Disaster Preparedness and Response Act


Published: 2006-03-01

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Disaster Preparedness and Response Act
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE [CH.34A – 1





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 34A

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 – 48 LRO 1/2008


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

PART I - PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

PART II - DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

3. Director of the National Emergency Management Agency.
4. Functions of Director.
5. Ministerial directions to Director.

PART III - ADVISORY COMMITTEE, POLICY
REVIEW AND PLAN

6. National Emergency Management Advisory Committee.
7. Disaster preparedness and response policy review.
8. National disaster response plan.

PART IV - EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRES
AND SHELTERS

9. Emergency operations centres.
10. Shelters.

PART V - OBLIGATIONS OF OTHER PUBLIC
OFFICERS

11. Liaison officers.
12. Director to establish a liaison with the private sector.
13. Director to be consulted.
14. Environmental impact assessments.



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PART VI - SPECIALLY VULNERABLE AREAS

15. Delimitation of specially vulnerable areas.
16. Special area precautionary plans for specially vulnerable areas.
17. Draft special area precautionary plan.
18. Public enquiry on draft special area precautionary plan.
19. Revision of draft special area precautionary plan.
20. Approval or referring back of draft special area precautionary

plan.
21. Special area precautionary plan.
22. Authorities to have regard to special area precautionary plan.
23. Amendment of Order delimiting the specially vulnerable area.
24. Amendment of special area precautionary plan.
25. Regulations for special area plans.
26. Judicial review.

PART VII - DISASTER ALERTS AND
EMERGENCIES

27. Periods of emergency.

PART VIII - MISCELLANEOUS

28. Visits by hazard inspectors.
29. Steps to abate danger.
30. Regulations.
31. Repugnancy with other enactments and duration of regulations.
32. Assaulting or obstructing the Director or a hazard inspector.
33. Penalties.
34. Funding of NEMA.
35. Application of Act to other events of disaster.
36. Provisions of Caribbean Disaster Agency Agreement to have

force of law.
37. Act binds the Crown.
38. Exemption from civil liability.

FIRST SCHEDULE (Section 27) — DISASTER ALERT ADVANCE

SCHEDULES
SECOND SCHEDULE (Section 36) — AGREEMENT

ESTABLISHING THE CARIBBEAN DISASTER
EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCY



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CHAPTER 34A

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

An Act to provide for a more effective organisation
of the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to and
recovery from emergencies and disasters.

[Assent 6th February, 2006]
[Commencement 1st March, 2006]

PART I - PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Disaster
Preparedness and Response Act.

2. In this Act —
“Advisory Committee” means the Advisory

Committee established under section 6(1);
“Agency Agreement” means the Agreement

establishing the Caribbean Disaster Emergency
Response Agency the text of which is set out in
the Second Schedule;

“Director” means the Director of the Department of
NEMA appointed pursuant to section 3;

“disaster emergency” means an emergency declared
by Order of the Prime Minister under section 27
on account of the threat or occurrence of a
disaster;

“emergency operations centres” means emergency
operations centres established under section 9;

“hazard inspector” means a hazard inspector
appointed or designated under section 3;

“listed premises” means premises listed in the shelters
list;

“local government unit” means an area constituted
under the Local Government Act;

“National Preparedness Plan” means the National
Preparedness and Response Plan referred to in
section 8;


4 of 2006

S.I. 5/2006.

Short title.

Interpretation.

Cap. 37

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

“Policy Review” means the Disaster Preparedness and
Response Policy Review under section 7(1);

“public body” includes a public corporation, local
government unit and any company whose
majority shareholding is held by the government;

“shelter manager” means a shelter manager appointed
or designated under section 3;

“shelter officer” means a shelter officer appointed or
designated under section 3;

“shelter list” means the list of premises established
under section 10(1);

“special area precautionary plan” means a special area
precautionary plan under section 16;

PART II - DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

3. (1) There shall be a Department of Government
(hereinafter referred to as “NEMA”) which shall be the
governmental agency charged with responsibility for
disaster relief management and at the head of which there
shall be a public officer holding the office of Director.

(2) The Director shall be assisted by such number of
public officers as may be appointed or assigned to NEMA
and other persons whose services have been engaged by, or
who have volunteered their services to, NEMA.

(3) The Prime Minister may by notice in the Gazette
designate any person referred to in subsection (2) to be,
and to discharge the functions of, a hazard inspector or
shelter manager.

(4) An office or post of NEMA shall be respectively
located on a Family Island which the Prime Minister
considers would be readily accessible to two or more
neighbouring Family Islands and the respective
Administrator of the Island shall, subject to the directions
of the Director, be responsible for the carrying out of the
functions of NEMA in the Island.

(5) The location of public officers appointed or
assigned to NEMA shall be approved by the Prime
Minister who shall have due regard to the need to have
NEMA present and functioning within the Family Islands.

Director of the
National
Emergency
Management
Agency.

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(6) The Prime Minister after consultation with the
Director and each Administrator on a respective Family
Island shall appoint a disaster Consultative Committee
consisting of not less than five residents of each settlement
or town area or district, as the case may be, on a Family
Island of whom one shall be designated Chairman, though
at any meeting of the Committee when the Administrator is
present, the latter shall act as Chairman of the meeting.

(7) The Committee shall have the responsibility of
assisting the Director and the Administrator in formulating
the disaster preparedness measures and in discharging the
functions of NEMA in respect of a settlement or town area
or district, as the case may be on the Island by the
preparation of a draft plan relating to an area represented
by the Committee.

(8) Where in respect of a Family Island there are
produced by the Committees on that Island more than one
draft plan, the Administrators and Committees shall liaise
with each other with the intent of submitting to NEMA one
draft plan reflecting the disaster preparedness measures and
responses that are recommended to be put in place in
respect of the Island or any part thereof.

(9) It shall be the duty of the Director to carry out a
review with each Consultative Committee by the 1st June
in every year of the procedures and measures that are to be
taken in response to the occurrence of a disaster or disaster
alert involving the area represented by the Committee.

(10) The Director in discharging his functions under
subsection (9) shall have regard to any draft plan prepared
under subsection (8) and in consultation with the respective
Administrator and Committee adopt a plan with or without
modifications.

(11) Where the respective Administrator is absent
from the Island, the Chairman of the Committee shall be
regarded during a disaster emergency as the representative
of the Administrator in respect of the area represented by
the Committee.

(12) Where a school is listed as premises available and
suitable for use as a shelter pursuant to section 10 the
shelter manager for that school shall be a person designated
under the hand of the Director and notice thereof published
in the Gazette.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(13) The Director or any police officer shall have all
the enforcement powers of a hazard inspector shelter
manager or shelter officers conferred by or under sections
10(7) and 30.

4. (1) The Director shall subject to section 5 be
responsible to the Prime Minister for coordinating and
implementing the general policy of the Government of The
Bahamas relating to the mitigation of, preparedness for,
response to and recovery from emergencies and disasters in
The Bahamas.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection
(1), the Director shall also —

(a) review and assess the various programmes and
activities of the Government of The Bahamas
which have an impact on the mitigation of,
preparedness for, response to and recovery from
emergencies and disasters in The Bahamas, and
make recommendation to the Prime Minister on
the likely activities and programmes on disaster
preparedness and coordination;

(b) develop and recommend to the Prime Minister
national policies to foster and promote the
mitigation of, preparedness for, response to and
recovery from emergencies and disasters in The
Bahamas;

(c) in collaboration with Government or other
agencies, gather timely and authoritative
information concerning the conditions and trends
in the quality of the environment, both current
and prospective, as these relate to the likelihood
of disasters in The Bahamas;

(d) analyse and interpret the information gathered
under paragraph (c) for the purpose of
determining whether such conditions and trends
are interfering, or are likely to interfere, with the
achievement of the mitigation of, preparedness
for, response to and recovery from emergencies
and disasters;

(e) in collaboration with Government or other
agencies, conduct investigations, studies, surveys,
research and analysis relating to ecological
systems and environmental quality and document
and define changes in the natural environment as

Functions of
Director.

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these relate to the likelihood of disasters in The
Bahamas;

(f) prepare and review disaster risk assessment maps
of The Bahamas;

(g) conduct programmes of public information and
education on the mitigation of, preparedness for,
response to and recovery from emergencies and
disasters;

(h) liaise with persons, institutions and organisations
within and without The Bahamas for the purpose
of exchanging information and facilitating the
harmonisation of the policies of such persons and
organisations with those of the Government of
The Bahamas relating to the prevention and
mitigation of, preparedness for, response to and
recovery from emergencies and disasters in The
Bahamas;

(i) provide technical advice on draft regulations,
whether under this Act or any other legislation,
relating to the mitigation of, preparedness for,
response to and recovery from emergencies and
disasters in The Bahamas.

