Continental Shelf

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Continental Shelf
CONTINENTAL SHELF ACT

CHAPTER 1:52

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Act
43 of 1969

Amended by
23 of 1986

L.R.O.

Current Authorised Pages
Pages Authorised

(inclusive) by L.R.O.
1–10 ..

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2 Chap. 1:52 Continental Shelf

Note on Subsidiary Legislation

This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

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Continental Shelf Chap. 1:52 3

CHAPTER 1:52

CONTINENTAL SHELF ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

2A. Continental Margin.
3. Exploration and exploitation of Continental Shelf.
4. Protection of installations in designated areas.
5. Application of criminal and civil law.
6. Safety of navigation.
7. Discharge of oil.
8. Installation on the Shelf to be treated as if situated in Trinidad and

Tobago for the purposes of the Wireless Telegraphy Ordinance.
9. Submarine cables and pipelines.

10. Designated area for the purposes of Customs duties.
11. Prosecution of offences, etc.
12. Compulsory insurance by employer.
13. Minister may make Regulations.

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4 Chap. 1:52 Continental Shelf

CHAPTER 1:52

CONTINENTAL SHELF ACT

An Act to make provision as to the exploration and exploitation
of the Continental Shelf; to enable effect to be given to
certain provisions of the Conventions on the High Seas
done in Geneva on 29th April 1958; and for matters
connected with those purposes.

[30TH DECEMBER 1969]

1. This Act may be cited as the Continental Shelf Act.

2. In this Act—
“Continental Margin” means the submerged prolongation of the

land mass of Trinidad and Tobago consisting of the seabed
and subsoil, the slope and the rise of the Continental Shelf
determined in accordance with the provisions of the 1982
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;

“Continental Shelf” means the seabed and subsoil of the
submarine areas of Trinidad and Tobago that extend beyond
its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its
land territory to the outer edge of its Continental Margin, or
to a distance of two hundred nautical miles from the baselines
from which the breadth of the territorial sea of Trinidad and
Tobago is measured where the outer edge of the Continental
Margin does not extend up to that distance;

“designated area” means an area designated by Order of the
President under section 3(6).

2A. The Minister with responsibility for External Affairs may—
(a) establish the outer edge of the Continental Margin

wherever the margin extends beyond 200 nautical
miles from the baseline from which the breadth
of the territorial sea of Trinidad and Tobago is
measured; and

43 of 1969.

Commencement.
l76/1969.

Short title.

Interpretation.
[23 of 1986].

Continental
Margin.
[23 of 1986].

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(b) cause a copy of charts and relevant information
including geodetic data, permanently describing
the outer limits of the Continental Shelf of
Trinidad and Tobago to be deposited with the
Secretary General of the United Nations.

3. (1) Any rights exercisable by Trinidad and Tobago outside
territorial waters with respect to the seabed and subsoil and their
natural resources are hereby vested in the State.

(2) A person who conducts or attempts to carry on any
activities affecting any of the rights referred to in subsection (1),
without having first obtained a licence from the Minister, shall be
deemed to have infringed these rights and the Minister may in
such case take such steps as he may think necessary or expedient
to put an end to the infringement, and such steps may, without
prejudice to the generality of the authority hereby conferred, include
the arrest of such person, the seizure and confiscation or destruction
of any vessel, equipment or installation employed by such person
in the course of the infringement.

(3) In relation to any petroleum with respect to which
those rights are exercisable, the Petroleum Act and any Regulations
made thereunder shall apply as they apply in relation to petroleum
in a submarine area within the meaning of those written laws.

(4) A licence under the written laws applied by
subsection (3) shall include provision for the safety, health and
welfare of persons employed on operations undertaken under the
authority of any licence granted under those regulations as so applied.

