Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Sachgebiet S 43 - Schifffahrtsrecht, Internationale Haftungsübereinkommen, Querschnittsaufgaben
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg

Bereich Seeforderungen

Nicole Patzelt
Phone: +49 40 3190-7431
Fax: +49 40 3190-5008
Mail: clc@bsh.de



Webcode for this Content: 16490957

Liability for maritime claims

Compulsory insurance for maritime claims

Liability of the owner of a seagoing ship in case of damage to cargo or persons due to collision or other accidents is not unlimited. The most important international instrument currently in force is the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976. This Convention has been updated and amended by the Protocol of 1996.

The regulations of the international Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims are implemented in European law by means of Directive 2009/20/EC. This directive contains the obligation of shipowners to have an insurance covering maritime claims in place. The amount of the insurance for each and every ship per incident shall be equal to the relevant maximum amount for the limitation of liability as laid down in the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1996.

bild seeforderungen

Insurance certificate has been required in ports of the EU since 1 January 2012

In Germany and for ships flying the German flag the international Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims and the Directive 2009/20/EC have been implemented by means of the Seeversicherungsnachweisgesetz (evidence of maritime insurance act). The most important part of this act is the requirement of an insurance certificate, which has to be carried on board of ships. The insurance certificate is compulsory for ships of 300 GT and above which are either

  • flying the German flag; or
  • flying a foreign flag and enter or leave a German port or an offshore facility within the territorial sea of the Federal Republic of Germany.

By means of the insurance certificate the shipowner provides evidence of adequate financial security for maritime claims according to the international Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims.

The insurance certificate shall contain the following particulars:

  • name of ship, its IMO registration number and port of registry
  • name and address of the principal place of business of the ship owner;
  • type and duration of the insurance;
  • name and principal place of business of the insurance provider as well as place of business, where the insurance is provided.

The insurance certificate will be issued by the insurance company.

Carriage of the insurance certificate on board

The insurance certificate must be carried on board at all times and produced on request.

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