The Directorate General of Shipping is an attached office of the Ministry of Shipping, Govt. of India and deals with all executive matters, relating to merchant shipping. Indian shipping remained a deferred subject till independence. It was only there after, the development of shipping attracted the state policy. The subject of Shipping was, in the beginning, dealt with by the Ministry of Commerce, till 1949 and subsequently, in 1951, it was shifted to the Ministry of Transport and Shipping. In 1947, the Government of India announced the National Policy on Shipping, aiming at the total development of the industry. In order to accelerate the developmental efforts, the necessity for a centralized Administrative organization was felt and accordingly, it was in September 1949, the Directorate General of Shipping with its Headquarters at Bombay was established.
This Directorate deals with all matters concerning the Maritime Administration, Maritime Education and Training, development of Shipping Industry and other related subjects.
The initial objectives of the Directorate General of Shipping were :
- Matters affecting Merchant Shipping & navigation and administration of the Merchant Shipping Law ;
- Measures to ensure safety of life and ships at sea;
- Development of Indian Shipping;
- International Conventions relating to Maritime matters;
- Provision of facilities for training of Officers and ratings for Merchant Navy;
Regulation of Employment of Seamen and there welfare;
- Development of Sailing Vessel Industry and
- Regulation of Ocean fright rates in overseas trades.
The Directorate deals with implementation of shipping policy and legislation so as to ensure the safety of life and ships at sea, prevention of marine pollution, promotion of maritime education and training in co-ordination with the International Maritime Organisation, regulation of employment and welfare of seamen, development of coastal shipping, augmentation of shipping tonnage, examination and certification of Merchant Navy Officers, Supervision and Control of the allied departments and officer under its administrative jurisdiction.
The Director General of Shipping is vested with statutory powers under Section 7 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. He is assisted, on the administrative side, by the Senior Dy. Director General of Shipping, Dy. Directors General of Shipping, Asstt. Directors General of Shipping and Executive Officers whereas on the Technical side, by the Nautical Advisor, supported by Dy. Nautical Advisors and Nautical Surveyors; on the Engineering side by the Chief Surveyor, supported by Dy. Chief Surveyors, Dy. Chief Ship Surveyor, Engineer & Ship Surveyors and Ship Surveyor and also with supporting staff. The Nautical Advisor and the Chief Surveyor are also the Chief Examiners of Masters/Mates and Engineers respectively on behalf of the Director General Of Shipping.