June 9 - The IMO's amendments to increase the limits of liability for maritime claims have come into effect under the LLMC Protocol 1996.
The limits in the LLMC Protocol 1996 were raised and subsequently adopted in 2012 by IMO's Legal Committee, following a proposal to increase the limits submitted by 20 State Parties to the LLMC Protocol.
?The amendments to the LLMC Protocol 1996 raise the amount claimable for loss of life or personal injury on ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage, to 3.02 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR), up from 2 million SDR.
For larger ships, additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount: for each tonne from 2,001 to 30,000 tonnes, 1,208 SDR (up from 800 SDR); for each tonne from 30,001 to 70,000 tonnes, 906 SDR (up from 600 SDR); and for each tonne in excess of 70,000, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR).
The amendments also raise the limit of liability for property claims for ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage, to 1.51 million SDR (up from 1 million SDR).
For larger ships, additional amounts are again used in calculating the limitation amount: for each tonne from 2,001 to 30,000 tonnes, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR); for each tonne from 30,001 to 70,000 tonnes, 453 SDR (up from 300 SDR); and for each tonne in excess of 70,000 tonnes, 302 SDR (up from 200 SDR).
The 1976 LLMC Convention sets specified limits of liability for certain types of claims against shipowners, including: claims for loss of life or personal injury; and other claims, such as property claims (including damage to other ships, property or harbour works), delay, bunker spills and pollution damage.
The Convention also allows for shipowners and salvors to limit their liability except if "it is proved that the loss resulted from his personal act or omission, committed with the intent to cause such loss, or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss would probably result".