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MARITIME CODE OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

of September 30, 1999 No. 599

(as amended on 09-06-2022)

Section I General provisions

Article 1. Concept of merchant shipping

Merchant shipping in this code is understood as the activities connected with use of courts for:

a) carriages of goods, passengers, baggage and mail;

b) fish and other sea trade of water biological resources;

c) investigations and developments of mineral resources of sea bottom;

d) search, salvage and towing operations, pilotage duty;

e) raising of the sunk property;

f) hydrotechnical, technical, underwater and other similar works;

g) other morekhozyaystvenny purposes;

h) sanitary, quarantine and other control;

i) protection and preserving the marine environment;

j) carrying out sea scientific research;

k) educational purposes;

l) sport and leisure.

Article 2. Legislation on merchant shipping

(1) the Relations arising in the field of merchant shipping are regulated by this code and other regulations of the Republic of Moldova adopted according to it.

(2) In the part which is not settled by this code, the procedure for request, provision, suspension and withdrawal of the allowing documents provided by this code for domestic business entities in the field of merchant shipping is determined by the Law on regulation of business activity by permission No. 160/2011. The means received from issue of the specified documents are enlisted completely in the budget of body issuer.

Article 3. Code coverage

(1) Provisions of this Code extend on:

a) ocean ships - during their swimming on sea and to inland waterways in that measure in what the national legal system or international treaties signed by the Republic of Moldova does not provide other;

b) inland navigation vessels - during their following on sea and to inland waterways in transit loads, passengers, baggage and mail with calling seaports.

(2) code Provision, particular cases except for provided in it, do not extend to the vessels floating under naval flag.

(3) are applied To maritime military transports of provision of this Code in the part which is not provided by the special legislation regulating these transportations.

Article 4. Right to merchant shipping

Legal entities and physical persons in whose ownership, use and/or the order there are vessels, in the presence in the cases of the license for the specified activities issued by competent authority established by the legislation can go in for merchant shipping.

Article 5. Public administration in the field of water transport

Public administration in the field of water transport is exercised of the central industry body by means of the Agency of water transport of the Republic of Moldova (further – the Agency of water transport) within its competence. In the course of activities the Agency of water transport interacts with other bodies of public management.

Article 6. The main objective, functions and the main powers of the central industry body in the field of water transport

(1) the Main objective of the central industry body in the field of water transport consists in development and promotion of policy of the Government in the field of water transport.

(2) Functions of the central industry body in the field of water transport are development, ensuring accomplishment, monitoring, assessment and the reporting of implementation of policy of the Government for the purpose of stable development of water transport in safety conditions of navigation, safety of ships and port means, qualities of the rendered services.

(3) For the purpose of accomplishment of the functions the central industry body performs the following main powers:

a) develops and offers the Government on approval the program documents including vectors of development of water transport, and also drafts of regulations on their implementation;

b) according to the offer of the Agency of water transport submits to the Government for approval documents on safety policy issues in the field of water transport, publishes the special rules concerning the reporting and technical investigation of incidents on water transport and also carrying out search and rescue works in case of the accidents and incidents on water transport taking place on inland waterways or in the water area of the ports of the Republic of Moldova;

c) develops and offers the Government on approval drafts of regulations, issues acts of normative nature on application of provisions in the field of water transport, consumer protection, environmental protection and access to the market of services in the field of water transport;

d) submits to the Government for approval drafts of international treaties in the field of water transport according to the legislation on international treaties of the Republic of Moldova;

e) represents the Republic of Moldova in the relations with the international organizations in the field of water transport and with similar foreign bodies for the questions connected with development and promotion of policy in the field of water transport and/or in the field of carrying out search and rescue works and technical investigation in case of accidents and incidents on water transport;

f) publishes departmental regulations for ensuring carrying out search and rescue works and technical investigation of the accidents and incidents on water transport taking place in the territory of the Republic of Moldova and also in case of participation in investigation of the accidents and incidents with the courts registered in the Republic of Moldova taking place in the territory of other states;

g) according to the offer of the Agency of water transport submits for approval according to the legislation on the supervisory branch public control the amount of charges on services in the field of water transport;

h) publishes necessary departmental regulations on consumer protection in the field of water transport;

i) provides supervision of control of the state-owned property transferred in operational management of the companies which founder is;

j) performs monitoring of activities of the Agency of water transport.

Article 6-1. Main objective, functions and main powers of the Agency of water transport

(1) the Agency of water transport is the administrative authority subordinated to the central industry body in the field of water transport.

