News 04 Jun, 2015

New Limits Under 1996 Protocol to LLMC 1976 to Enter Into Force June 2015

On 12th April 2012 the IMO agreed to amend the limits of liability set out in the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 (“the Protocol”). The current limits have been in force since May 2004. Under the ‘tacit acceptance’ procedure set out in the Protocol the new limits are expected to come into force on 8th June 2015.

The limits of liability are increased by approximately 50% as follows:

Claims for loss of life or personal injury:

For ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage the new limit will be 3.02 million SDR (up from 2 million SDR).

For larger ships, the following additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount:

  • For each ton from 2,001 to 30,000 tons, 1,208 SDR (up from 800 SDR)
  • For each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 906 SDR (up from 600 SDR)
  • For each ton in excess of 70,000, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR)

Property claims:

For ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage the new limit is increased to 1.51 million SDR (up from 1million SDR).

For larger ships, the following additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount:

  • For each ton from 2,001 to 30,000 tons, 604  SDR (up from 400 SDR)
  • For each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 453 SDR (up from  300 SDR)
  • For each ton in excess of 70,000 tons, 302 SDR (up from 200 SDR)

By way of example, for a 30,000 gt bulk carrier the limit of liability for a property claim will be increased from 12,199,600 SDR (approximately US$ 16.9 million) to 18,421,396 SDR (approximately US$ 25.6 million).

Members should also note that once they enter into force the new limits will apply to claims under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001 and the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007.

The amendments and hence new limits are applicable only to those States which have adopted the 1996 Protocol but are binding on those States. Each may however require national legislation to bring the amendments into force. In the event a State has not enacted legislation by the time the amendments come into force, this could lead to a transitional period when the current limits will apply until the new legislation is enacted.

The increased limits will not of course affect States which are party only to the 1957 Limitation Convention or to States which are party to the 1976 Convention but which have not adopted the 1996 Protocol. Details of which States are party to the various conventions are maintained by the IMO and can be found under the page entitled “Status of conventions” by using the following link:

 http://www.imo.org/About/Conventions/StatusOfConventions/Pages/Default.aspx

If Members have any queries regarding these changes they should contact the Managers.