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Law On The Protection Of Life And Property At Sea - Law no: 4922

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Number of the Law      : 4922
Date of Adoption      : 10/6/1946
Published in the Official Gazette   : Dated : 14/6/1946   Number : 6333
Published in the Law Collection    : Series : 3      Volume : 27      

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For the rules related with this law, please see the numeric index of the "Complete Rules" arranged according to the laws
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Tariffs and technical characteristics of commercial vessels

Article 1 - For the implementation of this law:
A) "Vessel" means any vehicle able to navigate at sea except for craft under oars, regardless of its name, tonnage and purpose of use;
B) "Commercial vessel" means any vessel operated at sea for profit;
C) "Passenger vessel" means any commercial vessel carrying more than twelve passengers;
D) "Passenger" means any person other than the captain and other seamen, the spouse, children and servants of the ship owner and the ship operator, the personnel designated by the ship owner and the ship operator, the representatives and clerks of the ship owner and the ship operator, the shepherds of the livestock carried and the persons who have been admitted to the vessel for life saving purposes at sea, who are carried with or without freight cost

Article 2 - (Amended : 4/7/1988 - Statutory Decree - Art. 336/1 ; Adopted without amendment : 7/2/1990 - Art. 3612/22)
A commercial vessel which is determined upon the opinion of the Ministry of Transportat and other related agencies as not capable of bearing the normal risks of voyage in terms of :
A) Her main components and parts such as the hull, general equipment, engine, boiler, etc.,
B) Loading conditions,
C) Sufficient fuel and supplies,
D) Sufficient number and qualifications of the seamen
shall not be considered to be seaworthy and shall not be allowed to sail.

Article 3 - Commercial vessels shall be inspected at least once  a year with respect to the conditions of the hull, engine, boiler, general equipment, life saving equipment, fire protection and fire fighting equipment and other equipment which they must posses pursuant to their  statute, for the duties they are assigned and the voyages they make. However, underwater inspections of  commercial vessels other than passenger vessels may be performed in every two years.

Article 4 - Commercials vessels which are found to be compatible with their statutes upon inspection shall be issued "seaworthiness certificate" for a definite term. The commercial vessels which do not have the said certificate or certificates  which have expired shall not be allowed to navigate and the certificates of  vessels which  no longer meet the conditions laid down in the related statutes shall be cancelled.
   A commercial vessel whose seaworthiness certificate expires during her voyage shall be obliged to return to the port where she would be inspected upon completion of the voyage in the event that the voyage ends in a Turkish port. Such a commercial vessel may perform commercial transactions as if she holds a seaworthiness certificate until she reaches the port of inspection.
   A commercial vessel which ceases to be compatible with the  related statute during the term of the certificate, for any reason, may call at the nearest port for repair without any further commercial transaction.

Article 5 - (Amended : 5/5/1981 - Art. 2459/1)
Vessels with valid certificates issued by national or international classification societies shall be granted seaworthiness certificates for the duration and task stated in the certificates without a separate inspection. However, the parts excluded from inspection by the rules of such societies shall be inspected pursuant to the provisions hereof.

Article 6 - All commercial vessels which have seaworthiness certificates and which would  at sea beyond port boundaries shall be inspected before travel, in terms of life-saving, fire-fighting, fire protection and navigation equipment, seamen, supplies and fuel, number of passengers, type of the cargo, stacking and loading mark and any commercial vessels which do not comply with the statute shall not be permitted to navigate.
   Commercial vessels, which operate within the boundaries of the port, shall be inspected time from time to time in accordance to the provisions of this article.

Article 7 - The tonnages of the commercial vessels to be used as basis of collection of various charges and fees shall be measured pursuant to the statute.

