Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Ninth Report


Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions


  1. The Committee asked for a memorandum on the following points:

  (1)  Explain the (undefined) reference to "the applicable international instruments" in regulation 21(2).

  (2)  Regulation 23(3) prescribes the penalty for an offence under regulations 19(4) and 22(5). Given that no regulation is numbered 19(4), identify the provision contemplated which creates an offence.

Point 1

  2. The Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulations 1999 ("the Regulations") implement Council Directive 96/98/EC on marine equipment ("the Directive"). Regulation 2(2) of the Regulations provides that, unless given a different meaning in those Regulations, words and expressions specifically given a meaning by Article 2 of the Directive shall have that meaning in those Regulations.

  3. Article 2(e) of the Directive defines "international instruments" as meaning "the relevant international conventions, the relevant resolutions and circulars of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the relevant international testing standards." Article 12(2) of the Directive (which is implemented by regulation 21(2) of the Regulations) refers to performance tests "required by international instruments for safety and/or pollution prevention purposes".

  4. The Department therefore considers that the reference to "the applicable international instruments" in regulation 21(2) means the international conventions, resolutions and circulars of the IMO, and international testing standards which are applicable to the equipment being tested. Annex A of Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1734 lists the equipment for which detailed testing standards already exist in international instruments and the documents from which those standards derive.

Point 2

  5. The reference in regulation 23(3) to regulation 19(4) is a missed consequential change due to a late deletion of regulation 19(4). The Department apologises for the error, which will be amended at the next suitable opportunity.

26 October 1999

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