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[Translations.)

1.

TENTATIVE DRAFT OF AN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE

UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES RELATING TO THE LIMITATION OF THE LIABILITY OF OWNERS OF SEAGOING VESSELS.

ARTICLE 1.

The liability of the owner of a seagoing vessel is limited to an amount equal to the value of the vessel, the freight, and the accessories of the vessel in respect of

1. Compensation due to third parties by reason of damage caused, whether on land or on water, by the acts and faults of the master, crew, pilot, or any other person in the service of the vessel;

2. Compensation due by reason of damage caused either to cargo delivered to the master to be transported, or to any goods and property on board;

3. Obligations arising out -of bills of lading signed by or for the master;

4. Compensation due by reason of a fault of navigation committed in the execution of a contract;

5. Any obligation to remove the wreck of a sunken vessel and any obligation connected therewith;

6. Any remuneration for assistance and salvage;

7. Any contribution of the shipowner in general average by reason of the vessel or freight;

8. Obligations arising out of contracts entered into or transactions carried out by the master acting by virtue of his legal powers, whether from the vessel's home port for the actual requirements of the preservation of the vessel or the continuation of the voyage, provided that the necessity is not caused by any insufficiency or deficiency of equipment or stores at the beginning of the voyage.

The liability referred to in the foregoing provisions shall not, however, exceed an aggregate sum equal to 8 pounds sterling per ton of the vessel's tonnage, but the said limitation may be invoked in the cases provided in Nos. 6, 7, and 8.

ARTICLE 2.

The limitation of liability laid down in the foregoing article does not apply

1. To obligations arising out of faults committed by the owner of the vessel;

1 The final protocol will reserve to the High Contracting Parties the right of not allowing liability to be limited to the value of the vessel and freight for the damage caused to works in ports, docks, and navi. gable ways or to ratify the treaty on these points only on condition of reciprocity.

It is, however, understood that in no case shall the limit of liability on account of the said damages exceed £8 per ton.

2. To any of the obligations arising out of acts referred to in Nos. 3 and 8 of article 1, when the owner has expressly authorized or ratified such acts;

3. To obligations of the owner arising out of the engagement of the crew and other persons in the service of the vessel.

If the master is at the same time the owner or a coowner of the vessel, he can not claim limitation of his liability for his faults other than his faults of navigation and the faults of persons in the service of the vessel.

ARTICLE 3.

An owner who avails himself of the limitation of his liability to the value of the vessel must prove that value. The valuation of the vessel shall be based upon the condition of the vessel at the times hereinafter set out:

1. In cases of collision or other accidents, as regards all claims connected therewith, including contractual claims which have been originated up to the time of arrival of the vessel at the first port reached after the accident, and also as regards claims in general average arising out of the accident, the valuation shall be according to the condition of the vessel at the time of her arrival at the first port.

If, before that time, a fresh accident distinct from the first accident has reduced the value of the vessel, any diminution of value so caused shall not be taken into account in considering claims connected with the previous accident.

For accidents occurring during the sojourn of a vessel in port, the valuation shall be according to the condition of the vessel at that port after the accident.

2. If it is a question of claims relating to the cargo or arising on a bill of lading, not being claims provided for in the preceding paragraphs, the valuation shall be according to the condition of the vessel at the port of destination of the cargo or at the place where the voyage is abandoned.

If the cargo is destined to more than one port and the damage is connected with one and the same cause, the valuation shall be according to the condition of the vessel at the first of those ports.

3. In all the other cases referred to in article 1, the valuation shall be according to the condition of the vessel at the end of the voyage.

ARTICLE 4.

The value of the freight which is referred to in article 1 includes:

1. In case No. 1, of article 3, two-thirds of the gross freight coming to the owner on account of the merchandise on board at the time of the accident.

2. In case No. 2, of article 3, two-thirds of the gross freight coming to the owner on account of the merchandise on board at the time of the arrival at the port.

3. In case No. 3, of article 3, two-thirds of the gross freight coming to the owner for the voyage.

Passage money and demurrage are considered to be freight.

ARTICLE 5.

The accessories referred to in article 1 include the sums herein, below enumerated, due or paid to the owner since the beginning of the voyage:

1. Compensation for material damage sustained by the vessel and not repaired or for the loss of freight as provided in article 4.

2. Compensation for general average, in so far as it does not constitute either material damaça sustained by the vessel and not repaired or loss of freight as provided in article 4.

3. Two-thirds of the compensation for assistance or salvage, after deducting the sums allotted to the master and other persons in the service of the vessel.

Compensation paid or due on policies of insurance, as well as bounties, subventions, and other national subsidies, are not deemed to be accessories of the vessel or freight.

ARTICLE 6.

Unless special circumstances warrant some other understanding, the word "voyage” for the application of this convention is understood to mean the voyage for which the vessel was outfitted and manned, or which the vessel undertook in executing a fresh charterparty, or that it effected after landing all the cargo, with or without another cargo.

ARTICLE 7.

