Thursday, October 17, 2013


RULES FOR THE TERRITORIAL SEAS, INTERNAL WATERS, AND PORTS To read the entire series so far in order of occurrence click here:

File:Berner Iustitia.jpg   INTRODUCTION:

  Ships eventually move from the high seas through territorial seas and internal waters to port. Ships long have been a subject of international law.  On approach to port through the territorial sea to the internal waters ships come under evermore increasing enforcement power of the coastal state. On the approach to port or near approach to the territorial sea, the naval commander or ship master must know how international law affects his ship.

 International law concerns itself with the control of ship movements to avoid collision, the actions of ships at sea and in port, and ship operations in International Law establishes privileges, duties, and immunities for  two basic classes of ships "merchant ships"(i.e. commercial vessels) and "warships" (naval vessels).

 To understand the privileges, duties, and immunities of your ship you must first accurately categorize it as a "merchant ship" or "warship". This will be a fairly simple task unless you happen to serve on a NOAA (National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration) research or other public vessel. 

 So how do we class a public vessel? Under International Law the term "war ship" includes all vessels commissioned as a part of the naval forces of a state. Such vessels should be authorized to display a special flag (such as a naval ensign for some nations) or pennant (such as a commissioning pennant for U.S. vessels. To be a warship, a public vessel must also be commanded by an officer of the military forces of a state and crewed by sailors subject to military discipline. Thus a U.S. Navy ship flying the commissioning pennant would be a warship.  U.S. Coast Guard cutters flying the Coast Guard ensign, including some smaller cutters with Chief Petty Officers as officer in charge would be  "war ships".  However, for most purposes of immunity, other state owned non- commercial vessels such as NOAA research ships or civilian-manned Military Sealift Command ships are treated somewhat like warships by most nations. However, these public vessels do not incur the duties nor enjoy all of the attendant rights of war ships. For example, most non-naval public vessels do not have the duty to suppress piracy nor the attendant right of close approach. 

 State owned ships used for commercial purposes are treated as "merchant ships" (i.e. "merchant men"). Despite state ownership, such vessels are totally subject to the soverignty of  the port state. State-owned shipping line vessels must pass through customs and submit to all inspections of the port state.


Shop Amazon - Samsung Galaxy S5 - The Next Big Thing is Here 

No comments:

Post a Comment