Subject: Athens Correspondence Group (IMO Legal Committee): Submission from the US

From: Erik Røsæg

Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 09:52:06 +0100




Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 15:54:11 -0500
From: Spolidoro, Laurina LT
To: 'Erik Røsæg'

 Dear Professor Røsæg,

   The United States offers the following brief comments on the draft paper.

"While the United States appreciates the complex issues associated with the
decision as to whether to exempt carriers from any liability for damage or
injury resulting from acts of or related to terrorism, such an exemption
presents many difficulties. In particular, when carriers are primarily
responsible for providing security for their passengers, the United States
cannot support an instrument that effectively exempts carriers from any
liability for a terrorist incident without regard for fault or possible
negligence. This is particularly true in cases of internal attacks, inasmuch
as carriers have a duty to provide adequate screening to prevent the
introduction of weapons onto the vessel.

"Similarly, the United States may have difficulty supporting a provision
that allows carriers to escape liability "to the same extent as the
insurance requirement is dispensed with unless the acts or omissions of any
of these parties or their servants or agents have made a major contribution
to the damage."  We need to understand the details of the idea of "major
contribution" before we can start to consider the merits of such a
statement. The United States would be willing to engage in further
discussions of the appropriate standard of liability. Changing the standard
of liability is a modification of important terms of the Convention, and the
ideas of altering the limits of liability as well as the standard of
liability, however, are difficult to fully explore outside a conference."

Thank you again for facilitating the paper and the opportunity to comment.
Best regards,
Laurie Spolidoro

LT Laurina M. Spolidoro
Office of Maritime and International Law
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant (G-LMI)
2100 Second Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20593
Ph: (202) 267-0733
Fax: (202) 267-4496