- Is amended by Marine Traffic Amendment Act, 1983
- Is amended by Marine Traffic Amendment Act, 1991
- Is amended by Namibian Ports Authority Act, 1994
- Is commenced by Declaration of the application of existing and new legislation concerning shipping and related matters in regard to South-West Africa
Marine Traffic Act, 1981
Act 2 of 1981
- Published in South African Government Gazette 7408 on 13 February 1981
- Assented to on 4 February 1981
- Commenced on 7 June 1985 by Declaration of the application of existing and new legislation concerning shipping and related matters in regard to South-West Africa
- [This is the version of this document from 1 March 1994 and includes any amendments published up to 1 December 2023.]
- [Amended by Marine Traffic Amendment Act, 1983 (Act 5 of 1983) on 28 December 1984]
- [Amended by Marine Traffic Amendment Act, 1991 (Act 15 of 1991) on 7 December 1991]
- [Amended by Namibian Ports Authority Act, 1994 (Act 2 of 1994) on 1 March 1994]
1. DefinitionsIn this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates “authorized person” means -(a)any officer as defined in section 1 of the Public Service Act, 1980 (Act 2 of 1980);[The Public Service Act 2 of 1980 has been replaced by the Public Service Act 13 of 1995; section 38 of Act 13 of 1995 provides that certain expressions relevant to Act 2 of 1980 shall be construed to refer to certain corresponding expressions relevant to Act 13 of 1995, but the term “officer” is not covered.](b)any member of the Namibian Police Force, as defined in section 1 of the Police Act, 1990 (Act 19 of 1990), above the rank of sergeant;(c)any member of the Namibian Defence Force, as defined in section 1 of the Defence Act, 1957 (Act 44 of 1957), above the rank of sergeant;[The Defence Act 44 of 1957 has been replaced by the Defence Act 1 of 2002.](d)any person accompanying any person referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) and acting under his or her instructions;[definition of “authorized person” amended by Act 5 of 1983 and substituted by Act 15 of 1991][definition of “Director-General” inserted by Act 5 of 1983 and deleted by Act 15 of 1991]“fishing harbour” means a fishing harbour as defined in section 1 of the Sea Fisheries Act, 1973 (Act No. 58 of 1973);[The definition of “fishing harbour” is inserted by Act 5 of 1983. The Sea Fisheries Act 58 of 1973 has been replaced by the Marine Resources Act 27 of 2000.]“foreign”, in relation to any ship, submarine or other underwater vehicle, means a ship, submarine or other underwater vehicle which is not registered or licensed in Namibia;[definition of “foreign” amended by Act 5 of 1983]“harbour” means a port as defined in section 1 of the Namibian Ports Authority Act, 1994;[definition of “harbour” inserted by Act 5 of 1983, and amended by Act 15 of 1991 and by Act 2 of 1994]“immobilize” means to render a ship temporarily incapable of sailing or manoeuvring under its own power;[definition of “immobilize” inserted by Act 5 of 1983]“innocent passage” means passage which is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of Namibia;“internal waters” means the waters on the landward side of the normal baseline from which theterritorial sea is determined, and includes any harbour and any fishing harbour;[definition of “internal waters” amended by Act 5 of 1983 and substituted by Act 15 of 1991]“lay-up” means to anchor or moor a ship which is temporarily withdrawn from service;[definition of “lay-up” inserted by Act 5 of 1983]“master”, in relation to any ship, means any person (other than a pilot) having charge or command of such ship;[definition of “master” amended by Act 5 of 1983]“Minister” means the Minister of Works, Transport and Communication;[definition of “Minister” amended by Act 15 of 1991]“offshore installation” means -(a)any installation which is situated within the territorial sea or internal waters or in the open sea and which is used for the transfer of oil to or from a ship, and includes any exploration or production platform so situated and used in prospecting for or the mining of oil or other substances;;(b)a bunkering vessel in such waters or the open sea; or(c)any vessel or appliance used for the purpose of exploiting the seabed in such waters or the open sea;[definition of “offshore installation” amended by Act 5 of 1983]“passage” means navigation through the territorial sea in a continuous and expeditious manner on a normal and customary route for the purpose of -(a)traversing such sea without entering internal waters or calling at a roadstead or offshore installation outside internal waters; or(b)proceeding to or from a harbour, whether through internal waters or not, or a call at any such roadstead or offshore installation,and includes stopping and anchoring, in so far as such stopping or such anchoring is incidental to ordinary navigation or is rendered necessary by vis major or distress or is for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, ships or aircraft in danger or distress;[definition of “passage” amended by Act 5 of 1983 and by Act 15 of 1991]“Permanent Secretary” means the Permanent Secretary: Works, Transport and Communication;[definition of “Permanent Secretary” inserted by Act 15 of 1991]“regulation” means a regulation made under section 14;“ship” means a waterborne craft or structure of any type irrespective of the manner of propulsion or movement thereof, including a non-displacement craft and a submarine or other underwater vehicle, but does not include a vessel propelled by oars;[definition of “ship” substituted by Act 5 of 1983]“territorial sea” means the territorial sea of Namibia as defined in section 2 of the Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone of Namibia Act, 1990 (Act 3 of 1990).[definition of “territorial waters” substituted by definition of “territorial sea” by Act 15 of 1991]