The various claims connected with a single accident or in respect of which, in the absence of an accident, the value of the vessel is ascertained at a single port, rank with one another against the amount representing the extent of the owner's liability, regard being had to the order of the liens.

ARTICLE 8.

Where death or bodily injury is caused by the acts or faults of the master; crew, pilot, or any other person in the service of the vessel, the owner of the vessel is liable to the victims or their representatives in an amount exceeding the limit of liability provided for in the preceding articles up to 8 pounds sterling per ton of the vessel's tonnage. The victims of a single accident or their representatives rank together against the sum constituting the extent of liability.

If the victims or their representatives are not fully compensated by this amount, they rank, as regards the balance of their claims, with the other claimants against the amounts mentioned in the preceding articles, regard being had to the order of the liens.

The same limitation of liability applies to the passengers as respects the carrying vessel but does not apply to the crew or other persons in the service of that vessel, whose right of action in the case of death or bodily injury remains governed by the national law of the vessel.”

2 The final protocol will contain an article authorizing the contracting powers to reserve to themselves the right of deciding that the owner of

a ship not used for carrying passengers and not exceeding 300 tons, is liable for damage due to death

or bodily injury, in accordance with the general terms of the convention, but without the necessity of applying to this liability the provisions of the first paragraph of this article.

ARTICLE 9.

Where the vessel is arrested in the course of her voyage, the security given for release accrues to the benefit of the creditor causing the arrest, in the terms in which it was given. It shall not be either modified by subsequent events nor invoked to restrict the rights of other creditors.

ARTICLE 10.

In the event of any action or proceeding being taken on account of one of the grounds enumerated in article 1 or article 8, the court may, on the application of the owner, order that proceedings against the property, other than the vessel, the freight and accessories, shall be stayed for a period sufficient to enable the owner to sell the vessel and effect a division of the proceeds among the creditors.

ARTICLE 11.

Where the person who operates the vessel without owning it, or in case of a charter either for a time or a voyage or on any other basis, the principal charterer is liable under one of the heads enumerated in article 1 or article 8, the provisions of this convention are applicable to him as they are to the owner.

When, under the conditions set forth in the foregoing paragraph, the owner is liable, the freight referred to in article 4 and computed at the rate of two-thirds of the gross amount shall be two-thirds of the hire or freight owed to the owner for the time between the beginning of the voyage and the times respectively named in the said article 4.

ARTICLE 12. The tonnago mentioned in the provisions of the present convention is computed as follows: For steamers and other motor vessels, net tonnage with the addition of the space occupied by the engines or motors; in the case of sailing vessels, net tonnage.

ARTICLE 13.

The provisions of this convention shall be applied in each contracting State in cases in which one of the parties interested is a national of another contracting State, as well as in any other cases provided for by the national laws.

Nevertheless, the principle formulated in the preceding paragraph does not affect the right of the contracting States not to apply the provisions of this convention in favor of the nationals of a noncontracting State.

ARTICLE 14. This convention does not apply to vessels of war nor to Government vessels appropriated exclusively to the public service.

ARTICLE 15.

Nothing in the foregoing provisions shall be deemed to affect in any way the competence of tribunals, modes of procedure, or methods of execution authorized by the national laws.

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ARTICLE 16.

Those contracting States in which the pound sterling is not a mone tary unit reserve to themselves the right of translating the sums in dicated in this convention in terms of pound sterling into terms of their monetary system in round figures.

ARTICLE 17.

After an interval of not more than two years from the day on which the convention is signed, the Belgian Government shall place itself in communication with the governments of the High Contracting Parties which have declared themselves prepared to ratify the convention, with a view to deciding whether it shall be put into force. The ratifications shall be deposited at Brussels at a date to be fixed by agreement among the said governments. The first deposit of ratifications shall be recorded in a procès-verbal signed by the representatives of the powers which take part therein and by the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The subsequent deposits of ratifications shall be made by means of a written notification addressed to the Belgian Government and accompanied by the instrument of ratification.

A duly certified copy of the procès-verbal relating to the first deposit of ratifications, of the notifications referred to in the previous paragraph, and also of the instruments of ratification accompanying them, shall be immediately sent by the Belgian Government through the diplomatic channel to the powers who have signed this convention or who have acceded to it. In the cases contemplated in the preceding, paragraph the said Government shall inform them at the same time of the date on which it received the notification.

ARTICLE 18.

Nonsignatory States may accede to the present convention whether or not they have been represented at the international conference at Brussels.

A State which desires to accede shall notify its intention in writing to the Belgian Government, forwarding to it the document of accession, which shall be deposited in the archives of the said Government.

The Belgian Government shall immediately forward to all the States which have signed or acceded to the convention a duly certified copy of the notification and of the act of accession, mentioning the date on which it received the notification.

ARTICLE 19.

The present convention applies to mother countries, colonies, possessions, or protectorates, and districts of consular jurisdiction of the contracting States.

Every contracting State, however, has the right not to apply it in its autonomous colonies or possessions. In that case it shall declare its intention in the instrument of ratification or in the docu

* It will be well to carry forward this provision later in the final protocol.

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