Ports Ordinance (New Version), 1971 (Summary)

This Ordinance prescribes the proper conduct within a port, including the power and functions of Port officers and managers, licensing requirements, delivery and handling of goods, the handling of unclaimed merchandise, the removal of sunken and abandoned vessels, port fees and tariffs, penalties for desertion of vessels and other offenses. The ports included in this Ordinance are the ports of Eilat, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Haifa, Tiberias, Jaffa, Acre, Tel Aviv, and any place that the Minister of Transport declares to be a port. Relevant features of the Ports Ordinance include:

Responsibilities of the Minister of Transport

The Minister of Transport is responsible for the implementation of this Law. He may "declare any place in Israel to be a port", and may prescribe tariffs for any service in the port. In addition, he may promulgate regulations as to:

* A the licensing of vessels, the registration and measurement of vessels, the seaworthiness of vessels, and the control of vessels "entering or within any port";

* port fees such as buoyage fees, anchorage fees, storage fees, passenger dues, wharfage fees on goods, and other fees;

* the qualifications, certification and performance of pilots, sailors, engineers and officers of vessels;

* the loading and unloading, and storage and delivery of goods;

* the implementation of international shipping conventions to which Israel is a party;

* the "Protection, preservation and safety of vessels, merchandise, animals and persons within the port"; and the safety of navigation and human life in territorial waters, lakes, rivers and other navigable places… ";

The Minister may also promulgate regulations "prohibiting the pollution of the port waters, a water-way, a navigable river, or any place on land from which pollution may spread to a port, waterway or navigable river … it shall be immaterial whether pollution originates in waste material or in any other solid or liquid matter; regulations under this subparagraph may only be made after consultation with the Minister of Health".

Removal of Sunken and Abandoned Vessels

The Officer in Charge of Ports may require that an owner remove or destroy a sunken, abandoned or stranded vessel if he feel that the vessel is, or is likely to become, "an obstruction or danger to navigation or an obstruction in the use of a port". The Officer in Charge of Ports may take it upon himself to destroy or remove a vessel at the owner’s expense if the owner does not comply with the order within the required amount of time.