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The Merchant Shipping (Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims) (Amendment) Order 1998

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Explanatory Note

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This Order provides for the implementation of the 1996 Protocol to the International Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 following its ratification by, and entry into force for, the UK. The Order does this by making amendments to the articles of the 1976 Convention set out in Part I of Schedule 7 to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 corresponding to the amendments made by the Protocol. The Order also makes amendments to Part II of Schedule 7 consequential on the implementation of the Protocol.

In addition to a general increase in the limits, these amendments:

(a)provide for there to be no overall limit for claims arising from loss of life or injury to passengers of seagoing ships (which are subject to a per capita limit under the Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea set out in Schedule 6 to the 1995 Act) (article 7(a), (b) and (e)).

(b)provide for passenger claims for non-seagoing ships similarly to be subject only to a per capita limit (article 7(a), (b) and (e)).

(c)prevent overlap with the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea 1996 (article 7(c)); and

(d)increase the special limits which apply to small ships (article 7(d)).

These amendments are permitted by Articles 15(3bis), 18(1)(b) and 15(2)(b) respectively of the 1976 Convention as amended by the 1996 Protocol. Articles 5 and 6 of the Order add these provisions to those set out in Part I of Schedule 7 to the 1995 Act.

The Schedule to the Order contains Schedule 7 to the 1995 Act as amended by this Order.

A cost compliance assessment has been prepared, and copies can be obtained from Shipping Policy Directorate, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Zone 4/12, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR, (Tel. 0171 271 3893). A copy has been placed in the Library of each House of Parliament.

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