Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Third Report


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


  1. The Committee has requested the Department to submit a Memorandum on the following point—

    Paragraph (7) of new regulation 10 (inserted by regulation 16) provides that in "special circumstances" as determined by the Authority, a new certificate need not be dated from the expiry of the previous certificate before an extension was granted. Explain the sort of special circumstances envisaged by this provision.

  2. The Department's understanding of what is covered by the expression "special circumstances" in this context is illustrated by a case where it takes several months to carry out repairs and do the renewal survey, during which time the ship is laid up, and the delay is unavoidable and beyond the owner's control. In such a case the new certificate could be dated from the date of completion of the renewal survey rather than the date of the previous certificate.

  3. As with the expression "short voyages" in paragraph (6) of new regulation 10 (inserted by regulation 16), the expression "special circumstances" derives from the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, which the Merchant Shipping (Load Line) (Amendment) Regulations 2000 ("the 2000 Regulations") are designed to implement. The expression is not defined in that Protocol, and the Department was concerned that any attempt at definition would risk being an inaccurate implementation of the Protocol's provisions. The Department also considers that in practice there is not likely to be any practical difficulty caused by the lack of a definition in the 2000 Regulations. It therefore concluded that it would be preferable not to include a definition.

20th June 2000

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