Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Athens, Greece
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 28/04/1987

Category

Transport and telecommunications

Sub category

Maritime transport

Groups

IMO

What is it about?

This Convention consolidates and harmonizes the regime of liability for damage suffered by passengers carried on seagoing vessels. The carrier is liable if the incident causing the damage or loss occurred in the course of the carriage and was due to the fault or neglect of the carrier.

Why is it relevant?

This instrument establishes international agreed limits of liability for damage suffered by passengers in the course of the carriage by vessel. It declares a carrier liable for damage or loss suffered by a passenger if the incident was due to the fault or neglect of the carrier. For death or personal injury of a passenger the limit is set at 46,666 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) per carriage, approximately 61,000 USD. However, there is no limit of liability if the carrier acted with intent to cause the damage or recklessly and with knowledge that such damage would result.

Additional Information

The 2002 Protocol is the most important Protocol that followed this Convention (There were two others: The 1989 Protocol, which changed the unit of account from the ‘Poincaré franc,’ based on the official value of gold, to SDR; and the 1990 Protocol, which was completely superseded by 2002 Protocol). It replaces the fault-based liability system with a strict liability system (no-fault liability), establishing the limits of strict liability to 250,000 SDR per passenger, approximately 325,000 USD. If the loss exceeds the limit the carrier is further liable up to a limit of 400,000 SDR per passenger, approximately 524,000 USD, unless the carrier proves that the incident which caused the loss occurred without the fault or neglect of the carrier. Moreover, the 2002 Protocol introduces compulsory insurance to cover passengers on ships, requiring carriers to maintain insurance or other financial security to cover the limits of strict liability (no-fault liability) under the Convention. Such limit should not be less than 250,000 SDR, approximately 325,000 USD, per passenger. This Protocol will enter into force 12 months after being accepted by 10 States.

  • Convention on the International Maritime Organization (Geneva, 06/03/1948)

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Country ratifications
CountryRatification date
Argentina26/05/1983
Bahamas07/06/1983
Barbados06/05/1994
China01/06/1994
Congo19/05/2014
Dominica31/08/2001
Egypt18/10/1991
Equatorial Guinea24/04/1996
Estonia08/10/2002
Georgia25/08/1995
Guyana10/12/1997
Jordan03/10/1995
Liberia17/02/1981
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya08/11/2012
Luxembourg14/02/1991
Malawi09/03/1993
Nigeria24/02/2004
Poland28/01/1987
Russian Federation27/04/1983
Saint Kitts and Nevis30/08/2005
Switzerland15/12/1987
Tonga15/02/1977
Ukraine11/11/1994
Vanuatu13/01/1989
Yemen06/03/1979
Treaties analysis
YearRatifications
19771
19791
19811
19833
19872
19891
19912
19931
19945
19952
19961
19971
20011
20021
20041
20051
20121
20141
Total27
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