5. (1) The Director shall be subject to such
directions of a special or general character in relation to the
policy to be followed in the exercise of the powers
conferred and the duties imposed on the Director by or
under this Act as the Prime Minister gives on any matter
that affects the public interests of The Bahamas and the
Director shall give effect to all such directions.

(2) The Director shall have the duty to ensure that
The Bahamas, in the absence of the Prime Minister, is
represented at meetings of the Agency referred to in the
Second Schedule by himself or someone designated by the
Prime Minister.

PART III - ADVISORY COMMITTEE, POLICY
REVIEW AND PLAN

6. (1) There shall be an Advisory Committee of
NEMA comprising such members as may be appointed by
the Prime Minister representing —

(i) the Office of the Prime Minister,

Ministerial
directions to
Director.

National
Emergency
Management
Advisory
Committee.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(ii) the Office of the Cabinet,
(iii) the Royal Bahamas Police Force,
(iv) the Royal Bahamas Defence Force,
(v) the Fire Service,
(vi) the Ministry responsible for public health,
(vii) the Ministry responsible for the environment,
(viii) the Ministry responsible for public works,
(ix) the Ministry responsible for local government,
(x) the Public Hospitals Authority,
(xi) the public utilities undertakings,
(xii) the Department of Meteorology,
(xiii) the Department of Aviation,
(xiv) The Bahamas Broadcasting Corporation,
(xv) such other Ministries, Departments of

Government and public bodies as the Prime
Minister thinks fit, and

(xvi) such other persons or organizations as the
Prime Minister thinks fit who volunteer or having
regard to their respective role in the economic or
commercial sphere of The Bahamas or are
required by law to perform functions related to
the mitigation of and response to emergencies and
disasters in The Bahamas.

(2) The appointments under subsection (1) shall be of
such persons as the Prime Minister considers are able to
make an input in the formation of the National
Preparedness Plan and to issue, and have, the respective
directives complied with by personnel employed or
attached to the institution or organization respectively
represented by them.

(3) The Prime Minister shall be entitled to attend any
meeting of the Advisory Committee and in the event that
he does so he shall act as Chairman of that meeting.

(4) Subject to subsection (3) the Prime Minister shall
designate two members of the Advisory Committee to
serve as Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively of
the Committee and may by that designation limit that
service to a period.

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(5) The Chairman and any four other members of the
Advisory Committee shall constitute a quorum for
meetings of the Committee.

(6) The Director shall be the Secretary of the
Advisory Committee.

(7) The members of the Advisory Committee or of
any other Committee under subsection (9) (other than
public officers) shall receive such attendance fees and
travel or other allowances out of the Consolidated Fund as
the Prime Minister may by Order authorize.

(8) The Prime Minister may by regulations prescribe
rules of procedure for the Advisory Committee, but the
Committee may, subject to such regulations and this Act,
determine its own procedure.

(9) The Director shall in consultation with the
Advisory Committee establish other committees and
subcommittees charged with particular responsibilities,
whether defined by geographical area or otherwise, in
relation to the response to emergencies and disasters in The
Bahamas, which other committees and sub-committees
shall be available to be convened whenever a threatened
disaster alert arises or a disaster strikes.

7. (1) The Director shall prepare annually for the
approval of the Prime Minister a Disaster Preparedness and
Response Policy Review related to the mitigation of,
preparedness for, response to and recovery from
emergencies and disasters in The Bahamas.

(2) The Director shall consult the Advisory
Committee in the preparation of the Policy Review and
take into account any existing arrangements established by
agencies of the Government in respect of centres and
contingency plans in instances of public emergencies.

(3) When the Policy Review is approved by the
Prime Minister, with or without amendments, the Director
shall publish the Review.

8. (1) The Director shall in consultation with the
Advisory Committee prepare annually for the approval of
the Prime Minister a National Disaster Preparedness and
Response Plan, comprising the statement of the
contingency arrangements under the coordination of the
Director for responding to the threat or event and aftermath
of a disaster in The Bahamas whether or not the threat or

Disaster
preparedness and
response policy
review.

National disaster
response plan.

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the disaster is such as to prompt the declaration of a
disaster emergency.

(2) The National Disaster Preparedness and Response
Plan shall include —

(a) procedures related to disaster preparedness and
response of public officers, Ministries and
Departments of Government, public bodies and
persons or organizations who volunteer or are
required by law to perform functions related to
the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to
and recovery from emergencies and disasters in
The Bahamas;

(b) procedures for coordinating the National
Preparedness Plan and its implementation with
the preparation and implementation of disaster
response plans of persons and bodies in
paragraph (a);

(c) procedures for informing persons under
paragraph (a) and the public in The Bahamas and
elsewhere of the existence of a threatened disaster
alert under section 27 or the existence of a
disaster emergency;

(d) procedures for preparing and maintaining
inventories of services, systems and supplies for
the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to
and recovery from emergencies and disasters
during the existence of a disaster emergency or a
threatened disaster alert under section 27;

(e) procedures for mobilising services and systems
for the mitigation of, preparedness for, response
to and recovery from emergencies and disasters
during the existence of a disaster emergency or a
threatened disaster alert under section 27,
including procedures for the provision of
manpower for emergency operations centres and
for the protection of the family and property of
persons required for the purpose of providing
manpower to such centres or required otherwise
to perform other duties of protecting the public;

(f) procedures for the protection and restoration of
communications, both nationally and
internationally, during a threatened disaster alert
under section 27 or in the event or the aftermath
of a disaster emergency;

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(g) procedures for informing persons under
paragraph (a) and the public in The Bahamas and
elsewhere of the state of affairs during a
threatened disaster alert under section 27 or in the
event or the aftermath of a disaster emergency;

(h) procedures for the release, distribution and
replenishment of emergency stores of supplies of
food, water, clothing and medical supplies during
a threatened disaster alert under section 27 or in
the event or the aftermath of a disaster
emergency;

(i) procedures for safeguarding against fire and
epidemics during a threatened disaster alert under
section 27 or in the event or the aftermath of a
disaster emergency;

(j) procedures for the provision of shelter for persons
during a threatened disaster alert under section 27
or in the event or the aftermath of a disaster
emergency;

(k) procedures for cooperation with international
organizations and governments of countries
outside The Bahamas during a threatened disaster
alert under section 27 or in the event or the
aftermath of a disaster emergency;

(l) procedures for accepting and facilitating the
distribution of volunteer services and relief
supplies during a threatened disaster alert under
section 27 or in the event or the aftermath of a
disaster emergency;

(m) procedures to apply in the event that the
evacuation of all the residents of any area is
considered to be desirable in the event of a
disaster emergency;

(n) procedures to apply in the event that the
requisitioning of private property is considered to
be necessary in the event of a disaster emergency,
including procedures for assessing and paying
compensation;

(o) procedures for protecting life and property from
the dangers of looting and riotous behaviour in
the event or the aftermath of a disaster
emergency.

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PART IV - EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRES
AND SHELTERS

9. The Director shall be responsible for the
establishment and maintenance of a national emergency
operations centre to function as the headquarters of the
activities undertaken in response to a disaster emergency,
and may establish and maintain supplementary emergency
operations centres or facilitate the establishment and
maintenance of such supplementary emergency operations
centres, whether distributed according to geographical
location or local government unit or otherwise, by persons
or bodies in section 8 (2) (a).

10. (1) The Director shall establish and maintain a list
of premises available for and suitable for use as shelters
during a threatened disaster alert under section 27 or in the
event or the aftermath of a disaster emergency.

(2) The Director shall in the shelters list —
(a) distinguish between government occupied

premises and other premises;
(b) list the facilities available at each listed premises;
(c) indicate the suitability of each listed premises for

use during a threatened disaster alert under
section 27 or in the event or the aftermath of a
disaster emergency; and

(d) indicate the periods for which the listed premises
would be suitable for use in the instances in
paragraph (c).

(3) The Director shall subject to subsection (4) assign
to each listed premises a shelter manager charged with the
responsibility of managing the shelter during any period
when the building is being used for that purpose, and may
assign shelter officers to assist any shelter manager.

(4) Where listed premises are not Government
occupied premises, the designation of shelter managers or
shelter officers for those premises shall be done in
consultation with the occupier of the premises.

(5) The Prime Minister may make regulations as
regards the use of any listed premises by persons taking
shelter therein, and regulations made under this subsection

Emergency
operations
centres.

