The Association plays a consultative role in connection with the development and enactment of national and international rules and regulations regarding the different areas of shipping and transport law. Many of the consultative tasks are delegated to special committees consisting of experts and representatives of parties that have an interest in the specific subject matter. An overview of recent activities of the Association in this area is given below.
Revision liability limits for the carriage of passengers in inland navigation, public transport and general passenger carriage
A committee comprised of Herman Boonk (Boonk Van Leeuwen), Reinier van Campen (Wiersma Mensonides), Maarten Claringbould (Van Traa), Pieter den Haan (AKD), Vivian van der Kuil (AKD), Tim Roos (Van Dam & Kruidenier) Frank Smeele (EUR) and Taco van der Valk (AKD) has been asked to advise the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management on the liability limits for the carriage of passengers in inland navigation, public transport and general passenger carriage in the wake of the judgment of the Hoge Raad in the Mathilda case: ECLI:NL:HR:2018:729; S&S 2018/85.
A Rotterdam Rules Committee was set up in the summer of 2013 following the pledge by the Minister of Security and Justice to ensure a more speedy preparation for the ratification of the Rotterdam Rules and the implementation thereof into national legislation.
The Rotterdam Rules Committee is a continuation of the previous Committees Issues on Transport Law and UNCITRAL Draft which worked on the draft text of the convention which the United Nations General Assembly recommended to become known as the Rotterdam Rules.
The Committee has the following members: Herman Boonk (Boonk Van Leeuwen), Vincent de Brauw (AKD), Maarten Claringbould (Van Traa), Nick Margetson (Margetson & Van 't Zelfde) (Secretary), Peter Ruyter (EVO), Daphne Smaling (Fenex/TLN), Frank Smeele (Erasmus School of Law), Michiel Starmans (Spliethoff), Jan Teunissen (Van Traa), Gertjan van der Ziel (Chair), and Thea van Zoelen-de Bruijn (KVNR).
The purpose of the Committee is to act as sounding board for the Ministry of Security and Justice in its preparation of the necessary legislation.
Strasbourg Convention of 2012 on the Limitation of Liability in Inland Navigation (CLNI 2012)
In co-operation with the IVR a committee consisting of Tim Roos (Van Dam & Kruidenier), Frank Smeele (Erasmus School of Law) and Frans de Vries Lentsch has commented on the Bill for the Amendment of Book 8 of the Civil Code in Connection with the Implementation of the Strasbourg Convention of 2012 on the Limitation of Liability in Inland Navigation (CLNI 2012, Dutch Treaty Series 2013, 72). The comments may be downloaded here. The document refers back to earlier comments and advice given. The comments of the Committee (in a different composition) from 2012 may be downloaded here. The advice of the Committee (again in different composition) from 2007 may be downloaded here.
COMITE MARITIME INTERNATIONAL
Questionnaire International Working Group on Unmanned Ships (29 March 2017)
The questionnaire deals with the potential problems with the use of unmanned ships in view of current legisation or law dealing i.a. with the definition of a ship. A draft reply to the questionnaire was prepared by Gijsbert de Jong (Bureau Veritas), Mireille Loth (Ministery of Infrastructuur and Waterworks), Niels van de Minkelis (Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners), Rob Ruigrok (Dutch Pilots Association), Frank G.M. Smeele (Erasmus University) and Welmoed van der Velde (NHL Polytechnic). After an internet consultation and comments from Willemieke Princée (Ox & Wolf) and Taco van der Valk (AKD) the final text of the reply was submitted to the CMI.
Questionnaire International Working Group Ship Financing Security Practices (29 March 2016)
A reply to the questionnaire was prepared on the basis of input given by Reinier van Campen (Wiersma Mensonides), Haco van der Houven van Oordt (AKD), Arij-Jan Noordermeer (Rabobank), Willemieke Princée (Ox & Wolf) and Taco van der Valk (AKD). The internet consultation of the NVV membership did not lead to any further comments. The final reply has been submitted to the CMI.
Questionnaire #1 International Working Group on Vessel Nomenclature (8 March 2016)
This CMI working group carries out research about the different notions of 'vessel' or 'ship' that can be found in the maritime law conventions and related national legislation. Taco van der Valk (AKD) prepared a draft reply to the questionnaire which was then circulated amongst a number of persons with particular expertise on the subject. After initial comments from Reinier van Campen (Wiersma Mensonides), Maarten Claringbould (Van Traa), Pauline Hofmeijer-Rutten (Rotterdam Court), Willemieke Princée (Ox & Wolf), Kirten Redeker-Gieteling (Ministry of Security and Justice), and Welmoed van der Velde (NHL University of Applied Sciences), and an internet consultation via this website, the final text of the reply was submitted to the CMI.
Questionnaire - Pandemic Response - The Effect on Seafarers and Passengers at Sea (30 September 2015)
In view of the pandemics with the avian flu, SARS, Chikungunya, and Ebola the CMI received a request from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to ascertain the legal position in as many countries as possible concerning their response, or likely response to medical emergencies involving seafarers or passengers during such situations. To that end a CMI working group prepared a questionnaire which was sent to the national associations. Diederik van Besouw and Reinier van Campen (both Wiersma Mensonides) prepared a first draft of the reply. Willemieke Princée (Ox & Wolf) was asked to supply additional information regarding the situation in the Dutch Caribbean. A call for further comments via the website and Linkedin group did not result in any further comments. The final text of the reply was subsequently submitted to the CMI.
