LIABILITY OF SHIPOWNERS
135. The owner of a Singapore ship or any share therein shall not be liable to make good to any extent whatever any loss or damage happening without his actual fault or privity in the following cases:
where any goods, merchandise or other thing whatsoever taken in or put on board his ship are lost or damaged by reason of fire on board the ship; or
where any gold, silver, diamonds, watches, jewels or precious stones taken in or put on board his ship, the true nature and value of which have not at the time of shipment been declared by the owner or shipper thereof to the owner or the master of the ship in the bills of lading or otherwise in writing, are lost or damaged by reason of any robbery, embezzlement, making away with or secreting thereof.
—(1) The owner of a ship shall not, where all or any of the following occurrences take place without his actual fault or privity:
where any loss of life or personal injury is caused to any person being carried in the ship;
where any damage or loss is caused to any goods, merchandise or other things whatsoever on board the ship;
where any loss of life or personal injury is caused to any person not carried in the ship through the act or omission of any person (whether on board the ship or not) in the navigation or management of the ship or in the loading, carriage or discharge of its cargo or in the embarkation, carriage or disembarkation of its passengers, or through any other act or omission of any person on board the ship; and
where any loss or damage is caused to any property (other than any property mentioned in paragraph (b)) or any right is infringed through the act or omission of any person (whether on board the ship or not) in the navigation or management of the ship, or in the loading, carriage or discharge of its cargo or in the embarkation, carriage or disembarkation of its passengers, or through any other act or omission of any person on board the ship,
be liable to damages beyond the following amounts:
Provided that for the purpose of ascertaining the limit of the owner’s liability in accordance with sub-paragraph (i), the tonnage of a ship of less than 300 tons shall be deemed to be 300 tons.
(2) For the purposes of this section —
the tonnage of a mechanically propelled ship shall be its net tonnage with the addition, if any, of engine-room space deducted for the purpose of ascertaining that tonnage, and the tonnage of any other ship shall be its net tonnage;
if the tonnage of a ship cannot be ascertained in accordance with paragraph (a), the Director shall, if so directed by the court, certify what, on the evidence specified in the direction, would in his opinion be the tonnage of the ship if ascertained in accordance with that paragraph; and
a gold franc shall be taken to be a unit consisting of 651/2 milligrams of gold of millesimal fineness 900.
(3) The Minister may, from time to time, by order published in the Gazette, specify the amounts which for the purposes of this section are to be taken as equivalent to 3,100 and 1,000 gold francs, respectively.
(4) The limits set by this section to the liabilities mentioned herein shall apply to the aggregate of such liabilities which are incurred on any distinct occasion, and shall so apply in respect of each distinct occasion without regard to any liability incurred on another occasion.
(5) The application of this section to any liability shall not be excluded by reason only that the occurrence giving rise to the liability was not due to the negligence of any person.
(6) Nothing in this section shall apply to any liability in respect of loss of life or personal injury caused to, or loss of or damage to any property or infringement of any right of, a person who is on board or employed in connection with a ship under a contract of service with all or any of the persons whose liabilities are limited by this section, if that contract is governed by the law of any country outside Singapore and that law either does not set any limit to that liability or sets a limit exceeding that set to it by this section.
—(1) Where any liability is alleged to have been incurred by the owner of a ship in respect of any occurrence in respect of which his liability is limited under section 136, and several claims are made or apprehended in respect of that liability, then the owner may apply to the High Court, and the Court may —
determine the amount of the owner’s liability;
distribute that amount rateably among the several claimants;
stay any proceedings pending in any other court in relation to the same matter; and
proceed in such manner and subject to such regulations as to —
making persons interested parties to the proceedings;
the exclusion of any claimants who do not come in within a certain time;
requiring security from the owner; and
payment of any costs,
as the Court thinks just.
(2) In making any distribution in accordance with subsection (1), the High Court may, if it thinks fit, postpone the distribution of such part of the amount to be distributed as it thinks appropriate, having regard to any claim that may later be established before a court of any country outside Singapore.
(3) No lien or other right in respect of any ship or property shall affect the proportions in which any amount is distributed among several claimants under this section.
138. All sums paid for or on account of any loss or damage in respect of which the liability of owners is limited under this Part, and all costs incurred in relation thereto, may be brought into account among part owners of the same ship in the same manner as money disbursed for the use thereof.
139. An insurance effected against the happening, without the actual fault or privity of the owner of a ship, of any or all of the events in respect of which the liability of owners is limited under this Part shall not be invalid by reason of the nature of the risk.
