IMO Athens Convention on Passenger Liability

This is an index of some information and URLs relevant to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 2002. The purpose of the website is to provide texts and background materials relating to the Convention in order to facilitate interpretation and implementing.

Documents are added as time permits. The most recent amenments are marked with NEW! (click on the icon for one of the most recent amendments to this page)

Some files are in the .pdf format. You can be notified by email when this page is changed by clicking here.

Erik Røsæg

Topics on this page:

  • The New Convention and the Implementing Guidelines
  • Ratification process
  • From the press
  • DipCon Documents
  • Materials relating to insurance and statistics
  • Other materials
  • Former Correspondence Group

    The New Convention and the Implementing Guidelines

    Friday, 1 November 2002 a new Protocol to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974, was adopted by a Diplomatic Conference in London. The Protocol created the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 2002.

    The texts:

  • Official text at IMO web site
  • Protocol
  • Consolidated text: Word format - pdf format

    The new principles are:

  • Liability without negligence for the first SDR 250,000 per passenger of claims for death and personal injury if the incident relates to a "shipping incident" (an incident that could not have occurred in a land-based hotel)
  • Compulsory insurance for SDR 250,000 per passenger in respect of death and personal injury claims, with direct action and no policy defenses except wilful misconduct. The insurance can be of any type the (performing) carrier chooses.
  • Unlimited liability in respect of death and personal injury claims for States that chooses so in respect of actions in their courts; the general rule is however a limit of liability of SDR 400,000 per passenger
  • Up to a total of five years before claims are time-barred if the passenger did not know about the damage, etc ; typically in cases of whip-lash in high speed craft.
  • About 25% increase of limits on luggage claims
  • A 10% increase of deductibles

    An Excel graph has been made to illustrate the new limits in USD for different ships.

    In order to facilitate implementing Implementing Guidelines have been adopted.

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    Ratification process

    The Depoitary has announced that the Athens Convention 2002, entered into force 23 April, 2014.

  • IMO Status of Conventions
  • List of Signatories
  • EU Athens Regulation
  • Council Decision of 12 December 2011 concerning the accession of the European Union to the Protocol of 2002 to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974, with the exception of Articles 10 and 11 thereof
  • Council Decision of 12 December 2011 concerning the accession of the European Union to the Protocol of 2002 to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974, as regards Articles 10 and 11 thereof
  • Timeframe - EU Athens Regulation
  • Evaluation roadmap - EU Athens Regulation

