Recent maritime casualties have once again highlighted the relevance of global limitation of liability in shipping. An example is the oil spill caused by the BOW JUBAIL in the Port of Rotterdam in 2018. Other key examples include the ONE APUS that lost an estimated 1,800 containers in heavy weather conditions and the MAERSK ESSEN and MAERSK EINDHOVEN, that both also lost several hundred containers. The most recent example that received international media attention would however, be the EVER GIVEN, which ran aground in the Suez Canal and blocked north- and southbound traffic for several days resulting in severe delays.

In such large-scale maritime casualties, global limitation of liability can be used to the benefit of Owners and their P&I Clubs, also in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is one of the State Parties to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims and the 1996 Protocol (“LLMC/Protocol  1996”). The Netherlands has implemented the LLMC/Protocol 1996 in Articles 8:750 - 8:759 of the Dutch Civil Code. The provisions of the LLMC/Protocol 1996 may grant the Owners (and other parties) the right to limit their liability for certain specified claims by constituting one or more limitation funds if the relevant criteria are met. The quantum of the potential limitation fund(s) is calculated by taking into account the gross tonnage (GT) of the vessel involved in combination with the limits as provided for in the LLMC/Protocol 1996.

For further queries please contact Jan van der Stelt or Julian van de Velde.