements under which 30%
of foreign ships entering UK ports are inspected and UK flag ships
are subject to regular general inspections pursuant to a wide
variety of Merchant Shipping enactments and regulations. The inspectors
are expected to satisfy themselves that the ship is in a safe
condition, that it carries the appropriate documentation (which
will attest to its condition), that it is manned at a level which
enables it to be operated safely and that the officers and crew
have the required qualifications. On the last aspect the inspector
will ensure that those personnel who need them have the communication
skills required under these Regulations. This new requirement
will be incorporated in inspectors' instructions.
(3) Explain the basis on which no express provision
is made excluding from the regulations "wooden ships of primitive
build" to which the Council Directive being implemented (94/58/EC)
is not to apply.
The view was taken that there were no United Kingdom ships
which were "wooden ships of primitive build", which
could be caught by this Directive.
24th March 1997