SHIPPING, MARITIME AND ADMIRALTY LAWS
IN PAKISTAN & WORLDWIDE
Admiralty and Maritime Law mainly involves Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1925 (Hauge Rules), Merchant Shipping Ordinance 2001 and Admiralty Jurisdiction of High Courts Ordinance, 1980. We represent clients in relation to ship breaking, shipping companies and individual consignees to appear against national and international shipping organizations.
Admiralty Courts assume jurisdiction by virtue of the presence of the vessel in its territorial jurisdiction irrespective of whether the vessel is national or not and whether registered or not and wherever the residence or domicile or their owners may be. A vessel is usually arrested by the court to retain jurisdiction. State owned vessels are usually immune from arrest.
We deals in matters involving:
- Short Landing of Cargo, Loss of Cargo, Damage and Contamination.
- Tort of Conversion
- Maritime liens
- Ship arrests and Releases from arrest.
- Collision, Fire, Grounding, General Average and Salvage
- Shipbuilding, Sale and Purchase of Vessels
- Charter Party Claims Bills of Lading disputes
- Ship owners liability
- Over and under Invoicing issues
- Charter parties
In Pakistan admiralty jurisdiction is conferred upon the Sindh and Baluchistan High Court by virtue of the “Admiralty Jurisdiction of High Court Ordinance 1980”. The 1980’s Ordinance is almost similar to the English Law and therefore it is not complicated to arrest a ship in Pakistan. Any Ship or one of her sister ships, may be arrested in the case having proper cause of action and the ship & sister ship available in Pakistani waters.
Claims for damage to cargo shipped in international commerce are governed by the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. One of its key features is that a ship owner is liable for cargo damaged from “hook to hook,” meaning from loading to discharge, unless it is exonerated under one of 17 exceptions to liability, such as an “act of God,” the inherent nature of the goods, errors in navigation, and management of the ship.
Personal injuries to seamen:
Seamen injured aboard the principle of maintenance and cure applied. The principle of maintenance and cure requires a shipowner to both pay for an injured seaman’s medical treatment until maximum medical recovery is obtained and provide basic living expenses until completion of the voyage, even if the seaman is no longer aboard ship. The seaman is entitled to maintenance & cure as of right, unless he was injured due to his own willful gross negligence. It is similar in some ways to workers’ compensation.
Personal injuries to passengers:
Ship owners owe a duty of reasonable care to passengers (for a broad overview of this theory in law, see negligence). Consequently, passengers who are injured aboard ships may bring suit the same as if they had been injured ashore through the negligence of a third party. The passenger bears the burden of proving that the ship owner was negligent. While statute of limitations is generally three years, suits against cruise lines must usually be brought within one year because of limitations contained in the passenger ticket. Most cruise line passenger tickets also have provisions requiring that suit to be brought in either Karachi or Quetta.
Banks which loan money to purchase ships, vendors who supply ships with necessaries like fuel and stores, seamen who are due wages, and many others have a lien against the ship to guarantee payment. To enforce the lien, the ship must be arrested or seized. This is one of those remedies which must be brought in court of respective two provinces in Pakistan.