Relating to the Arrest of Sea-Going Ships
(Brussels, May 10, 1952)
In this Convention the following words shall
have the meanings hereby assigned to them:
(1) "Maritime Claim" means a claim arising
out of one or more of the following:
(a) damage caused by any ship either
in collision or otherwise;
(b) loss of life or personal injury caused
by any ship or occurring in connexion with the operation of any ship;
(d) agreement relating to the use or hire
of any ship whether by charterparty or otherwise;
(e) agreement relating to the carriage of
goods in any ship whether by charterparty or otherwise;
(f) loss of or damage to goods including baggage
carried in any ship;
(g) general average;
(k) goods or materials wherever supplied to
a ship for her operation or maintenance;
(1) construction, repair or equipment of any
ship or dock charges and dues;
(m) wages of Masters, Officers, or crew;
(n) Master's disbursements, including disbursements
made by shippers, charterers or agent on behalf of a ship or her owner;
(o ) disputes as to the title to or ownership
of any ship;
(p) disputes between co-owners of any ship
as to the ownership, possession, employment, or earnings of that ship;
(q) the mortgage or hypothecation of any ship.
(2) "Arrest" means the detention of a
ship by judicial process to secure a maritime claim, but does not include
the seizure of a ship in execution or satisfaction of a judgment.
(3) "Person" includes individuals, partnerships
and bodies corpo-rate, Governments, their Departments, and Public Authorities.
(4) "Claimant" means a person who alleges
that a maritime claim exists in his favour.
A ship flying the flag of one of the Contracting
States may be arrested in the jurisdiction of any of the Contracting States
in respect of any maritime claim, but in respect of no other claim;
but nothing in this Convention shall be deemed to extend or restrict any
right or powers vested in any governments or their departments, public
authorities, or dock or habour authorities under their existing domestic
laws or regulations to arrest, detain or otherwise prevent the sailing
of vessels within their jurisdiction.
(1) Subject to the provisions of para. (4)
of this article and of article 10, a claimant may arrest either the particular
ship in respect of which the maritime claim arose, or any other ship which
is owned by the person who was, at the time when the maritime claim arose,
the owner of the particular ship, even though the ship arrested be ready
to sail; but no ship, other than the particular ship in respect of which
the claim arose, may be arrested in respect of any of the maritime claims
enumerated in article 1, (o), (p) or (q).
(2) Ships shall be deemed to be in the same
ownership when all the shares therein are owned by the same person or persons.
(3) A ship shall not be arrested, nor shall
bail or other security be given more than once in any one or more of the
jurisdictions of any of the Contracting States in respect of the same maritime
claim by the same claimant: and, if a ship has been arrested in any of
such jurisdictions, or bail or other security has been given in such jurisdiction
either to release the ship or to avoid a threatened arrest, any subsequent
arrest of the ship or of any ship in the same ownership by the same claimant
for the maritime claim shall be set aside, and the ship released by the
Court or other appropriate judicial authority of that State, unless the
claimant can satisfy the Court or other appropriate judicial authority
that the bail or other security had been finally released before
the subsequent arrest or that there is other good cause for maintaining
(4) When in the case of a charter by demise
of a ship the charterer and not the registered owner is liable in respect
of a maritime claim relating to that ship, the claimant may arrest such
ship or any other ship in the ownership of the charterer by demise, subject
to the provisions of this Convention, but no other ship in the ownership
of the registered owner shall be liable to arrest in respect of such maritime
claim. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to any case in which
a person other than the registered owner of a ship is liable in respect
of a maritime claim relating to that ship.
A ship may only be arrested under the authority
of a Court or of the appropriate judicial authority of the contracting
State in which the arrest is made.
The Court or other appropriate judicial authority
within whose jurisdiction the ship has been arrested shall permit the release
of the ship upon sufficient bail or other security being furnished, save
in cases in which a ship has been arrested in respect of any of the maritime
claims enumerated in article 1, (o ) and (p). In such cases the Court or
other appropriate judicial authority may permit the person in possession
of the ship to continue trading the ship, upon such person furnishing sufficient
bail or other security, or may otherwise deal with the operation of the
ship during the period of the arrest. In default of agreement between the
parties as to the sufficiency of the bail or other security, the Court
or other appropriate judicial authority shall determine the nature and
amount thereof. The request to release the ship against such security shall
not be construed as an acknowledgment of liability or as a waiver of the
benefit of the legal limitations of liability of the owner of the ship.
All questions whether in any case the claimant
is liable in damages for the arrest of a ship or for the costs of the bail
or other security furnished to release or prevent the arrest of a ship,
shall be determined by the law of the Contracting State in whose jurisdiction
the arrest was made or applied for.
The rules of procedure relating to the arrest
of a ship, to the application for obtaining the authority referred to in
Article 4, and to all matters of procedure which the arrest may entail,
shall be governed by the law of the Contracting State in which the arrest
was made or applied for.
(1) The Courts of the country in which the
arrest was made shall have jurisdiction to determine the case upon its
merits if the domestic law of the country in which the arrest is made gives
jurisdiction to such Courts, or in any of the following cases namely:
(a) if the claimant has his habitual
residence or principal place of business in the country in which the arrest
(2) If the Court within whose jurisdiction the
ship was arrested has not jurisdiction to decide upon the merits, the bail
or other security given in accordance with article 5 to procure the release
of the ship shall specifically provide that it is given as security for
the satisfaction of any judgment which may eventually be pronounced by
a Court having jurisdiction so to decide; and the Court or other appropriate
judicial authority of the country in which the claimant shall bring an
action before a Court having such jurisdiction.
