Cruise Ship Liability & Compensation Treaty Kicks In

Posted by George Backwell
Friday, April 25, 2014
Image credit IMO

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) informs that substantially increased limits of liability for the death of, or personal injury to, a passenger on a ship apply from 23, April 2014, according to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 2002. Briefly as follows:

The 2002 Protocol to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974, (PAL), revises and updates the 1974 Convention, which established a regime of liability for damage suffered by passengers carried on a seagoing vessel.  As a precondition for joining, Parties to the 2002 Protocol are required to denounce the 1974 treaty and its earlier Protocols. 

The higher limits of liability will apply to ships registered in the following States which have ratified the 2002 treaty: Albania, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Palau, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Syrian Arab Republic and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the Convention is mandatory for European Union Member States (including those that have not ratified the Athens Protocol regime yet as individual States).

The Athens Convention declares a carrier liable for damage suffered by a passenger resulting from death, personal injury or damage to luggage if the incident causing the damage occurred in the course of the carriage and was due to the fault or neglect of the carrier.  Such fault or neglect is presumed, unless the contrary is proved.

The 2002 Athens Convention also introduces compulsory insurance, as well as mechanisms to assist passengers in obtaining compensation, based on well-accepted principles applied in existing liability and compensation regimes dealing with environmental pollution.

For more detailed information go to:

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