If you have ever sailed on a boat or ship past coastal water, you have probably had some experience with maritime law. These are the laws that govern ships while sailing at certain distances from coastlines. While these standards are quite necessary, they can create some interesting circumstances for many events that take place off shore. From what nationality a baby has born in international waters to unrestricted labor laws, check out the video from Wendover Productions below to learn a little bit more.
Different regulations in maritime law are implemented by distances from a country's shoreline. Each country has twelve miles of territorial waters where their laws still apply to any ship in this region. Beyond this zone, there is another 12-mile contiguous zone where the neighboring country can still enforce select tax and customs laws. After leaving the contiguous zone, you will enter the Exclusive Economic Zone, which is essentially international waters. The one exception, however, is that only the holding country can harvest the natural resources from this area. They have no legal jurisdiction to anything that happens aboard a boat or a ship, as long as it does not interfere with the natural resources of the area.
[Image Source: Wendover Productions]
Understanding maritime laws are incredibly important if you ever plan on sailing or boating far from shore. These laws can end in trouble for you if you don't respect them. There are many companies that use the freedoms of international waters to run otherwise illegal businesses offshore of the parent country. While in international waters, the laws of the country the ship is registered to applies, so many can get away with things otherwise not allowed.
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Written by Trevor English