Data source
Date of text
23 Oct 2008
Seat of court
Original language


Type of text
National - higher court
Reference number
[2008] PGNC 162
Court name
National Court of Papua New Guinea
economic instrument, Marine pollution, navigation, ship-based marine pollution, tax

The Plaintiff in 2006 (4th May 2006) filed by way of Originating Summons seeks an interpretation of the word "ship" as defined under Section 1 of the Protection of the Sea (Shipping Levy) Act No. 8 of 2003. "Ship" means "any sea-going vessel and any sea-borne craft of any type actually carrying oil in bulk as cargo."
In December 2005, the First Defendant advised the Plaintiff of the requirement to pay the oil spill levy as per a profoma Invoice and the Plaintiff protested because their ships including MV Kula Queen do not actually carry oil in bulk as cargo but only use oil for operation and running of the propulsion, generator and other motors. As such oil spills levy should not be imposed by the Defendants.
The Court held that the Second Defendant, National Maritime Safety Authority has improperly imposed the Oil Spill Levy because the Plaintiff’s motor vessels Kula Queen and Samarai Queen do not carry oil in bulk as cargo, and therefore are not ships within the meaning of the Act.