Safety of Navigation at Sea

Article 8 - The lights and signs to be carried and exhibited, sonar fog and maneuver signs to be given and the navigation and operation rules to be observed by Turkish vessels and the foreign vessels navigating at Turkish ports and territorial waters and the signs they would make to ask help in case of danger shall be indicated in the rules.
Every Turkish vessel shall have a copy of "Statute for the Prevention of Collision at Sea." This statute which will be distributed to the vessels free of charge is considered as one of the main documents of the vessels.

Article 9 - In case of fatalities and damage of property caused by non-compliance with the Statute for the Prevention of Collision at Sea, the captain who was on shift during the accident or the officer on duty according to the relevant legislation shall be held liable unless it is determined by the court that the circumstances had required a deviation from the rules.

Article 10 - Captains of colliding vessels shall provide every assistance to prevent or mitigate any damage to the vessels and passengers caused by collision, without endangering their own vessels, crew and passengers. Thus, captains of colliding vessels shall keep their vessel at the site of incidence until they are convinced that they do not need each other's assistance.
    Captains of colliding vessels shall notify the captains of other vessels, of the title of their vessels, identification sign and the names of the ports of berthing, origin and destination before they resume journey, without endangering their vessels, crew and passengers, if possible.
   Captains of colliding vessels, if possible, shall record the causes and circumstances of the incidence in their ship logs just after the incidence. This entry in the ship log shall be jointly undersigned by the captain, first mate and one of the crew  members.

Article 11 - The location of the loading (free-board) marking to be placed along two sides and under the deck lines according to the fresh and saline water regions, seasons and timber loads of the commercial vessels carrying passengers or commodities shall be determined in accordance with the statute.
   Commercial vessels without loading markings shall not be allowed to carry passengers or cargo, and commercial vessels that are loaded in excess of the loading lines in their markings shall not be allowed to navigate.
   Commercial vessels under 150 gross tons may be excluded from the scope of  the provisions of this article depending on the maritime zone they navigate and the jobs they perform.

Article 12 - The following substances are deemed as "dangerous goods"  according to this law :
A) Substances which are dangerous in terms of explosion :
1 - Explosives, especially shooting materials;
(substances which are not suitable for assault and shooting purposes, which can not be exploded by flame and which are not more sensitive to friction than dinitrobenzol shall not be considered as explosives).
2 - Ammunition,
3 - Ignition materials, fireworks and similar substances,
4 - Compressed or liquidified gases,
5 - Substances which burn or emit gases that facilitate combustion upon contact with water,
B) Self-flammable substances,
C) Flammable liquids and easily flammable solids,
D) Poisonous substances,
E) Burning substances,
F) Other substances which are similar to those listed above in terms of their physical or chemical properties,
G) Cargoes which are dangerous for stowing, such as livestock, timber and grains.   
   The transportation of aforementioned goods by commercial vessels shall be performed in accordance with the relevant statute.

Article 13 - (Amended : 29/6/1956-6763/43-a)
   Every captain who is obliged to obtain a maritime report from a court with jurisdiction, pursuant to articles 982 and 984 of Turkish Commercial Code shall submit a certified copy of such report to the port administration at the first port of call with a port administration office.

Life Saving at Sea

Article 14 - Every captain is obliged to provide every assistance to people whose lives are in danger he encounters at sea, even if they are enemies, without endangering his own vessels, crew and passengers.

Article 15 - The captain of a vessel that receives a mayday sign from another vessel is obliged to go to the assistance to people in danger as soon as possible. However, in the event that the captain considers such an act impossible or not reasonable or useful due to the prevailing conditions or is exempt from such an obligation pursuant to articles 17 and 18, he may refrain from assistance, but he must notify the captain of the vessel demanding help and must record the reasons thereof in the ship log.

Article 16 - The captain of a vessel in danger shall make as many consultations as possible with the captains who have responded to his call and shall be entitled to ask help from one or several of such vessels which he deems fit and the captain(s) who are called for help shall be obliged to assist the people in danger as soon as possible.

Article 17 - In the event that a captain who receives a mayday sign is informed by the captain(s) of any other vessel(s) responding to the same call that the latter would help the vessel asking for assistance, he shall be released of the obligation under article 15.

