Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Search

Marine Liability Act (S.C. 2001, c. 6)

Assented to 2001-05-10

Marginal note:Last clear chance

 This Part applies notwithstanding that a person who suffered a loss had the opportunity to avoid the loss and failed to do so.

Marginal note:Contractual rights

 The rights conferred by this Part on a person or ship that is found liable or that settles a claim are subject to any existing contract between that person or ship and a person from whom contribution or indemnity is claimed.

Limitation of Time

Marginal note:Limitation period for claim or lien
  •  (1) No action may be commenced later than two years after the loss or injury arose to enforce a claim or lien against a ship in collision or its owners in respect of any loss to another ship, its cargo or other property on board, or any loss of earnings of that other ship, or for damages for loss of life or personal injury suffered by any person on board that other ship, caused by the fault or neglect of the former ship, whether that ship is wholly or partly at fault or negligent.

  • Marginal note:Extension of time by court

    (2) A court having jurisdiction to deal with an action referred to in subsection (1)

    • (a) may, in accordance with the rules of court, extend the period referred to in that subsection to the extent and on the conditions that it thinks fit; and

    • (b) shall, if satisfied that there has not during that period been a reasonable opportunity of arresting the ship within the jurisdiction of the court, or within the territorial waters of the country to which the claimant’s ship belongs or in which the claimant resides or has their principal place of business, extend that period to an extent sufficient to provide that reasonable opportunity.

  • Definition of “owner”

    (3) In this section, “owner”, in relation to a ship, includes any person responsible for the navigation and management of the ship or any other person responsible for the fault or neglect of the ship.

PART 3LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR MARITIME CLAIMS

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The definitions in this section apply in this Part.

“Convention”

« Convention »

“Convention” means the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, concluded at London on November 19, 1976, as amended by the Protocol, Articles 1 to 15 of which Convention are set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1 and Article 18 of which is set out in Part 2 of that Schedule.

“maritime claim”

« créance maritime »

“maritime claim” means a claim described in Article 2 of the Convention for which a person referred to in Article 1 of the Convention is entitled to limitation of liability.

“Protocol”

« Protocole »

“Protocol” means the Protocol of 1996 to amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, concluded at London on May 2, 1996, Articles 8 and 9 of which are set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1.

Marginal note:Extended meaning of expressions
  •  (1) For the purposes of this Part and Articles 1 to 15 of the Convention,

    • (a“ship” means any vessel or craft designed, used or capable of being used solely or partly for navigation, without regard to method or lack of propulsion, and includes

      • (i) a ship in the process of construction from the time that it is capable of floating, and

      • (ii) a ship that has been stranded, wrecked or sunk and any part of a ship that has broken up,

      but does not include an air cushion vehicle or a floating platform constructed for the purpose of exploring or exploiting the natural resources or the subsoil of the sea-bed;

    • (b) the definition “shipowner” in paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Convention shall be read without reference to the word “seagoing” and as including any person who has an interest in or possession of a ship from and including its launching; and

    • (c) the expression “carriage by sea” in paragraph 1(b) of Article 2 of the Convention shall be read as “carriage by water”.

  • Marginal note:Inconsistency

    (2) In the event of any inconsistency between sections 28 to 34 of this Act and Articles 1 to 15 of the Convention, those sections prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

Application

Marginal note:Force of law

 Subject to the other provisions of this Part, Articles 1 to 15 of the Convention have the force of law in Canada.

Marginal note:State Party to the Convention

 For purposes of the application of the Convention, Canada is a State Party to the Convention.

Marginal note:Liability for ships under 300 tons
  •  (1) The maximum liability for maritime claims that arise on any distinct occasion involving a ship with a gross tonnage of less than 300 tons, other than claims mentioned in section 29, is

    • (a) $1,000,000 in respect of claims for loss of life or personal injury; and

    • (b) $500,000 in respect of any other claims.

  • Marginal note:Calculation of tonnage

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a ship’s gross tonnage shall be calculated in accordance with the tonnage measurement rules contained in Annex I of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969, concluded at London on June 23, 1969, including any amendments, whenever made, to the Annexes or Appendix to that Convention.