(5) The Minister shall for each financial year prepare and
lay before Parliament a report stating—

(a) the licences, under the written laws applied by
subsection (3), granted in that year in respect of
areas beyond the limits of the territorial sea and
the persons to whom and the areas in respect of
which they were granted; and the like
information as respect such licences held at the
end of that year;

Exploration and
exploitation of
Continental
Shelf.

Ch. 62:01.

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(b) the amount of natural gas and of other petroleum
won in that year in pursuance of licences held in
respect of such areas.

(6) For the purpose of protecting installations and the
devices necessary in the exercise of the rights mentioned in
subsection (1), the President may designate by Order an area
(hereinafter referred to as a “designated area”) for the purpose of
establishing safety zones around such installations and devices.

(7) The law relating to income tax and corporation tax,
and any other written law relating to taxation shall apply to any
activities occurring on the Continental Shelf in connection with
the exploration or exploitation thereof, as they would apply to any
activities occurring in Trinidad and Tobago.

4. (1) The President may, for the purpose of protecting any
installation in a designated area, by Order prohibit ships, subject
to any conditions or exceptions provided by the Order, from
entering without his consent such part of that area as may be
specified in the Order.

(2) If any ship enters any part of a designated area in
contravention of an Order made under this section its owner or
master is liable on summary conviction to a fine of six thousand
dollars and to imprisonment for twelve months, unless he proves
that the prohibition imposed by the Order was not, and could not
on reasonable inquiry have become, known to the master.

5. (1) Any act which occurs on, under or above an
installation in a designated area or in any waters within five hundred
metres of such an installation, and which would, if it had taken
place in Trinidad and Tobago, constitute an offence under any law
in force, shall be treated for the purposes of that law as taking
place in Trinidad and Tobago.

(2) Subject to subsection ( l), the law in force in Trinidad
and Tobago shall apply for the determination of questions arising
out of acts occurring in the course of the exploration or exploitation
of the Continental Shelf.

Protection of
installations in
designated
areas.

Application of
criminal and
civil law.

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(3) The Courts of Trinidad and Tobago shall have
jurisdiction for the purpose of determining any question which
under subsection (2) falls to be determined in accordance with the
law in force in Trinidad and Tobago, as they would have if the acts
in question had occurred in Trinidad and Tobago.

6. (1) Part VI of the Port Authority Act (which require the
consent of Port Authority to the carrying out of certain works on
the seashore if obstruction or danger to navigation is likely to result)
except section 43(1)(b) (which restricts the deposit of materials)
shall apply in relation to any part of the seabed in a designated
area as it applies in relation to the seashore.

(2) Any person guilty of an offence under Part VI as
applied by this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine of
six thousand dollars and to imprisonment for twelve months.

7. (1) If any oil is discharged or escapes into any part of the
sea in a designated area—

(a) from a pipeline; or
(b) (otherwise than from a ship) as the result of any

operations for the exploration of the seabed and
subsoil or the exploitation of their natural
resources in a designated area,

the owner of the pipe-line or, as the case may be, the person
carrying on the operations is guilty of an offence unless he proves,
in the case of a discharge from a place in his occupation, that it
was due to the act of a person who was there without his
permission (express or implied) or, in the case of an escape, that
he took all reasonable care to prevent it and that as soon as
practicable after it was discovered all reasonable steps were taken
for stopping or reducing it.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is
liable on summary conviction to a fine of six thousand dollars and
to imprisonment for twelve months.

(3) In this section, “oil” means oil of any description
and includes spirits produced from such oil and any mixture
containing not less than one hundred parts of such oil in a million
parts of the mixture.

Safety of
navigation.
Ch. 51:01.

Discharge of oil.

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8. An Order under section 4 may make provision for treating
for the purposes of the Wireless Telegraphy Ordinance and any
Regulations made thereunder, any installation in an area or part of
an area with respect to which provision is made under that section
and any waters within five hundred metres of such an installation
as if they were situated in Trinidad and Tobago.

