On 1 January 2016, the new Dutch Maritime Accident Control Act (Wet bestrijding maritieme ongevallen, WBMO), entered into force. The new act replaces the North Sea Accident Control Act (Wet bestrijding ongevallen Noordzee, Wet BON) and provides for the implementation of the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks (2007) in the legislation of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is one of the State Parties to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims and its Protocol of 1996 (after this: LLMC). The provisions of the LLMC grant the ship owners (and other parties mentioned) the right to limit their liability for certain specified claims by constituting one or more limitation funds. The Netherlands has implemented the LLMC in articles 8:750 u/i 8:759 of the Dutch Civil Code.

The rules on the limitation period for collisions has already lead to many discussions. A recent decision of the Supreme Court will undoubtedly lead to many new discussions (HR November 21, 2014, ECLI:NL:HR:2014:3350). The Supreme Court has held that the limitation period of two years for collisions does not apply if the accusations made by claimant are of a different nature than those associated with the use of ships and when the cause of the damage is not on board of a ship.