Liability limits rise under IMO claims protocol
Compensation for maritime claims for loss of life and property “will increase significantly” after the International Maritime Organization’s 1996 protocol on such claims becomes effective on May 13, the IMO said in a statement.
Malta, the tenth IMO member state to sign the protocol, did so on Feb. 13, thereby triggering the entry into force 90 days from that date of the 1996 Protocol to the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims.
Under the 1996 Protocol, the limit of liability for claims for loss of life for ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tons is $3 million. The limit for property claims relating to such vessels is $1.5 million.
For larger ships, the limit for liability is calculated at so many dollars per gross ton. The limits for claims for loss of life range from $1,200 a ton to $600 for each ton in excess of 70,000 tons. The limits for property claims vary from $600 a ton to $300 for each ton in excess of 70,000 tons.
Shippers’ NewsWire estimates that the new IMO protocol could raise compensation in the range of 20-30 percent, depending on the circumstance of a particular maritime claim.