Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims
- Type: Convention
- Date of signature: 17/11/1976
- Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
- Depositary: International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- Date of entry into force: 01/12/1986
What is it about?
This Convention deals with the liability of owners of seagoing vessels, establishing two types of maritime claims: (i) claims for loss of life or personal injury, and (ii) property claims (such as damage to other ships, property or harbour works).
Why is it relevant?
It replaces the International Convention Relating to the Limitation of the Liability of Owners of Seagoing Ships (Brussels, 10/10/1957), raising considerably the limit of liability for maritime claims. Regarding ships not exceeding 500 tons, it limits liability to 330,000 Special Drawing Rights (approximately 422,000 USD) to personal claims. For other claims, the limit of liability is established at 167,000 SDRs (approximately 214,000 USD). For larger vessels the liability amount increases accordingly to their weight. However, the owner will not be able to limit liability if it is proved the loss resulted from his personal act or omission, committed with the intent to cause such a loss, or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss would probably result.
This Convention is followed by a Protocol (London, 03/05/1996), which is not yet in force. This Protocol will result in the substantial increase of the amount of compensation payable in the event of an incident. For instance, for ships not exceeding 2,000 gt, liability is limited to 2 million SDR (approximately 2.56 million USD) for loss of life or personal injury and 1 million SDR (approximately 1.28 million USD) for other claims.
- Convention on the International Maritime Organization (Geneva, 06/03/1948)
- Protocol to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (London, 03/05/1996)