Merchant Shipping Act 2010
68.— (1) The Minister may make regulations (“reduced mobility regulations”) for the purpose of making passenger vessels accessible to persons with reduced mobility. In making any such regulations the Minister shall have regard to any representations made in accordance with subsection (13) including those relating to the costs of different requirements and standards and any information provided with regard to the financial resources generally of owners of vessels of a class to which the regulations apply in complying with the regulations.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), reduced mobility regulations may set down requirements or standards or both in relation to:
( a) pre-journey information;
( b) on-board accommodation and facilities;
( c) lifts, ramps, steps and stairs;
( d) information and announcements on board, including those required in emergency situations;
( e) safety announcements and signage;
( f) management and training of personnel;
( g) interface with facilities on shore;
( h) information to be furnished to the Minister;
( i) carrying out of accessibility audits.
(3) Reduced mobility regulations may provide for the inspection of passenger vessels.
(4) Reduced mobility regulations may provide for powers of authorised persons in addition to those under section 71 .
(5) Reduced mobility regulations may make provision for consequential, incidental, ancillary and supplementary matters (including the enforcement of the regulations and, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, the charging of fees) as the Minister considers necessary or expedient. Fees under this subsection shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer.
(6) In making reduced mobility regulations the Minister may categorise passenger vessels into different classes having regard to one or more of the following, where appropriate:
( a) the age and date of construction of such vessels;
( b) the size, shape, speed or configuration of such vessels;
( c) the service for which such vessels are to be employed;
( d) the nature and duration of voyages to be undertaken;
( e) the number of passengers or other persons, or both, that such vessels are designed to carry on board;
( f) such other matter or matters that the Minister considers appropriate to take into account in the circumstances.
(7) Reduced mobility regulations may apply either generally or to a specified class or classes of passenger vessel and different provision may be made for different classes of passenger vessel.
(8) Reduced mobility regulations may set different and separate requirements and standards in relation to different classes of passenger vessel for different circumstances and for different areas of operation.
(9) Reduced mobility regulations may apply to owners of passenger vessels, masters, crew or other persons with responsibility for services provided by a passenger vessel.
(10) Reduced mobility regulations made may incorporate, adopt, apply or make prescriptions by reference to, with or without modification, any code of practice.
(11) The power to make reduced mobility regulations includes the power to make provision by regulations to give effect to any provision of the treaties of the European Communities or any act adopted by an institution of the European Communities which regulates any of the matters set out in this section.
(12) The Minister may exempt from all or any of the provisions of reduced mobility regulations, on such terms and conditions as he or she sees fit, any passenger vessel or any class or classes of passenger vessel, having regard to the nature of the vessel and the use to which it is put.
(13) Before making reduced mobility regulations, the Minister—
( a) shall publish on the Department’s website and in such other manner as he or she considers appropriate a draft of the proposed regulations and shall give interested persons one month from the date of publication of the draft within which to make written representations to the Minister in relation to it, or for such further period, not exceeding 2 months the Minister in his or her absolute discretion thinks fit, and
( b) having considered any representations, may make the regulations with or without amendment.
(14) Where the Minister is satisfied that reduced mobility regulations are not being complied with, the Minister may refuse to grant or may suspend—
( a) a passenger ship certificate,
( b) a passenger ship safety certificate,
( c) a high speed craft safety certificate,
( d) a permit to operate high speed craft,
( e) a DSC construction and equipment certificate,
( f) a DSC permit to operate high speed craft, or
( g) a passenger boat licence,
issued by the Minister in respect of a passenger vessel, until the regulations are complied with.
(15) If, in respect of a passenger vessel, there is a contravention of any reduced mobility regulation, the owner or master of the vessel each commits an offence and each is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000.