Shelters.

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shall apply during the period when the premises are in use
as shelters.

(6) In making regulations under subsection (5) for
listed premises which are not Government occupied
premises, the Prime Minister shall consult the normal
occupiers of the premises.

(7) Regulations under subsection (5) may confer
enforcement powers on shelter managers and shelter
officers for the purpose of keeping order in shelters
including the creation of criminal offences and penalties
for those offences.

(8) The owner or occupier of a listed premises shall
not be liable to any person taking shelter on the premises
for any injury to such person or damage to or loss of any
person’s property, which injury, damage or loss arises from
the condition of the premises, where the use of the
premises for shelter was within the listed limits of
suitability of the premises under subsection (2).

(9) Subsection (8) is without prejudice to any other
right or remedy which the person suffering damage or loss
may have —

(a) other than a right or remedy against the owner or
occupier of the premises; or

(b) against the owner or occupier of the premises for
damage or loss arising otherwise than from the
condition of the premises.

PART V - OBLIGATIONS OF OTHER PUBLIC
OFFICERS

11. For the purposes of facilitating the attainment and
the carrying out of the objectives, procedures and measures
of the National Preparedness Plan every Permanent
Secretary and head of Department of government or public
body shall —

(a) ensure that there is at all times an officer of his
Ministry, Department or body designated as the
liaison officer for communication with the
Director in relation to the procedures of the
Ministry, Department or public body under
section 8 (2) (a);

Liaison officers.

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(b) to the utmost possible extent ensure there is
collaboration between his Ministry, Department
or public body and the Director and his officers
and the rendering of the necessary support to
NEMA;

(c) supply annually to the Director in such form and
by such date as may be directed by the Prime
Minister such information as may be requested by
the Director for the purposes of sections 4(2)(a)
and 8(2).

12. (1) The Director shall establish a liaison with
such organisations in the private sector as he thinks fit for
the purposes of establishing communication links with
them in relation to the procedures of those organisations
under section 11(2)(a).

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the Director
may enter into such arrangements as he considers
necessary with any organisation requiring the provision by
that organisation of any information as may be requested
by the Director for the purposes of sections 4(2)(a) and
8(2).

(3) It shall be deemed a term of any licence issued to
an owner or operator of a wireless telecommunications
station that upon the making of, or in the event of there
being made, an Order by the Prime Minister under section
27, the station shall comply with any directive given or
request made by the Prime Minister, whether orally or in
writing or by the Director as regards the broadcasting of
bulletins or notices pertaining to an impending or existing
disaster.

(4) Any operator, owner or manager of a radio station
who, without any reasonable excuse, fails to comply with
any directive or request made under subsection (3) shall be
guilty of an offence.

13. (1) Subject to subsection (5), before any person
exercises any disaster preparedness and response related
powers under this or any other Act, that person shall
subject to subsections (2) to (4) consult the Director.

(2) The obligation to consult in subsection (1) shall
not apply —

(a) during a disaster emergency, where the person
exercising the powers under subsection (1)
considers that the urgency of the matter or

Director to
establish a
liaison with the
private sector.

Director to be
consulted.

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difficulties of logistics makes such consultation
impracticable;

(b) in respect of the exercise of any power in relation
to which a waiver by the Director of his right to
be consulted is in effect under subsection (3).

(3) The Director may with the approval of the Prime
Minister waive his right to be consulted, and any such
waiver shall take effect when the Prime Minister shall have
notified that waiver by Order published in the Gazette.

(4) A waiver under subsection (3) may relate to the
exercise of any power or category of powers or to the
exercise of a power in a specific instance save however the
exercise of the power shall be reasonable in the
circumstances and have due regard to the National
Preparedness Plan.

(5) Subsection (1) shall not apply to the Attorney-
General, a judge or magistrate or a member of the police
force in the carrying out of the functions of their respective
offices.

14. Any power under any law to require an
environmental impact assessment is, whether such power is
express or implied, a disaster preparedness and response
related power for the purposes of section 13(1).

PART VI - SPECIALLY VULNERABLE AREAS

15. (1) The Prime Minister may in accordance with
the provisions of this section designate specially vulnerable
areas for the purposes of the mitigation of, preparedness
for, response to and recovery from emergencies and
disasters by delimiting such areas under this section.

(2) The Director shall prepare for the approval of the
Prime Minister a draft Order delimiting any specially
vulnerable area that the Director recommends for
designation under subsection (1).

(3) In the course of the preparation of the draft Order,
the Director shall invite comments from the general public
or any part thereof that would be affected by the proposed
draft including the holding of public meetings at which the
draft may be discussed.

(4) The Prime Minister shall, if he decides to accept
the Director’s recommendation for the designation of the

Environmental
impact
assessments.

Delimitation of
specially
vulnerable areas.

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area, and after consultation with the Advisory Committee
consider what revisions ought to be made to the draft Order
and shall settle the delimitation of the specially vulnerable
area by making the Order and publishing it in the Gazette.

16. (1) The Director may prepare for the approval of
the Prime Minister a draft special area precautionary plan
for a specially vulnerable area under section 15(1).

(2) A special area precautionary plan may include —
(a) strategies, policies and standards for development

for maintenance of structures in the specially
vulnerable area or any proposed specially
vulnerable area;

(b) standards for environmental impact assessment
for contemplated development in the specially
vulnerable area;

(c) provisions designating any part of the specially
vulnerable area as a prohibited area for navigation
or for the purpose of removing vegetation, sand,
stones, shingle or gravel.

(3) A special area precautionary plan may
communicate strategies, policies, standards or designations
by means of maps and diagrams.

17. (1) The Director shall by notice in at least one
local newspaper invite submissions from the public relating
to the contents of a draft special area precautionary plan.

(2) The Director shall allow a period of not less than
four weeks and not more than eight weeks for the receipt
by him of such submissions pursuant to subsection (1).

(3) From the date of the invitation to the public under
subsection (1), the Director shall on written application by
any person permit access to any technical studies used in
the preparation of the draft special area precautionary plan.

18. When the draft special area precautionary plan is
ready, the Director shall publish the same in at least one
local newspaper and invite comments thereupon from
members of the public including the presentation of it at a
meeting of members of the public for that purpose.

19. After the public input has been obtained, the
Director shall consider what, if any, revisions ought to be
made in the draft special area precautionary plan in the

Special area
precautionary
plans for
specially
vulnerable areas.

Draft special area
precautionary
plan.

Public enquiry
on draft special
area
precautionary
plan.

Revision of draft
special area
precautionary
plan.

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light of the comments and submit the draft plan to the
Prime Minister with such revisions if any.

20. (1) The Prime Minister may —
(a) approve the submitted draft special area

precautionary plan; or
(b) refer the draft plan back to the Director for such

changes as the Prime Minister may require, in
which event the Director shall make the changes
as required and resubmit the draft plan to the
Prime Minister; or

(c) discontinue the process if he considers that the
objectives of the draft plan have already been met
under the provisions of other laws.

(2) Section 18 shall apply to a draft special area
precautionary plan resubmitted to the Prime Minister under
subsection (1)(b) as it applies to a draft plan under
section 17.

(3) Before making an Order under subsection (1)(a),
the Prime Minister shall consult the Advisory Committee.

21. (1) The draft special area precautionary plan
approved under section 20(1)(a) shall when published in
the Gazette thereby become the special area precautionary
plan for the specially vulnerable area until a new amended
special area precautionary plan is approved under this Act.

(2) A special area precautionary plan shall not
authorize any development which would not be permitted
under any law relating to land use or any other law in force
in The Bahamas.

22. Any person or authority exercising any function
under this Act or any function under any law in force in
The Bahamas affecting the conservation and management
of the resources of the specially vulnerable area shall have
regard to the special area precautionary plan.

23. (1) The Director may with the approval of the
Prime Minister at any time prepare draft proposals for
amending the Order delimiting the specially vulnerable
area.

(2) The amendment of the Order delimiting the
specially vulnerable area in accordance with such draft
proposals shall comply with section 15.

Approval or
referring back of
draft special area
precautionary
plan.

Special area
precautionary
plan.

Authorities to
have regard to
special area
precautionary
plan.

Amendment of
Order delimiting
the specially
vulnerable area.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

24. (1) The Director may at any time prepare and
propose for the approval of the Prime Minister draft
amendments to the special area precautionary plan for the
specially vulnerable area.

(2) The amendment of the special area precautionary
plan in accordance with such drafts shall comply with
sections 17 to 20, and the amended plan shall when
approved under section 20(1)(a) and published in the
Gazette thereafter constitute the special area precautionary
plan under section 21(1).

