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Merchant Shipping (Agreements) Act

Published: 0000

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Merchant Shipping (Agreements) (CAP. 278 1



Arrangement of Sections

1 . Short title.
2 . Agreements to be made with seamen, containing certain

3. Agreements to be made before, and attested by, ship-

ping master.
4. Running agreements may be made.
5. Penalty for shipping seamen without agreement duly

6. Alteration to be made void unless attested.
7 . Penalty for falsifying agreement.
8. Seamen not to be bound to produce agreement.
9. Copy of agreement to be made accessible to crew.

10. Recovery of penalties.
11. Fees to be paid upon agreement.


Merchant Shipping (Agreements) (CAP. 278 3


(3 1 st December, 1 888. )

1. This Act may be cited as the Merchant Shipping short title.
(Agreements) Act.

2. (1) The master of every British ship, (including A ~ e e m e n t ~ to be
made with

any ship which belongs to Antigua and Barbuda and trades
to ports outside Antigua and Barbuda) shall enter into an containing

certain agreement with every seaman whom he carries to sea from particulars.
any port in Antigua and Barbuda as one of his crew, in the
manner hereinafter mentioned, and every such agreement
shall be in the form sanctioned by the Board of Trade, and
shall be dated at the time of the first signature thereof, and
shall be signed by the master before any seaman signs the
same, and shall contain the following particulars as terms
thereof; that is to say-

(a) the nature and, as far as practicable, the dura-
tion of the intended voyage or engagement;

(6 ) the number and description of the crew, speci-
fying how many are engaged as sailors;

(6) the amount of wages which each seaman is to

(d) a scale of the provisions which are to be
furnished to each seaman in cases where it is agreed
that the provisions are to be furnished;

(e) any regulations as to conduct on board, and
as to fines, short allowance of provisions, or other lawful
punishments for misconduct which have been sanctioned
by the Board of Trade as regulations proper to be
adopted, and which the parties agree to adopt.

(2) Every such agreement shall be so framed as to admit
of stipulations to be adopted at the will of the master and
seamen, in each case, as to advance and allotment of wages,


4 CAP. 278) Merchant Shipping agreement^)

and may contain any other stipulations which are not con-
trary to law.

Agreements to be
made before, and

3. The following rules shall be observed with respect
attested by, to agreements; that is to say-
shipping master.

(a) every agreement shall be signed by each seaman
in the presence of the shipping master, or other officer
appoiited for the purpose;

( b ) such shipping master, or other officer as
aforesaid shall cause the agreement to be read over and
explained to each seaman, or otherwise ascertain that
each seaman understands the same before he signs it,
and shall attest such signature; and in case any such
attestation is not made, the burden of proving that the
seaman was duly engaged, as hereby required, shall lie
upon the master;

(6) when the crew is first engaged, the agreement
shall be signed in duplicate, and one copy shall be 1
retained by the shipping master, or other officer as 3

aforesaid, and the other copy shall be delivered to the 1
master. f

be made.

4. Agreements with the crew may be made to extend
may over two or more voyages, so that no such agreement shall

extend beyond six months, or the first arrival of the ship
at a port in Antigua and Barbuda after the expiration of
six months, or the discharge of cargo consequent upon such

Penalty for 5 . If, in any case, a master carries any seaman to
shipping seamen
without sea without entering into an agreement with him as is by
agreement duly this Act required, he shall, for each such offence, incur a
executed. penalty not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars:

Provided, that this shall not apply to any case in which
a seaman already engaged is not on board at the time
appointed for a vessel's departure, and the master engages
another seaman to supply his place after the shipping master's
office hours, and reports the fact in writing to the shipping
master, and, on his return to the island, engages the seaman
with the forms by this Act required.


Merchant Shipping (Agreements) (CAP. 278 5

6. Every erasure, interlineation, or alteration in any Alteration to be
made void unless such agreement shall be wholly inoperative, unless proved attested.

to have been made with the consent of all the parties
interested in such erasure, interlineation, or alteration by
the written attestation of a shipping master, or other officer
as aforesaid.

7. Every person who fraudulently alters, assists in Penalty for

fraudulently altering, or procures to be fraudulently altered, agreement.
or makes, or assists in making, or procures to be made, any
false entry in, or delivers, assists in delivering, or procures
to be delivered, a false copy of any agreement, shall for each
such offence be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour.

8. Any seaman may bring forward evidence to prove seamen not to
be bound to the contents of any agreement, or otherwise to support his produce

case, without producing, or giving notice to produce, the agreement.
agreement or any copy thereof.

9. The master shall, at the commencement of every COPY of
agreement to be

voyage or engagement, cause a legible copy of the agree- ,,de accessib~e
ment, omitting the signatures, to be placed or posted up in to crew.
such part of the ship as to be accessible to the crew, and,
in default, shall, for each offence, incur a penalty not ex-
ceeding two hundred and fifty dollars.

10. All penalties under this Act shall be recoverable
on summary conviction.

1 . The fees payable to the shipping master under Fees to be paid
upon agreement.

the provisions of this Act shall be such as may, from time
to time, be fixed by the Cabinet, save and except that, for
the engagement of seamen separately, the fee shall be twenty-
four cents for each.