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    From the press

    Lloyd's List

  • Concessions bring an end to Erika 3 wrangling
  • Brussels divided over ship size ruling on passenger liability
  • Brussels ‘should not be sole negotiator’
  • European parliament backs rejected safety laws
  • EU rivers ruling is a bridge too far
  • Brussels spat over inland waterways liability
  • On the last lap?
  • Bid to introduce waterway regulation
  • Second push for Athens convention
  • Insurers raise tratism alarm
  • Brussels questions P&I exemption renewal
  • Passengership operators: we are denied mutual benefits
  • CLIA joins with Marsh in online insurance launch
  • Barrot slams changes made to passenger liability law
  • EU forced to water down passenger liability law
  • Bid to end confusion on political violence cover
  • At peace with P&I
  • Shipowners hit by heavy P&I premiums hike
  • Shipowners face major increase in premiums
  • Malmros: no free lunch
  • Running aground
  • Terror cover shortfalls worry shipowners
  • Warning over terrorism risk cover shortfall
  • Brittany Ferries rubbishes talk of ‘terror plot’
  • Gibraltar fray blocks IMO conventions
  • French owners seek curbs over Erika 3 package
  • Last word/ Greek brinkmanship
  • Blow for European Commission as Erika 3 package is broken up
  • Al Salam legal fight targets Rina
  • EU turns tide on waterways exemption
  • Europe barge owners win liability exemption
  • Barge industry closes liability lockgates
  • ICS urges veto on parts of Erika 3 package
  • Inland waterways under fire from Brussels
  • Sea Diamond loss pushes first quarter insurance claims to over $430m
  • IMO rejects Brussels' claims
  • IMO and European bodies’ joint actions continue to shape shipping
  • Barrot rebukes states over EU safety package
  • Groundhog day as clubs seek to stash renewals cash
  • Owners questioning hefty increases as clubs boost their reserves
  • It is time to fasten life jackets as Athens protocol whips up a storm
  • Understanding risks is key to continued prosperity
  • Battle ahead on passengership cover
  • Extra $1bn on the cards for P&I cover
  • TT Club to cover nuclear and bio-terrorism risk
  • Passengership liability cover faces major shake-up
  • EU bid for passenger liability harmony hits sour note
  • Revised formula places greater value on loss of life
  • IMO paves way for cruise terror and war risk cover
  • North of England boss sets out position of International Group block exemption
  • Capping debate rages on as cruise industry counts its liability costs
  • Personal injury claims likely to rise in value and number
  • Insurers pledge ‘fair’ liability costs
  • Brussels a threat to P&I system warns Archibald
  • EU protocol on passenger liability ‘vague’
  • A need to ‘speak as one’ over terrorism
  • New legislation adds to mounting death and injury claim problems
  • Dilemma over cruise terror cover
  • Owners give positive verdict on Brussels Erika 3 package
  • Tanker owners in protest over Brussels liability plan
  • Why P&I clubs could be facing their biggest hurdle yet
  • Capacity squeeze slows European cruise market growth
  • Soaring hikes in liability limits a growing industry concern
  • Reinsurers delve into growing exposures
  • Owners urge Brussels to drop liability proposals
  • Delay sought on passenger liability rules
  • Athens protocol pressure places a heavy burden on cruise industry
  • Lloyd’s revises terrorism clauses
  • ‘On this watery planet, seafarers deserve more careful treatment from lawmakers’
  • Marsh highlights cruise terror cover problem in call for protocol revision
  • Owners and insurers join outcry against criminalisation
  • An historic day dawns on a dramatic rise in limits of liability
  • Probing the limits of the maritime regime
  • Owners ‘facing terror cover crisis’
  • P&I passenger liability blow may be closer than clubs feared
  • Controversy still clouding Athens Convention 2002
  • Estimating the real price of pleasure
  • Security still firmly at the top of the agenda
  • Athens Protocol shocks P&I clubs
  • Blazing path to renewals in data forest
  • Athens factor and the extra burden on cruise operators
  • P&I costs may hit cruiseshp sector hard
  • Capacity at Lloyd's hits all time high of £ 14.25bn
  • Liability ruling within a year
  • Cruising towards strict liability for holiday claims
  • Crying over the loss of cash-full coffers
  • Letting tragedy lead the way for change
  • EU puts ferry safety rules on fast track
  • Athens Convention liability is adequate
  • Defence case made on Athens Convention
  • Passenger liability plan awaits support
  • Worldwide regime the answer to passenger liability
  • Experts warn of passenger liability chaos
  • Steep rise in liability under consideration by Athens convention committee