25. The Prime Minister may make regulations for the
purpose of implementing the special area precautionary
plans.

26. (1) Any person aggrieved by a special area
precautionary plan for a specially vulnerable area, who
desires to question its validity or the validity of any
provisions in it on the grounds that it is not within the
powers of this Act or that any requirement of this Act has
not been complied with in relation to the approval or
preparation of the plan, may within six weeks from the date
on which the notice is published in the Gazette under
section 20(1), make an application to the Supreme Court
under this section in accordance with any Rules of Court
for the time being in force.

(2) On any application under this section, the
Supreme Court, if satisfied that the plan, or any powers
contained therein, is not within the powers of this Act or
that the interests of the applicant have been substantially
prejudiced by a failure to comply with any requirement of
this Act may quash the special area precautionary plan or
any provision contained in it, either generally or in so far
as it affects any property of the applicant.

(3) Where the whole special area precautionary plan
is quashed under subsection (2), the Director shall prepare
a new draft special area precautionary plan to which
sections 17 to 20 shall apply as they apply to a draft plan
under section 16(1).

(4) Where a provision of the special area
precautionary plan is quashed under subsection (2), but the
whole plan is not quashed, the plan without the quashed
provision shall be deemed to be an approved amended
special area precautionary plan under section 20(1)(a).

Amendment of
special area
precautionary
plan.

Regulations for
special area
plans.

Judicial review.

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE [CH.34A – 19





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

PART VII - DISASTER ALERTS AND
EMERGENCIES

27. (1) For the purposes of this Act —
(a) a disaster emergency exists when the Prime

Minister declares by Order that an emergency
exists after he has been advised by the Director
that a disaster of a kind mentioned in column 1 of
the First Schedule has occurred;

(b) a threatened disaster alert exists when —
(i) the Prime Minister declares by order, after he

has been advised by the Director under
subsection (2) that there is a substantial
prospect that a disaster of a kind mentioned
in column 1 of the First Schedule will occur
within the applicable period (if any)
mentioned in column 2 of that Schedule; or

(ii) an agency, whether within The Bahamas or
otherwise, certified by the Director as an
Accredited Disaster Notification Service
under subsection (3), broadcasts or otherwise
publishes a formal announcement warning
persons of the threat of the striking of a
disaster of a kind mentioned in column 1 of
the First Schedule within the applicable
period (if any) mentioned in column 2 of that
Schedule:

Provided that the Prime Minister may by
Order on like advice as is provided in paragraph (a) or (b)
declare that notwithstanding such an announcement the
country is not in a state of emergency or threatened disaster
alert.

(2) The Director shall advise the Prime Minister on
request, and at any time the Director considers appropriate,
of the occurrence of, or of the likely occurrence of, a
disaster of a kind mentioned in column 1 of the First
Schedule.

(3) The Director may certify any agency, whether
within The Bahamas or otherwise, which he considers to
have a high level of technical expertise in the prediction or
assessment of risk of any kind of disaster, as an Accredited
Disaster Notification Service for the purposes of this Act.

Periods of
emergency.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(4) A certification under subsection (3) may be
general or limited to specified kinds of disaster.

(5) The provisions of subsections (3), (4) and (5) of
section 30 shall mutatis mutandis apply to an Order made
under subsection (1) (a) or (b) (i) as they apply to
regulations made under section 30.

PART VIII - MISCELLANEOUS

28. (1) Where a magistrate is satisfied, on evidence
on oath by a hazard inspector, that the condition of any
premises is reasonably suspected of posing a danger of
serious injury to persons outside of the premises in the
event of a disaster, the magistrate may issue an order
authorising the hazard inspector to enter and inspect those
premises for hazards.

(2) An order under this section expires not later than
thirty days after the date on which it is made, and may be
renewed by a magistrate before expiry for one or more
periods each of which is not more than thirty days.

(3) An order under this section shall be carried out
during daylight hours unless the order authorises
otherwise.

(4) The Director shall provide himself and each
hazard inspector with a distinctive badge, tag or other
identification device which may conveniently be carried by
himself and each hazard inspector while engaged in the
performance of their duties under this section.

(5) A hazard inspector who exercises a power under
this section shall identify himself as a hazard inspector to
any person in control of the premises to be inspected at the
time of the inspection, by the production of his hazard
inspector’s badge, tag or other identification device under
subsection (4) and shall explain the purpose of the
inspection.

(6) An order under this section may be issued or
renewed on application notwithstanding that no notice of
the application is given to any person who may be affected
thereby.

(7) A hazard inspector shall prepare a report on the
results of any inspection carried out under this section, a
copy of which shall be provided to the occupier of the
premises.

Visits by hazard
inspectors.

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(8) Without prejudice to section 29, where the hazard
inspector is of the opinion, after carrying out an inspection
under this section, that the condition of any premises poses
a danger of serious injury to persons outside of the
premises in the event of a disaster, and that the condition of
the premises which gives rise to the danger constitutes a
violation of any other law, he shall send a copy of the
report to any Ministry, Department or other body
responsible for the administration of that other law, and
notify the occupier of the premises that the report has been
supplied to the Ministry or Department in question.

(9) A report of a hazard inspector under this section
shall be admissible in any legal proceedings as evidence of
the truth of the report’s findings of fact, whether or not the
Government is a party to such proceedings.

29. (1) Where the Director or a hazard inspector
identifies premises under section 28(8) as likely to pose a
danger in the event of a disaster, he or she shall certify that
in writing to the owner or occupant of the property and
give him or her specific instructions as to the steps to take
to abate or remove the danger within three weeks of the
receipt of the notice.

(2) Upon failure to comply with the requirements
after notice, NEMA by its officers shall take the necessary
steps to give effect to the notice including entry by them or
its agents upon the premises after due notice to the owner
or occupant of the premises.

(3) A person who is served with a notice under
subsection (1) who does not take all the steps as directed
by the Director or a hazard inspector in the notice to abate
or remove the potential danger within three weeks from the
date of receipt of the notice, commits an offence and in
addition to any penalty imposed under section 33 shall be
made to pay any expenses which NEMA incurs to abate or
remove the danger.

(4) The Director or a hazard inspector exercising a
function under this section shall identify himself or herself
as the Director or hazard inspector, to the occupant or
owner of the property on which the danger was identified,
by the production of his or her badge, tag or other
identification device provided under section 28(4) and shall
explain the purpose of his or her mission.

30. (1) The Prime Minister may make regulations for
the purpose of implementing the provisions of this Act and

Steps to abate
danger.

Regulations.

CH.34A – 22] DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, by
regulations provide —

(a) rules of Procedure for the Advisory Committee;
(b) that different periods shall apply in relation to

threatened disaster alerts than those prescribed in
the First Schedule;

(c) that notice of the availability of a report under
section 28 may be given by advertisement in at
least one daily local newspaper where attempts to
identify or find an occupier, for the purpose of
providing the report under that section or
notifying its contents under section 28(8), have
not succeeded after two weeks or such longer
period as may be prescribed;

(d) that during the existence of an Order made under
section 27 the movement of all persons or
vehicles or any class or type of persons or
vehicles are prohibited or restricted in their
respective movements in any part of The
Bahamas.

(e) that during the existence of an Order made under
section 27(1) persons, other than emergency
personnel, shall evacuate an area or may not
reside or otherwise be present in such area and
during such period as are specified;

(f) for amending any enactment, for suspending the
operation of any enactment and for applying any
enactment with or without modification;

(g) provide for payment of compensation and
remuneration to persons affected by these
regulations;

(h) for the taking of possession or control on behalf
of the Government of any property or
undertaking.

(2) Regulations made under this section may create
offences, impose penalties for the breach thereof and
specify any particular persons or class of persons in
addition to members of the police force who may take
steps to enforce the regulations.

(3) During any disaster emergency or threatened
disaster alert regulations made under this Act, other than

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE [CH.34A – 23





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

regulations required under subsection (5) to be published in
the Gazette, may be published either —

(a) by announcement in any television or wireless
transmission media duly licensed to operate for
transmission and reception in The Bahamas;

(b) by notice affixed to the outside of every
magistrate court and every police station located
in the area of The Bahamas to which the
regulations apply.

(4) Publication under subsection (3) shall be deemed
to be sufficient compliance, for the duration of any period
of disaster alert or disaster emergency, with any
requirement of publication under this Act or any other law:

Provided that as soon as practicable thereafter
the regulations shall be published in the Gazette.