140. In any proceedings under this Part against the owner of a ship or any share therein with respect to loss of life, any passenger list may be received as evidence that the person upon whose death proceedings are taken under this Part was a passenger on board the ship at the time of death.
—(1) The persons whose liability in connection with a ship is excluded or limited by this Part shall include any charterer and any person interested in or in possession of the ship and, in particular, any manager or operator of the ship.
(2) In relation to a claim arising from the act or omission of any person in his capacity as master or member of the crew or (otherwise than in that capacity) in the course of his employment as an employee of the owner or of any such person as is mentioned in subsection (1) —
the persons whose liability is excluded or limited as aforesaid shall also include the master, member of the crew or employee, and, in a case where the master or member of the crew is the employee of a person whose liability would not be excluded or limited apart from this paragraph, the person whose employee he is; and
the liability of the master, member of the crew or employee himself shall be excluded or limited as aforesaid notwithstanding his actual fault or privity in that capacity, except in the cases mentioned in section 135(b).
—(1) This Part shall apply to any unregistered ship and any structure, whether completed or in the course of completion, launched or intended for use in navigation as a ship or part of a ship and “ship” when used in this Part shall be construed accordingly.
(2) The tonnage of any ship or structure to which this Part applies by virtue of this section shall, for the purposes of this Part, be ascertained as provided by section 136(2).
—(1) Where a ship or other property is arrested in connection with a claim which appears to the court to be founded on a liability to which a limit is set by section 136, or security is given to prevent or obtain release from such arrest, the court may, and in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (3) shall, order the release of the ship, property or security, if the conditions specified in subsection (2) are satisfied; but where the release is ordered the person on whose application it is ordered shall be deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court to adjudicate on the claim.
(2) The conditions referred to in subsection (1) are —
that security which in the opinion of the court is satisfactory (referred to in this section as guarantee) has previously been given, whether in Singapore or elsewhere, in respect of the liability or any other liability incurred on the same occasion and the court is satisfied that, if the claim is established, the amount for which the guarantee was given or such part thereof as corresponds to the claim will be actually available to the claimant; and
that either the guarantee is for an amount not less than the limit set by section 136 or further security is given which, together with the guarantee, is for an amount not less than that limit.
(3) The circumstances referred to in subsection (1) are that the guarantee was given in a port which, in relation to the claim, is the relevant port (or, as the case may be, a relevant port) and that port is in a Convention country.
(4) For the purposes of this section —
a guarantee given by the giving of security in more than one country shall be deemed to have been given in the country in which security was last given;
any question whether the amount of any security is (either by itself or together with any other amount) not less than any limit set by section 136, shall be decided as at the time at which the security is given;
where part only of the amount for which a guarantee was given will be available to a claimant, that part shall not be taken to correspond to his claim if any other part may be available to a claimant in respect of a liability to which no limit is set as mentioned in subsection (1).
(5) In this section —
“Convention” means the International Convention relating to the Limitation of the Liability of Owners of Seagoing ships signed in Brussels on 10th October 1957;
“Convention country” means any country in respect of which the Convention is in force (including any country to which the Convention extends by virtue of Article 14 thereof);
“relevant port” —
in relation to any claim, means the port where the event giving rise to the claim occurred or, if that event did not occur in a port, the first port of call after the event occurred; and
in relation to a claim for loss of life or personal injury or for damage to cargo, includes the port of disembarkation or discharge.
(6) If the Minister by order declares that any country specified in the order is a Convention country within the meaning of this section, the order shall, while in force, be conclusive evidence that the country is a Convention country.
—(1) No judgment or decree for a claim founded on a liability to which a limit is set by section 136 shall be enforced, except so far as it is for costs, if security for an amount not less than the limit has been given, whether in Singapore or elsewhere, in respect of the liability or any other liability incurred on the same occasion and the court is of the opinion that the security is satisfactory and is satisfied that the amount for which it was given or such part thereof as corresponds to the claim will be actually available to the person in whose favour the judgment or decree was given or made.
(2) For the purposes of this section —
any question whether the amount of any security is not less than any limit set by section 136 shall be decided as at the time when the security is given; and
where part only of the amount for which security has been given will be available to the person in whose favour the judgment or decree was given or made, that part shall not be taken to correspond to his claim if any other part may be available to a claimant in respect of a liability to which no limit is set as mentioned in subsection (1).