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

Until recently it all seemed like ‘science-fiction’, however, the self-driving truck and the self-sailing ship are now turning into reality. In October of last year the tech company Otto, a subsidiary of ‘taxi-company’ Uber, carried out the first test drive with a self-driving truck. It was a 200 km drive in the state of Colorado, United States. The cargo: 50.000 cans of beer. The driver simply drove to the freeway where after he engaged the system and the software took over for him.

In October 2016 our firm was involved in summary proceedings in which the return and reduction of a bank guarantee was claimed. The facts of these proceedings were as follows. In 2007 Belgian buyers ordered an inland barge with a Belgian shipyard. When the building of the hull was ready it was noted by the buyers that the hull showed several deficiencies. The buyers therefore refused to take delivery of the hull. This eventually resulted in proceedings between the buyers and the shipyard in Belgium.

One of the services offered by Smallegange is arresting ships. If a client wishes to arrest a ship then Smallegange drafts an arrest petition through which the Court is requested to grant leave to arrest the ship. Prior to drafting the arrest petition Smallegange will then first determine pursuant to the applicable law and international conventions whether it is possible to arrest the ship. After the leave has been granted by the Court Smallegange will instruct the bailiff to arrest the ship.