(2) the Main objective of the Agency of water transport consists in implementation the politician in the field of water transport and supervision of observance of the regulatory base by physical persons and legal entities in the field for the purpose of safety control of navigation and safety of ships and port means.

(3) Functions of the Agency of water transport are:

a) implementation of state policy in the field of water transport;

b) ensuring accomplishment of obligations and implementation of the rights of the Republic of Moldova following from provisions of international treaties in the respective area and also control over the implementation of those, in particular requirements, standards and recommendations of International Maritime Organization;

c) ensuring implementation of the regulatory base by means of activities for certification, constant surveillance and control in the field according to the legislation on the state control of business activity and the Methodology of planning of the state control approved by the Government on the basis of the analysis of criteria of risk.

(4) in pursuance of the main objective and the main Agency of Water Transport functions performs the following main powers:

a) control of flag state and port State;

b) technical advice behind courts, monitoring of processes of classification and issue of appropriate certificates to courts acknowledged classification societies;

c) accounting, certification and certification of members of crews;

d) supervision of navigation, control and ship-traffic control on inland waterways and in the ports of the Republic of Moldova;

e) supervision of observance of regulations in the field of safety on inland waterways and in the ports of the Republic of Moldova;

f) supervision of safety of ships and port means;

g) identification of the violations in the field of water transport provided by Articles 199, 199-1 – 199-12, 204, 207, 221-1 Code about offenses;

h) conducting examinations and issue of the conclusions in the field of water transport;

i) registration and accounting of courts and the undersized fleet under the flag of the Republic of Moldova;

j) registration of courts in the ship register with the subsequent notification of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration;

k) coordination of activities for assistance, search and rescue works in the harbor area and on national waterways, works in case of sea incidents;

l) the notification of operators of courts, port operators, marine agents, classification societies, the companies on employment of seamen, other business entities performing activities in the field of water transport;

m) protection of national waterways from pollution from ship;

n) providing safe merchant shipping, protection of human life at the sea, protection and preserving the marine environment;

o) supervision of safe operation of the courts registered under the flag of the Republic of Moldova and implementation of systems of management of safety on board the vessels;

p) supervision of safety of port and shipping hydraulic engineering constructions;

q) ensuring accomplishment of the obligations of the state following from international agreements and conventions one of the parties of which is the Republic of Moldova, in the field of the activities;

r) cooperation with the international organizations in the field of water transport and with similar foreign bodies, the equipped functions of supervision, certification and control, and also with the organizations developing safety regulations in the field of water transport;

s) participation in project development of regulations, rules, instructions and other obligatory regulations in the field of water transport, submission of such projects and offers to the central industry body for initiation of procedures for their approval;

t) approval within the powers of technical requirements and certified standards, other departmental regulations of technical nature corresponding to rules, standards, recommended practice and the procedures developed by International Maritime Organization and other international bodies in the field of water transport which member is the Republic of Moldova;

u) the edition within competence of solutions of administrative nature, orders, the conclusions, operational directives, directives on safety of navigation and port safety, approval of regulations, instructions, other acts of technical nature which contain standards and procedures, obligatory for the physical persons and legal entities performing activities in the field of water transport;

v) the edition of administrative acts, acceptable methods of reduction in compliance and instructive materials which implementation provides presumption of compliance, obligatory for the physical persons and legal entities performing activities in the field of water transport;

w) participation in development and representation to the central industry body for promotion of drafts of international treaties, and also offers on accession of the Republic of Moldova to international treaties in the field of water transport;

x) the conclusion of agreements on cooperation, experience exchange and information with the international organizations in the field of water transport and with similar foreign bodies according to the legislation on international treaties of the Republic of Moldova;

y) the conclusion of agreements with the classification societies recognized by the Government or which are in process of recognition, implementation of monitoring and supervision of their activities according to their achievements, consideration of feasibility of recognition of new classification societies, the direction to the central industry body of offers on initiation of the procedure of withdrawal of recognition of the specified societies.

(5) Operational and ministerial procedures of certification, issue of permissions and control in the field of water transport affirm according to provisions of the current legislation.

Article 6-2. Organization of activities of the Agency of water transport

(1) the Agency of water transport performs the functions and powers on the basis of Regulations on the organization and functioning of the Agency of the water transport approved by the Government.

(2) the Agency of water transport is headed by the director who has one deputy; they are appointed to the state position and exempted from the state position or leave from it according to the law the minister.

(3) Ceased to be valid.

(4) Ceased to be valid.

(5) Ceased to be valid.

(6) Ceased to be valid.

(7) Ceased to be valid.

(8) Ceased to be valid.

