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The South African Maritime Safety Authority (“SAMSA”) was established in terms of SAMSA Act, 1998 (“the Act”) as a juristic person.
Its objectives are―
(a) to ensure safety of life and property at sea;
(b) to prevent and combat pollution of the marine environment by ships; and
(c) to promote the Republic’s maritime interests.
In terms of section 2 of the Act, SAMSA is responsible to administer the following pieces of legislation:
  • Merchant Shipping Act, 1951 
  • Marine Traffic Act, 1981  
  • Marine Pollution (Control and Civil Liability) Act, 1981 
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1986
  • Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act, 1986
  • Marine Pollution (Intervention) Act, 1987
  • Maritime Zones Act, 1994 
  • Wreck and Salvage Act, 1996 
  • SAMSA Act, 1998 
  • SAMSA Levies Act, 1998
  • Ship Registration Act, 1998
With regard to the aforementioned, the Centre for Policy and Regulatory Affairs (“the Centre”) is responsible for ​―
  • Providing assistance to the Department of Transport in drafting and processing of the maritime statutes and policies, leading to the promulgation into laws of South Africa. Further, the Centre also plays a critical role on consultation processes with internal and external stakeholders (government departments and its entities, private stakeholders etc.) in developing legal instruments. 
  • Advocating for the adoption of international regulations (Conventions, Protocols, Codes etc.) and assist in translating such into national laws including leveraging international best practice. 
  • Providing regular updates to SAMSA on legislative and regulatory changes. It also conducts research on various legislativ​e and regulatory frameworks that impact on SAMSA and make necessary recommendations.
  • Providing legal advice and opinions on maritime related issues as well as on corporate legal matters to government departments upon request. 

For guidance on applicable national laws; relavent regional; continental and international instrument;
Please see Related Information links or contact your nearest SAMSA Office 

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