Act on Prevention of Collision of Ships B.E. 2522
Before the implementation of the Act on Prevention of Collision of Ships
B.E.2522 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'), the matter of collision
of ships was governed by the Act for Prevention of Collisions at Sea
B.E.2497 which was replaced by the Act in 1979.
The reason of implementation
of the Act was that the Convention on the International Regulations
for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1948 to which Thailand was a party,
was repealed and replaced by the COLREG 1972 (the Convention on the
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972). It
was, therefore, considered by the Royal Government of Thailand necessary
to have the previous legislation amended.
As Thailand is a
party to the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing
Collisions at Sea 1972, the principles in the Act and most of the rules
in the Ministerial Regulations are in accordance with the said Convention.
The Act mainly deals with the rules of navigation of every ship, regardless
of her nationality, in Thai waters including the rivers, canals, lakes
and other inland waters within the territory of Thai Kingdom. However,
the Act also provides the rules for Thai ships during her voyage at
under the Act
The Act comprises ten sections only. Therefore, the Act itself does
not directly stipulates any rules for prevention of collision of ships
but empowers the Ministry of Communications to issue the Ministerial
Regulations. There are three crucial Ministerial Regulations issued
The first regulation
was issued in 1979, the same year of the implementation of the Act,
stipulating the rules for preventing of collision of every ship during
sailing in sea waters within the territory of Thai Kingdom including
the navigation of Thai ships at high sea.
The second regulation
was issued in 1981 to govern the navigation of any ship in the rivers,
canals, lakes and other inland waters within the territory of Thai Kingdom.
The reason of issuing the second regulation was to provide the rules
for preventing any collision of ships in canals, rivers, lakes and other
inland waters which were not covered by the first regulation.
The third regulation
was issued in 1990 to amend the first an the second regulations. There
were many rules in the previous regulations, being amended by this third
Ministerial Regulations. The cause of amendment was a necessity to make
the rules accordant with the amendment of the Convention on the International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 which was ratified
in the year 1979 by the Royal Government of Thailand.
Besides the aforesaid
international conventions, the Traffic Separation Schemes stipulated
by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) are also recognized
by the Act.
The Act applies to not only any motored and non-motored ships capable
for water transport, but also seaplane and aircraft of every kind built
to move on the surface of the water.
The rules no. 2 of the first and the second Ministerial Regulations
provide the same principles of liability that the ship or the owner,
the Master or crew shall be liable for any consequence resulting from
their neglect to comply with the Ministerial Regulations or their neglect
of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of
seaman, or by the special circumstances of the case.
As the regulations
provide only the rules for preventing collisions of ships, neither prescription
of time for compensation arising out of a collision nor criminal penalty
in case of violating the rules, is imposed by the Act and the Ministerial
Under sections 7
and 8 of the Act, it can, however, be deemed that the Act is part of
and must be applied with the provisions of the Act on Navigation in
Thai Waters B.E.2456. As a result, any person who violates or fails
to comply with the rules issued under the Act, shall be liable and punished
with the same provisions of the Act on Navigation in Thai Waters B.E.2456.
Due to the following reasons, the owners, in a collision case, are not
entitled under Thai law to limit liability;
1. Thailand is not
a party to the 1957 abd 1976 Limitation Conventions. As a result, the
tonnage and global limitation are not applicable in Thai Courts.
2. The matter of
compensation for claim arising out of a collision is governed by the
provisions of the Civil and Commercial Code in respect of 'wrongful
act' under which no limitation is provided.
As for cargo claims,
the owners may, subject to the cause of collision, be entitled to limit
liability for damage, loss and delay in delivery of goods under the
provisions of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act B.E.2534.
According to the precedent of the Supreme Court judgment No. 828/2499,
the one-year prescription of time of the Civil and Commercial Code in
respect of 'wrongful act' applies to the claims arising out of a collision.
above is only a short description, for an in depth analysis please
The information is prepared in cooperation with Pramuanchai Law Office.