Increased Limits of Liability - 1976 Limitation Convention and 1996 Protocol

Following the grounding of m.v. "Rena" Parliament amended Part 7 of the Maritime Transport Act 1993 to incorporate the full terms of the Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (1976) and the subsequent Protocol of 1996 (together Convention).

Broadly, the Convention specifies the limits of liability for ship owners for two types of claims: claims for loss of life or personal injury; and claims for other damage, for example damage to ships, harbour installations or other property. The right to limit is very robust but is excluded in circumstances where loss resulted from the personal act or omission of the party seeking to rely on the limit, committed with the intent to cause such loss, or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss would probably result.

The general limitation amounts under the Convention have been substantially further increased with effect from 8 June 2015 as set out below:



Paragraph of Article 6 of LLMC

Previous Amount

(Units of Account)

New Amount

(Units of Account)

1(a)(i) – death or personal injury claims, vessels up to 2,000 tons

2 million

3.02 million

1(a)(ii) – death or personal injury claims, per ton 2001 to 30,000 tons

800

1,208

1(a)(ii) – death or personal injury claims, per ton 30,001 to 70,000 tons

600

906

1(a)(ii) – death or personal injury claims, per ton in excess of 70,000 tons

400

604

1(b)(i) - other claims, vessels up to 2,000 tons



1 million

1.51 million

1(b)(ii) – other claims, per ton 2001 to 30,000 tons



400

604

1(b)(ii) – other claims, per ton 30,001 to 70,000 tons



300

453

1(b)(ii) - other claims, per ton in excess of 70,000 tons



200

302


The relevant unit of account is the IMF Special Drawing Right (XDR). At current exchange rates 1 XDR is equivalent to approximately NZ$2.04.





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