(5) The means of authentication of regulations
published under subsection (3) shall, unless otherwise
prescribed by regulations published in the Gazette, be —

(a) in the case of media announcements under
subsection (3) (a), the voice of the Prime Minister
or the Commissioner of Police;

(b) in the case of posted notices under subsection (3)
(b), the actual or facsimile signature of the Prime
Minister.

(6) Regulations made under this Act —
(a) shall be subject to a negative Resolution;
(b) notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any

law, shall not have effect before the coming into
force, and shall not authorize or prohibit anything
being done after the existence of, an Order made
under section 27(1).

31. (1) Regulations made under section 30 shall have
effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith
contained in any enactment; and any provision of an
enactment which may be inconsistent with any regulation
shall, whether or not that provision has been amended,
modified or suspended in its operation under section 30, to
the extent of such inconsistency have no effect so long as
such regulation remains in force.

Repugnancy with
other enactments
and duration of
regulations.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(2) All regulations, if not sooner revoked, shall cease
to have effect when the Order made under section 27(1) or
35 ceases to have effect.

(3) In this section and in section 30 “enactment”
means an instrument having force of law other than the
Constitution and this Act.

32. A person who assaults or obstructs the Director, a
hazard inspector, a shelter manager, a shelter officer, or a
member of the Police Force in the execution of his duty in
relation to —

(a) the functions of a shelter manager or shelter
officer under section 10; or

(b) the functions of a hazard inspector under section
28; or

(c) the functions of the Director or hazard inspector
under section 29;

(d) the functions of the Director under any
regulations, made under this Act,

commits a summary offence.
33. A person who commits an offence under this Act

for which no penalty is prescribed is liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or
to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or
both.

34. (1) NEMA in the carrying out of the objectives
and purposes of an approved National Preparedness Plan as
regards the preparation for, the mitigation of and the
recovery from emergencies and disasters shall have the
legal capacity in its name to operate bank accounts, to
receive and disburse monies held in those accounts.

(2) The funds of NEMA shall consist of monies —
(a) provided by Parliament; and
(b) donated by persons,

to NEMA for the objectives and purposes mentioned in
subsection (1), including monies earned by NEMA from
any investment of those monies held in its accounts.

(3) The accounts of NEMA shall be subject to an
annual audit by the Auditor General in the same manner
and to the like extent of the accounts of any other
department of Government.

Assaulting or
obstructing the
Director or a
hazard inspector.

Penalties.

Funding of
NEMA.

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE [CH.34A – 25





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(4) Without prejudice to subsection (3), NEMA shall
cause all receipts and disbursements of monies during a
period of emergency to be audited, within three months of
the revocation of the order made under section 27, by an
accountant employed by NEMA for the purpose and the
report of which audit shall be laid by the Prime Minister in
Parliament.

(5) The Prime Minister shall prescribe the manner
and under whose signatures monies in the accounts of
NEMA shall be disbursed.

35. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this
Act the Prime Minister may by Order direct that the
powers conferred by this Act, other than section 27, shall
apply to any event which he has been advised by the
Director-General has occurred in the maritime or aviation
sector and which the Prime Minister determines is a
disaster for the purposes of this Act, having regard to the
ensuing wide spread loss of life or destruction of property.

36. Articles 21 to 23 and 26 to 30 of the Agency
Agreement have the force of law in The Bahamas.



37. This Act binds the Crown.
38. The Director, a hazard inspector, a shelter

manager, a shelter officer, and a member of the Police
Force shall not be liable for any act done by him in good
faith in the execution of any duty or function under this
Act.

FIRST SCHEDULE (Section 27)

DISASTER ALERT ADVANCE SCHEDULES

Column 1: Column 2:
Type of Disaster Disaster Alert Advance Schedules
Earthquakes/

Tsunami


Fires
Floods A flood watch would be issued when

conditions are present that could
give rainfall amount of three inches
in an hour and a half or less within
the designated watch area.

Application of
Act to other
events of
disaster.

Provisions of
Caribbean
Disaster Agency
Agreement to
have force of
law.

Act binds the
Crown.
Exemption from
civil liability.

CH.34A – 26] DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

Flood warning will be issued when
flooding is imminent.

Tropical
Cyclones

Storm Alert
When a tropical cyclone can possibly

give storm conditions in some parts
of The Bahamas within 60 hours a
Storm Alert is issued.

Alert plus Watch (36 Hours Away)
When a tropical cyclone will possibly

give storm or hurricane conditions
within 36 hours in some parts of
The Bahamas, a Storm or Hurricane
Alert is issued. A storm or
Hurricane Watch is announced at
the beginning of this Alert.

Alert plus Warning (24 Hours Away)
When a tropical cyclone is likely to give

storm or hurricane conditions
within 24 hours in some parts of
The Bahamas, a Tropical Storm or
Hurricane Alert is issued, and
includes a Tropical Storm or
Hurricane Warning which is
announced at the beginning of the
Alert.



DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE [CH.34A – 27





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

SECOND SCHEDULE (Section 36)

AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE CARIBBEAN
DISASTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCY

THE STATES PARTIES:
CONSCIOUS that the fragile economies and

ecosystems of Caribbean states are extremely vulnerable to
natural and manmade disasters:

RECALLING that during recent decades many
Caribbean States have been adversely affected by a
succession of hurricanes, namely Barbados (1955), Cuba,
Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Haiti (1964); Dominica
and the Dominican Republic (1979); Saint Lucia, Haiti and
Jamaica (1980) and Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and
Nevis and Montserrat (1989);

RECALLING FURTHER the volcanic eruptions in
Martinique and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1902);
Guadeloupe (1976); St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1979)
as well as the earthquakes in Jamaica (1902); Puerto Rico
(1918); the Dominican Republic (1946) and Antigua and
Barbuda (1974);

MINDFUL that, from time to time, several States of
the Caribbean are subject to disastrous floods and
landslides;

AWARE of the need to complement the initiatives of
the Pan Caribbean Disaster Preparedness and Prevention
Project by establishing a mechanism among Caribbean
States in order to facilitate immediate and coordinated
assistance to States participating therein in the event of a
disaster;

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
ARTICLE 1 - DEFINITIONS

In this Agreement, unless the context otherwise
requires —

(a) “Caribbean” means the territories of Member
Countries of the Pan Caribbean Disaster
Preparedness and Prevention Project;

(b) “CARICOM” means the Caribbean Community;

CH.34A – 28] DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(c) “Coordinator” means the Disaster Emergency
Response Coordinator appointed pursuant to
Article 7;

(d) “disaster” means a sudden event attributable
directly and solely either to the operation of the
forces of nature or to human intervention or to
both of them and characterised by widespread
destruction of lives or property accompanied by
extensive dislocation of public services, but
excluding events occasioned by war, military
confrontation or mismanagement;

(e) “national relief organisation” means the
governmental agency charged with responsibility
for disaster relief management;

(f) “Participating State” means a State party to this
Agreement and “affected Participating State”
means such a state in the territory of which a
disaster has occurred;

(g) “State” includes a dependent political entity of
the Caribbean.

ARTICLE 2 - ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AGENCY
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency

(hereinafter referred to as “the Agency”) is hereby
established with the membership, structure, powers and
functions herein set forth.

ARTICLE 3 - MEMBERSHIP

Membership of the Agency shall be open to —
(a) the States listed in the Annex to this Agreement;

and
(b) other States admitted to membership thereof in

accordance with Article 32.

ARTICLE 4 - OBJECTIVES

The Agency shall have the following objectives:
(a) to make an immediate and coordinated response

by means of emergency disaster relief to an
affected Participating State;

(b) to secure, coordinate and channel to interested
inter-governmental and nongovernmental
organisations reliable and comprehensive

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

information on disasters affecting a Participating
State;

(c) to mobilise and coordinate disaster relief from
governmental and non-governmental
organisations for affecting Participating States;

(d) to mitigate or eliminate, as far as practicable the
immediate consequences of disasters in
Participating States;

(e) to promote the establishment, enhancement and
maintenance on a sustainable basis adequate
emergency disaster response capabilities among
the Members of the Agency.

ARTICLE 5 - ORGANS OF THE AGENCY
The Agency shall have the following Organs with the

powers and functions specified in this Agreement —
(a) the Council;
(b) the Board of Directors; and
(c) the Coordinating Unit.

ARTICLE 6 - THE COUNCIL

1. The Council shall consist of the Heads of
Government of the participating States.

2. Every member of the Council shall be entitled to
nominate any other person to represent that member at
meetings of the Council.

3. The Council shall meet in ordinary session at
least once in every calendar year and shall convene in
extraordinary sessions at the request of three-quarters of
the membership of the Agency.

4. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 of this
Article, the Council shall regulate its own procedure.

ARTICLE 7 - FUNCTIONS OF THE COUNCIL

The Council shall —
(a) determine the policy of the Agency;
(b) determine the organisation with which the

Agency may establish functional relationships;
(c) appoint the Disaster Emergency Response

Coordinator on the recommendation of the Board
of Directors;

CH.34A – 30] DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(d) designate such national disaster relief
organizations as it may deem expedient as Sub-
Regional Disaster Emergency Response
Operational Units with the prior consent of the
Government of the Participating State concerned;

(e) approve the budgets of the Agency and
contributions of Participating States thereto;

(f) perform such other functions as it may deem
necessary or expedient to achieve the objectives
of this Agreement.

ARTICLE 8 - THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1. The Board of Directors shall consist of the heads

of national disaster relief organizations of Participating
States, with the Coordinator as its Chairman.

2. The Chairman shall convene the meetings of the
Board of Directors which shall meet at least once in every
calendar year. The Chairman shall convene extraordinary
meetings of the Board at the request of not less than one-
half of its members.

3. Subject to the foregoing provisions, the Board of
Directors shall regulate its own procedure.

ARTICLE 9 - FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD OF
DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors shall —
(a) establish procedures for mobilising national

resources to provide assistance in a timely and
efficacious manner; .

(b) establish a system for maintaining and sharing
inventories of critical resources likely to be
needed by Participating States in the event of a
disaster;

(c) establish arrangements for rapidly accessing
financial resources to cover the cost of
mobilization in the event of disaster in a
Participating State;

(d) establish and maintain systems for facilitating the
movement of resources originating in or
transiting a Participating State having regard to
the requirements of immigration and customs
authorities;

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(e) establish pro forma lists of the likely
requirements of Participating States in the event
of disaster;

(f) establish standards and procedures for the fair and
equitable deployment of resources made available
by Participating States in response to a disaster;

(g) determine the standards and procedures for a
phased triggering of the disaster response
mechanism;

(h) assess the contributions of Participating States to
the administrative budget of the Agency and the
Emergency Assistance fund referred to in Article
25 and make recommendations to the Council;

(i) perform such other functions as the Council may
determine.

ARTICLE 10 - THE COORDINATING UNIT
1. The Coordinating Unit shall be the administrative

headquarters of the Agency and it shall be located in such
places as the Council shall decide.

2. The Coordinator shall be the Chief
Administrative Officer of the Agency and shall act in that
capacity at all meetings of the Council.

3. The appointment of the Coordinator shall be for a
term not exceeding five years and he may be reappointed.

4. The Coordinator shall make an annual report to
the Council on the work of the Agency.

5. The Coordinator shall appoint the staff of the
Unit. In particular, he shall appoint a Deputy Disaster
Emergency Response Coordinator (hereinafter referred to
as “the Deputy Coordinator”) who shall be appointed from
among persons with experience of, and shown capacity in,
matters relating to emergency relief operations, social
welfare or administration. The Deputy Coordinator shall
serve for a period not exceeding two years and he may be
re-appointed.

6. The paramount consideration in the recruitment
and appointment of staff in the Coordinating Unit and in
the determination of their conditions of service shall be the
need to ensure the highest standards of competence,
efficiency and integrity. Subject to this consideration, due

CH.34A – 32] DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

regard shall be paid to the importance of recruiting staff on
as wide a geographical basis as possible.

7. In the performance of their duties the Coordinator
and his staff shall not seek or receive instructions from the
Government of any Participating State or from any source
external to the Agency. They shall refrain from any action
which may reflect adversely on their positions as
international officials responsible only to the Agency.

8. Participating States undertake to respect the
international character of the responsibilities of the
Coordinator and his staff and not seek to influence them in
the discharge of their duties.

9. Subject to the approval of the Board of Directors,
the Coordinator shall establish the terms and conditions of
service of the staff of the Coordinating Unit.

ARTICLE 11 - FUNCTIONS OF THE COORDINATING
UNIT

In addition to any other functions which may be
allocated to it by the Councilor the Board of Directors, the
Coordinating Unit shall —

(a) develop and maintain a reliable damage
assessment system and procedures to facilitate
rapid and effective evaluation of a national
disaster;

(b) develop and maintain a comprehensive and
reliable database of key relevant resources
(persons, facilities, equipment supplies) and a
system for updating it;

(c) establish, equip and maintain an emergency
operations system capable of handling emergency
telecommunications and facilitating coordination
of emergency responses involving many services,
supplies and facilities;

(d) establish and maintain an efficient and reliable
system of communications with sub-regional
operational focal points in order to facilitate the
mobilization, deployment and coordination of
disaster response supplies and services;

(e) establish arrangements with regional airlines and
shipping lines in order to ensure access to their
facilities on a priority basis in the event of a
disaster;

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(f) establish arrangements with regional media
houses designed to ensure the dissemination of
reliable information on. national disasters to the
public;

(g) establish arrangements with CARICOM
committees of Ambassadors in various
metropolitan centres in order to ensure the
dissemination to them of reliable information on
national disasters in Member States and to enlist
their cooperation in mobilizing disaster relief
resources on a timely and structured basis;

(h) establish and maintain a reliable system of
communications with the heads of national relief
organizations and ensure that their disaster
response capabilities are maintained at agreed
levels of operationa1 efficiency;

(i) establish and maintain relations with international
relief organizations in order to facilitate accessing
of their resources in the event of a disaster;

(j) mobilise and organise technical assistance from
interested national and international bodies to
assist in the development of disaster response
capabilities of Participating States;

(k) provide a clearing house for relevant information
and intelligence in all matters relating to disasters
including current research being undertaken in all
related regional institutions;

(l) on the basis of a distress call or on such other
basis as may be agreed and in consultation with,
Sub-Regional Disaster Response Operational
Units, trigger the mechanism;

(m) provide assistance on request to the heads of
national relief organizations in the event of a
disaster;

(n) liaise with the disciplined forces of the sending
States both in the planning and response stage of
any operation mounted after the activation of the
triggering mechanism;

(o) review periodically disaster response capabilities
of Participating States and ensure that resources
identified for the purpose are immediately

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

available in the event of disasters in Participating
States;

(p) prepare the administrative and emergency
budgets of the Agency for submission to the
Board of Directors.

ARTICLE 12 - SUB-REGIONAL DISASTER
EMERGENCY RESPONSE OPERATIONAL UNITS

1. Where, pursuant to paragraph (d) of Article 7, the
Council has designated Sub-Regional Disaster Emergency
Response Operational Units, such bodies shall —

(a) acquire and maintain on an updated basis
comprehensive information on the facilities and
services available in each of the Participating
States for which they bear responsibility;

(b) maintain and test on a regular basis
communications with the Coordinating Unit and
with critical response agencies under the control
of national relief organizations;

(c) maintain independent fuel and power supplies
and ensure that relevant physical facilities are in a
condition to withstand a major disaster;

(d) keep and maintain at the operational focal point
in serviceable and optimal working conditions an
equipment package containing essential items
determined by the Board of Directors, subject to
the approval of the council.

2. In making a designation referred to in paragraph
1 of this Article, the Council shall identify the States for
which the Sub-Regional Disaster Response Operational
Unit concerned shall have responsibility.

