This page features the full text of
Republic Act No. 1937
Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines
AN ACT TO REVISE AND CODIFY THE TARIFF AND CUSTOMS LAWS OF THE PHILIPPINES
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1937
REGISTRATION OF VESSELS, COASTWISE TRADE AND LICENSING OF MARINE OFFICERS
Section 801. Registration and Documentation of Vessels. — The Bureau of Customs is vested with exclusive authority over the registration and documentation of Philippine vessels. By it shall be kept and preserved the records of registration and of transfers and encumbrances of vessels; and by it shall be issued all certificates, licenses or other documents incident to registration and documentation, or otherwise requisite for Philippine vessels.
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Sec. 802. Vessels Required to be Registered. — Every vessel used in the Philippine waters, not being a transient of foreign registry shall be registered in the Bureau of Customs. To this end, it shall be the duty of the master, owner or agent of every vessel to make application to the proper Collector for the registration thereof within fifteen days after the vessel becomes subject to such registration.
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A vessel of three tons gross or less shall not be registered, unless the owner shall so desire, nor shall documents or licenses of any kind be required for such vessel, but the proper fee shall be charged for admeasurement, when admeasurement is necessary, except when the same is engaged in towing or carrying of articles and passengers for hire.
Sec. 803. Where Registration to be Effected. — The registration of a vessel shall be effected at its home port, being a port of entry, or at the port of entry of the district of the vessel's home port.
Sec. 804. Data to be Noted in Register of Vessels. — In the register of vessels, to be kept at each port of entry, the following facts concerning each vessel there registered shall be noted in such form and detail as the Commissioner shall prescribe:
Sec. 805. Record of Documents Affecting Title. — In the record of transfers and encumbrances of vessels, to be kept at each principal port of entry, shall be recorded at length all transfers, bills of sale, mortgages, liens or other documents which evidence ownership or directly or indirectly affect the title of registered vessels, and therein shall be recorded all receipts, certificates or acknowledgment canceling or satisfying, in whole or in part, any such obligations. No other record of any such document or paper shall be required than such as is affected hereunder.
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Sec. 806. Certificate of Philippine Registry. — Upon registration of a vessel of domestic ownership, and of more than fifteen tons gross a certificate of Philippine registry shall be issued for it. If the vessel is of domestic ownership and of fifteen tons gross or less, the taking of the certificate of Philippine registry shall be optional with the owner.
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"Domestic ownership", as used in this section, means ownership vested in citizens of the Philippines, or corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines at least seventy-five per centum of the capital stock of which is wholly owned by citizens of the Philippines, and, in the case of corporations or associations which will engage in coastwise trade the president or managing directors thereof shall be such citizens: Provided, That the certificate of Philippine registry issued to a vessel prior to the approval of this Code shall not be affected: Provided, further, That any vessel of more than fifteen tons gross which on February eight, nineteen hundred and eighteen, had a certificate of Philippine registry under existing law, shall likewise be deemed a vessel of domestic ownership if there has been no change in its ownership or if the stock of the association or corporation owning such vessel has not been transferred to persons who are not citizens of the Philippines, and if any such vessel should have been totally lost through shipwreck, collision or any other marine disaster, while being lawfully operated, it may be replaced with another vessel of the same or lesser tonnage by the same person, association or corporation owning and operating same by virtue of this section, under such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the Commissioner consistent with public policy and with the view of its utility for government service in case of war or any public emergency: Provided, further, That the controlling interest in the corporation shall not be considered as held by citizens of the Philippines: (a) if at least seventy-five percent of the stock is not held by such citizens and such stock is subject to any trust or fiduciary obligation in favor of any person not a citizen of the Philippines; (b) if the majority of stock in said corporation entitled to vote is not in the hands of citizens of the Philippines; (c) if by means of a contract or agreement, the majority of the stock can be voted directly or indirectly in favor of any person not a citizen of the Philippines; or (d) if by any other means, the control of the association or corporation is conferred upon or allowed to be exercised by any person not a citizen of the Philippines.
Sec. 807. When Control is Deemed not Held by Citizens of the Philippines. — It shall not be considered that seventy-five per centum of the capital stock of a corporation is held by citizens of the Philippines: (a) if the certificates of seventy-five per centum of the capital stock are not held by such citizens and such certificates are subject to some trust or other fiduciary obligation in favor of a person not a citizen of the Philippines; (b) if seventy-five per centum of the stock of said corporation entitled to vote is not in the hands of citizens of the Philippines; (c) if by means of some contract or agreement more than twenty-five per centum of the stock in such corporation can be voted directly or indirectly in favor of any person not a citizen of the Philippines; or (d) if by any other means, the control of any interest in the corporation in excess of twenty-five per centum has been conferred upon or is allowed to be exercised by any person not a citizen of the Philippines.
