Indian parliament passes revised legislation covering inland vessels

Photo: Inland Waterways Authority of India

The Indian parliament recently passed a new law covering inland vessels to repeal a century-old legislation that was in need of major revisions.

The Inland Vessels Act 2021 repeals the earlier Inland Vessels Act 1917, which had included archaic and redundant provisions and had therefore become outdated.

The new legislation is designed to promote economical and safe transportation and trade through India’s inland waters by introducing a national framework and uniform applicability of rules and regulations.

The preparation of the final draft of the new bill had also involved numerous local stakeholders including the country’s Ministry of Shipping, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), and the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). Based on suggestions and recommendations from stakeholders, the bill was amended accordingly or
agreed to promulgate in the rules.

Under the new legislation, service providers and end users will no longer have to observe different compliance levels from one state to another.

The new legislation also stipulates higher standards to ensure safety of navigation, protection of life and cargo, prevention of environmental pollution, healthier trade practices, transparency and accountability of administrative mechanisms as well as the training and development of an efficient and skilled workforce.

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