(b) if the claim arose in the country in which
the arrest was made;
(c) if the claim concerns the voyage of the
ship during which the arrest was made;
(d) if the claim arose out of a collision
or in circumstances covered by article 13 of the International Convention
for the unification of certain rules of law with respect to collisions
between vessels, signed at Brussels on 23rd September 1910;
(e) if the claim is for salvage;
(f) if the claim is upon a mortgage or hypothecation
of the ship arrested.
(3) If the parties have agreed to submit the
dispute to the jurisdiction of a particular Court other than that within
whose jurisdiction the arrest was made or to arbitration, the Court or
other appropriate judicial authority within whose jurisdiction the arrest
was made may fix the time within which the claimant shall bring proceedings.
(4) If, in any of the cases mentioned in the
two preceding paragraphs, the action or proceeding is not brought within
the time so fixed, the defendant may apply for the release of the ship
or of the bail or other security.
(5) This article shall not apply in cases
covered by the provisions of the revised Rhine Navigation Convention of
17 October 1868.
(1) The provisions of this Convention shall
apply to any vessel flying the flag of a Contracting State in the jurisdiction
of any Contracting State.
(2) A ship flying the flag of a non-Contracting
State may be arrested in the jurisdiction of any Contracting State in respect
of any of the maritime claims enumerated in article 1 or of any other claim
for which the law of the Contracting State permits arrest.
(3) Nevertheless any Contracting State shall
be entitled wholly or partly to exclude from the benefits of this convention
any government of a non-Contracting State or any person who has not, at
the time of the arrest, his habitual residence or principal place of business
in one of the Contracting States.
(4) Nothing in this Convention shall modify
or affect the rules of law in force in the respective Contracting States
relating to the arrest of any ship within the jurisdiction of the State
of her flag by a person who has his habitual residence or principal place
of business in that State.
(5) When a maritime claim is asserted by a
third party other than the original claimant, whether by subrogation, assignment
or other-wise, such third party shall, for the purpose of this Convention,
be deemed to have the same habitual residence or principal place of business
as the original claimant.
Nothing in this Convention shall be construed
as creating a right of action, which, apart from the provisions of this
Convention, would not arise under the law applied by the Court which was
seized of the case, nor as creating any maritime liens which do not exist
under such law or under the Convention on maritime mortgages and liens,
if the latter is applicable.
The High Contracting Parties may at the time
of signature, deposit or ratification or accession, reserve:
(a) the right not to apply this Convention
to the arrest of a ship for any of the claims enumerated in paragraphs
(o ) and (p) of article 1, but to apply their domestic laws to such claims;
(b) the right not to apply the first paragraph
of article 3 to the arrest of a ship within their jurisdiction for claims
set out in article 1 paragraph (q).
The High Contracting Parties undertake to
submit to arbitration any disputes between States arising out of the interpretation
or application of this Convention, but this shall be without prejudice
to the obligations of those High Contracting Parties who have agreed to
submit their disputes to the International Court of Justice.
This Convention shall be open for signature
by the States represented at the Ninth Diplomatic Conference on Maritime
Law. The protocol of signature shall be drawn up through the good offices
of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This Convention shall be ratified and the
instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Belgian Ministry
of Foreign Affairs which shall notify all signatory and acceding States
of the deposit of any such instruments.
(a ) This Convention shall come into force
between the two States which first ratify it, six months after the date
of the deposit of the second instrument of ratification.
(b ) This Convention shall come into force
in respect of each signatory State which ratifies it after the deposit
of the second instrument of ratification six months after the date of the
deposit of the instrument of ratification of that State.
Any State not represented at the Ninth Diplomatic
Conference on Maritime Law may accede to this Convention.
The accession of any State shall be notified
to the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which shall inform through diplomatic
channels all signatory and acceding States of such notification.
The Convention shall come into force in respect
of the acceding State six months after the date of the receipt of such
notification but not before the Convention has come into force in accordance
with the provisions of Article 14(a).
Any High Contracting Party may three years
after coming into force of this Convention in respect of such High Contracting
Party or at any time thereafter request that a conference be convened in
order to consider amendments to the Convention.
Any High Contracting Party proposing to avail
itself of this right shall notify the Belgian Government which shall convene
the conference within six months thereafter.
Any High Contracting Party shall have the
right to denounce this Convention at any time after the coming into force
thereof in respect of such High Contracting Party. This denunciation shall
take effect one year after the date on which notification thereof has been
received by the Belgian Government which shall inform through diplomatic
channels all the other High Contracting Parties of such notification.
(a ) Any High Contracting Party may at the
time of its ratification of or accession to this Convention or at any time
thereafter declare by written notification to the Belgian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs that the Convention shall extend to any of the territories for
whose international relations it is responsible. The Convention shall six
months after the date of the receipt of such notification by the Belgian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs extend to the territories named therein, but
not before the date of the coming into force of the Convention in respect
of such High Contracting Party.
(b ) A High Contracting Party which has made
a declaration under paragraph (a ) of this Article extending the Convention
to any territory for whose international relations it is responsible may
at any time thereafter declare by notification given to the Belgian Ministry
of Foreign Affairs that the Convention shall cease to extend to such territory
and the Convention shall one year after the receipt of the notification
by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs cease to extend thereto.
(c ) The Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
shall inform through diplomatic channels all signatory and acceding States
of any notification received by it under this Article.
DONE in Brussels, on May 10, 1952, in the
French and English languages, the two texts being equally authentic.