The provisions of this section shall be applicable to the administrators and trustees of all persons coming under its provisions and to the successors or assigns of such persons.
Sec. 808. Certificate of Ownership. — Upon registration of a vessel of more than five tons gross, a certificate of ownership shall be issued for it, if the vessel does not take a certificate of Philippine registry. If such vessel is of five tons gross or less, the taking of a certificate of ownership shall be optional with the owner.
Sec. 809. Form and Contents of Certificate of Philippine Registry. — The certificate of Philippine registry shall be in such form as shall be prescribed by the Commissioner, and it shall show that the vessel is engaged in legitimate trade and is entitled to protection and flag of the Philippines.
Sec. 810. Privileges Conferred by Certificate of Philippine Registry. — A certificate of Philippine registry confers upon the vessel the right to engage, consistently with law, in the Philippine coastwise trade and entitles it to the protection of the authorities and the flag of the Philippines in all ports and on the high seas, and at the same time secures to it the same privileges and subjects it to the same disabilities as, under the laws of the Philippines, pertain to foreign-built vessels transferred abroad to citizens of the Philippines.
Sec. 811. Investigation Into Character of Vessel. — No application for a certificate of Philippine registry shall be approved until the Collector is satisfied from an inspection of the vessel that it is engaged or destined to be engaged in legitimate trade and that it is of domestic ownership as such ownership is defined in section eight hundred and six hereof.
A Collector may at any time inspect a vessel or examine its owner, master, crew or passenger in order to ascertain whether the vessel is engaged in legitimate trade and is entitled to have or retain the certificate of the Philippine registry.
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The Collector may at any time make an administrative investigation as to the ownership or title of any vessel engaged in the coastwise trade and whether such title or ownership is in accordance with the requirements of law; and any vessel sold, transferred or mortgaged to any person not a citizen of the Philippines without previous approval of the President of the Philippines, or leased or chartered to any citizen or national of a country with which the Philippines has no diplomatic relations, or put under foreign registry or flag without such approval, or operated in violation of any of the provisions of this Code, shall be seized by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines; and any person, corporation, company or association violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand pesos or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both: Provided, That in the event the person guilty of such violation is a corporation, company or association, the manager or, in his default, the president thereof shall be criminally responsible for such violation.
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Sec. 812. License of Yachts Exclusively for Pleasure. — The Commissioner may license yachts used and employed exclusively as pleasure vessels owned by Filipino citizens, on terms which will authorize them to proceed from port to port of the Philippines and to foreign ports without entering or clearing at the customhouse: Provided, however, That any yacht so licensed, upon arriving from a foreign port in the Philippines after having previously advised the Commissioner by telegraph of its probable arrival, shall enter at a port of entry in the Philippines and shall immediately report its arrival to the customs authorities. Such license shall be in such form as the Commissioner shall prescribe. Such vessels shall have their name and port of registration placed on some conspicuous portion of their hulls, and in all respects be subject to the laws of the Philippines, and shall be liable to seizure and forfeiture for any violation of these provisions.
Sec. 813. Violation by Master or Owner. — Any master or owner violating the provisions of the preceding section shall be liable to a fine of from five thousand pesos in addition to any other penalty imposed by law.
Sec. 814. Identification of Yachts and Owners. — For the identification of yachts and their owners, a commission to sail for pleasure in any designated yacht owned by a citizen of the Philippines designating the particular cruise may be issued by the Commissioner and shall be a token of credit to any Filipino official and to the authorities of any foreign power. All such licensed yachts shall use a signal of the form, size and colors prescribed by the Commissioner.
Sec. 815. Report of Accident to Vessel. — When any Philippine vessel required to register sustains or causes any accident involving loss of life, material loss of property, or serious injury to any person, or receives any damage affecting her seaworthiness or her efficiency, the managing owner, agent or master of such vessel shall, by the first available mail send to the Collector of the district within which such vessel belongs or of that within which such accident or damage occurred, a report thereof, stating the name of the vessel, the port to which she belongs, and the place where she was, the nature and probable occasion of the casualty, the number and names of those lost and the estimated amount of loss or damage to the vessel or cargo; and shall furnish such other information as shall be called for.