(9) Ceased to be valid.

(10) In the Agency of water transport government employees according to the Law on the state position and the status of the government employee No. 158/2008 and other employee categories which activities are regulated by the regulatory base in the field of work work.

(11) Ceased to be valid.

(12) the Budget of the Agency of water transport is developed, affirms and administered according to the principles, rules and procedures established by the Law on public finance and budget and tax responsibility No. 181/2014.

(13) Ceased to be valid.

(The Agency of water transport of times in half a year provides 14) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the statement from the ship register, concerning the ocean and river merchant vessels excluded from the register and registered in it.

Article 6-3. Rates and charges for services of the Agency of water transport

(The Agency of water transport levies 1) from owners/shipowners/operators of the courts registered in the ship register and the ship book including from the courts which are coming into ports / leaving the ports of the Republic of Moldova, rates and charges for the rendered services.

(2) the Method of calculation of rates for the services rendered by the Agency of water transport, the nomenclature of services and the size of rates for the services rendered to them affirm the Government.

Article 7. Technical advice behind courts

(1) the Technical advice behind courts and their classification are made by the classification societies recognized by the European commission and representatives on it according to the procedure, established by the Government of the Republic of Moldova.

(2) the Technical advice is exercised for:

a) the passenger, liquid cargo carriers, courts intended for transportation of dangerous goods, tows;

b) the self propelled vessels which are not specified in Item and), with propulsion units capacity of 55 kW and more;

c) the courts which are not specified in Items and) and b), with a gross tonnage of 80 units and more.

(3) Behind the courts which are not subject to supervision from classification societies, the technical advice is exercised according to the procedure, established by the Government of the Republic of Moldova.

(4) Supervision of observance in courts of requirements of the international treaties signed by the Republic of Moldova, including the requirements concerning technical condition of the vessel is carried out by the organizations recognized by the Government of the Republic of Moldova, which gained also recognition of the European commission.

Article 8. Allocation of land and aquatic areas

(1) Allocation of land and sites of water space, accomplishment of any works in zone of sea lanes and functioning of the aid to navigation shall be approved with the Agency of water transport.

(2) the Legal entities and physical persons breaking part provision (1), shall make upon the demand of the Agency of water transport in the time specified to them at own expense demolition, transfer or reconstruction of the buildings and constructions creating hindrances to navigation and operation of the aid to navigation.

Article 9. Legal regulation of merchant shipping

(1) According to this code, other regulations and international treaties signed by the Republic of Moldova, the central industry body within the competence develops and approves regulating documents which belong to merchant shipping and are obligatory for execution by all legal entities and physical persons participating in maritime transports.

(2) the Special regulations concerning operation of fishing boats are developed and affirm competent industry authority.

Article 10. Application of the right in case of causing harm by the vessel

If the vessel did the harm which is not falling under operation of articles 302 and 320, indemnification is made according to the legislation of the state in which territorial waters the incident or circumstance which formed the basis for submission of demand about damages if damage was caused in the high sea took place, it is compensated according to the legislation of the state under the flag of which the vessel followed.

Article 11. Application of the foreign legislation

Inclusion in agreements which signing is provided by this code of conditions of application of the foreign legislation and customs of merchant shipping is allowed in cases when the parties have the right to depart from requirements of this Code.

Article 12. Priority of international law

If in international agreements, agreements, conventions, one of the parties of which is the Republic of Moldova, the regulations differing from established by this code contain, regulations of international agreements, agreements and conventions are applied.

Article 13. Consideration of receivership proceeding

(1) the Receivership proceeding arising in case of implementation of the agreements and other civil relations connected with merchant shipping are considered in degrees of jurisdiction of the Republic of Moldova.

(2) the receivership proceeding Relating to merchant shipping which participants are foreign legal entities and physical persons with the consent of the parties can be submitted foreign degrees of jurisdiction.

Article 14. Unit of account

(1) the Unit of account mentioned in Articles 183, of 196, of 313, 324 and 354, is unit of special drawing rights as it is determined by the International Monetary Fund.

(2) the Amounts specified in Articles 183 and 196, are recalculated on the official rate of Moldovan leu operating on the date of adjudication or for the day established by agreement of the parties.

(3) the Amounts specified in Articles 313, 324 and 354, are recalculated on the official rate of Moldovan leu operating on the date of creation of limitation fund if the limitation fund is not created - on the date of payment implementation.

Article 15. Rates

Rates for carriage of goods by sea, passengers, baggage and mail, and also the rule of their application affirm according to the procedure, established by the Government.

