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Maritime Law in Spain

Maritime Law in Spain

The Maritime Law in Spain was amended in 2014, when the new Shipping Act came into force and it must be observed by all the companies that are performing economic activities in the local and international trading field, using means of transport on the sea.

The changes regarding the letters of indemnity

The foreign entrepreneurs who are interested in the Maritime Law should know that the status of the letters of indemnity was changed. The letters of indemnity are recognized in the relation between the shipper and the carrier. If they need more details about the changes and the exceptions, they may contact a Spanish lawyer who can also offer them other legal services for this field of activity.

The authority of the master of a vessel

Another important aspect of the Maritime Law is the authority of the master of a vessel who is the responsible for the safety of the vessel and then comes the authority of the pilot who is the second responsible. So the master should have a good communication with the pilot and pay attention to his actions and intervene if something goes wrong. There is also the responsibility to disembark the stowaways in the Spanish ports and a special attention must be paid to the African people who may be infected with Ebola virus.

The Act contains four provisions related to the cases when the stowaways can be disembarked and this can happen in the case of:

–    inhuman or degrading situation on board;
–    medical assistance for stowaways;
–    humanitarian reasons;
–    repatriation.

The captain of a vessel is in charge with the management and command of the ship, while the pilot’s authority is restricted and it doesn’t substitute the captain’s. In case of damages to the vessel or to a third party because of the negligence or fault of the pilot, this is the one responsible, without the liability of the captain. There are certain cases when the captain and the owner of the vessel are held liable for a concurring fault.

The foreign investors who are interested in the Maritime Law may contact our law firm in Spain for more details and a wide range of legal services.