Marginal note:Passenger claims, no certificate
  •  (1) The maximum liability for maritime claims that arise on any distinct occasion for loss of life or personal injury to passengers of a ship for which no certificate is required under Part V of the Canada Shipping Act is the greater of

    • (a) 2,000,000 units of account; and

    • (b) the number of units of account calculated by multiplying 175,000 units of account by the number of passengers on board the ship.

  • Marginal note:Passenger claims, no contract of carriage

    (2) Notwithstanding Article 6 of the Convention, the maximum liability for maritime claims that arise on any distinct occasion for loss of life or personal injury to persons carried on a ship otherwise than under a contract of passenger carriage is the greater of

    • (a) 2,000,000 units of account, and

    • (b) 175,000 units of account multiplied by

      • (i) the number of passengers that the ship is authorized to carry according to its certificate under Part V of the Canada Shipping Act, or

      • (ii) if no certificate is required under that Part, the number of persons on board the ship.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) Subsection (2) does not apply in respect of

    • (a) the master of a ship, a member of a ship’s crew or any other person employed or engaged in any capacity on board a ship on the business of a ship; or

    • (b) a person carried on board a ship other than a ship operated for a commercial or public purpose.

  • Definition of “passenger”

    (4) In subsection (1), “passenger” means a person carried on a ship in circumstances described in paragraph 2(a) or (b) of Article 7 of the Convention.

  • Definition of “unit of account”

    (5) In subsections (1) and (2), “unit of account” means a special drawing right issued by the International Monetary Fund.

Liability of Owners of Docks, Canals and Ports

Marginal note:Limitation of liability
  •  (1) The maximum liability of an owner of a dock, canal or port, for a claim that arises on any distinct occasion for loss caused to a ship, or to any cargo or other property on board a ship, is the greater of

    • (a) $2,000,000, and

    • (b) the amount calculated by multiplying $1,000 by the number of tons of the gross tonnage of the largest ship that is at the time of the loss, or had been within a period of five years before that time, within the area of the dock, canal or port over which the owner had control or management.

  • Marginal note:Calculation of tonnage

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a ship’s gross tonnage shall be calculated in the manner described in subsection 28(2).

  • Marginal note:Application

    (3) The maximum liability specified in subsection (1) also applies to any person for whose act or omission the owner is responsible.

  • Marginal note:Conduct barring limitation

    (4) This section does not apply to an owner, or a person for whose act or omission the owner is responsible, if it is proved that the loss resulted from the personal act or omission of that owner or that person, as the case may be, committed with intent to cause the loss or recklessly and with knowledge that the loss would probably result.

  • Marginal note:Meaning of terms

    (5) For the purposes of this section,

    • (a“dock” includes wet docks and basins, tidal-docks and basins, locks, cuts, entrances, dry docks, graving docks, gridirons, slips, quays, wharfs, piers, stages, landing places, jetties and synchrolifts; and

    • (b“owner of a dock, canal or port” includes any person or authority having the control or management of the dock, canal or port and any ship repairer using the dock, canal or port.

Amendment of Maximum Liability

Marginal note:Amendment of limits
  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, by order, declare that an amendment made in accordance with Article 8 of the Protocol to any of the limits of liability specified in paragraph 1 of Article 6 or paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the Convention has the force of law in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Amendment of sections 28, 29 and 30

    (2) The Governor in Council may, by order, amend the limits of liability set out in sections 28, 29 and 30.

Procedure

Marginal note:Jurisdiction of Admiralty Court
  •  (1) The Admiralty Court has exclusive jurisdiction with respect to any matter relating to the constitution and distribution of a limitation fund under Articles 11 to 13 of the Convention.

  • Marginal note:Right to assert limitation defence

    (2) Where a claim is made or apprehended against a person in respect of liability that is limited by section 28, 29 or 30 of this Act or paragraph 1 of Article 6 or 7 of the Convention, that person may assert the right to limitation of liability in a defence filed, or by way of action or counterclaim for declaratory relief, in any court of competent jurisdiction in Canada.

 
Date modified: