The Maritime Law Association of South Africa was established in February 1974 as a result of concern among maritime lawyers and the shipping industry that legislation in South Africa regulating maritime affairs did not appear to be keeping pace with developments elsewhere in the world.
The MLASA is run by an executive committee (Exco) elected from its members at its AGM. The Executive Committee meets regularly throughout the year and in turn establishes various sub-committees to deal with particular maritime legal issues. Furthermore, local regional chapters report to the Exco on local events and functions, and submits local comment on legal and policy issues which arise from time to time.
- to promote the study, research, administration and advancement of the maritime laws of the Republic of South Africa and their administration.
- to promote the study, research, administration and advancement of the aviation, rail and road transport laws of the Republic of South Africa.
- to afford opportunities for the discussion and consideration of matters of interest to members of the Association and to undertake or assist in the preparation and promotion of agreements and arrangements in respect of such matters.
- to collect and circulate statistical and other information and to form a collection of publications and documents of service or of interest to members of the Association.
- to co-operate, promote and consider with the Comittee Maritime International and any other associations’ proposals for the unification of the maritime, aviation, rail and road transport laws and practice of different nations.
- to do all such other lawful things as are incidental to or conducive to the attainment of the above objectives or any of them.
- the drafting and promotion of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Regulation Act, No. 105 of 1983.
- the drafting and promotion of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, No. 1 of 1986.
- the drafting and promotion of the Wreck and Salvage Act, No. 94 of 1996.
- the drafting and promotion of the Sea Transport Documents Act, No. 65 of 2000
- close association with the South African Maritime Safety Authority and the Department of Transport in respect of the drafting and promotion of the Ship Registration Act, No. 58 of 1998 and a general revision of the SA Merchant Shipping Act, No. 57 of 1951.
- the establishment of the Reinecke Commision into small – boat safety.
- involvement in all aspects of legislation directed at the prevention of oil and other marine pollution, including advising the authorities on international conventions regulating such pollution.
- re-establishment of liaison between the search and rescue operations conducted by the Coast Guard and Silvermine.
- the drafting of a ships Mortgages Act and a Marine Insurance Act.
- commentary on, and negotiating provisions of a proposed Small Craft Act.
- negotiations for the exemption of the shipping industry from the provisions of the Machinery and Occupational Safety Act.
- the identification of conventions which are of concern to the shipping industry in the Republic.
- a close liaison with the South African Maritime Safety Authority and the South African Departments of Transport, Justice and Foreign Affairs generally.
- the involvement of members of the Association in advising the SA Government on matters of maritime policy and in serving on the National Maritime Advisory Council, the Transport Advisory Council, the Maritime Transport Policy World Group, the Committee of Enquiry into a National Maritime Policy for the Republic of South Africa and the Maritime Transport Policy Working Group.
The MLASA is run by an executive committee (EXCO) elected from its members at its AGM. The executive committee meets regularly throughout the year and in turn establishes various sub committees to deal with particular maritime legal issues. Furthermore local regional chapters report to the EXCO on local events and functions, and submits local comment on legal and policy issues which arise from time to time.