Article 18 - In the event that a captain is informed by the captain of another vessel which has come to the assistance of the people in danger that his help is no longer required, he shall be released of the obligation under article 15 and if he has not been asked for assistance, he shall be released of the obligation under article 16.

Article 19 - Every captain who is aware of any dangerous iceberg, tropic storms, winds of 10 Beufort or over or any other hazards that endanger the safety of the journey shall notify the same to all vessels nearby and the authorities at the first coastal point that he can communicate, by using all means of communication and in accordance with the relevant rules.

Penal Provisions

Article 20 - The private ship owner who operates and the captain who directs a commercial vessel :
A) which is not permitted to navigate,
B) which has not been granted a seaworthiness certificate,
C) with a certificate  which has been cancelled,
D) with a certificate  which has  expired
shall be sentenced to imprisonment for three months to one year. In addition, the ship owner shall be sentenced to a fine of TL 100 to TL 1000. The sentence shall be doubled in case of repetition of the offense.

Article 21 - A captain who carries passengers with a commercial vessel not allowed to carry passengers or who navigates with a load exceeding the loading limit lines on the loading mark referred to in article 11 hereof shall be sentenced to imprisonment for one month to three months and shall be prohibited from working at sea for a period of six months to one year.

   Those who modify the location of the loading mark shall be sentenced to imprisonment for three months to six months.

   Having obeyed the illegal orders of the ship owner does not release the captain of responsibility.
Article 22 - Those who do not comply with the provisions concerning the transportation of dangerous goods listed in article 12 shall be sentenced to a fine of TL 50 to TL 250.

Article 23 - Those who fail to duly utilize help signs indicated in the statue and who violate paragraphs 2 and 3 of article 10 of this law and articles 13 and 20 of this law shall be sentenced to a fine of TL 50 to TL 250.

Article 24 - Captains who violate paragraph 1 of article 10, article 14, paragraph 1 of article 15 and article 16 of the this law shall be prohibited from working at sea for a period of three months to six months or shall be sentenced to imprisonment for one month to three months. Both penalties shall be applied in serious cases.

Article 25 - In case of collisions between war ships or auxiliary ships of the Turkish navy and Turkish commercial vessels, Military Courts Procedure Law and Military Penal Law shall be applied in legal actions against military personnel

Miscellaneous Provisions

Article 26 - Article 8 hereof shall be applied to war ships or auxiliary ships of the Turkish navy and the provisions of articles 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12 hereof shall be applied to foreign vessels calling or departing from Turkish ports and navigating in Turkish territorial waters.

Article 27 - (Amended : 29/6/1956 - Art. 6763/43-b)
The provisions of sections of "Collision" and "Rescue and Help"  of the Turkish Commercial Law on maritime accidents and the provisions of paragraph 9 article 15 of the Municipalities Law and the provisions of the Public Health Law on sanitary inspection of the vessels are reserved.

Article 28 - Articles 9 and 10 of Maritime Lines Operating Law No. 2239 and the "Rules for Prevention of Collision at Sea" dated April 22, 1301 are repealed.

   Provisional Article 1- The statutes referred to herein shall enter into force within maximum one year after the effective date hereof and the current legislation shall be applicable until that date.

Article 29 - This law shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.

Article 30 - This law shall be executed by the Council of Ministers.

Repealed Legislation
     Repealed Laws or Provisions
Of Laws               Date        No       Article
-------------------------------------------    ------------    ---------        ----------   
Articles 9 and 10 of Maritime Lines
Operating Law           10/6/194        4922           28
No 2239    

Article 291 of Civil Courts
Procedure Law         4/7/1956        6763           47


Law No                                                                                                                                  Articles with different effective dates      Effective date
-------------    --------------------------------------------       -------------
6763            ---             1/1/1957
2459            ---             8/5/1981
KHK/336            ---              5/8/1988