  • Little progress in Carnival wrangle
  • Carnival deductible fires controversy
  • P&I brokers defect from Marsh team
  • Clubs reverse position on terrorist cover
  • Britannia seeks huge rates hike
  • Club aims to rally troops
  • ETA targeted ferry
  • VIDEO interview with Marsh broker Nick Taylor on Athens insurance (You may need to install FlashPlayer to watch the video.)
  • Limits to cover could be costly
  • Carnival opts to raise deductible
  • Big hike in store
  • P&I cover set for renewal shake-up
  • Reinsurance costs to hit cruiseships and ferries
  • General increases not reflected in premiums
  • Passengerships face cover blow
  • P&I mutuals set to puff up already huge reinsurance cushion
  • Marsh comes up with terrorcover solution
  • Mutuals losing their mutuality
  • Will Marsh make terror cover work?
  • Marsh awaits input from governments/ Cargoship owners fear huge liabilities
  • Nightmare claim worries owners
  • Marsh war-risk offer irks clubs
  • P&I clubs hope for cruise relief
  • ISPS wording may unlock terror cover
  • Marsh warns about unavailable terrorism cover
  • Owners get sick of cruise claims
  • P&I Clubs cutting reinsurance costs
  • Risky business
  • Rift in P&I clubs
  • Passenger limit foxes P&I clubs
  • Cruise owners' cover to soar
  • Conflict spirals over the Athens protocol
  • US Insurers baulk at Athens revision
  • Norwegian pair prepares to lobby over high cruise limits
  • Cruise cover lacking outside P&I system
  • London club says $38m loss will not bring cash call
  • Owners to debate cruise disaster risk
  • Dollar levy could end P&I impasse
  • Insurers wake up to potential cruise tragedy
  • Putting a price on human life


  • Passenger Liabilities (Lloyd's Shipping Economist)
  • Shipping lines wary of possible huge shipping claims (Singapore Shipping Times)
  • --Reply to the above

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    DipCon Documents

  • Invitation
  • Provisional agenda (LEG/CONF.13/1)
  • Provisional Rules of Procedure (LEG/CONF.13/2)
  • Draft articles (LEG/CONF.13/3)
  • Secretatriat paper on the definition of defect in ship (LEG/CONF.13/4)
  • Consolidation of Athens Convention and Draft Protocol (LEG/CONF.13/5)
  • Burden of proof in non-shipping incidents (Japan) (LEG/CONF.13/6)
  • European Union clauses (LEG/CONF.13/7) (see also amendment)
  • Insurance and statistics (Norway) (LEG/CONF.13/8)
  • Wilful misconduct (Australia and Norway) (LEG/CONF.13/9) (see also amendment)
  • IUMI concerns (LEG/CONF.13/10)
  • P&I concerns (LEG/CONF.13/11)
  • Secretariat paper on the organisation of the conference (LEG/CONF.13/12)
  • ICS concerns (LEG/CONF.13/13)
  • ICCL on insurance limits, definition of "defect in the ship" and wilful misconduct(LEG/CONF.13/14)
  • ICCL on limits on direct action (LEG/CONF.13/15)
  • US concerns (LEG/CONF.13/16)
  • Direct action and insurers' defences (CMI) (LEG/CONF.13/17)
  • P&I concerns - supplementary submission (LEG/CONF.13/18)
  • Report of the Credentials Committee (LEG/CONF.13/19)
  • Protocol (LEG/CONF.13/20) and correction (LEG/CONF.13/20/Corr.1)
  • Final Act (LEG/CONF.13/21)
  • Conference Resolutions (LEG/CONF.13/22)

    For the official texts, see above.

  • Official list of DipCon Documents (LEG/CONF.13/INF.2)
  • Collection of all LEG/CONF.13 documents

  • IMO's website for official documents

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    Materials relating to insurance and statistics


  • Blue Card form
  • IMO Guidelines on Shipowners' Responsibilities in Respect of Maritime Claims


  • P&I insurance rates for different types of vessels 2002-2017

    Insurance supervision

  • IMO Circular letter No.3145.pdf
  • LEG 87-11-1 Annex 2.pdf
  • LEG 100 report.pdf

    Terrorism risks

  • To Former Correspondence Group (correspondence)

    Athens terrorism insurance
  • Shoreline
  • Safeguard
  • An idea of the cost
  • Aon 2005 Terrorism Risk Map (large file!)

