General Information on the proposed new Irish Register of Ships.

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1 1 Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Act 2014 (No. 43 of 2014) Questions and Answers [Rev. May 2015] Important Note: The above Act was enacted in December With the exception of section 69, the Act has not yet been commenced. The main purpose of the Act is to replace and update the Mercantile Marine Act 1955, as amended, and provide a legal framework for the establishment and regulation of a modern and comprehensive ship registration system that will be more efficient, user friendly and accessible for ship owners. This note gives information to ship-owners about the proposed new ship registration regime. Section 1: General Information on the proposed new Irish Register of Ships. What are the differences in the proposed new registration regime? The proposed new regime introduces new provisions relating to: One central electronic Irish Register of Ships Mandatory registration for additional categories of ships i.e. o Personal watercraft o Small fast powered craft o Certain small commercial angling boats o Fishing boats less than 15 metres in length overall A new Register structure is proposed including different Parts of the Register for different types of ships, which may be introduced on a phased basis o All new and existing commercial and passenger ships 24 metres and recreational craft 24 metres in load line length o Fishing boats o Existing commercial and passenger ships < 24 metres o Personal watercraft, small fast powered craft and certain small commercial angling boats Different Parts of the Register for different types of registration e.g. visitor registration Renewal of registration Possible removal of unsafe/unsuitable ships from the Register New penalty provisions Improvements to enforcement provisions which include : o increases in penalty levels; o a power of detention given to surveyors for ship registration related offences; o the introduction of a system of fixed payments ( 150) for certain offences involving personal watercraft, small fast powered craft and small angling boats, and o the designation of a range of State personnel as authorised persons for enforcement purposes Surveyors A member of an Garda Síochána An officer of the Revenue Commissioners

2 2 A sea-fisheries protection officer An authorised officer of Inland Fisheries Ireland A person holding commissioned naval rank in the Permanent Defence Forces An officer of the Irish Coast Guard A harbour master Visitor registration o It is proposed to introduce visitor registration for personal watercraft, small fast powered craft, recreational craft 24 metres in load line length and greater and certain small commercial angling boats owned by a person visiting the State and operating in Irish waters for a period of up to 3 months, where the craft is not registered in another state. It is envisaged that this will be a very simple form of registration and for a nominal fee. Changes to temporary registration o It is proposed that temporary registration will be available to navigate a recreational craft under 24 metres in load line length (which becomes the property of a qualified person ordinarily resident in the State) from outside the State to a port in the State. Section 2: General questions and answers on the proposed provisions for the registration of ships on the new Irish Register of Ships. When is the new ship registration system being put into place? The new regime will not come into operation until the necessary regulations to be made under the Act are finalised and the new Irish Register of Ships and registration system are established under a separate IT project. How much will registration on the new Irish Register of Ships cost? The registration fees will be prescribed in a fees order to be made by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. There is no current proposal that the fees for registration will be significantly changed. What is the penalty for not registering my ship? The penalties for a breach of the provisions of the Act will generally give rise on summary conviction to a Class A fine, i.e. a fine not exceeding 5,000. Details of offences and penalties under the Act are given at Appendix A of the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) which is available on this website. How long does my ship registration last? The registration will last for an initial period of up to five years. The ship owner will then need to renew the vessel registration. The renewal will last for a period of up to 10 years and will be subject to a renewal process at intervals of up to every 10 years thereafter. Is it possible to register a recreational craft less than 24 metres in length that is not a personal watercraft or a small fast powered craft? While recreational craft less than 24 metres in load line length (other than personal watercraft and small fast powered craft) will not be required to register, the intention is that the owners of such craft will be facilitated for voluntary registration if they so wish on specified Parts of the Register (to be laid out in regulations) providing the recreational craft can fulfil the requirements of the Part.

