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The Bangladesh Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 1983

( Ordinance NO. XXVI OF 1983 )

Chapter 10


Special provisions with regard to agreements with crew of Bangladesh foreign-going ships
115. (1) The following provisions shall have effect with respect to the agreements with the crew made in Bangladesh in the case of Bangladesh foreign-going ships, namely:-
(a) the agreement shall, subject to the provisions of this Ordinance as to substitutes, be signed by each seaman in the presence of a Shipping Master;
(b) the Shipping Master shall cause the agreement to be read over and explained to each seaman, in a language understood by him, or shall otherwise ascertain that each seaman understands the same before he signs it, and shall attest each signature;
(c) when the crew is first engaged, the agreement shall be signed in duplicate, and one part shall be retained by the Shipping Master, and the other part shall be delivered to the master, and shall contain a special place or form for the descriptions and signatures of substitutes or persons engaged subsequently to the first departure of the ship;
(d) when a substitute is engaged in the place of a seaman who had duly signed the agreement and whose services are lost within twenty-four hours of the ship's putting to sea by desertion, death, or other unforeseen cause, the engagement shall, if practicable, be made before a Shipping Master, and if not practicable, the master shall, before the ship puts to sea, if practicable, and, if not, as soon afterwards as possible, cause the agreement to be read over and explained to the substitute, and the substitute shall thereupon sign the same in the presence of a witness, who shall attest the signature;
(e) the agreement may be made for a voyage of the ship or, if the voyages of the ship average less than six months in duration, may, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), be made to extend over two or more voyages and agreements so made are in this Ordinance referred to as running agreements;
(f) on every return to a port or place in Bangladesh before the final termination of a running agreement, the master shall discharge or engage before Shipping Master at such port or place any seaman whom he is required by law so to discharge or engage, and shall upon every such return endorse on the agreement a statement that no such discharges or engagements have been made or are intended to be made before the ship leaves such port or place or, as the case may be, that all those made have been made as required by law; and
(g) the master shall deliver the running agreement so endorsed to the Shipping Master, and the Shipping Master shall, if the provisions of this Ordinance relating to agreements have been complied with, sign the endorsement and return the agreement to the master.
(2) A running agreement shall not extend beyond the expiration of the period of six months from the date on which it was executed, or beyond the first arrival of the ship at her port or place of destination in Bangladesh after the expiration of that period, or beyond the discharge of cargo consequent upon such arrival, whichever of these dates shall be the latest:
Provided that no such agreement shall continue in force if, after the expiration of the period of six months from the date on which it was executed, the ship proceeds on a voyage from a port or place outside Bangladesh to any other such port or place which is not on the direct route or a customary route to her port or place of destination in Bangladesh:
Provided further that every such agreement shall, in addition to any other particulars required by law, contain such stipulations as the Government may direct for the discharge of the crew and payment of their wages, for securing their return to the port or place at which they were shipped or to some other port or place in Bangladesh, and for other purposes, on the termination of the agreement at a port or place outside Bangladesh under the foregoing proviso.
(3) If any master wilfully makes a false statement in any such endorsement as is referred to in clause (f) of sub section (1), she shall, for each offence, be punishable with fine which may extend to five thousand Taka.

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