Amendments to increase the limits of liability in
the 1996 Protocol to amend the Convention on
Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976
(LLMC Protocol 1996) entered into force on 8 June
2015, raising 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 (additional amounts
are claimable on larger ships).
The 1976 LLMC Convention sets specified limits
of liability for certain types of claims against
• 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, wreck removal,
pollution damage, etc.
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’.
In the aftermath of the incident with the Pacific
Adventurer, which occurred in the waters of
southern Queensland in March 2009, it appeared
that the limits of liability, as calculated under
LLMC Protocol 96 for a bunker fuel oil spill, fell
significantly short of the cost of responding to the
Taking into account the experience of historic
claims, as well as the impact of inflation rates, a
proposal to increase the limits in the LLMC Protocol
1996 was submitted to IMO by 20 States Parties.
Subsequently, IMO’s Legal Committee adopted
resolution LEG.5(99) containing revised limits, when
it met for its 99th session.
The LLMC Protocol has 52 Contracting States,
which between them represent 58.40% of the world
merchant shipping tonnage (as at 12 May 2016).