2. Right of innocent passageSubject to the provisions of this Act, every ship shall enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial waters.[section 2 amended by Act 5 of 1983]
3. Certain vessels to show flag
4. Entry into and departure from internal waters
5. Immobilizing, laying-up, stopping or anchoring outside harbours or fishing harbours
6. Ships and wreckage not to be sunk or abandoned
7. Suspension of passage
8. Passage deemed to be not innocentNotwithstanding the provisions of section 16, the passage of a ship which carries or has on board in the territorial sea cargo or any appliance or apparatus the use of which or persons who may constitute a threat against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of Namibia, shall be deemed to be not innocent, and that ship and cargo and those persons may be dealt with as provided by section 9.[section 8 amended by Act 5 of 1983]
8A. Suppression of illicit traffic in drugs on board ships in territorial watersIf the Minister on reasonable grounds suspects that the provisions of the Abuse of Dependence-producing Substances and Rehabilitation Centres Act, 1971 (Act No. 41 of 1971), relating to dependence-producing drugs are or have been contravened, any person on board a foreign ship in the territorial sea or in relation to any such drug carried by such ship, such ship and its cargo and such person may for the purpose of applying the said provisions be dealt with mutatis mutandis as provided in section 9 (1) and (2) of this Act.[section 8A inserted by Act 5 of 1983]
9. Minister’s powers relating to ship on non-innocent passage
10. Notice to be given of proceedings in respect of foreign shipsIf any action in terms of this Act is contemplated or taken in respect of any foreign ship, or if any proceedings in terms of this Act are contemplated or taken against the master or owner or a member of the crew of or any person on board of any foreign ship, the Minister shall, if the master of the ship so requests, forthwith advise the agents of the ship and the consular representative of the country whose flag the ship flies at the nearest harbour to such ship, of the action or proceedings taken or contemplated and of the grounds therefor.
11. PenaltiesAny person shall be liable on conviction of -
12. Delegation of powersThe Minister may delegate any power conferred upon him by this Act, other than a power conferred upon him by section 14, to one or more persons in the service of the State, but shall not thereby be divested of any power so delegated and may amend or withdraw any decision of any such person.
13. Limitation of liabilityAny person in the service of the State or any other person exercising any power under this Act shall not be liable in respect of any loss or damage resulting from anything done in good faith in terms of the provisions of this Act.
14. RegulationsThe Minister may make regulations -
15. Notification of regulations made or other action under ActThe Minister may, instead of causing regulations under section 14, or any suspension or prohibition referred to in section 7(1), or any requirement under section 9(1), to be published in the Gazette, give notice thereof to the persons concerned in such manner as he may deem fit.
16. Craft to which Act does not applyThe provisions of this Act do not apply to -
17. Operation of Act in relation to other lawsThe provisions of this Act are in addition to and not in substitution of any other law which is not in conflict with or inconsistent with this Act.
18. Agreement with government of certain state or territoryIf agreed upon between the Government of Namibia and the government of any other state or territory of which the territorial sea are contiguous to the territorial sea of Namibia, the Minister may for and in respect of that state or territory perform any function which he would be capable of performing in Namibia in terms of this Act, as if that state or territory formed part of Namibia.
19. Short title and commencementThis Act shall be called the Marine Traffic Act, 1981, and shall come into operation on a date fixed by the State President by proclamation in the Gazette.
History of this document
01 March 1994 this version
Amended by Namibian Ports Authority Act, 1994
07 December 1991
Amended by Marine Traffic Amendment Act, 1991
28 December 1984
Amended by Marine Traffic Amendment Act, 1983
13 February 1981
04 February 1981
Cited documents 3
Documents citing this one 5
- Namibia Government Gazette dated 1991-12-07 number 312
- Namibia Government Gazette dated 1994-02-28 number 810