Limits of liability in Singapore 

Singapore implements the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims. 
 
The Convention 
 
The Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims of 1976 (the Convention) allows shipowners to limit their liability for maritime claims for loss of life or personal injury and damage to property and sets out the level of those limits. Limits vary according to the size of the vessel seeking to limit and are calculated using Special Drawing Rights (SDR). SDR is not a currency but a unit of account (or monetary unit) which can be converted into a currency value at a rate set out on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) website
 
On 29th December the Singapore Merchant Shipping Act was amended to implement the 1996 Protocol to the Convention. This amendment gives shipowners the benefit of increased limits of liability for maritime claims under Singapore jurisdiction. 
 
The 1976 and 1996 limits are set out in the following tables: 
 
Claims for loss of life or personal injury 
Tonnage (GT) 
LLMC 1976 (SDR) 
Tonnage (GT) 
1996 Protocol (SDR) 
< 500 
333,000 
501 - 3,000 
33,000 + 500/ton over 500 
< 2,000 
3,020,000 
3,001 - 30,000 
1,583,000 + 333/ton over 3,000 
2,001 - 30,000 
3,020,000 + 1,208/ton over 2,000 
30,001 - 70,000 
10,574,000 + 250/ton over 30,000 
30,001 - 70,000 
36,844,000 + 906/ton over 30,000 
> 70,000 
20,574,000 + 167/ton over 70,000 
> 70,000 
73,084,000 + 604/ton over 70,000 
 
Other claims 
Tonnage (GT) 
LLMC 1976 (SDR) 
Tonnage (GT) 
1996 Protocol (SDR) 
< 500 
167,000 
< 2,000 
1,510,000 
501 - 30,000 
167,000 + 167/ton over 500 
2,001 - 30,000 
1,510,000 + 604/ton over 2,000 
30,001 - 70,000 
5,093,500 + 125/ton over 30,000 
30,001 - 70,000 
18,422,000 + 453/ton over 30,000 
> 70,000 
10,093,500 + 83/ton over 70,000 
> 70.000 
36,542,000 + 302/ton over 70,000 
 
In the context of maritime casualties and losses, this is a welcome development as it provides an additional favourable jurisdiction in which a shipowner might be entitled to limit his liability under the higher limits of the 1996 Protocol. 
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