Home Insurance and Reinsurance HFW Briefing: Increased liability limits for maritime claims from 8 June 2015

HFW Briefing: Increased liability limits for maritime claims from 8 June 2015

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hfw june 2015 shipping briefing

Increased liability limits for maritime claims from 8 June 2015

All change! The limits of compensation payable by shipowners (or other entities entitled to limit) for a maritime incident under the 1996 Protocol (Protocol) to the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims will increase from 8 June 2015. The rise is substantial, at some 51%.

A proposal to raise the limits was made to the IMO Legal Committee (by Australia) in 2010. This followed a particularly costly clean up of bunker oil, lost following a heavy weather incident to PACIFIC ADVENTURER off Australia in 2009, which greatly exceeded the value of the vessel’s limitation fund. Raising limits to “keep pace with the real costs of compensating victims” was a factor considered by the IMO, although higher limits than those coming into force in June 2015 were ruled out on the basis that the increase had to be reasonable to ensure affordable insurance was available. On 19 April 2012, the Legal Committee of the IMO agreed to amend the Protocol, and it is this amendment which enters into force on 8 June 2015.
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