The Ministry of Transport is gathering public comments on a draft law revising the 2005 Maritime Code, focusing on regulations governing the operation of civil submarines and special-use floating structures as well as the ship building, repair and demolition industry.
Building a new fishing ship in Quang Nam province __Photo: Doan Huu Trung/VNA
As explained by Nguyen Nhat, director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, because submarines operate mainly under the water and have properties different from those of seagoing vessels, some provisions applicable to seagoing vessels can hardly be applied to submarines. The draft law, therefore, would contain specific provisions governing their operations.
In addition to civil submarines, the draft law should cover also special-use floating structures such as floating docks, floating depots and mobile rigs the appearance of which has become more and more common in Vietnam but have not yet governed by the 2005 Code.
Provisions on principles of law application upon occurrence of conflicts in the country’s exclusive economic zone would be supplemented so as to make them completely conformable with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2008 International Maritime Organization Code for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents.
Another noteworthy matter is development of the ship building, repair and demolition industry, which is provided in a separate section of the draft law.
Accordingly, domestic and foreign organizations and individuals would be allowed to invest in ship building and repair facilities on the basis of the approved master plan on development of the ship building and repair industry.
As for ship breaking operations, the draft says that ship breaking yards might demolish both Vietnamese and foreign ships. However, they must satisfy law-prescribed conditions, criteria and technical regulations on ship demolition so as to ensure safety and prevent environmental pollution. In addition, the investment in and building of ship breaking yards must comply with approved master plans.
The draft law, which contains amendments to 43 among 261 articles of the 2005 Maritime Code and 13 new articles, is scheduled to be passed by the National Assembly next year at its 10th session.-