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Insurance

Mandatory coverage

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

This issue is not contemplated by the Marine Insurance Act.

Insurable risks and ships

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

Risks typically covered by marine insurance contracts are those deemed to be a ‘marine adventure’ under the Marine Insurance Act, which includes exposure of ships and goods (ie, insurable property) to perils consequent on or incidental to navigation of the seas (eg, piracy, war and jettisons).

The earning or acquisition of any freight, passage money, commission, profit or other pecuniary benefit, or security for any advances, loan or disbursements, is endangered by the exposure of insurable property (ships and goods) to maritime perils.

Liability to a third party is incurable by the owner of (or other person interested in or responsible for) insurable property by reason of maritime perils.

There is no specification as to insurable ships under the Marine Insurance Act. However, the act recognises and imposes special regulations for steamships and ships engaged in special trade.

It seems that any type of ship can be insured pursuant to the Marine Insurance Act, as the act provides that a contract of marine insurance is where the insurer agrees to indemnify the assured, in a manner and to the extent agreed, against marine losses (ie, losses arising in relation to a marine adventure).

Subrogation rights

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

Marine insurers’ subrogation rights are governed by the Marine Insurance Act (particularly Section 80).

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 following provisions govern the prevention of, liability for and remedy of collision:

  • the Merchant Shipping Act;
  • the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act;
  • the Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules; and
  • the International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea 1972.

(b) Oil pollution?

The following laws govern the prevention of, liability for and remedy of oil pollution:

  • the Merchant Shipping Act;
  • the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Act; and
  • the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act.

The Merchant Shipping Act provides for the application of the following international conventions in respect of:

  • prevention:
    • the Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Threatened Oil Pollution Casualties 1969; and
    • the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation 1990;
  • liability:
    • the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992; and
  • remedy:
    • the Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Threatened Oil Pollution Casualties 1969; and
    • the Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1971 and its 1992 Protocol.

(c) Other environmental damage caused by a ship?

The following provisions govern the prevention of, liability for and remedy of other environmental damage caused by ships:

  • domestic rules:
    • the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Act; and
    • the Merchant Shipping Act; and
  • international rules:
    • the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973/1978 and the annexes thereto;
    • the International Convention on Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters 1972;
    • the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Wastes and their Disposal 1989; and
    • the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 and the 1996 Protocol.

Salvage

What is the legal regime governing salvage and general average?

The legal regime governing salvage and general average in Nigeria is the Merchant Shipping Act, which entails the application of the International Convention on Salvage 1989 (implemented in Nigeria pursuant to Section 215 of Merchant Shipping Act 2007).

Places of refuge

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

There seems to be no officially recognised framework for places of refuge in Nigeria.

Wreck removal

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

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Act and the Merchant Shipping Act govern the removal of wrecks in Nigeria.

Under what circumstances can the authorities order removal of wreckage?

Wreck removal can be ordered where the wreck constitutes navigational risks and is a threat to the marine environment.

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