Article 16. Conflict-of-laws rules

(1) Provisions of this Code are applied as follows:

a) containing in the Section II "Vessel" (except for Articles 44) and in the Section III "Boat team" - to the courts registered in the Republic of Moldova;

b) containing in the Section IV "Seaport" - to sea commercial harbors of the Republic of Moldova;

containing in the Section IV:

- in Chapter 3 "Pilot service" - to the relations arising in connection with pilotage by sea pilots of the Republic of Moldova when approaching to port of the republic and in its water area;

- in Chapter 6 "The sunk property" - to the relations arising in connection with the property which sank in inland waters of the Republic of Moldova;

c) containing in the Section IX "Extraordinary sea incidents" in Chapter 7 "Ship's protest" - in cases when the protest is declared to the notary or other service employee to whom the legislation of the Republic of Moldova entrusts notarial actions;

d) containing in the Section X "The liability limit of the shipowner":

- in Chapter 1 "Shipment's liability limits" - to shipowners whose vessels float under the flag of the Republic of Moldova.

Limits of the owner's liability and the operator of the foreign nuclear vessel are determined by the legislation of the state under the flag of which the vessel floats. If these limits are lower established by this code, by consideration of dispute on responsibility degree in degree of jurisdiction of the Republic of Moldova provisions of this Code are applied;

- in Chapter 2 "Liens" - in cases when the dispute is considered in degree of jurisdiction of the Republic of Moldova;

e) containing in the Section XI "Claims and claims" - in cases when the corresponding relations fall under action of provisions of this Code.

(2) the Relations following from contracts on maritime transport of load, on marine chartering for time (the time-charter and bare-boat charter), on leasing of the vessel, on sea towage, on marine insurance, on pledge of the vessel are regulated by the law provided in the agreement of the parties, and the relations connected with maritime transport of passengers and cruises, in addition the rules provided in passenger ticket.

(3) in the absence of the consent of the parties concerning application of the right of their relation are determined according to the legislation of the state in the territory of which it is founded and performs the main activities the party which is (lives):

a) carrier - according to the agreement on maritime transport of load or the agreement on cruise;

b) the shipowner - according to the time-charter or bare-boat charter;

c) the lessor - according to the agreement on leasing of the vessel;

d) the owner of the towing vessel - according to the agreement on sea towage;

e) the insurer - according to the agreement on marine insurance;

f) the pledger - according to the pledge agreement of the vessel.

Section II Vessel

Chapter 1 General provisions

Article 17. Concept of the vessel

(1) In this code the vessel is understood as any self-propelled or non-self-propelled floating construction (except for floating platforms and systems of collection of oceanic data) used in merchant shipping according to Article 1.

(2) Provisions of this Code are applied to the vessel from the moment of its descent to water after construction.

Article 18. Concept of the fishing boat

(1) the fishing boat in this code is understood as any merchant vessel used for fish or other sea trade of water biological resources.

(2) Tools of fishery are integral part of the fishing boat.

Article 19. Concept of the nuclear vessel

The nuclear vessel in this code is understood as any merchant vessel equipped with the self-contained nuclear-power power station.

Article 20. Patterns of ownership on the vessel

(1) concerning courts of the Republic of Moldova all patterns of ownership with the withdrawals provided by the national legal system are effective.

(2) the Nuclear vessel can be only in state-owned property.

Article 21. Moment of emergence of the property right to the vessel

(1) the Property right to the vessel (part of the vessel) arises from the moment of registration of the vessel in the state ship register of the Republic of Moldova or in the ship book of the Republic of Moldova (further - the ship register and the ship book).

(2) the Property right to the vessel under construction arises from the moment of registration of this vessel in the register of courts under construction.

Article 22. Concepts of the owner of the vessel and shipowner

(1) the owner of the vessel in this code is understood as the person of law of property or person performing the property right to the vessel according to the legislation on property.

(2) the shipowner in this code is understood as the legal entity or physical person operating the vessel irrespective of, this person the owner of the vessel is or uses it on other legal cause.

Article 23. Legal immunity of national courts of the Republic of Moldova

On the vessels which are in state-owned property of the Republic of Moldova collection without the consent of the Government cannot be seized or is turned if these vessels are used only for execution of the public non-commercial service.

Article 24. Property right and other real rights to the vessel

(1) the Property right and other real rights to the vessel, and also origin, change and termination of these rights are determined by the legislation of the state under the flag of which the vessel floats.

(2) the Rights to the vessel under construction are determined by the legislation of the state where the vessel is accepted to construction or is under construction if the agreement on construction of the vessel does not provide other.

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