New Merchant Shipping Bill seeks to initiate best practices

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways recently issued a draft of the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 for public consultation that aims to repeal and replace the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958  and the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838.

According to a formal release, “the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 has been drafted,with the primary aim of promoting the growth of the Indian shipping industry by incorporating the best practices adopted by other advanced countries like the U.S., Japan, U.K., Singapore and Australia.”

All up-to-date IMO conventions  or protocols, to which India is a party, have been adopted in it. Adequate provisions are incorporated to ensure the safety and security of vessels, safety of life at sea, prevent marine pollution, provide for maritime liabilities and compensations, and ensure comprehensive adoption of India’s obligations under International Conventions, it further said.

The Bill seeks to provide increased opportunities for investment and provide greater impetus to a self-reliant domestic investment climate in the maritime industry. The draft of the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 is issued for seeking the feedback and suggestions from the public. This can be accessed on the link: and suggestions can be sent to by 24.12.2020.

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