Questionnaire - Study relating to Arrest of Ships with particular emphasis on the Liability of the Wrongful and Unjustified Arrest (27 May 2015)
Following lecturers and comments by Sir Bernard Eder, Professor Martin Davies and Aleka Sheppard on the common law view on liability for wrongful arrest of ships, the CMI set up an International Working Group to study the views held internationally on the topic. The reply prepared by Reinier van Campen, Willemieke Princée and Taco van der Valk may be downloaded here.
Questionnaire - Offshore Activities - pollution liability and related issues (19 juli 2013)
Following the incidents with offshore platforms Montara (2009, Timor Sea) and Deepwater Horizon (2010, Gulf of Mexico) a discussion started within IMO about the need for an international convention on liability and compensation arising from transboundary oil pollution damage resulting from offshore oil exploration and exploitation (see e.g. the Convention on civil liability for oil pollution damage resulting from exploration for and exploitation of seabed mineral resources, London 1 May 1977). The IMO Legal Committee has decided that there is no compelling need to develop an international convention on this subject and that the problem would best be resolved by means of regional and bilateral agreement between states. The CMI has offered to assist this project by collecting information about existing regional and bilateral agreements on transboundary oil pollution from offshore activities. The reply prepared by Reinier van Campen, Nigel Margetson and Taco van der Valk may be downloaded here.
Revision on the Rules of General Average (York-Antwerp Rules 2016) (March 2013)
A committee consisting of Resi Hacksteiner (IVR/EBU), Bjorn Kalden (RSA/Dutch Association of Insurers), Jolien Kruit (Van Traa) (secretary), Peter Muller (SCUA), Jack Post, Ton Schoutens (A.C.G. Schoutens Dispacheurs), Marjan Schuringa (Smit/Boskalis), and Michiel Starmans (Spliethoff) advised the board of the Dutch Association on the renewed review by the CMI of the need for a revision of the York-Antwerp Rules, a decided upon at the CMI Conference in Beijing in 2012. At that conference a new International Working Group (IWG) was set up which carried out research (by means of questionnaires sent to the national associations) and drafted proposals for changes in the text of the York-Antwerp Rules. Early March 2013 the IWG sent a final questionnaire to the national associations. The GA Committee prepared a reply on behalf of the Dutch Association, which was submitted to the CMI.
A final text of the new York-Antwerp Rules 2016 was concluded at the CMI Conference in New York in 2016.
Questionnaire International Working Group on Marine Insurance on the Implementation in National Law of Mandatory Insurance Provisions in International Conventions (12 August 2010)
The Ad Hoc Committee which prepared a reply to this CMI questionnaire consisted of Jan de Boer (Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management), Taco van der Valk (AKD), and Welmoed van der Velde (Ministry of Justice). The questionnaire was about the implementation into national law of treaty provisions regarding mandatory (liability) insurance in sea-going shipping. The reply can be downloaded here.
Rotterdam Guarantee Form Limitation 2017
In May 2010 the Rotterdam Court requested the Association to consider developing a standard text for a guarantee which could be used for constituting a limitation fund for the (tonnage) limitation of liability in sea-going and inland shipping. The aim is to reduce the amount of debate in court about whether a text suggested by a party is acceptable. (A similar request from the Rotterdam Court to the Rotterdam Bar formed the basis for the Rotterdam Guarantee Form which is generally used in the Netherlands for providing security in order to prevent or lift attachments.)
At the end of 2016 a draft text (with note of explanation) was published on the website of the Association, with a call on stakeholders and interested parties to comment on the text. Shortly after 1 December 2016 the committee finalized the Dutch text and prepared an English translation. De final Dutch and English texts have been published on this website since 1 January 2017 under Documents.
During the preparation of this standard form the following persons were involved: Maarten Claringbould (Van Traa), Tim Roos (Van Dam & Kruidenier), Willem Sprenger (Rotterdam Court), Taco van der Valk (AKD), and Hans van der Wiel (Van der Wiel). Useful comments were received from Pieter den Haan and Vivian van der Kuil (both AKD).
Dispute Resolution Committee
Since February 2019 this committee has the following members: Vivian van der Kuil (AKD) chairperson, Willem Boonk (Smallegange), Mark Koppenol (Deck), Nol van Hal (Van Traa), and Frouwke de Vries (Erasmus School of Law).
The committee was set up to monitor the quality of Dutch law of civil procedure and arbitration for the benefit of the shipping, transport, offshore and related trade sector. The committee monitors changes to the law of civil procedure, e.g. the digitalization of court procedures, the workings of the Arbitration Act 2014, expected legislation regarding mediation, the introduction of proceedings in English before the Maritime Chamber of the Rotterdam Court, and the idea to establish a Netherlands Commercial Court. The committee will also be instrumental in the promotion of Dutch law and practice abroad, as the Dutch legal system has much to offer to national and international users.
During meetings of the Association on 3 April and 25 September 2014 the latest developments regarding digital proceedings and the new Arbitration Act have received much attention.
In 2015 the committee was asked to prepare a response by the Association for the Government internet consultation of the Bill to channel all shipping matters to the Maritime Chamber of the Rotterdam Court. The Association's response (in Dutch) may be downloaded here.
Since 1 January 2016 the Rotterdam Court is involved with a pilot allowing proceedings before the Maritime Chamber of the Rotterdam Court to be conducted in English.
For more information on the choice for Dutch law, and jurisdiction or arbitration, please view: www.dutchmaritimelaw.nl