When the managing owner or agent of such vessel has reason to believe that it has been lost, he shall promptly send notice in writing to the Collector at her home port giving advice of such loss and the probable occasion therefor, stating the name of the vessel and the names of all persons on board so far as the same can be ascertained, and shall furnish, upon request of the Collector, such additional information as shall be required.
Sec. 816. Application of Shipping Laws to Government Boats. — Vessels owned or operated by the Government shall not be subject to the requirement of this Code relative to registration and navigation except in so far as prescribed in the regulations of the Bureau of Customs.
Sec. 817. Revocation of Certificate. — When it shall appear to the Commissioner that any certificate of Philippine registry or certificate of ownership was illegally or improperly issued, he may cancel the same.
Sec. 818. Inspection of Hulls, Boilers and Other Constructional Features. — In the exercise of the authority conferred upon the Bureau of Customs over the coastwise trade and over Philippine vessels and shipping generally, it shall be the duty of the Commissioner to cause adequate technical inspections to be made from time to time and as occasion may require of the hulls, engines, boilers and other mechanical and constructional features of all vessels of foreign or private ownership navigating in any waters of the Philippines, on common trade routes open to general or competitive navigations, and carrying passengers from any port of the Philippines, to any other place or country and to fix the standard which must be attained in respect thereto: Provided, however, That every vessel of foreign registry holding a certificate issued under Regulation 11 or 12 of the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea, 1948, shall be exempt from any inspection save that which may be necessary for the purpose of verifying the said certificate and whether the conditions of the ship's seaworthiness corresponds substantially with that stated in the certificate: Provided, further, That vessels belonging to countries which are not signatories to the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea, 1948, which have inspection laws similar to those of the Philippines, shall, if the laws of said countries grant reciprocal rights to vessels of Philippine registry, be exempt from any inspection save that which may be necessary to convince customs authorities that the condition of the vessel, its boilers and life-saving equipment are as stated in the current certificate of inspection.
The hulls, engines and boilers of all steam vessels engaged in coastwise traffic shall be inspected at least once a year or in case of the hulls of a wooden vessel, at least once every two years. chanrobles virtual law library
Sec. 819. Inspection Certificate. — A certificate of inspection shall be issued to a vessel if it shall be found upon inspection that said vessel conforms with the requirements applicable to it: Provided, That any vessel of Philippine registry arriving from a foreign port with an unexpired certificate issued, upon the request of the Philippine Government, by a foreign government signatory to the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea, 1948, shall be exempt from any inspection save that which may be necessary to convince customs authorities that the condition of the ship's seaworthiness corresponds substantially to that stated in the certificate, in which case the vessel shall be entitled to have a certificate of inspection issued to it. If the condition of the ship's seaworthiness does not correspond to that stated in the certificate, then the ship shall not be permitted to proceed to the sea without securing a new inspection certificate.
Sec. 820. Sanitary Inspection. — It shall be incumbent upon the Commissioner to provide an adequate system of sanitary inspection for Philippine vessels. To this end a sanitary inspector may be appointed for the port of Manila. At the other respective ports, the function of sanitary inspector may be exercised by the surveyor or other official thereunto deputed by the Collector. It shall be the duty of the sanitary inspector by personal examination to ascertain the sanitary condition of vessels subject to inspection by him and to see that the sanitary regulations of the Bureau of Customs are fully complied with, and a clearance shall not be granted to any such vessel until the sanitary inspector shall so certify.
Sec. 821. Fire-Fighting Apparatus and Life-Saving Equipment. — The regulations of the Bureau of Customs shall prescribe the mechanical equipment and fire-apparatus to be carried on Philippine vessels for the purpose of preventing and extinguishing fires.
Such vessels shall also be required to carry life-saving equipment, consisting of boats, life-preservers and other devices, to be prescribed by regulation, sufficient for the safety of the passengers and crew in cases of emergency; and provision shall be made for adequate means of utilizing such equipment.
Sec. 822. Certification of Applicant for Marine Officer. — If the Board of Marine Examiners shall find that the experience, habits and character of an applicant are such as to warrant the belief that he can safely be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of the position for which he makes application and that the applicant has in other respects complied with the other requirements of law, it shall so certify to the Bureau of Customs which office shall issue the appropriate certificate.
Sec. 823. Issuance of Certificates. — (a) Candidates for mate and master having passed the requisite examination shall be entitled to a certificate entitling them to navigate in any ocean.