9. (1) Section 3 (punishment for damaging cables) of the
Submarine Telegraphy Act, 1885 of the United Kingdom and
Article IV and paragraph 1 of Article VII (liability to pay
compensation for damage to cables and for loss of gear
sacrificed to avoid such damage) of the Convention set out in
the Schedule to that Act shall apply in relation to all submarine
cables under the high seas (and not only to those to which that
Convention applies) and to pipelines under the high seas; and
any reference in section 3 to telegraphic communication shall
be construed as a reference to telephonic as well as to telegraphic
communication, and, in relation to high-voltage power cables
and to pipelines, as if the words from “in such manner” to the
end of subsection (1) were omitted.

(2) Section 6(3) (limitation of proceedings) and
section 13 (cesser of Act on cesser of Conventions) of that
Act are hereby repealed.

10. (1) Any goods brought into Trinidad and Tobago which
are shown to the satisfaction of the Minister responsible for
Finance to have been grown, produced or manufactured in any
designated area, and to have been so brought direct from that
area shall be deemed for the purposes of any charge to duty under
the Customs Act not to be imported.

(2) With a view to exempting any goods from any duty,
or charging any goods with duty at a reduced or preferential rate
under any of the written laws relating to duties of Customs, the
Minister responsible for Finance may by Order prescribe cases in
which the Continental Shelf of any country prescribed by the
Regulations, or of any country of a class of countries so prescribed,

Installation on
the Shelf to be
treated as if
situated in
Trinidad and
Tobago for the
purposes of the
Wireless
Telegraphy
Ordinance.
Ch. 36. No. 2.
(1950 Ed.).

Submarine
cables and
pipelines.
48 & 49 Vict. c.
49 (U.K.).

Designated area
for the purposes
of Customs
duties.

Ch. 78:01.

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shall be treated for the purposes of such of those written laws or
of any instruments made thereunder as may be so prescribed as
if that Shelf formed part of that country and any goods brought
from that Shelf were consigned from that country; and in this
subsection the expression “Continental Shelf” , in relation to
any country, means—

(a) in relation to Trinidad and Tobago, any designated
area;

(b) in relation to any other country, the seabed and
subsoil of the submarine areas adjacent to the
coast, but outside the seaward limits of the
territorial waters of that country over which the
exercise by that country of sovereign rights in
accordance with international law is recognised
or authorised by the Government of Trinidad
and Tobago.

(3) Any Order under subsection (2) shall be subject to
negative resolution of Parliament.

(4) Anything required or authorised by or under
subsections (2) and (3) to be done by, to or before the Minister
responsible for Finance may be done by, to or before any person
authorised in that behalf by the Minister responsible for Finance.

11. (1) Proceedings for any offence under this Act [including
an offence under another written law as applied by or under this
Act and anything that is an offence by virtue of section 5(1)] may
be taken, and the offence may for all incidental purposes be treated
as having been committed, in any place in Trinidad and Tobago.

(2) Where a body corporate is guilty of such an offence
and the offence is proved to have been committed with the consent
or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of,
any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body
corporate or any person who was purporting to act in any such
capacity he, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of the offence
and is liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

In this subsection, “director”, in relation to a body corporate
established for the purpose of carrying on under national ownership

Prosecution of
offences, etc.

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an industry or part of an industry or undertaking, being a body
corporate whose affairs are managed by a Board, means a member
of that Board.

(3) A constable shall on any installation in a designated
area have all the powers, protection and privileges which he has in
the area for which he acts as constable.

12. Part V of the Workmen’s Compensation Act (which
provides for compulsory insurance) shall apply to any employer
carrying on operations in relation to any part of the seabed in a
designated area as it applies in relation to an employer carrying on
business in Trinidad and Tobago.

13. The Minister may make Regulations for carrying this Act
into effect and may also by Regulations, add to, vary or otherwise
amend the Petroleum Regulations.

Compulsory
insurance by
employer.
Ch. 88:05.

Minister may
make
Regulations.

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