Pavel Figurov commented for RIA PrimaМedia: Amendments to the Code of merchant shipping

The bill contains the changes directly mentioning sea business.

The bill of amendments in the Code of merchant shipping will be signed one of these days by the President of Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. The document has been approved by the Council of the Federation on June, 8th, informs RIA PrimaMedia.

According to the lawyers, many positions of the bill are directed on unification of the Code with changes in structure and volume of powers of supervising bodies (Federal Transport Oversight Service and Russian Federal Fisheries Agency), and also with the international norms, in particular, with the Bunker convention  which participant is Russia as well. Also by means of the bill many discrepancies which were taking place in former edition of the Code are eliminated.

How Code positions will affect a practical side of navigation and how they should be interesting to businessmen, the lawyer of Inmar Legal Ltd Pavel Figurov told:

“First, according to the bill, there are offered to resolve the vessels registered in the Russian International Register of Shipping, to carry out coasting voyages. Taking into account that to the ship-owners maintaining of vessels registered in such register, variety of tax privileges is given, such changes will have rather positive value for businessmen. Besides, classification and survey of the vessels registered in the Russian International Register, for choice the ship-owner can carry out not only Russian, but also foreign classification societies.

Secondly, the procedure for registration of vessels in the bareboat-charter register is changed. Now for such registration it is not necessary to obtain the preliminary permit of Federal Transport Oversight Service or Russian Federal Fisheries Agency that will reduce time for registration. Thus term of registration of a vessel in the bareboat-charter register is limited only to period of validity of the contract of chartering (but not less than 1 year) that excludes necessity for re-registration passage each 2 years as it was earlier.

Thirdly, now at vessel delivery in a bareboat-charter foreign freighter the vessel should be submitted under a foreign flag. Discrepancy which allowed businessmen to transfer vessels in possession to foreign persons without flag change took place earlier.

Fourthly, the captain of port can forbid now vessel calling in port or vessel statement on an anchor on approaches to port in case of essential discrepancy of a vessel to the requirements, concerning safety of navigation and protection of the sea environment against pollution of vessels. The specified change can induce ship-owners more likely to get rid of “floating coffins” and to update fleet.

Fifthly, the new chapter devoted to damage liability from pollution by bunker fuel in which the shipowner’s liability bases for a damage from pollution by bunker fuel, restrictions of shipowner’s liability, position about obligatory insurance or other financial maintenance of responsibility, position about a presentation of requirements about compensation of a damage from pollution by bunker fuel are established is added in the Code.

The bill also contains other changes directly mentioning sea business.

As a whole it is possible to estimate made changes as positive. The Code of of merchant shipping is brought into accord with operating system of functioning of state structures, in conformity with the international norms. Variety of registration procedures becomes simpler and becomes more simple for the ship-owner. Besides, the bill eliminates a number of legal defects which were available in former edition of the Code that also is the positive factor for sea business “.

The Source: PrimaMedia