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New EU Regulation Increases Liability Limits

As I addressed in my presentation at the Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club seminar on October 24, 2012, a new EU Regulation governing the carriage of passengers will come into force on 31 December 2012. Its provisions will impact on all yacht owners/operators established or operating in the EU and EEA that operate yachts certified to carry more than 12 passengers and where there is a contract of carriage in place with those passengers.
The Regulation essentially gives effect to the key provisions of the Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974 as amended by the 2002 Protocol, together with the 2006 IMO Reservation and Guidlijnes for implementation of the Convention covering war risks.
Significant features of the new Regulation are:
  • An increase in liability limits to 400,000 SDRs (approximately Euro 476,000 or USD 620,000 as of 30 October 2012) per passenger.
  • An increase in limits for “valuable belongings” which have been deposited with the yacht to 3,375 SDRs and to 2,250 SDRs for cabin luggage.
  • A requirement of compulsory insurance for yachts involved in the international carriage of passengers and the right of direct action against those yachts’ insurers in the event of an incident.
  • A requirement for advance payments to be made by owners/operators of yachts established within the EU without recognition of liability in respect of certain incidents.
  • To ensure passengers are provided with appropriate/comprehensible information regarding their legal rights prior to departure.
Offences and penalties will apply to the Master or yacht owners/operators for failure to comply with certain provisions of the Regulation.
If you have any additional questions related to this Regulation, please feel free to contact me at mov@chaloslaw.com.

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