Maritime Code of the USSR

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maritime Code of the USSR


an all-Union law giving a systematic arrangement of the basic norms of Soviet law regulating relations arising from commercial navigation.

Commercial navigation is defined within the Maritime Code as an activity connected with the use of vessels for shipping cargo; transporting passengers, luggage, and mail; fishing, whaling, lobstering, and so on; and extracting minerals from the sea. The code was confirmed by a ukase of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of Sept. 17, 1968 (Vedomosti Verkhovnogo Soveta USSR, 1968, no. 39, art. 351). It contains detailed rules on sea vessels: on title to the vessel, the right of navigation of vessels under the USSR flag, registration, the technical inspection of the ships, ship documents, and the crew requirements. In the USSR the basic maritime transport fleet is state property and is under operational management of specialized shipping organizations called paroxodstva (literally, “steamship companies”). Ministry of the Merchant Marine supervises commercial navigation in the USSR and is vested with broad authority to promulgate legislative instruments (rules, instructions, and the like) that are obligatory to all other ministries, departments, and citizens.

The most important rules in the Maritime Code are those regulating shipping of cargo and transport of passengers. Regulations dealing with the risks of navigation are also systematized: general average, indemnification of losses resulting from ship collisions, compensation for rescue at sea, and marine insurance. The drawing up of marine protests, limitation of actions, and the procedure to submit claims and actions at law are also covered.

If an international treaty or convention including the USSR as a participant establishes different rules than those contained in the Maritime Code, the norms of the international agreement are usually applied.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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