for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to Maritime Liens and Mortgages
(Brussels, 27 May 1967)
THE CONTRACTING PARTIES,
HAVING RECOGNIZED the desirability
of determining by agreement certain rules relating to maritime liens and
HAVE RESOLVED to conclude a convention
for this purpose, and thereto agreed as follows:
Mortgages and "hypothèques" on sea-going
vessels shall be enforceable in Contracting States provided that:
(a) such mortgages and "hypothèques"
have been effected and registered in accordance with the law of the State
where the vessel is registered;
(b) the register and any instruments required
to be deposited with the registrar in accordance with the law of the State
where the vessel is registered are open to public inspection, and that
extracts of the register and copies of such instruments are obtainable
from the registrar, and
(c) either the register or any instruments
referred to in paragraph (b) above specifies the name and address of the
person in whose favour the mortgage or "hypothèque" has been effected
or that it has been issued to bearer, the amount secured and the date and
other particulars which, according to the law of the State of registration,
determine the rank as respects other registered mortgages and "hypothèques".
The ranking of registered mortgages and "hypothèques"
as between themselves and, without prejudice to the provisions of this
Convention, their effect in regard to third parties shall be determined
by the law of the State of registration; however, without prejudice to
the provisions of this Convention, all matters relating to the procedure
of enforcement shall be regulated by the law of the State where enforcement
1. Subject to the provisions of Article 11,
no Contracting State shall permit the deregistration of a vessel without
the written consent of all holders of registered mortgages and "hypothèques".
2. A vessel which is or has been registered
in a Contracting State shall not be eligible for registration in another
Contracting State, unless:
(a) a certificate has been issued by the former
State to the effect that the vessel has been deregistered, or
(b) a certificate has been issued by the former
State to the effect that the vessel will be deregistered on the day when
such new registration is effected.
1. The following claims shall be secured by
maritime liens on the vessel:
(i) wages and other sums due to the master,
officers and other members of the vessel's complement in respect of their
employment on the vessel;
(ii) port, canal and other waterway dues and
(iii) claims against the owner in respect
of loss of life or personal injury occurring, whether on land or on water,
in direct connection with the operation of the vessel;
(iv) claims against the owner, based on tort
and not capable of being based on contract, in respect of loss of or damage
to property occurring, whether on land or on water, in direct connection
with the operation of the vessel;
(v) claims for salvage, wreck removal and
contribution in general average.
The word "owner" mentioned in this paragraph
shall be deemed to include the demise or other charterer, manager or operator
of the vessel.
2. No maritime lien shall attach to the vessel
securing claims as set out in paragraph 1 (iii) and (iv) of this Article
which arise out of or result from the radioactive properties or a combination
of radioactive properties with toxic, explosive or other hazardous properties
of nuclear fuel or of radioactive product or waste.
1. The maritime liens set out in Article 4
shall take priority over registered mortgages and "hypothèques",
and no other claim shall take priority over such maritime liens or over
mortgages and "hypothèques" which comply with the requirements of
Article 1, except as provided in Article 6(2).
2. The maritime liens set out in Article 4
shall rank in the order listed, provided however that maritime liens securing
claims for salvage, wreck removal and contribution in general average shall
take priority over all other maritime liens which have attached to the
vessel prior to the time when the operations giving rise to the said liens
3. The maritime liens set out in each of sub-paragraphs
(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) of paragraph (1) of Article 4 shall rank pari
passu as between themselves.
4. The maritime liens set out in sub-paragraph
(v) of paragraph (1) of Article 4 shall rank in the inverse order of the
time when the claims secured thereby accrued. Claims for contribution in
general average shall be deemed to have accrued on the date on which the
general average act was performed; claims for salvage shall be deemed to
have accrued on the date on which the salvage operation was terminated.
