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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 July 2005, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
Merchant Shipping Bill
This bill aims to reduce marine pollution and ensures that if accidents do occur that there is a system of compensation in place in line with international arrangements.

Responsible department: Dept for Transport
Origin: House of Lords
Introduced: 25 May 2005
Second reading: 14 June 2005
Committee stage: 11 July 2005
Report stage: 17 Oct 2005
Third reading: 26 Oct 2005
First reading: 26 Oct 2005
Second reading: 25 Jan 2006
Committee stage: 7 Feb 2006
Remaining stages: 7 March 2006

ROYAL ASSENT: 30 March 2006
  • Implements the Supplementary Fund Protocol to ensure full and speedy compensation to those affected by an oil spill - such as hoteliers, fishermen - and for the clear-up operation
  • Compensation costs will be shared by major oil importers, rather than being provided for in national budgets
  • Helps to preserve the international status of the compensation system and prevents the introduction of regional or national systems which could destabilise this
  • Allows the UK to join any future regime governing oil pollution if the current system is revised
  • Enables the UK to implement measures to reduce air pollution from ships

    This bill aids the UK's compliance with its climate change programme and the UK's EC partnership commitments on acidification strategy and national emissions ceilings.

    It will also complement the introduction of the new Marine (Draft) Bill to help increase protection of the seas.

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