first_imgNews UpdatesLok Sabha Passes Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021 Akshita Saxena23 March 2021 5:49 AMShare This – xWith “enormous technological development” in the field of marine navigation, the Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021. It seeks to put in place a statutory framework for regulation of technological advancements in marine aids to navigation, and remove the operational difficulties arising thereof. The Bill also proposes to repeal the Lighthouse Act,…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginWith “enormous technological development” in the field of marine navigation, the Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021. It seeks to put in place a statutory framework for regulation of technological advancements in marine aids to navigation, and remove the operational difficulties arising thereof. The Bill also proposes to repeal the Lighthouse Act, 1927, an over nine-decade-old law governing the traditional navigation aid, lighthouses. The Statement of Objects annexed to the Bill states, “Over the period of time, maritime sector has undergone massive change and there have been enormous technological development in the field of marine aids to navigation such as vessel traffic services and diversification of aids to navigation to include technical aids other than lighthouses and lightships. …the role of marine aids to navigation has moved from a purely passive one based on “Visual Aids to Navigation” to “Radio and Digital Based Aids to Navigation”… Therefore, in order to provide appropriate statutory framework to reflect the technological advancement in marine aids to navigation and the expanded role of regulators and operators thereof so as to be in compliance with the obligation under the maritime treaties and international instruments to which India is a party, the Government has decided to make the proposed legislation by repealing the [Lighthouse] Act.” Salient Features The Bill applies to the whole of India including various maritime zones including territorial waters, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone. It defines aid to navigation as a device, system or service, external to vessels, designed and operated to enhance safe and efficient navigation of individual vessels and vessel traffic. A vessel includes ship, boat, sailing vessel, fishing vessel, submersible, semi-submersible, hydrofoils, etc. and other such water craft, capable of being used in the marine environment. Vessel traffic service means a service implemented under the Act to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel traffic and to protect the environment. Director General of Aids to Navigation Section 4 of the Bill provides that the Central government shall appoint a Director General, who will inter alia advise the central government on matters related to aids to navigation. It also provides for appointments of Deputy Director Generals and Directors for districts. Central Advisory Committee Section 6 in the Bill contemplates the appointment of a Central Advisory Committee consisting of such persons representing the interests affected by the Bill or having special knowledge of the subject matter thereof. Further, the government may consult the CAC on matters including: establishment of aids to navigationadditions, alteration, or removal of, any such aidscost of any proposal relating to such aidsappointment of any sub-committee. Further, the CAC may also appoint sub-committees for additional advice on these matters. Management of General Aids to Navigation and vessel traffic services Section 8 and 10 in the Bill provide that the central government will be responsible for the development, maintenance, and management of all general aids to navigation and vessel traffic services. Section 9 lays down the powers with regard to management of aids to navigation viz.: establishing, maintaining, adding, altering, or removing any aid to navigationauthorising to inspect any such aid which may affect the safety of navigationacquiring any land as may be necessary. Powers of the central government for management of vessel traffic services under Section 11 include: authorising vessel traffic service provider to operate such service within an authorised areaaccrediting and approving vessel traffic service training and certificationadding to, altering, or requiring any person to add to or alter any aspect of a vessel traffic service. Training & Certification Section 18 of the Bill mandates training programs for persons operating on any aid to navigation (including any ancillary activities), or any vessel traffic service. The Bill provides that the central government will accredit training organisations for imparting training to, or conduct assessments of, persons in the operation of aids to navigation and vessel traffic services. Levy of marine aids to navigation dues The Bill empowers the Central Government to prescribe rates for marine aids to navigation dues. These dues will be levied and collected for every ship arriving at or departing from any port in India. Proceeds thereof shall be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India. The Government may however exempt certain vessels, wholly or partially, from paying these dues. These vessels include: (i) any government ship, which is not carrying cargo or passengers for freight or fares, or (ii) any other ship, classes of ships, or ships performing specified voyages. Any dispute related to the marine aids to navigation dues, expenses, or costs, will be heard and determined by a civil court having jurisdiction at the place where the dispute arose. Heritage Lighthouse The Bill empowers the Central Government to designate any aid to navigation under its control as a “heritage lighthouse”. In addition to their function as aids to navigation, such lighthouses will be developed for educational, cultural, and tourism purposes. Penalties The Bill provides that: Any person found intentionally obstructing aids to navigation or vessel traffic service will be punishable with imprisonment of up to 6 months, or a fine up to Rs. 1 lakh, or both. (For negligent obstruction, the punishment is imprisonment up to 3 months or fine up to Rs 50,000, or both.) Any person found intentionally causing damage to any aid to navigation or vessel traffic services, will be punishable with imprisonment of up to 1 year, or a fine up to Rs. 5 lakh, or both. (For negligent destruction, the punishment is imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 1 lakh, or both.) Click Here To Download Bill Read BillNext Storylast_img