  • OECD Report on Insurance and Terrorism
  • OECD Report on impact of terrorism on insurance, etc.
  • A book: Terrorism, tort law and insurance
  • Coalition to insure against terrorism
  • OECD on terrorism insurance

  • Differences between Convention and P&I Conditions
  • P&I war & terrorism cover
  • Examples of war risk insurance cover (Nordic Insurance Plan) with official comments
  • Norwegian War Club
  • Hellenic War Club
  • Terrorism insurance clauses
  • UK Report on direct action - see ch 7 and 15 on distribution of amounts limited per incident

  • Conventions on Terrorism
  • European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes
  • ISPS Code
    Special schemes
  • EU Financial Perspectives on a terrorism fund

  • France
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • UK
  • USA

    US COFRs

  • Information on the US COFR arrangements under OPA 90

    Uninsured vessels

  • Note on uninured vessels: Word format - pdf format
  • Newspaper report on average of uninsured passenger vessel
  • The Nordström Report
  • IOPC documents on pollution from ships without IACS Class/ International Group P&I insurance

    Statistics - number of passengers

  • Ferrynews on the number of ferry passengers in different regions and trades
  • ShipPax on the number of ferry passengers in different regions and trades
  • ISL on cruise fleet

    Statistics - losses

  • Loss statistics: Excel format - pdf format
  • Liz Both on Marine casualties (from P&I International)

    Insurance supervision

  • International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)
  • OECD insurance documents


  • SDR valuation
  • What is an SDR?

    Further references

  • Academic papers
  • Further materials on P&I and other insurance

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    Reference texts and other information relating to passenger liability and insurance

    Academic papers etc.

    Further suggestions for entries are most welcome

  • Karsten, J. (2008), Droit communautaire des passagers et droit privé européen, Revue Européenne de Droit de la Consommation, vol. 4/2006, pp. 257-272
  • Nicolai Lagoni: Die Haftung des Beförderers von Reisenden auf See und im Binnenschiffsverkehr und das Gemeinschaftsrecht: Die EG auf Konfrontationskurs mit dem Völkerrecht. In: Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht (ZeuP), issue 4/2007
  • Reply to the above from Erik Røsæg
  • Jens Karsten: Passengers, consumers, and travellers: The rise of passenger rights in EC transport law and its repercussions for Community consumer law and policy In: Journal of Consumer Policy, Volume 30, Number 2, June 2007 , pp. 117-136(20)
  • Walter Müller: Should the Athens Convention be modified?
  • Bernd Kröger: Passengers carried by sea - should they be granted The same rights as airline passengers?
  • Charles Haddon-Cave: Limitation against passenger claims: medieval, Unbreakable and unconscionable
  • Igor Volner: Forum Selection Clauses: Different Regulations from the Perspective of Cruise Ship Passengers
  • Graham Barnes on alternative insurance arrangements
  • Kjetil Eivindstad on the insurance problems created by the Athes Protocol (in Norwegian)
  • Papers from a seminar i Hamburg 5 December 2002
  • Prof. Erik Røsæg on compulsory insurance
  • Prof. Erik Røsæg on the influence of insurance practices on legislation

    Air carriage

  • EC REgulation 785/2004 on insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators
  • Reply from Norway 18 July 2002 to ICCL: Word format - pdf format
  • London Aircraft Insurance Policy (large file!)
  • Montreal Convention
  • Montreal Convention. Increase of limits
  • Air law conventions
  • IATA Intercarrier Agreement on Passenger Liability
  • EC Regulation 2027/97
  • EC Regulation 889/2002
  • ECAC-CEAC resolution on minimum insurance cover: Word format - pdf format
  • EU proposal on insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators
  • Proposal for EU ratification of Montreal Convention

    Differences between air carriage and sea carriage

  • Extract from Correspondence Group paper at LEG 78 (LEG 78/3/1) (see also above on CMI Conference).

    Rail carriage


    Road Carriage

  • Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Road (CVR)
  • Protocol to the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Road (CVR)

    Inland Waterways Carriage

  • Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Inland Waterway (CVN)
  • Protocol to the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Inland Waterways (CVN)

    Bareboat chartering

  • CMI on bareboat chartering and the Athens Convention

    EU materials

    See also above on the ratification process
  • European Parliament Briefing paper: Financial aspects of the proposal on the liability for carriers of passengers by sea and inland waterways
  • Passenger rights directive
  • EMSA liability web page
  • EC press release on implementing the Athens Convention (2003): Word format - pdf format
  • EC communication on passenger ship safety (2002)

  • Tender - passengers' rights
  • Directive on package travel
  • EU single market - the common good (large file!)
  • EU competition decision on P&I clubs

    P&I and other insurance

  • International Group of P&I Clubs
  • Gard Athens Circular
  • P&I cover 2013
  • P&I Confidential on the 2013 renewal
  • Gard's Rules
  • Lloyd's of London home page
  • IUMI web page

    Example information systems

  • US COFRs
  • Equasis

    Nuclear liability

  • Nuclear liability - IAEA
  • Nuclear liability - NEA

    Maritime carriage (earlier versions of the Athens Convention)

    The following files have been password protected at the request of the IMO Secretariat. (Username: "imo", password obtainable for members of the Correspondence Group from Erik Røsæg.) The files are not copyright protected under Norwegian law.

  • Athens Convention, 1974
  • Athens Protocol, 1990
  • Compilation of Athens Convention, 1974, and protocols
  • IMO Status of Conventions

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    Former Correspondence Group

    The Correspondence Group was established by the IMO Legal Committee to facilitate the negotiations of the Protocol. It is continued as a discussion forum in respect of interpretation and implementing. The current work of the Correspondence Group concerns the necessary measures for implementing the Convention due to the lack of insurance capacity in respect of terrorism claims. At the 91st session of the Legal Committee, it was decided to leave the liability provisions of the Conventions intact and to develop a draft along the lines of LEG 91/WP.3 This approach is based on:
  • Assembly resolution on reservations in order to get the Athens Convention into force
  • LEG 90 informal explanatory note on reservations to resove the terrorism insurance issue.

    The work was finalized in October, 2006, see above

    Correspondence (reverse chronological order)

  • Reading guide (Norway) 12 October, 2006
  • Compromise submissions 15 September, 2006
  • Norway 11 August, 2006
  • Belgium 10 August, 2006
  • Norway 8 August, 2006
  • P&I 14 July, 2006
  • IUMI 4 July, 2006
  • Norway 3 July, 2006
  • P&I 30 June, 2006
  • P&I 29 June, 2006
  • BankServe 15 June, 2006
  • IUMI 15 June, 2006
  • P&I 15 June, 2006
  • Norway 21 April, 2006
  • Norway 29 March, 2006 #2 (provisional plan for LEG 91)
  • Norway 29 March, 2006
  • ICS/ICCL 28 March, 2006
  • P&I 28 March, 2006
  • Norway 24 March, 2006
  • Norway 22 March, 2006 (Oslo meeting canceled)
  • Norway 13 March, 2006: Word format - pdf format
  • Bank Serve Insurance Services 10 March, 2006
  • Norway 28 Feb, 2006
  • USA 24 Feb, 2006
  • IUMI 20 Feb, 2006
  • International Group 16 Feb, 2006
  • Norway 14 Feb, 2006: Word format - pdf format
  • Norway 26 Jan, 2006
  • International Group 22 Dec, 2005: Word format - pdf format
  • International Group 15 Nov, 2005: Word format - pdf format
  • Norway Oct 27, 2005: Word format - pdf format
  • Norway July 26, 2005: Word format - pdf format
  • Norway May 14, 2005: Word format - pdf format
  • International Group Mar 23, 2005: Word format - pdf format
  • Norway Mar 18, 2005 (Report of Correspondence Group)
  • Norway Sept 23, 2004: Word format - pdf format
  • Draft report to LEG 89: Word format - pdf format
  • Norway July 5, 2004: Word format - pdf format
  • Norway May, 2004: Word format - pdf format
  • Norway April, 2004
  • P&I letter to LEG 88

    Organizational matters of the Correspondence Group

  • One address for mailing to all correpondents: or fax +47 9476 0189.
  • List of correspondents at the time of the Diplomatic Conference

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