ARTICLE 13 - UNDERTAKING OF PARTICIPATING
STATES

Without prejudice to the requirement to discharge and
other obligations assumed under or in connection with this
Agreement, Participating States undertake —

(a) to establish or maintain, as the case may be,
national relief organizations capable of
responding swiftly, effectively and in a
coordinated manner to disasters in Participating
States;

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(b) to establish emergency disaster planning groups
and define national policies and priorities in the
event of disasters;

(c) provide national relief organizations with
adequate support including named emergency
coordinators, liaison officers with key Ministries,
emergency services, utilities and the like;

(d) to task the named agencies (including the
emergency services, Health and Public Works)
and their coordinators with specific functions and
responsibilities to ensure the development of an
adequate response capability to support national
disaster action;

(e) to define the role and functions of key agencies
such as the Security Services, Health and Public
Works in disaster emergency response
management and establish a system for regular
review of their procedures for coordinated
response;

(f) establish and equip a suitable emergency
operations centre capable of handling emergency
telecommunications and coordinating emergency
responses involving many services;

(g) develop and maintain an emergency
telecommunications system based on the most
appropriate technology to ensure the coordination
of emergency operations involving the emergency
services mentioned above as well as voluntary
private sector services;

(h) establish and strengthen procedures for coping
with major disaster threats and scenarios and
review systems for testing the procedures by
drills and simulations;

(i) to review and rationalise legal arrangements for
disaster mitigation and emergency action;

(j) to review and catalogue past disaster events and
list credible future emergency event scenarios and
identify and map areas with special problems like
flood prone and landslide prone areas;

(k) to establish data bases of key resources, both
human and material, and a system for keeping
them current and to computerise and integrate

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

them into an automated emergency information
system;

(l) to develop, in collaboration with competent
government agencies, an emergency shelter
policy and programme involving the full
participation of local officials in community-
based organizations;

(m) to develop and review a system for community
participating, local mobilization and counter
disaster action in the event of isolation;

(n) to develop strategies for loss reduction in the
public and private sectors focusing on vital
economic activities and life-line activities like
water supply;

(o) to develop a system and procedure for damage
assessment in order to facilitate rapid and
effective post impact evaluation;

(p) to develop and implement a comprehensive
disaster public awareness, information and
education programme involving media houses,
schools, voluntary agencies and other institutions
in order to ensure public participation and
community involvement in the disaster
management system;

(q) develop and implement appropriate training
programmes for persons involved in the disaster
management system;

(r) identify and seek participation in bilateral and
multilateral technical cooperation programmes
designed to develop disaster management
capabilities;

(s) to identify, maintain in a state of readiness and
make available immediately on request by the
Coordinator relevant material and human
resources in the event of disaster.

ARTICLE 14 - RELATIONS WITH GOVERNMENTAL
AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTIONS

1. The Agency may conclude agreements with
Governmental, Inter-Governmental organizations or
agencies in order to achieve the objectives of the Agency.

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

2. Unless the Council decides otherwise, the
Coordinator may negotiate and conclude such Agreements
on behalf of the Agency.

ARTICLE 15 - DISCIPLINED FORCES
1. Where, in response to a request for assistance by

any Participating State, members of the disciplined forces
are despatched to any part of the territory of the requesting
State, the Coordinator shall, subject to the express prior
agreement of the competent authorities of the requesting
State, designate a Special Coordinator from among the
senior officers of such forces, acting after consultation with
the Chiefs of Staff or Commanding Officers of the
disciplined forces concerned.

2. The Special Coordinator shall be charged with
responsibility for coordinating the disaster relief efforts of
the disciplined forces despatched to the Participating State
concerned for the purpose.

3. No member of the disciplined forces shall be
despatched to the territory of an affected Participating State
without the express prior consent of that State.

4. In the absence of a contrary agreement between
the requesting State and the sending State to that effect,
members of the disciplined forces of the sending State shall
be under the control and disciplinary authority of their
commanding officer.

ARTICLE 16 - DIRECTION AND CONTROL OF
ASSISTANCE

1. Subject to paragraph 2 of this Article, the overall
direction, control, coordination and supervision of
assistance despatched to a requesting State shall be the
responsibility within its territory of the requesting State.

2. Where the assistance from a sending State
involves personnel other than disciplined forces, the
sending State shall designate in consultation with the
requesting State the person who shall be in charge of,
retain immediate operational supervision over the
personnel, equipment and supplies provided by it. The
person so designated shall exercise such supervision in
cooperation with the competent authorities of the
requesting State.

3. The requesting State shall provide to the extent of
its capabilities local facilities and services for proper and

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

efficient administration of communications assistance. In
particular, the requesting State shall ensure that any ground
stations brought into its territory for the purpose of
rendering assistance shall be duly licensed to transmit and
receive information in accordance with its domestic laws
and regulations.

4. In the absence of a contrary agreement,
ownership of equipment and materials despatched to the
requesting State by a sending State during periods of
assistance shall be unaffected and their prompt return shall
be ensured.

5. The requesting State shall ensure the protection of
personnel, equipment and materials brought into its
territory for the purpose of rendering assistance in the
event of a disaster.

ARTICLE 17 - COMPETENT AUTHORITIES AND
CONTACT POINTS

1. In the absence of a contrary indication from
Participating States the competent authority and contact
point to make requests for and accept offers of assistance
in the event of a disaster shall be the head of the national
relief organisation.

2. Contact points and focal within the Coordinating
Unit shall be made available continuously.

3. The Coordinating Unit shall regularly and
expeditiously provide Participating States and relevant
international organizations with the information referred to
in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article.

ARTICLE 18 - CONFIDENTIALITY AND PUBLIC
STATEMENTS

1. Participating States shall respect the
confidentiality of any confidential information becoming
available to them in connection with assistance requested
in the event of a disaster. Such information shall be used
exclusively for the purpose of the assistance agreed upon.

2. The sending State shall use its best endeavours to
coordinate with the requesting State before releasing
information to the public on the assistance provided in
connection with a disaster.

ARTICLE 19 - COSTS OF PROVIDING ASSISTANCE

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Except as may otherwise be agreed between them, the
expenses incurred by a sending State in providing
assistance to a requesting State shall be defrayed by the
sending State.

ARTICLE 20 - TERMINATION OF ASSISTANCE
1. The Coordinator shall, subject to paragraph 2 of

this Article, in consultation with the requesting State,
determine the period of response to a disaster.

2. The requesting or sending State may, at any time,
after appropriate consultation and by notification in writing
request the termination of assistance provided or received
under this Agreement.

3. Upon a request being made in that behalf, the
parties concerned shall consult with each other to make
arrangements for the termination of the assistance.

ARTICLE 21 - PRIVILEGES, IMMUNITIES AND
FACILITIES TO BE ACCORDED A SENDING STATE

AND ITS PERSONNEL

1. The requesting State shall accord to personnel of
the sending State and personnel acting on its behalf the
necessary privileges, immunities and facilities for the
performance of their functions in rendering assistance.

2. Subject to prior notification by the sending State
and acceptance by the requesting State of the personnel of
the sending State or personnel acting on its behalf, the
requesting State shall —

(a) grant to such personnel immunity from arrest,
detention and legal process including criminal,
civil and administrative jurisdiction of the
requesting State, in respect of acts or omissions in
the performance of their functions in rendering
assistance;

(b) grant to such personnel exemption from taxes,
duties or other charges, in respect of the
performance of their functions in rendering
assistance, as is accorded to diplomatic personnel
in accordance with international law;

(c) facilitate the entry into, stay in and departure
from its territory of personnel so notified and
accepted.

3. The requesting State shall —

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(a) accord the sending State exemption from taxes,
duties or other charges on equipment and
property brought into the territory of the
requesting State by sending State for the purpose
of rendering assistance;

(b) confer immunity from seizure, attachment or
requisition of such equipment and property and
ensure their return to the sending State.

4. Nothing in this Article shall require the
requesting State to accord its nationals or permanent
residents the privileges and immunities provided for in
paragraph 2(b) of this Article.

5. All persons enjoying privileges and immunities
under this Article have a duty to respect the law and
regulations of the requesting State and shall not interfere in
the domestic affairs of the requesting State.
ARTICLE 22 - TRANSIT OF PERSONNEL, EQUIPMENT

AND PROPERTY

Participating States shall, at the request of the
requesting State or the sending State, take all measures
necessary to facilitate the transit through their territory of
duly notified personnel, equipment and property involved
in rendering assistance to and from the requesting State.

ARTICLE 23 - CLAIMS AND COMPENSATION

1. Participating States shall cooperate in order to
facilitate the settlement of legal proceedings and claims
under this Article.

2. In the absence of a contrary agreement, the
requesting State shall, in respect of death or injury to
persons, damage to or loss of property, or damage to the
environment caused within its territory or under its control
or jurisdiction in the course of providing the assistance
requested —

(a) not bring any legal proceedings against the
sending State or persons or other legal entities
acting on its behalf;

(b) assume responsibility for dealing with legal
proceedings and claims brought by third parties
against the sending State or against persons or
other legal entities acting on its behalf except in
cases of wilful misconduct or gross negligence;

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(c) hold the sending State or persons or other legal
entities acting on its behalf harmless in respect of
legal proceedings referred to in sub-paragraph (b)
hereof;

(d) compensate the sending State or persons or other
legal entities acting on its behalf for death or
injury to personnel of the sending State or
persons or other legal entities acting on its behalf
and for loss of or damage to non-consumable
equipment or materials related to the assistance
except in cases of wilful misconduct or gross
negligence by individuals causing the death,
injury or loss or damage.

3. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to
prevent compensation or indemnity available under any
applicable international agreement or national law of a
Participating State nor to require the requesting State to
apply paragraph 2 of this Article, in whole or in part, to its
nationals or permanent residents.

