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The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974

( ACT NO. XXVI OF 1974 )

Provisions as to the High Seas

7C. (1) Bangladesh shall, subject to the other provisions of this Act and to the international laws, enjoy the following rights on the High Seas in water columns beyond 200 NM of the Exclusive Economic Zone, namely:-

(a)    freedom of navigation;

(b)    freedom of overflight;

(c)    freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines;

(d)    freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international laws;

(e)    freedom of fishing; and

(f)    freedom of marine scientific research.

(2) Bangladesh shall have the right to sail ships flying its flag on the High Seas.

(3) The Government shall, by notification in the official Gazette, determine the conditions for the grant of its nationality to ships, for the registration of ships in its territory and the rights to fly the flag.

(4) Ships shall fly their State’s flags on the condition that they have to have genuine link with that State.

(5) Unless otherwise provided in the international treaties or Convention, ships flying Bangladeshi flag shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of Bangladesh on the High Seas.

(6) Nothing in this section shall prejudice the rights of navigation of the ships employed on the official service of the United Nations or its specialized organizations or International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or ships flying flags of such organizations.

(7) The Government shall maintain a register for name and other details of its ships and effectively exercise its jurisdiction and control in administrative, technical and social matters over each ship and its master as flag State.

(8) Warships and military aircrafts of Bangladesh shall enjoy complete immunity in the High Seas from the jurisdiction of any other foreign State.

(9) If any vessel collides with another vessel on the High Seas or suffers accident or punitive and disciplinary measures need to be taken against the master or any other person on board the ship for such incidents, no other authority except the juridical or administrative authority of the flag state or the states of such nationals shall take any punitive or disciplinary measures.

(10) Any Bangladeshi vessel, without jeopardizing lives of its passengers, sailors or endangering the vessel itself, may take steps to assist, rescue and arrange other due measures for the shipwrecked sailors, sinking ships or any other person who is in precarious condition in the High Seas.

(11) The Government may, either on bilateral or on multilateral agreements, adopt and enforce laws and take other necessary measures, in accordance with national and international laws to formulate cooperative mechanism for preservation and protection of fish and marine mammal stocks in the High Seas and in the EEZ, and may make rules in this regard.

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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs