Maritime Law – Passenger Claims

What are the key provisions applicable to the resolution of maritime passenger claims?

The provisions regarding the Contracts of Carriage of Passengers by Sea have been regulated under the TCC in line with the provisions of the Protocol of 2002 to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974.

The carrier has liability for the loss suffered as a result of the death or personal injury of the passenger(s) caused by a shipping incident; unless the carrier proves that the incident resulted from an act of war, hostilities, civil war, insurrection or a natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character; or was wholly caused by an act or omission done with the intent to cause the incident by a third party.

The abovementioned liability of the carrier is limited to the extent of SDR 250,000 per injured/dead passenger on each distinct incident. However, such limitation is not applicable to the liability of the carrier, if the incident which caused the loss was due to the fault or neglect of the carrier.

For the loss suffered as a result of the death or personal injury of the passenger(s) not caused by a shipping incident, the carrier may be held liable, only if the incident which caused the loss was due to the fault or neglect of the carrier. The liability of the carrier for the death or personal injury of the passenger may not exceed the amount of SDR 400,000 per passenger on each distinct occasion.

Any compensation action for losses arising out of the death or personal injury to a passenger is time-barred after a period of ten years. Any claim arisen out of the Contract of Carriage of Passengers by Sea (included the claims arisen out of the loss of or damage to the Luggage) will be time-barred after a period of two years. This period will commence, for the claims concerning the loss of or damage to the Luggage; as of the date of disembarkation of the Passenger or as of the date when disembarkation of the Passenger should have taken place, whichever is later; for any other claim; as of the date when the claim became mature.

The above-mentioned time-bar periods may be extended by a written declaration of the carrier or by a mutual agreement of the parties after the claim of compensation has arisen.