3 3 What will I do if I want to register my small recreational craft less than 24 metres and I can t prove ownership (i.e. I can t produce the builder s certificate and/or bills of sale)? The Department recognises the difficulty that the owners of some smaller vessels may have in proving ownership. It is envisaged that a declaration of ownership/indemnity, among other requirements, will be sufficient to register in some cases. The requirements will be set out in the regulations to be made under the Act. I want to register my ship now. How do I do this? No changes have been made to the ship registration process at this time. Owners who wish to register their ship prior to the commencement of the 2014 Act and the introduction of the new Irish Register of Ships can visit their nearest Registrar of Ships, located in Ports of Registry around the country. Further information on registration procedures is available from the Mercantile Marine Office (MMO), Irish Maritime Administration, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. The MMO is contactable on or at Section 3: The following section provides information for ship-owners whose ships are already registered on the existing register books under the Mercantile Marine Act This information is in addition to the general information contained at sections 1 and 2 above. My ship is registered on the old register books. Will I have to register my ship on the new Irish Register of Ships? If your ship is already registered on the Irish register it is proposed that it will be transferred free of charge to the relevant Part of the new Register when it is established, for a period of up to 5 years. After that period you will have to apply to renew the registration of your ship in accordance with the Act and any regulations introduced under the Act. When and how often will I need to renew my registration on the new Irish Register of Ships? It is proposed that your ship will transfer to the new Register free of charge for a period of up to 5 years. The registration will then have to be renewed. The renewal will last for a period of up to 10 years and will be subject to a renewal process at intervals of up to every 10 years thereafter. Is my existing certificate of registry still valid? Your existing certificate of registry will be valid in most cases until your ship registration is due for renewal (up to 5 years following the transfer of your ship to the new Register). Exceptions to this include where changes are made to the ship or the ship is removed from the Register. When you apply to renew your ship registration on the Register and your application is granted you will receive a new certificate of registry. I have a mortgage on my ship. Will the new Irish Register of Ships affect this? It is not proposed that the new Irish Register of Ships will affect existing mortgages in any way.

4 4 Section 4: The following section provides information for ship-owners of a range of ships that will be required to be registered on the Irish Register of Ships for the first time when the new Irish Register of Ships is introduced. This information is in addition to the general information contained at sections 1 and 2 above. Fishing boats less than 15 metres in length overall I have a fishing boat less than 15 metres in length overall registered on the Register of Fishing Boats because I have a sea-fishing boat licence. Why do I have to register on the new central electronic Irish Register of Ships? Registration on the Register of Fishing Boats relates to sea-fishing boat licences and is separate to the National Registration requirements under the new legislation. A requirement to register on the National Irish Register of Ships is being introduced for the first time under the provisions of the Act for a range of vessels including sea-fishing boats less than 15 metres in length overall. The timing of the introduction of the registration requirement for fishing boats will be decided in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Personal watercraft (jet-skis) and small fast-powered craft (SFPC) A personal watercraft is a ship of less than 7 metres in length overall which uses an internal combustion engine having a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion, and which is designed to be operated by a person or persons sitting, standing or kneeling on, rather than within the confines of a hull. A small fast powered craft is a ship of less than 7 metres length overall with a total propulsion engine power of equal to or greater than 150 kw. Why do jet-skis and SFPC need to be registered when other recreational craft below 24 metres do not need to be registered? The Act provides the basis for an extension of mandatory ship registration to additional ship categories including personal watercraft (jet skis) and small fast powered craft. It is considered that there is a need to exercise some degree of control over such craft as they can prove dangerous or a nuisance if operated without due care and attention to other persons using Irish waters. Annual Reports from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) have identified continued incidents of marine casualties involving recreational craft, with recorded incidents involving jet skis giving rise to fatalities in 2003, 2006 and 2007, and a fast powered craft/rib in 2010, 2011 and The MCIB has recommended the registration of jet skis on a number of occasions. Mandatory registration will act as a support to the search and rescue operations of the Irish Coast Guard, particularly in relation to the identification of registered owners of such craft. What is the penalty for not registering my jet-skis or SFPC? Ship owners who fail to register their jet-ski or SFPC may be served with a Fixed Payment Notice requiring payment of 150. They will have 21 days from the serving of the Fixed Payment Notice to make payment and thereby avoid prosecution and a court appearance. A prosecution for non-registration and other offences under the Act can result in higher penalties (see Appendix A of the RIA).

5 5 Ghillie boats (small angling boats) A ghillie boat is 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 Why am I now required to register my ghillie boat? Ghillie boats are angling boats that carry not more than three persons. It is proposed that they be required to register in the interests of safety to ensure that the boats comply with regulatory safety requirements that apply to them. What is the penalty for not registering? Ship owners who fail to register their ghillie boats may be served with a Fixed Payment Notice requiring payment of 150. They will have 21 days from the serving of the Fixed Payment Notice to make payment and thereby avoid prosecution and a court appearance. A prosecution for non-registration and other offences under the Act can result in higher penalties (see Appendix A of the RIA).

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