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South Africa’s Merchant Shipping Act to be reworked and modernised

9 May 2017
– 1 Minute Read


The Bowmans’ Shipping and Logistics practice is pleased to announce that the JG Consulting / Bowmans Consortium has been appointed by the National Department of Transport (NDOT) to do a comprehensive overhaul of the Merchant Shipping Act 57 of 1951. The scope of the Consortium’s work will be to overhaul the existing Act with a view to producing a new and revised bill, review and revise existing regulations to the Act, and recommend any new regulations.

This presents a momentous and meaningful opportunity to modernise over 65 years of maritime law jurisprudence in South Africa. The far–reaching Merchant Shipping Act deals with topics such as safety of ships and crew, treatment of crew, ship construction, ship registration and courts and commissions of enquiry into shipping casualties.

The NDOT has recognised the shortcomings of a piecemeal approach to updating legislation and has commissioned a complete review to ensure that the law aligns with inter alia mandatory conventions, as well as the maritime policies of the Republic of South Africa.

The Consortium has proposed extensive engagement with stakeholders and we will keep you updated regarding any consultative process commissioned by the NDOT.
For any queries, please contact Andrew Pike.