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ment of adhesion. Likewise and in the same form, in so far as there may exist in the colony, possession, or protectorate a special law for natives and persons placed on the same footing, every contracting State has the right not to apply the convention to these. When a State subsequently desires to have the convention go into effect in one of its autonomous colonies or possessions, or extended to natives and persons placed on the same footing, it shall make its desire known by means of a special notification sent in writing to the Belgian Government. The notification shall be deposited in the archives of that Government, which shall immediately forward to all the other contracting States á duly certified copy of the notification, stating the date on which it was received.


With respect to States that shall have taken part in the first deposit of ratifications, the present convention will take effect one year after the date of the procès-verbal recording such deposit. As to States which will subsequently ratify or accede, and also in cases in which the convention is subsequently put into effect in accordance with article 19, paragraph 2, it shall take effect six months after the notifications provided by article 17, paragraph 2, and article 19, paragraph 2, have been received by the Belgian Government.

ARTICLE 21. If it should happen that one of the contracting States should wish to denounce the present convention, the denunciation shall be notified in writing to the Belgian Government, which will immediately communicate a duly certified copy of the notification to all the other States, informing them of the date on which it was received.

The denunciation shall only operate in respect of the State which made the notification and on the expiry of one year after the notification has reached the Belgian Government.


Any one of the contracting States shall have the right to call for a fresh conference after three years, counted from the going into effect of this convention, with a view to considering what improvements might be made therein.

A State which would exercise this right should notify its intention to the other States through the Belgian Government, which would make arrangements for convening the conference.




ARTICLE 1. Mortgages, hypothecations, and other pledges of vessels duly effected in accordance with the laws of the contracting State to which the vessel belongs and registered in a public register, either at the port of the vessel's registry or at a central office shall be regarded as valid and respected in all the other contracting countries.

ARTICLE 2. Privileged claims are given preference over all other claims, including those guaranteed by the real rights referred to in the foregoing article.


The only liens on the vessel, on the freight for the voyage during which the claim giving rise to the lien arises, and on the accessories of the vessel and freight accrued since the commencement of the voyage are:

i. Law costs due to the State and expenses incurred in the common interest of the creditors in order to preserve the vessel or to procure a sale and the distribution of the proceeds of sale; tonnage dues, light or harbor dues, and other public taxes and charges of the same character; pilotage dues; the cost of watching and preservation from the time of the entry of the vessel into the last port.4

2. Claims arising out of the contract of engagement of the master, crew, and other persons in the service of the vessel.

3. Remuneration for salvage and assistance and the contribution of the vessel in general average.

4. Claims arising on contracts entered into or acts done by the master outside of the home port for the actual needs of the preservation of the vessel or the continuation of the voyage, whether or not the master is at the same time the owner of the vessel and the claim is his own or that of ship-chandlers, repairers, lenders, or other contractual creditors.

5. Remuneration due on account of a collision or any other accident being the result of the fault of a person in the service of the vessel, either to passengers or their representatives, in case of death or bodily injury or to another vessel or its cargo, crew, passengers, or their representatives; compensation due for the reparation of damage done to works in ports, docks, and navigable ways.

The provisions of the national laws of the contracting States which grant a privilege to public institutions of insurance for claims arising from the insurance of the personnel of the vessel are not affected thereby.5

ARTICLE 4. The accessories of the vessel and the freight mentioned in article 3, include

1. Compensation due to the owner for material damage sustained by the vessel and not repaired or for loss of freight;

2. Compensation due to the owner in general average, in so far as the said average constitutes either material damage sustained by the vessel and not repaired or loss of freight;

4 The final protocol will contain the following provision: “It is understood that the legislation of each State remains free: (1) to establish among the claims mentioned in paragraph 1, of article 3, a definite order of priority with a view of safeguarding the interests of the Treasury; (2) to confer on the authorities administering harbors, docks, and navigable ways, which have caused any wreck or other

obstruction to navigation to be removed, the right to sell the said things and to recoup themselves out of the proceeds of the sale for the costs of the removal in priority to other

creditors, and (3) to settle the ranking of claims for damage done to works otherwise than in accordance with

the provisions of article 5 and article 6. 5 It will be well later to carry forward the last paragraph to the final protocol.

3. Sums due to the owner for assistance. extended or salvage effected from the beginning of the voyage less any sums allowed to the master and other persons in the service of the vessel. Passage money and demurrage are treated as freight.

Indemnities due to the owner under insurance policies, as well as bounties, subventions or other national subsidies are not considered to be accessories of the vessel or freight.

Notwithstanding anything in the first paragraph of article 3, the lien in favor of the persons in the service of the vessel extends to the total amount of freight due for all voyages made during the existence of the same contract of engagement.


Claims relating to the same voyage rank in the order in which they are set forth in article 3. Claims included under any one heading share concurrently and ratably in the event of the fund available being insufficient.

The claims mentioned under Nos. 3 and 4 in each one of the categories are given priority in the inverse order of the dates on which they came into existence.

Claims arising from one and the same occurrence are deemed to have come into existence at the same time.


Claims secured by a lien attaching to the last voyage have priority over those attaching to the previous voyage.

Claims arising from one contract of engagement extending over several voyages, however, all rank with claims attaching to the

last voyage.

ARTICLE 7. Unless special circumstances warrant a different interpretation the voyage is understood to mean, for the purposes of this convention, the

voyage for which the vessel was outfitted and manned or which was undertaken by the vessel in pursuance of another charter-party or performed after all of the goods were landed with or without another cargo.


For the purpose of distributing the proceeds of the sale of the articles subject to a lien, preferred creditors have the right to put forward their claims in full without any deduction on account of the rules relating to limitation of liability, but, however, the sum apportioned to them will not exceed the sum due under the said rules.


Claims secured by a lien follow the vessel into whatever hands it may pass.


Liens cease, apart from other cases provided for by the national laws, at the expiration of one year from the date on which the claim

becomes enforceable, and in the case of claims referred to in No. 4, of article 3, the time limit shall not exceed two years counted from the origin of the claim.

The right to demand advance money or money on account does not carry the consequence of making the claims of persons in the service of the vessel referred to in No. 2, of article 3, enforceable in the meaning of the foregoing paragraph.

The time runs, in the case of liens securing claims for assistance and salvage, from the day when the services terminated, and in the case of liens securing claims in respect of collisions and the other remunerations set forth in No. 5, of article 3, from the day when the accident occurred.

The grounds upon which the above periods may be suspended or interrupted are determined by the law of the court where the case is tried.

The High Contracting Parties reserve to themselves the right to provide by legislation in their own country that the said period shall be extended in cases where it has not been possible to arrest the vessel in the territorial waters of the State in which the claimant has his domicile or principal place of business.


The lien on freight may be enforced so long as the freight is still due or the amount of the freight is still in the hands of the master or the agent of the owner. This same principle applies to a lien on



The liens recognized by the foregoing provisions are not subject to any formality or any special condition of proof.

This provision does not affect the right of any State to maintain in its legislation provisions requiring the master of a vessel to fulfill certain formalities either in the case of certain loans secured by the vessel or in the case of the sale of its cargo.


The foregoing provisions apply to vessels operated by a person who outfits the vessel without owning it, or by a principal charterer acting under a charter-party concluded either by the time or by the voyage, or on any other basis excepting when the owner has been dispossessed by an illegal act, and when, in addition, the creditor is not bona fide.


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

Nevertheless, the principle formulated in the foregoing 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.


This convention does not apply to public vessels.

ARTICLE 16. (See article 17 of the tentative draft relative to limitation of liability.)

ARTICLE 17. (See article 18 of the same tentative draft.)
ARTICLE 18. (See article 19 of the same tentative draft.)
ARTICLE 19. (See article 20 of the same tentative draft.)
ARTICLE 20. (See article 21 of the same tentative draft.)
ARTICLE 21. (See article 22 of the same tentative draft.)



The commission acquainted itself with the tentative drafts of two conventions, drawn up at Brussels in April, 1913, by a subcommittee on which 11 States were represented, which drafts were to be laid before a diplomatic conference in 1914, which conference could not meet on account of the war. Those two drafts of conventions are to be discussed in a diplomatic conference that the Belgian Government called to meet at Brussels in the month of October next.

The commission is glad to note that the Belgian Government is following up the important work of unifying the maritime commercial law which was so happily started by the conclusion of the two international conventions of September, 1910, to which 18 States adhered; one, concerning collisions at sea, the other concerning assistance and salvage at sea.

The commission does not believe that the two drafts of conventions may be accepted without some changes both in substance and form.

It ventures the opinion that there is occasion to submit to the Belgian Government the following remarks, in order that they may be communicated to the conference in October next or even to the Governments of the States invited to that conference, should the Belgian Government see fit to do so.



The French Government in 1912 admitted in principle the choice which the draft left with the shipowner. Without reconsidering that adhesion, it may be proper to offer the following remarks.

Articles 1, 4, and 5. The English Government proposed in 1913 to substitute a forfeit for the liability of the shipowner on the freight money and its accessories. The forfeit would offer the advantage of avoiding complications. But it should not be forced upon the shipowner who would always be at liberty to choose liability as defined in article 4.

It is understood that the forfeit would only apply to the indemnities referred to in article 5.

Finally, it seems to be a matter of course that articles 4 and 5 and the forfeit will only apply when the shipowner will not claim

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