(b) Candidates for patron in major coastwise trade having passed the requisite examination shall be entitled to certificates authorizing them to navigate in the Philippine coastwise trade.
(c) Candidates for patron in the minor coastwise trade having passed the requisite examination shall be entitled to certificates authorizing them to navigate upon the seas, harbors, bays, rivers or lakes for which they have shown proficiency and a thorough practical knowledge.
(d) Candidates for marine engineers having passed the requisite examinations shall be entitled to certificates authorizing them to navigate as such engineers on vessels of any tonnage propelled by any kind of machinery.
(e) Candidates for motor engineers having passed the requisite examinations shall be entitled to certificates authorizing them to act as such motor engineers on vessels of any tonnage propelled by internal combustion engines.
Sec. 824. Form of Certificate. — The several certificates herein provided for shall be issued in the form of diplomas signed by the Commissioner and countersigned by the department head and shall entitle the holders thereof to navigate in accordance with the authority contained in them and shall not be suspended nor revoked except as hereinafter provided.
Sec. 825. Physical Examination of Holders of Certificate. — Once in every five years, all holders of marine certificates shall be required to undergo a physical examination to determine their fitness to continue navigating. Any person who upon such examination is found to be physically unfit for the service shall thereafter be disqualified from engaging therein.
Sec. 826. Reinstatements. — Any person who has held the office of captain, mate, master or engineer and whose license or certificate has been revoked on account of physical defects shall be entitled to reinstatement upon the favorable certificate of a physician appointed by the Commissioner to make a second examination.
Sec. 827. Marine Investigation and Suspension or Revocation of Marine Certificate. — There shall be maintained in the Bureau of Customs at Manila a Board of Marine Inquiry to consist of five members, to wit: The Surveyor of the Port as chairman ex officio, two master marines and two chief engineers of the Philippine merchant marine, who shall be appointed by the department head. The members of the board shall receive a per diem of twenty pesos for each day of not less than seven hours of service rendered in connection with marine investigations. Three members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In case of inability or absence of the Surveyor of the Port, a temporary chairman may be chosen by the members from among themselves. Such board shall have the power to investigate marine accidents and professional conduct of marine officers, giving the party affected an opportunity to be heard in his defense. The decision of the Commissioner based upon the findings and recommendations of the board, reprimanding a licensed marine officer or suspending or revoking any marine certificate on account of professional misconduct, intemperate habits, negligence or incapacity shall be final, unless, within thirty days after its promulgation, an appeal is perfected and filed with the department head who may confirm, revoke or modify said decision.
Rules and regulations governing the procedure of marine investigations shall be promulgated by the department head.
The Commissioner may, with the approval of the department head authorize the collectors to appoint boards for the purpose of investigating marine accidents or charges preferred against the marine officers in their respective districts. The proceedings of such investigations, together with findings and recommendations of said board shall be submitted, through the Commissioner, to the Board of Marine Inquiry, Manila, for final review and recommendation.
In order to safeguard lives and properties at sea, a Collector may withhold clearance of any Philippine vessel whenever he has reasonable cause to fear that the mental condition or capacity, whether permanent or otherwise, of her master, mate or engineer under investigation, pending the final decision thereon so warrants.
Sec. 828. Fees for Insurance of Certificates. — Any person to whom any certificate as master, mate, patron or engineer is issued, upon examination or by way of exchange shall pay: chanrobles virtual law library
For a certificate as master, sixty pesos.
First, second and third mates, and major patron, forty pesos.
Chief marine or motor engineer, sixty pesos.
Second, third and fourth motor engineers, forty pesos.
Bay, river and lake motor engineer and patrons, thirty pesos.
Sec. 829. Citizenship of Personnel on Board Vessels. — No Philippine vessel operating in the coastwise trade or on the high seas shall employ any officer or any member of the crew who is not a citizen of the Philippines.
Sec. 830. Complement of Watch and Engine-room Officers on Philippine Vessels. — Every vessel registered in the Philippines shall have the following officers:
Sec. 831. Waters on Which Patron May Navigate. — No person shall be permitted to act as master or mate on any waters other than for which he has been duly licensed as such patron, and no patron shall be permitted to act as master on any vessel of a greater tonnage than for which he is licensed: Provided, That when there are no licensed patrons available, the Commissioner may permit other licensed marine officers to act as master or mate on vessels of a tonnage and in waters where, according to the law, vessels must navigate, commanded by licensed patrons, for a period to exceed six months and subject to such conditions as said official may prescribe.
