House: law change on marine pollution
Amendments to help Bermuda respond as fast as possible to marine pollution incidents were approved in the House of Assembly yesterday.
Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, said the Merchant Shipping Amendment Act would allow him to give directions to a ship or a ship owner in the wake of an accident that could pollute Bermuda’s waters.
He added the minister would be allowed to order the ship to remain in place or move elsewhere by a specified route to prevent environmental damage or ensure safety.
The amendments were also intended to speed the process of updating maritime legislation by allowing “ambulatory references” to international maritime regulations.
The change means when Bermuda’s legislation references international regulations, it would automatically refer to the latest version of the international regulations instead of the version in effect when the Bermuda legislation was signed.
Mr DeSilva said the move was intended to help the island keep pace with changes in international maritime legislations.
He added: “The minister will always have the power to prevent any unwanted amendments from coming into place.”
The amendments were approved without objection.
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