Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Bill [B20-2013] & Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Bill [B19-2013]: adoption of amendments

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Transport

20 August 2013
Chairperson: Ms N Bhengu (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Transport (the Department) confirmed that it had met with the Maritime Law Association of South Africa (MLASA), the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the State Law Advisors and the Parliamentary Legal Advisor (PLA) to resolve outstanding issues relating to the Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Bill and the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Bill.  This group had developed a final document of proposed amendments to present to the Portfolio Committee on Transport (the Committee).

The Parliamentary Legal Advisor presented the proposed amendments, going through each individual amendment to the two Bills.

Members were satisfied that the amendments had resolved the outstanding issues. One Member asked for clarity on why National Treasury had delayed the Bill, and why it wanted to be involved in collecting the money for the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund.  The Committee was told that Treasury wanted to be able to track exactly how much money was being paid outside of the country every year, so it wanted to use the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to collect the money from oil importers.

The amendments to the Bills were adopted by the Committee.  The Bills still need to be approved after the National Council of Provinces has finalised its technical issues.
 

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
Advocate Adam Masombuka, Chief Director for Legal Services for the Department of Transport, said that the Department, MLASA, SAMSA, the office of the State Law Advisor and the Parliamentary Legal Advisor had held discussions yesterday and had reached resolution and amicable solutions on the issues where there had been differences in opinion.   An A-list document for the proposed amendments to the original document had been developed. The Parliamentary Legal Advisor would take the Committee through the document and each amendment.

Amendments Proposed to Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Bill [B 19-2013]
Mr Michael Prince, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, proceeded with the proposed amendments to Bill B19-2013. The only changes to this Bill were in Clause 1, on page 2, in line 20, which was a textual change, to omit the word “for” and to substitute “of”, and in line 22, to correct the correct number of notice to “1534” from “1543”.

Amendments Proposed to Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Bill [B 20-2013]
Mr Prince said that there were a number of proposed amendments to Bill, B20-2013, the Civil Liability Convention Bill.  In Clause 1, on page 3, in line 25, “17” was omitted and substituted with “15”. This was a consequential change, because of other amendments. The second amendment was on page 3, in line 37, omitting “for”, and replacing it with “of”, to read “National Council of Provinces.”  On page 3, in line 39, the notice number was corrected to “1535” from “1543”. On page 3, in line 42, the number “17”should be omitted, and changed to “15”, which was again a consequential change.

The whole of Clause 4 was rejected and replaced with a new clause. This was to align this clause with the way the clause had been written in the previous Fund Bill. It now reads: “This Act also applies to the Prince Edwards Islands referred to in section 1 of the Prince Edwards Islands Act, 1948 (Act No. 43 of 1948).

In Clause 7, on page 4, line 29, after the number “7”, insert subsection “(1)”. This was as a result of the next amendment, where there was an insertion of subsection “(2)” dealing with the jurisdiction issue on page 4, after line 36.  It now read: “For the purposes of this Act, the area of jurisdiction of a court shall be deemed to include that portion of the exclusive economic zone and the territorial waters of the Republic adjacent to the coastline of its areas of jurisdiction.”

In Clause 8, on page 4, in line 45, after the word “jurisdiction”, to insert the words “contemplated in section 7.”

The whole of Part 4, which dealt with the detention of ships, on page 7 of the Bill, was rejected. This resulted in the following consequential amendments:

In Part 5, on page 8, in line 32, to omit “5” and to substitute it with “4”.

In Clause 17, on page 8, in line 35, to omit “17”, and to substitute “15”.

In Clause 18, on page 9, in line 2, to omit “18” and to substitute “16.”

In Clause 19, on page 9, in line 5, to omit “19” and to substitute “17.”

In Clause 20, on page 9, in line 8, to omit “20” and to substitute “18.”

In Clause 21, on page 9, in line 12, to omit “21” and to substitute “19.”

In the schedule, on page 10, in the second line, to omit “19” and to substitute “17.”

In the arrangement of sections at the front of the Bill, on page 3, from line 1, to omit “Part 4” and all the words following thereafter, up to and including the word “ships” in line 5.  In line 6, to omit the number “5” after the word “part”, and to substitute it with “4.”  In line 8, to omit the number “17”, and to substitute it with “15”.  In line 9, to omit “18” and to substitute “16.”  In line 10, to omit “19” and to substitute “17.” In line 11, to omit “20” and to substitute “18.”  In line 12, to omit “21” and to substitute “19.”

Discussion
The Chairperson asked if there were any other additions to what the PLA had presented.

Adv Masombuka said that there was written confirmation from MLASA that it agreed with the content of what had been presented, and this would be given to the Committee.

Mr I Ollis (DA) said that the way the proposal was drafted took care of the three problems of the Prince Edward Islands, the jurisdiction issue of twelve miles or 200 miles, and the conflict with detention. If the three sets of lawyers had come to agreement, he was satisfied that the industry players, government and lawyers were in agreement. That took care of the text of the Bill. There had been no complaints from the public and he was happy to move forward. He had no technical questions but just one of context. He asked for clarification on the reason why Treasury had delayed the Bill, and wanted to go for the option that Canada was adopting of Treasury being involved with the collection of the money, rather than it going directly to Lloyds in London, as Treasury had not made a presentation to the Committee.

Ms Hamida Fakira, Deputy Director General: Maritime Transit of the Department of Transport, said that the reason it had been delayed was that Treasury had an issue with the fund, in that money would go directly from oil importers to the director of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund.   Based on its fiscal monetary policy, Treasury always had a domestic legal juristic person to manage outflows of money from the country. It insisted that the collection should be done by a national juristic person which, in this case, would be the South African Revenue Services (SARS).  SARS would collect all of the payment and then make the payment to the Fund. This would allow Treasury to track exactly how much money was being paid outside of the country, every year.

The Chairperson said that there was a technical issue with the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Bill not being typed. The delay would be on the National Council of Provinces, meaning that the Committee could do everything but could not approve it today. The National Assembly had done its part and would have to wait until the typing was finalized.

Mr G Krombuck (DA) wanted to check that the PLA had, in line with the Committee’s recommendation, met with all relevant stakeholders, and that all of their views had been taken into account.

Mr Prince said the confirmation had been handed to the Committee, and that all of their views had been taken into account.

The Chairperson said that, because of the delay, the Committee would not go through the Bills clause-by-clause, but would instead accept or reject the proposed amendments.

Adoption of Amendments
The amendments for Bill B19, 2013 were moved for adoption by Mr Ollis. Mr M Duma (ANC) seconded it. The Committee agreed on the proposed amendments.

The amendments for Bill B20, 2013 were moved for adoption by Mr Krombuck.  Ms N Mdaka (ANC) seconded it. The Committee agreed on the proposed amendments.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would meet to approve the Bill when the NCOP had finalised its work.

The meeting was adjourned.
 

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