On 27 October 2020, The Hague Court of Appeal (The Netherlands) rendered its judgment in the BOW JUBAIL appeal proceedings (ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2020:2055). In the judgment, The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal against the judgment of the Court of Rotterdam regarding the oil spill incident with the BOW JUBAIL. In this judgment in first instance, the Court of Rotterdam holds that the BOW JUBAIL’s owners cannot limit liability under the LLMC.

The Court of Appeal holds in its judgment that the BOW JUBAIL’s owners also in appeal have failed to prove that there were no residues of the previous oil cargo on board when the incident occurred and that therefore owners have also not proven that the BOW JUBAIL was not a vessel in the meaning of the CLC Convention. For this reason, the Court of Appeal also concludes that owners cannot limit their liability under the LLMC.

It will now be interesting to see what next step will be taken by the BOW JUBAIL’s owners and insurers: appeal before the Dutch Supreme Court or limiting liability under the CLC Convention.

Julian van de Velde and Jan van der Stelt