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The Directorate General of Merchant Shipping which is the shipping administration arm of Sri Lanka has the overall responsibility for overseeing maritime concerns. The activities of the Directorate General of Merchant Shipping are basically governed by the Merchant Shipping Act No.52 of 1971, Licensing of Shipping Agents act No. 10 of 1972 and also the relevant clauses of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act No. 40 of 1983 and subsequent regulations made thereafter. Directorate General of Merchant Shipping deals with ensuring safety of life and property at sea, maritime education, training, examination and certification, registration of ships under Sri Lanka flag, Licensing of Shipping Agents, Container Depot Operators, Container Terminal Operators, Container Freight Stations, Freight Forwarders or a Non Vessel Operating Common carriers and implementing provisions of all applicable international Maritime conventions and national regulations. As its overreaching responsibility in Sri Lanka, the DGMS develops and implements the government’s maritime safety policy. In this remit, though, it has many roles including checking of ships for compliance of Sri Lankan and International Safety regulations (Flag State and Port State Control).

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