Merchant Shipping (Liability of Shipowners and Others) Act, 1996



Exclusion of liability in certain cases.

38.—(1) Subject to subsection (3), the owner of a ship shall not be liable for any loss or damage in the following cases, namely—

(a) where any property on board the ship is lost or damaged by reason of fire on board the ship; or

(b) where any gold, silver, watches, jewels or precious stones on board the ship are lost or damaged by reason of larceny, robbery or other dishonest conduct and their nature and value were not at the time of shipment declared by their owner or shipper to the owner or master of the ship in the bill of lading or otherwise in writing.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), where the loss or damage referred to in a case aforesaid arises from anything done or omitted to be done by any person in his or her capacity as master or member of the crew of the ship or (otherwise than in that capacity) in the course of employment as a servant of the owner of the ship, subsection (1) shall also relieve of liability for such loss or damage—

(a) that person, and

(b) where that person is a servant of a person whom subsection (1) would not, apart from this paragraph, relieve of liability for such loss or damage, that other person.

(3) This section shall not relieve a person of any liability—

(a) for loss or damage resulting from any such personal act or omission of the person as is mentioned in Article 4 of the Convention referred to in section 7 ,

(b) that is imposed on the person by the Convention referred to in section 19 .

(4) In this section—

“master” means, in relation to a ship, the person having, for the time being, the command or charge of the ship;

“owner” includes, in relation to a ship, any part owner and any charterer, manager or operator of the ship.