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New maritime laws given third reading

14 December 2017

Parliament has given third readings to two maritime bills.

The Maritime Transport Amendment Bill makes a number of amendments to the Maritime Transport Act 1994, to address certain policy objectives. Part 2 will come into effect six months after the Royal Assent, with the remainder coming into effect on the day after the Royal Assent.

The bill was introduced on 10 November 2016. It is in three parts.

Part 1 makes changes to the drug and alcohol testing procedures. The original provisions were opposed by the Labour and Green Party members of the select committee which considered the bill, and a number of changes have been made to the bill.

Part 2 increases the amount of compensation available to meet the costs of a major oil spill from an oil tanker in New Zealand waters. It also allows New Zealand to exercise its right, as a party to the Protocol of 1996 to amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Marine Claims to make reservations that exclude limitation of liability for claims relating to wreck removal, cargo removal, and damage caused by hazardous and noxious substances.

Part 3 makes a number of miscellaneous amendments, including adding flexibility to the Ministry of Transport's maritime rule-making powers.

The Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill amends the Maritime Crimes Act 1999 to incorporate two maritime counter-terrorism treaties into New Zealand law. It will come into force on a date to be appointed by Order in Council.

The bill was introduced on 2 May 2016. Section 3B was inserted during the select committee stages to specity that a peaceful act of protest or industrial action will not be, by itself, a sufficient basis for criminal liability under the Act.

The counter-terrorism treaties which are brought into New Zealand law are:

The Protocol of 2005 to the Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (the 2005 Protocol on Maritime Navigation), amended the Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation 1988 (the SUA Convention).

The Protocol of 2005 to the Rome Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (the 2005 Protocol on Fixed Platforms), which amended the Rome Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf 1988 (the SUA Protocol).

Last updated on the 16th September 2019