Laws of Bangladesh

The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974

( ACT NO. XXVI OF 1974 )


1[2. In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant to the subject or context,-

(1) “Artificial Island” means man-made extension of the seabed whether or not such extension breaks the surface of the superjacent waters during high tide;

(2) “Continental Margin” means the submerged prolongation of the land mass of Bangladesh and comprises the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise but shall not include the deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or the subsoil thereof;

(3) “Convention” means the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 1982;

(4) “CrPC” means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act No. V of 1898);

(5) “Dumping of wastes” means, in the case of the sea, activities of discharging wastes, by dumping or throwing of wastes and other matters, conducted by or from vessels, aircraft, ships and offshore platforms or other man-made structures, causing marine pollution, which creates hazards to human health, harms living resources and marine biodiversity, damages amenities or interferes with other legitimate uses of the sea;

(6) “Geodesic” means a curve that defines the shortest distance between two points on a given surface;

(7) “Historic Waters” means the Internal Waters landward of the baseline that has been historically recognized as forming an integral part of Bangladesh;

(8) “Installations” includes permanently moored vessel, communication cable, oil pipeline, military surveillance installation, pipeline which is used for the transfer of any substance to or from a vessel, research, exploration or production platform around the coast of Bangladesh, exploration or production platform including oil rig used in the prospecting for or mining of any substance, exploration or production vessel used in the prospecting for or mining of any substance, telecommunication apparatus as defined in section 2 (12) of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulation Act, 2001 (Act No. 18 of 2001), a vessel or equipment used for the exploration or exploitation of the seabed, any other structure whether permanent or temporary within the maritime zones, which is being or intended to be used for or in connection with the exploration and exploitation and conservation and management of the natural resources;

(9) “Internal Waters” means the area of the sea that is on the landward side of the Territorial Sea Baseline from where the breadth of the Territorial Sea is measured; up to the mouths of all rivers, Historic Waters, outer limits of the ports, and harbours;

(10) “Marine Pollution” means the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the marine environment including estuaries, which results or is likely to result in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources and marine life, hazards to human health, hindrance to marine activities including fishing and other legitimate uses of the sea, impairment of quality for use of sea water and reduction of amenities;

(11) “Maritime Tribunal” means the Tribunal established under section 27;

(12) “Maritime Zones” means the Internal Waters, the Territorial Sea, the Contiguous Zone, the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf or any other Maritime Zones of Bangladesh, from time to time, by notification in the official Gazette;

(13)  “Master” includes every person lawfully having, for the time being, command or charge of a vessel except warship;

(14) “Nautical Miles (NM)” means a unit used in measuring distances at sea, equal to 1852 meters;

(15) “Seabed” means the top of the surface layer of the sand, rock, mud or other material lying at the bottom of the sea and immediately above the subsoil;

(16) “Serious Injury or Damage” means serious bodily injury or extensive destruction of a place of public use, State or government facility, infrastructure facility, or public transportation system, resulting in major economic loss; or substantial damage to the environment, including air, soil, water, fauna, or flora;

(17) “Straight Line” means a geodesic joining of two points on the earth’s surface;

(18) “Superjacent Waters” means the waters overlying the seabed or deep ocean floor of the Continental Shelf;

(19) “Transportation” includes pipeline and gas line;

(20) “Warship” means a ship belonging to the armed forces of a State bearing the external marks distinguishing such ships of its nationality, under the command of an officer duly commissioned by the government of the State and whose name appears in the appropriate service list or its equivalent, and manned by a crew which is under regular armed forces discipline;

(21) “Waste” includes any matter prescribed to be waste and any matter, whether liquid, solid, gaseous or radioactive, which is discharged, emitted or deposited in the environment in such volume, composition or manner as to cause an adverse effect; and

(22) “Water column” is a vertical continuum of water from sea surface to seabed.]

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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs