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Getting The Deal Through

Shipping

Published: August 2018

Malta


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  • 1.

    When does title in the ship pass from the shipbuilder to the shipowner? Can the parties agree to change when title will pass?

  • 2.

    What formalities need to be complied with for the refund guarantee to be valid?

  • 3.

    Are there any remedies available in local courts to compel delivery of the vessel when the yard refuses to do so?

  • 4.

    Where the vessel is defective and damage results, would a claim lie in contract or under product liability against the shipbuilder at the suit of the shipowner; a purchaser from the original shipowner; or a third party that has sustained damage?

  • 5.

    What vessels are eligible for registration under the flag of your country? Is it possible to register vessels under construction under the flag of your country?

  • 6.

    Who may apply to register a ship in your jurisdiction?

  • 7.

    What are the documentary requirements for registration?

  • 8.

    Is dual registration and flagging out possible and what is the procedure?

  • 9.

    Who maintains the register of mortgages and what information does it contain?

  • 10.

    What limitation regime applies? What claims can be limited? Which parties can limit their liability?

  • 11.

    What is the procedure for establishing limitation?

  • 12.

    In what circumstances can the limit be broken? Has limitation been broken in your jurisdiction?

  • 13.

    What limitation regime applies in your jurisdiction in respect of passenger and luggage claims?

  • 14.

    Which body is the port state control agency? Under what authority does it operate?

  • 15.

    What sanctions may the port state control inspector impose?

  • 16.

    What is the appeal process against detention orders or fines?

  • 17.

    Which are the approved classification societies?

  • 18.

    In what circumstances can a classification society be held liable, if at all?

  • 19.

    Can the state or local authority order wreck removal?

  • 20.

    Which international conventions or protocols are in force in relation to collision, wreck removal, salvage and pollution?

  • 21.

    Is there a mandatory local form of salvage agreement or is Lloyd’s standard form of salvage agreement acceptable? Who may carry out salvage operations?

  • 22.

    Which international convention regarding the arrest of ships is in force in your jurisdiction?

  • 23.

    In respect of what claims can a vessel be arrested? In what circumstances may associated ships be arrested? Can a bareboat (demise) chartered vessel be arrested for a claim against the bareboat charterer? Can a time-chartered vessel be arrested for a claim against a time-charterer?

  • 24.

    Does your country recognise the concept of maritime liens and, if so, what claims give rise to maritime liens?

  • 25.

    What is the test for wrongful arrest?

  • 26.

    Can a bunker supplier arrest a vessel in connection with a claim for the price of bunkers supplied to that vessel pursuant to a contract with the charterer, rather than with the owner, of that vessel?

  • 27.

    Will the arresting party have to provide security and in what form and amount?

  • 28.

    How is the amount of security the court will order the arrested party to provide calculated and can this amount be reviewed subsequently? In what form must the security be provided? Can the amount of security exceed the value of the ship?

  • 29.

    What formalities are required for the appointment of a lawyer to make the arrest application? Must a power of attorney or other documents be provided to the court? If so, what formalities must be followed with regard to these documents?

  • 30.

    Who is responsible for the maintenance of the vessel while under arrest?

  • 31.

    Must the arresting party pursue the claim on its merits in the courts of your country or is it possible to arrest simply to obtain security and then pursue proceedings on the merits elsewhere?

  • 32.

    Apart from ship arrest, are there other forms of attachment order or injunctions available to obtain security?

  • 33.

    Are orders for delivery up or preservation of evidence or property available?

  • 34.

    Is it possible to arrest bunkers in your jurisdiction or to obtain an attachment order or injunction in respect of bunkers?

  • 35.

    Who can apply for judicial sale of an arrested vessel?

  • 36.

    What is the procedure for initiating and conducting judicial sale of a vessel? How long on average does it take for the judicial sale to be concluded following an application for sale? What are the court costs associated with the judicial sale? How are these costs calculated?

  • 37.

    What is the order of priority of claims against the proceeds of sale?

  • 38.

    What are the legal effects or consequences of judicial sale of a vessel?

  • 39.

    Will judicial sale of a vessel in a foreign jurisdiction be recognised?

  • 40.

    Is your country a signatory to the International Convention on Maritime Liens and Mortgages 1993?

  • 41.

    Are the Hague Rules, Hague-Visby Rules, Hamburg Rules or some variation in force and have they been ratified or implemented without ratification? Has your state ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea? When does carriage at sea begin and end for the purpose of application of such rules?

  • 42.

    Are there conventions or domestic laws in force in respect of road, rail or air transport that apply to stages of the transport other than by sea under a combined transport or multimodal bill of lading?

  • 43.

    Who has title to sue on a bill of lading?

  • 44.

    To what extent can the terms in a charter party be incorporated into the bill of lading? Is a jurisdiction or arbitration clause in a charter party, the terms of which are incorporated in the bill, binding on a third-party holder or endorsee of the bill?

  • 45.

    Is the ‘demise’ clause or identity of carrier clause recognised and binding?

  • 46.

    Are shipowners liable for cargo damage where they are not the contractual carrier and what defences can they raise against such liability? In particular, can they rely on the terms of the bill of lading even though they are not contractual carriers?

  • 47.

    What is the effect of deviation from a vessel’s route on contractual defences?

  • 48.

    What liens can be exercised?

  • 49.

    What liability do carriers incur for delivery of cargo without production of the bill of lading and can they limit such liability?

  • 50.

    What are the responsibilities and liabilities of the shipper?

  • 51.

    Is there an emission control area (ECA) in force in your domestic territorial waters?

  • 52.

    What is the cap on the sulphur content of fuel oil used in your domestic territorial waters? How do the authorities enforce the regulatory requirements relating to low-sulphur fuel? What sanctions are available for non-compliance?

  • 53.

    What domestic or international ship recycling regulations apply in your jurisdiction? Are there any ship recycling facilities in your jurisdiction?

  • 54.

    Which courts exercise jurisdiction over maritime disputes?

  • 55.

    In brief, what rules govern service of court proceedings on a defendant located out of the jurisdiction?

  • 56.

    Is there a domestic arbitral institution with a panel of maritime arbitrators specialising in maritime arbitration?

  • 57.

    What rules govern recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards?

  • 58.

    Are asymmetric jurisdiction and arbitration agreements valid and enforceable in your jurisdiction?

  • 59.

    What remedies are available if the claimants, in breach of a jurisdiction clause, issue proceedings elsewhere?

  • 60.

    What remedies are there for the defendant to stop domestic proceedings that breach a clause providing for a foreign court or arbitral tribunal to have jurisdiction?

  • 61.

    What time limits apply to claims? Is it possible to extend the time limit by agreement?

  • 62.

    May courts or arbitral tribunals extend the time limits?

  • 63.

    How does the Maritime Labour Convention apply in your jurisdiction and to vessels flying the flag of your jurisdiction?

  • 64.

    Is it possible to seek relief from the strict enforcement of the legal rights and liabilities of the parties to a shipping contract where economic conditions have made contractual obligations more onerous to perform?

  • 65.

    Are there any other noteworthy points relating to shipping in your jurisdiction not covered by any of the above?

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Dingli & Dingli Law Firm is a Maltese firm established in 1982 with offices at 18/2, South Street, Valletta 1102. Although by maltese standards it is a medium-sized firm, it enjoys a solid reputation for efficiency and effectiveness, leading to results.

View more information about Dingli & Dingli Law Firm


Valletta
18/2, South Street
VLT1102
Valletta
Malta
T: +356 212 36206 / +356 212 38256
F: +356 212 40321
Valletta
West End Buildings
18/2 South Street | VLT 1102
Valletta
Malta
T: +356 2123 6206 / 2123 8256
F: +356 2124 0321


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