ARTICLE 24 - THE ADMINISTRATIVE BUDGET
1. The Agency shall establish an administrative

budget, the funds of which shall be used to defray the
ordinary expenses incurred in administering its affairs.

2. Participating States shall contribute to the
administrative budget in accordance with a scale of
assessment to be determined by the Board of Directors and
approved by the Council.

3. The administrative budget shall be established on
a biennial basis and the Coordinator shall cause the
accounts of the Agency to be audited annually by external
auditors approved by the Board of Directors.

4. The report of the auditors shall be presented by
the Coordinator to the Board of Directors as soon as
practicable for the consideration and approval of the Board.

5. The Coordinator, with the approval of the Board
of Directors, shall establish financial regulations for the
agency.

ARTICLE 25 - EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FUND

1. The Agency shall establish an Emergency
Assistance Fund (hereinafter in this Article referred to as
“the Fund”) which shall be used solely to defray expenses

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

incurred in connection with the rendering of assistance in
the event of a disaster occurring in a Participating State.

2. Participating States shall contribute to the Fund in
accordance with a scale of assessment to be determined by
the Board of Directors and approved by the Council.

3. The Coordinator may accept contributions to the
Fund from sources external to the Agency on such
conditions as may be prescribed by them and agreed by the
Board of Directors but without discrimination as to the
Participating States to receive such assistance.

4. The Coordinator shall cause the accounts of the
Fund to be audited annually by the auditors referred to in
paragraph 3 of Article 24.

5. Paragraph 4 of Article 24 shall apply for the
purposes of the Fund.
ARTICLE 26 - PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF THE

AGENCY

1. The Agency shall have international legal
personality and such legal capacity as may be necessary for
the exercise of its functions and the fulfillment of its
objectives.

2. The Agency, its property and assets shall enjoy in
the territories of the Participating States immunity from
legal process except to the extent that the Agency waives
this immunity expressly in any particular case.

3. The property and assets of the Agency in
Participating States wherever located and by whomsoever
held shall be immune from search, requisition,
confiscation, appropriation or any other form of seizure by
executive or legislative action.

4. The property and assets of the Agency shall be
exempt from restrictions, regulations, controls and
moratoria of any kind.

5. The archives of the Agency, wherever located,
shall be inviolable. Proprietary data, confidential
information and personnel records shall not be placed in
archives open to public inspection.

6. In respect of its official communications the
Agency shall be accorded by each Participating State
treatment no less favourable than that accorded by that
State to other international organizations.

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

ARTICLE 27 - REPRESENTATIVES AND STAFF OF
THE AGENCY

Representatives of Participating States attending
meetings of the Council of the Board of Directors and the
Coordinator and other staff of the Unit shall enjoy in the
territory of each Participating State —

(a) immunity from legal process with respect to acts
performed by them in the exercise of their
functions, except to the extent that the State
which they represent of the Agency as
appropriate expressly waives this immunity in
any particular case;

(b) where they are not nationals of that Participating
State, the same exemptions from immigration
restrictions, alien registration requirements and
national service obligations, the same facilities as
regards exchange restrictions and the same
treatment in respect of traveling facilities as are
accorded by the Participating State to the
representatives, officials and employees of
comparable rank of other Participating State.

ARTICLE 28 - EXEMPTIONS FROM TAXES AND
CUSTOMS DUTIES

1. The Agency, its assets and property, its income,
and its operations and transactions within the
contemplation of this Agreement, shall be exempt from all
direct taxation and goods imported or exported from its
official use shall be exempt from all customs duties. The
Agency shall not claim exemption from taxes which are no
more than charges for services rendered.

2. Where purchases of goods or services of
substantial value necessary for the official activities of the
Agency are made by or on behalf of the Agency, and
where the price of such goods or services includes taxes or
duties, appropriate measures shall, to the extent
practicable, be taken by Participating States to grant
exemptions from such taxes or duties or provide for their
reimbursement.

3. Goods imported or purchased under an exemption
provided for in this Article shall not be sold or otherwise
disposed of in the territory of the Participating State
granting the exemptions, except under conditions agreed
with that Participating Member State.

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4. No tax shall be levied by Participating States or in
respect of salaries and other emoluments paid or any other
form of payment made by the Agency to the Coordinator
and staff of the Agency as well as experts performing
missions for the Agency, not being their nationals.

ARTICLE 29 - SUSPENSION OF RIGHTS AND
PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP

1. A participating State which is in arrears in the
payment of its financial contribution to the administrative
budget of the Agency shall have no vote in the Council or
the Board of Directors if the amount of the arrears equals
or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for
the preceding two financial years.

2. A Participating State which has grossly and
persistently violated the obligations assumed under this
Agreement may be suspended from the exercise of the
rights and privileges of membership by the Council.

3. A determination within the meaning of paragraph
2 of this Article shall be made by the Council.

ARTICLE 30 - SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES

In the absence of a contrary agreement between the
parties concerned, all disputes arising from or in
connection with the interpretation or application of this
Agreement shall be settled by the Council.

ARTICLE 31 - SIGNATURE AND RATIFICATION

The Agreement shall be open for signature by the
States listed in the Annex to this Agreement and shall be
subject to ratification in accordance with their respective
constitutional procedures.

ARTICLE 32 - ENTRY INTO FORCE

1. This Agreement shall enter into force when
Instruments of Ratification have been deposited by at least
seven of the States listed in the Annex to this Agreement
including Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

2. Any other Caribbean State not listed in the Annex
to this Agreement may apply to become a member of the
Agency. Applications for membership shall be submitted
to the Coordinating Unit. Admission to membership of the
Agency shall be determined by the Council on the
recommendation of the Board of Directors.

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

3. A State admitted to membership in accordance
with paragraph 2 of this Article shall deposit an appropriate
Instrument of Accession with the CARICOM Secretariat
before becoming entitled to enjoy the privileges of
membership of the Agency.

ARTICLE 33 - DEPOSITORY
1. The original of this Agreement and any

amendments thereto shall be deposited with the
CARICOM Secretariat.

2. The Secretary-General of CARICOM shall notify
the Coordinating Unit of the Agency of the deposit of
instruments of Ratification or Accession, as the case may
be.

ARTICLE 34 - AMENDMENTS

1. Any Participating State may propose amendments
to this Agreement.

2. Any proposal for an amendment to this
Agreement shall be submitted to the Coordinating Unit
which shall transmit it to the Board of Directors with its
comments.

3. The Board of Directors shall consider the
proposal together with the comments of the Coordinating
Unit and make a recommendation to the Council.

4. The Council shall consider the proposal for
amendment and may adopt it with such modifications as it
deems necessary.

5. Amendments shall enter into force when ratified
by all Participating States.

ARTICLE 35 - DENUNCIATION AND WITHDRAWAL

1. Any Participating State may denounce this
Agreement and withdraw from the Agency.

2. Any Participating State wishing to withdraw from
the Agency shall give to the Coordinating Unit twelve
months’ notice of its intention to do so and the Coordinator
shall immediately notify the other Participating States.

3. The notice mentioned in paragraph 2 of this
Article may be withdrawn at any time prior to the date on
which withdrawal is to take effect.

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4. A Participating State withdrawing from the
Agency shall honour any financial obligations duly
assumed by it during the period of its membership.

ARTICLE 36 - PROVISIONAL APPLICATION
1. Seven or more of the Participating States listed in

the Annex to this Agreement including Barbados, Jamaica
and Trinidad and Tobago, may, upon signature, or at any
later date before this Agreement enters into force, declare
their intention to apply it provisionally.

2. Upon any such declaration, the Secretary-General
of CARICOM shall convene an inaugural meeting of the
Council.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned
representatives, being duly authorised by their respective
Governments, have signed this agreement —

Signed by
For the Government of Antigua and Barbuda on
at

Signed by
For the Government of The Bahamas on
at

Signed by
For the Government of Barbados on
at

Signed by
For the Government of Belize on
at

Signed by
For the Government of the British Virgin Islands on
at

Signed by
For the Government of Dominica on
at

Signed by
For the Government of Grenada on

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE [CH.34A – 47





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

at

Signed by
For the Government of Guyana on
at

Signed by
For the Government of Jamaica on
at

Signed by
For the Government of Montserrat on
at

Signed by
For the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis on
at

Signed by
For the Government of Saint Lucia on
at

Signed by
For the Government of Saint Vincent and the

Grenadines on
at

Signed by
For the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on
at

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

ANNEX
Antigua and Barbuda
The Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
British Virgin Islands
Dominica
Grenada
Guyana
Jamaica
Montserrat
St. Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago