Poland’s Lower House approves Senate amendments to revise the Maritime Safety Act
On Friday, the lower house (Sejm) of the Polish parliament adopted the Senate’s amendments to the revise of the Maritime Safety Act and certain other acts. Among other things, the act is intended to allow the construction of a harbour to serve offshore wind farms.
Among others, the Sejm adopted amendments that relate to the right of first refusal. They aim to grant the State Treasury the right of first refusal to buy shares or stocks in a commercial company that has rights to real estate located within the boundaries of a port of fundamental importance to the national economy.
The Act amending the Act on Maritime Safety and certain other Acts is intended to improve the safety of shipping, increase the efficiency of maritime administration activities and improve the functioning of the shipping and port security system. It is also about enabling the construction of a port to service offshore wind farms.
According to the drafters, the most important solutions envisaged in the bill are clarification of the tasks and responsibilities of the chief and local maritime administration bodies, introduction of mandatory audits and ad hoc inspections following the detention of a ship in a foreign port due to deficiencies in safety, environmental protection and seafarers’ living and working standards, the introduction of a mandatory audit for a shipowner following the detention of his two ships within a period of 24 months.
According to the bill, the Maritime Search and Rescue Service (SAR) will be authorised to purchase equipment for military use (e.g. night vision goggles or binoculars), produced by domestic entrepreneurs, with which military formations performing search and rescue tasks at sea have been equipped, among others.
The drafters further pointed out that the amendment would enable the directors of maritime offices to issue an ordinance to allow the testing of autonomous, unmanned ships (so-called MASS) and define the rules for conducting such tests.