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Insurance

Mandatory coverage

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

The transport of oil must be covered under the Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992 and wreck removal must be covered under the Convention on Wreck Removal (Nairobi, 2007 – applicable in Germany since April 14 2015).

Insurable risks and ships

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

Other risks typically covered by maritime insurance contracts are:

  • liability (mostly covered by protection and indemnity (P&I) clubs);
  • hull damage; and
  • freight, demurrage and defence.

In general, all ships are insurable except nuclear-powered ships, for which special rules apply.

Subrogation rights

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

There is no mandatory subrogation of rights. Rather, it follows the agreed rules (eg, P&I club rules or the General Rules of Marine Insurance or the Transport Information Services hull clauses). 

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 Collision Convention 1910.

(b) Oil pollution?

The Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992, the Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Oil Pollution Damage 1992 and the Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001.

(c) Other environmental damage caused by a ship?

Specific conventions are not yet in force for Germany. Therefore, liability follows the ordinary rules regarding damage to property.

Salvage

What is the legal regime governing salvage and general average?

The International Convention on Salvage 1989 and German law (although the York-Antwerp-Rules are generally agreed).

Places of refuge

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

The International Maritime Organisation Guidelines on Places of Refuge for Ships in Need of Assistance (Resolution A.949(23)) and the EU Directive Establishing a Community Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information System (2002/59/EC), dated June 27 2002. 

Wreck removal

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

The Convention on Wreck Removal (Nairobi, 2007) has applied in Germany since April 14 2015. It regulates wreck removal in combination with the Ordinance on the Proof of Legislation for the Disposal of Waste. The federal authorities can order and – at the owner’s expense – perform wreck removal if the wreck presents a danger to the environment or to shipping.

Under what circumstances can the authorities order removal of wreckage?

The Convention on Wreck Removal obliges owners and empowers coastal state authorities to raise wrecks in the exclusive economic zone. National law applies to wrecks in internal waters or the coastal sea and empowers local authorities to raise a wreck if it presents a danger to the environment or to shipping.

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