Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 2016 Edition (IB444E)

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This publication contains the text of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976 and the 1996 Protocol as amended by resolution LEG.5(99). It sets out the limits of liability for different ship tonnages for two types of claim (claims for loss of life or personal injury and property claims). It also includes a consolidated text of the substantive provisions of the Convention as amended by the Protocol and its amended limits of liability.

The 1976 LLMC Convention sets specified limits of liability for certain types of claims against shipowners:

  • Claims for loss of life or personal injury
  • Other claims, such as property claims (including damage to other ships, property or harbour works), delay, bunker spills, wreck removal, pollution damage, etc.

This publication sets out the text of the LLMC Convention, which covers the right of limitation, limits of liability, the limitation fund and the scope of application. It also covers the circumstances in which shipowners and salvors can limit their liability.

The Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976 (LLMC 1976) was adopted at the International Conference on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims held in London, from 1 to 19 November 1976, at the invitation of the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), now International Maritime Organization (IMO). LLMC 1976 entered into force on 1 December 1986 and, as at 9 August 2016, 54 States have become Parties to it.

The Protocol of 1996 to amend LLMC 1976 (1996 LLMC Protocol) was adopted at the International Conference on Hazardous and Noxious Substances and Limitation of Liability, 1996 held in London from 15 April to 3 May 1996, at the invitation of IMO. The 1996 LLMC Protocol entered into force on 13 May 2004 and, as at 9 August 2016, 52 States have become Parties to it. The Protocol provides for enhanced compensation, as well as for a simplified procedure of updating the limitation amounts.

Amendments to increase the limits of liability in the 1996 LLMC Protocol were adopted by the Legal Committee of IMO, when the Committee met for its 99th session in London on 19 April 2012 (resolution LEG.5(99)), and entered into force on 8 June 2015. Article 9 of the 1996 LLMC Protocol requires, among other things, that, as between the Parties thereto, LLMC 1976 and the LLMC 1996 Protocol be read and interpreted together as one single instrument.

This publication contains the texts of the 1976 Convention and the 1996 Protocol as amended by resolution LEG.5(99). For practical purposes, a consolidated text of the substantive provisions of the Convention as amended by the Protocol and its amended limits of liability is also included.

Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976

Chapter I – The right of limitation

Article 1 – Persons entitled to limit liability

Article 2 – Claims subject to limitation

Article 3 – Claims excepted from limitation

Article 4 – Conduct barring limitation

Article 5 – Counterclaims

Chapter II – Limits of liability

Article 6 – The general limits

Article 7 – The limit for passenger claims

Article 8 – Unit of Account

Article 9 – Aggregation of claims

Article 10 – Limitation of liability without constitution of a limitation fund

Chapter III – The limitation fund

Article 11 – Constitution of the fund

Article 12 – Distribution of the fund

Article 13 – Bar to other actions

Article 14 – Governing law

Chapter IV – Scope of application

Article 15

Chapter V – Final Clauses

Article 16 – Signature, ratification and accession

Article 17 – Entry into force

Article 18 – Reservations

Article 19 – Denunciation

Article 20 – Revision and amendment

Article 21 – Revision of the limitation amounts and of Unit of Account or monetary unit

Article 22 – Depositary

Article 23 – Languages

Protocol of 1996 to amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976 as amended by resolution LEG.5(99)

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4

Article 5

Article 6

Article 7

Article 8 – Amendment of limits

Article 9

Article 10 – Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession

Article 11 – Entry into force

Article 12 – Denunciation

Article 13 – Revision and amendment

Article 14 – Depositary

Article 15 – Languages

Consolidated text of the substantive provisions of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976 as amended by the 1996 Protocol and including its amended limits of liability

Chapter I – The right of limitation

Article 1 – Persons entitled to limit liability

Article 2 – Claims subject to limitation

Article 3 – Claims excepted from limitation

Article 4 – Conduct barring limitation

Article 5 – Counterclaims

Chapter II – Limits of liability

Article 6 – The general limits

Article 7 – The limit for passenger claims

Article 8 – Unit of Account

Article 9 – Aggregation of claims

Article 10 – Limitation of liability without constitution of a limitation fund

Chapter III – The limitation fund

Article 11 – Constitution of the fund

Article 12 – Distribution of the fund

Article 13 – Bar to other actions

Article 14 – Governing law

Chapter IV – Scope of application

Article 15

As a specialised agency of the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. And IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.

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ISBN:
9789280116502
Published Date:
October 2016
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International Maritime Organization

Publication Date:
October 2016