1. Each Contracting State may grant liens
or rights of retention to secure claims other than those referred to in
Article 4. Such liens shall rank after all maritime liens set out in Article
4 and after all registered mortgages and "hypothèques" which comply
with the provisions of Article 1; and such rights of retention shall not
prejudice the enforcement of maritime liens set out in Article 4 or registered
mortgages or "hypothèques" which comply with the provisions of Article
1, nor the delivery of the vessel to the purchaser in connection with such
2. In the event that a lien or right of retention
is granted in respect of a vessel in possession of:
(a) a shipbuilder, to secure claims for the
building of the vessel, or
(b) a ship repairer, to secure claims for
repair of the vessel effected during such possession,
such lien or right of retention shall be postponed
to all maritime liens set out in Article 4, but may be preferred to registered
mortgages or "hypothèques". Such lien or right of retention may
be exercisable against the vessel notwithstanding any registered mortgage
or "hypothèque" on the vessel, but shall be extinguished when the
vessel ceases to be in the possession of the shipbuilder or ship repairer,
as the case may be.
1. The maritime liens set out in Article 4
arise whether the claims secured by such liens are against the owner or
against the demise or other charterer, manager or operator of the vessel.
2. Subject to the provisions of Article 11,
the maritime liens securing the claims set out in Article 4 follow the
vessel notwithstanding any change of ownership or of registration.
1. The maritime liens set out in Article 4
shall be extinguished after a period of one year from the time when the
claims secured thereby arose unless, prior to the expiry of such period,
the vessel has been arrested, such arrest leading to a forced sale.
2. The one year period referred to in the
preceding paragraph shall not be subject to suspension or interruption,
provided, however, that time shall not run during the period that the lienor
is legally prevented from arresting the vessel.
The assignment of or subrogation to a claim
secured by a maritime lien set out in Article 4 entails the simultaneous
assignment of or subrogation to such maritime lien.
Prior to the forced sale of a vessel in a
Contracting State, the competent authority of such State shall give, or
cause to be given at least thirty days written notice of the time and place
of such sale to:
(a) all holders of registered mortgages and
"hypothèques" which have not been issued to bearer;
(b) such holders of registered mortgages and
"hypothèques" issued to bearer and to such holders of maritime liens
set out in Article 4 whose claims have been notified to the said authority;
(c) the registrar of the register in which
the vessel is registered.
1. In the event of the forced sale of the
vessel in a Contracting State all mortgages and "hypothèques", except
those assumed by the purchaser with the consent of the holders, and all
liens and other encumbrances of whatsoever nature shall cease to attach
to the vessel, provided however that:
(a) at the time of the sale, the vessel is
in the jurisdiction of such Contracting State, and
(b) the sale has been effected in accordance
with the law of the said State and the provisions of this Convention.
No charter party or contract for the use of
the vessel shall be deemed a lien or encumbrance for the purpose of this
2. The cost awarded by the Court and arising
out of the arrest and subsequent sale of the vessel and the distribution
of the proceeds shall first be paid out of the proceeds of such sale. The
balance shall be distributed among the holders of maritime liens, liens
and rights of retention mentioned in paragraph 2 of Article 6 and registered
mortgages and "hypothèques" in accordance with the provisions of
this Convention to the extent necessary to satisfy their claims.
3. When a vessel registered in a Contracting
State has been the object of a forced sale in a Contracting State, the
Court or other competent authority having jurisdiction shall, at the request
of the purchaser, issue a certificate to the effect that the vessel is
sold free of all mortgages and "hypothèques", except those assumed
by the purchaser, and all liens and other encumbrances, provided that the
requirements set out in paragraph 1, sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) have been
complied with, and that the proceeds of such forced sale have been distributed
in compliance with paragraph 2 of this Article or have been deposited with
the authority that is competent under the law of the place of the sale.
Upon production of such certificate the registrar shall be bound to delete
all registered mortgages and "hypothèques", except those assumed
by the purchaser, and to register the vessel in the name of the purchaser
or to issue a certificate of deregistration for the purpose of re-registration,
as the case may be.
1. Unless otherwise provided in this Convention,
its provisions shall apply to all sea-going vessels registered in a Contracting
State or in a non-Contracting State.
2. Nothing in this Convention shall require
any rights to be conferred in or against, or enable any rights to be enforced
against any vessel owned, operated or chartered by a State and appropriated
to public non-commercial services.
For the purposes of Articles 3, 10 and 11
of this Convention, the competent authorities of the Contracting States
shall be authorized to correspond directly between themselves.
Any Contracting Party may at the time of signing,
ratifying or acceding to this Convention make the following reservations:
1. to give effect to this Convention either
by giving it the force of law or by including the provisions of this Convention
in its national legislation in a form appropriate to that legislation;
2. to apply the International Convention relating
to the limitation of the liability of owners of sea-going ships, signed
at Brussels on 10 October 1957.
Any dispute between two or more Contracting
Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention
which cannot be settled through negotiation shall, at the request of one
of them, be submitted to arbitration. If within six months from the date
of the request for arbitration the Parties are unable to agree on the organization
of the arbitration, any one of those Parties may refer the dispute to the
International Court of Justice by request in conformity with the Statute
of the Court.
1. Each Contracting Party may at the time
of signature or ratification of this Convention or accession thereto, declare
that it does not consider itself bound by Article 15 of the Convention.
The other Contracting Parties shall not be bound by this Article with respect
to any Contracting Party having made such a reservation.
2. Any Contracting Party having made a reservation
in accordance with paragraph 1 may at any time withdraw this reservation
by notification to the Belgian Government.
This Convention shall be open for signature
by the States represented at the twelfth session of the Diplomatic Conference
on Maritime Law
This Convention shall be ratified and the
instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Belgian Government.
1. This Convention shall come into force three
months after the date of the deposit of the fifth instrument of ratification.
2. This Convention shall come into force in
respect of each signatory State which ratifies it after the deposit of
the fifth instrument of ratification, three months after the date of the
deposit of the instrument of ratification.
1. States, Members of the United Nations or
Members of the specialized agencies, not represented at the twelfth session
of the Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Law, may accede to this Convention.
2. The instruments of accession shall be deposited
with the Belgian Government.
3. The Convention shall come into force in
respect of the acceding State three months after the date of deposit of
the instrument of accession of that State, but not before the date of entry
into force of the Convention as established by Article 19(1).
Each Contracting Party shall have the right
to denounce this Convention at any time after the coming into force thereof
in respect of such Contracting Party. Nevertheless, this denunciation shall
only take effect one year after the date on which notification thereof
have been received by the Belgian Government.
1. Any Contracting Party may at the time of
signature, ratification or accession to this Convention or at any time
thereafter declare by written notification to the Belgian Government which,
among the territories under its sovereignty or for whose international
relations it is responsible, are those to which the present Convention
The Convention shall three months after the
date of the receipt of such notification by the Belgian Government, extend
to the territories named therein.
2. Any Contracting Party which has made a
declaration under paragraph (1) of this Article may at any time thereafter
declare by notification given to the Belgian Government that the Convention
shall cease to extend to such territories.
This denunciation shall take effect one year
after the date on which notification thereof has been received by the Belgian
The Belgium Government shall notify the States
represented at the twelfth session of the Diplomatic Conference on Maritime
Law, and the acceding States to this Convention, of the following:
1. The signatures, ratifications and accessions
received in accordance with Articles 17, 18 and 20.
2. The date on which the present Convention
will come into force in accordance with Article 19.
3. The notifications with regard to Articles
14, 16 and 22.
4. The denunciations received in accordance
with Article 21.
Any Contracting Party may three years after
the coming into force of this Convention, in respect of such Contracting
Party, or at any time thereafter request that a Conference be convened
in order to consider amendments to this Convention.
Any Contracting Party proposing to avail itself
of this right shall notify the Belgian Government which, provided that
one-third of the Contracting Parties are in agreement, shall convene the
Conference within six months thereafter
In respect of the relations between States
which ratify this Convention or accede to it, this Convention shall replace
and abrogate the International Convention for the unification of certain
rules relating to Maritime Liens and Mortgages and Protocol of signature,
signed at Brussels on 10 April 1926.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned
plenipotentiaries, duly authorized, have signed this Convention.
DONE at Brussels, this 27th day of
May 1967, in the French and English languages, both texts being equally
authentic, in a single copy, which shall remain deposited in the archives
of the Belgian Government, which shall issue certified copies.