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Insurance

Mandatory coverage

What maritime risks must be covered under the law and what is the mandatory level of coverage?

Insurance for oil pollution up to the vessel’s limit of liability under Article V of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992 is compulsory for any ship carrying a bulk cargo of more than 2,000 tonnes of oil.

Insurance for bunker pollution up to the vessel’s limit of liability provided in the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 is compulsory for any ship whose gross tonnage is above 1,000 metres.

Insurable risks and ships

What other risks are typically covered by marine insurance contracts concluded in your jurisdiction and what ships are insurable?

Under the Marine Insurance Act (Cap 387), every lawful marine adventure may be the subject of a marine insurance contract. ‘Marine adventures’ are defined as:

  • any goods or other movables exposed to maritime perils (insurable property);
  • the earning or acquisition of any freight or other pecuniary benefit or security endangered by the exposure of insurable property to maritime perils; and
  • any liability to a third party incurred by the owner of, or other person interested in or responsible for, insurable property due to maritime perils.

Subrogation rights

What is the legal regime governing marine insurers’ subrogation rights?

Section 79 of the Marine Insurance Act provides that where an insurer pays for a total loss, it becomes entitled to take over the interest of the assured in what remains of the subject matter paid for and is thereby subrogated to the rights and remedies of the assured in respect of that subject matter from the time of the casualty causing the loss.

Marine accidents

Collision and pollution

What rules and procedures (under both domestic and international law) apply to the prevention of, liability for and remedy of:

(a) Collision?

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 are incorporated into the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap 179) by the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Collisions at Sea) Regulations (Regulation 10).

(b) Oil pollution?

The International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992 and the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1992 are given effect by the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution) Act (Cap 180).

The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001 is given effect by the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability and Compensation for Bunker Oil Pollution) Act (Cap 179A).

(c) Other environmental damage caused by a ship?

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973, as modified and added to by the Protocol 1978, is given effect by the Prevention of the Pollution of the Sea Act (Cap 243).

Salvage

What is the legal regime governing salvage and general average?

Salvage is governed by Part IX of the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap 179) and general average is governed by the Marine Insurance Act (Cap 387) and the York-Antwerp Rules (where applicable).

Places of refuge

What framework governs access to places of refuge for ships in distress?

No such framework exists.

Wreck removal

What rules and procedures apply to the removal of wrecks in your jurisdiction?

Part IX of the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap 179) applies to wrecks outside port limits and Part IX of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act (Cap 107A) applies to wrecks within port limits.

Under what circumstances can the authorities order removal of wreckage?

Under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act, the authority may appoint a receiver of wreckage that may remove and sell any ship that is sunk, stranded or abandoned within the territorial waters of Singapore, but outside the limits of any port that is or likely to become an obstruction or danger to navigation.

For wrecks within port limits that are or are likely to become an obstruction, impediment or danger to navigation or the safe and convenient use or operation of the port, the authority may, by notice in writing, require the vessel’s owner or agent to raise, remove or destroy the whole or any part of such vessel.

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