International Law Office – 1st Chapter

The International Law Office has published the First Chapter of a number of publications by SAN SIMÓN & DUCH and dedicated to the most noteworthy issues of the new Spanish Shipping Law.

In this very first occasion issues as Classification Societies, Owners, Shipowners,  Captain are analyzed.

Pursuant to Article 106 of the Law, classification societies «will be contractually liable to those who contract with them for any damage or loss as a consequence of the absence of diligence in inspecting vessels and issuing certificates». Third-party liability will be determined in accordance with common law, without prejudice to international conventions and EU rules that may apply.

The new law devotes an entire title (Title III) to the key figures of the shipowner and operator, along with ship co-owners and crew members, with a special focus on the master.

Finally, Chapter II of Title III deals with ‘naval condominium’, which it defines as «the co-ownership of a vessel or craft when it has as its end the development of a merchant operation» (Article 150). The definition of ‘co-ownership’ is thus derived from its nature as a joint merchant operation under a majority regime, featuring shipowners and operators which may not be the proprietors (Articles 151 to 155).

Finally, Articles 171 to 187 govern the master of the ship, defined as the person who «commands and directs the ship, manages its equipment and represents the public authority on board»