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Sec. 901. Ports Open to Coastwise Trade. — All ports and places in the Philippines shall be open to vessels lawfully engaged in the coastwise trade subject to the provisions of law applicable in particular cases.
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Sec. 902. Vessels Eligible for Coastwise Trade. — The right to engage in the Philippine coastwise trade is limited to vessels carrying a certificate of Philippine registry.
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Sec. 903. License for Coastwise Trade. — All vessels engaging in the coastwise trade must be duly licensed annually.
Sec. 904. Philippine Coastwise Emblem. — Vessels engaged in the Philippine coastwise trade shall fly at the mainmast the Philippine coastwise emblem, consisting of a rectangular white flag with one blue and one red stars ranged from staff to tip in the horizontal median line.
Sec. 905. Transportation of Passengers and Articles Between Philippine Ports. — Passengers shall not be received at one Philippine port for any other such port by a vessel not licensed for the coastwise trade, except upon special permission previously granted by the Collector; and subject to the same qualification, articles embarked at a domestic port shall not be transported to any other port in the Philippines, either directly or by way of a foreign port, or for any part of the voyage, in any other vessel than one licensed for the coastwise trade.
Sec. 906. Requirement of Manifest in Coastwise Trade. — Manifests shall be required for cargo and passengers transported from one place or port in the Philippines to another only when one or both of such places is a port of entry.
Sec. 907. Manifests Required Upon Departure From Port of Entry. — Prior to departure from a port of entry, the master of a vessel licensed for the coastwise trade shall make out and subscribe duplicate manifests of the whole of the cargo and all of the passengers taken on board such vessels, specifying in the cargo manifests the marks the marks and numbers of package, the port of destination, and the names of the consignees, together with such further information as may be required, and in the passenger manifests, the name, sex, age, residence, port of embarkation, and destination of all passengers, together with such further information as may be required. He shall deliver such manifests to the Collector, or other customs official duly authorized, before whom he shall swear to the best of his knowledge and belief, in respect to the cargo manifests, that the goods therein described, if foreign, were imported legally and that the duties, taxes and other charges thereon have been paid or secured, and in respect to the passenger manifests, that the information therein contained is true and correct as to all passengers taken on board. Thereupon, the said Collector, or customs official, shall certify the same on the manifests, the original of which he shall return to the master with a permit specifying thereon, generally, the lading on board such vessel, and authorizing him to proceed to his port of destination, retaining the duplicates.
Sec. 908. Manifests Required Prior to Unlading at Port ofEntry. — Within twenty-four hours after the arrival at a port of entry of a vessel engaged in the coastwise trade, and prior to the unlading of any part of the cargo, the master shall deliver to the Collector or other proper customs official complete manifests of all the cargo and passengers brought into said port, together with the clearance manifests of cargo and passengers for said port granted at any port or ports of entry from which said vessel may have cleared during the voyage.
Sec. 909. Departure of Vessel Upon General Manifest. — The Commissioner may by regulation permit a vessel to depart coastwise from a port of entry upon the filing of a general manifest by the master thereof, the owners, agents or consignees being required to present the proper detailed manifest within forty-eight hours after the departure of the vessel.
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Sec. 910. Bay and River License. — Annual licenses authorizing vessels of any tonnage to engage in the business of towing or carrying of articles or passengers in the bays, harbors, rivers and inland waters navigable from the sea shall be issued by the Collector of the various ports of entry under the conditions hereinbelow prescribed; and except as otherwise expressly provided, no vessel shall be permitted to engage in this character of business until the proper license therefor has been procured.
A bay and river license shall specify the particular port or other body of water in which the vessel in question may engage in business as aforesaid.
Sec. 911. Vessels Eligible for Bay and River License. — To be eligible for the bay and river license, a vessel must be built in the Philippines, and the ownership of such vessel must be vested in: (a) citizens of the Philippines; (b) domestic corporations or companies seventy-five per centum of whose corporate capital belongs to citizens of the Philippines: Provided, That the present owners of vessels with bay and river license under existing law who do not possess any of the requirements herein prescribed may nevertheless continue operating such vessels as eligible for said bay and river license. chanrobles virtual law library
Sec. 912. Exemption of Certain Craft from Requirement of Bay and River License. — No bay and river license shall be required of any of the following classes of vessels:
The exemption of any vessel shall at once cease if it engages in the business of transporting cargo or passengers, for hire.
Sec. 913. Revocation of License. — The Commissioner may, for cause at any time, revoke any coastwise license or bay and river license.
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