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Merchant Shipping Act

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Merchant Shipping Act - content
Issuer:Riigikogu
Type:act
In force from:01.06.2021
In force until: In force
Translation published:10.06.2021

Merchant Shipping Act1

Passed 05.06.2002
RT I 2002, 55, 345
Entry into force 01.10.2002

Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

PassedPublishedEntry into force
19.12.2002RT I 2003, 1, 316.01.2003
15.06.2005RT I 2005, 39, 30801.01.2006
10.12.2008RT I 2008, 59, 33001.01.2009
22.04.2010RT I 2010, 22, 10801.01.2011 enters into force on the date which has been determined in the Decision of the Council of the European Union regarding the abrogation of the derogation established in respect of the Republic of Estonia on the basis provided for in Article 140 (2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Council Decision 2010/416/EU of 13 July 2010 (OJ L 196, 28.07.2010, pp. 24–26).
14.12.2011RT I, 30.12.2011, 101.01.2012
15.05.2013RT I, 30.05.2013, 409.06.2013
19.06.2014RT I, 29.06.2014, 10901.07.2014, the titles of ministers substituted on the basis of subsection 107³ (4) of the Government of the Republic Act starting from the wording that enters into force on 1 July 2014.
21.11.2018RT I, 12.12.2018, 301.01.2019
18.02.2020RT I, 28.02.2020, 201.07.2020
25.11.2020RT I, 10.12.2020, 101.01.2021
11.05.2021RT I, 31.05.2021, 101.06.2021, partially on the day of entry into force of Protocol of 2010 to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996.

Chapter 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS 

§ 1.  Purpose of Act

  This Act regulates legal relationships arising from merchant shipping.

§ 2.  Definition of merchant shipping

  For the purposes of this Act, merchant shipping is deemed to be an activity that is related to the use of ships for the carriage of cargo, passengers, luggage and mail, for the survey and extraction of the living and other resources of the sea and the mineral resources below the seabed, for ice breaking, towage and salvage operations and for other lawful purposes.

§ 3.  Implementation of Act

 (1) In the event of carriage between ports in the Republic of Estonia (cabotage), the contracting parties shall not agree to apply the law of a foreign state.

 (2) The contracting parties may, upon agreement, deviate from the provisions of this Act, unless it is expressly provided by law or it arises from the nature of a provision that deviation from this Act is prohibited.

 (3) The Merchant Shipping Act does not apply to the real right contracts of ships.

Chapter 2 CARRIAGE OF CARGO 

§ 4.  Contract for carriage of cargo

 (1) A contract for the carriage of cargo is a contract for carriage whereby a person (the carrier) undertakes to another person (the shipper) to carry the goods delivered to the carrier by the shipper for carriage by sea to the port of destination and to deliver the goods there to a person entitled to receive the goods (the consignee). The shipper undertakes to pay freight for the carriage.

 (2) If a person who has entered into a contract for the carriage of cargo is at the same time the consignee of the goods, the consignee has the rights and obligations of the shipper.

§ 5.  Time limit for carriage

  The carrier shall deliver the goods within the agreed time limit or, in the absence of an agreement, within a time limit which can be reasonably expected of a diligent carrier having regard to the circumstances of the case (time limit for carriage).

§ 6.  Packing, preparation and loading of goods

 (1) Taking into account the nature of the goods and the agreed type of carriage, the shipper shall pack the goods in such manner that they will be protected against loss and damage and will not cause damage to the carrier, other persons, other goods or the environment.

 (2) The shipper shall deliver the goods to a place specified by the carrier by the time determined by the carrier. The goods shall be delivered in such a manner and condition that they can be conveniently and safely loaded. The delivered goods shall be fit for carriage.

 (3) The carrier shall load the goods.

§ 7.  Inspection of goods

 (1) Upon receipt of goods, the carrier shall inspect in a reasonable manner whether the goods are packed in the manner specified in subsection 6 (1) of this Act. If the goods are delivered in a container or other similar closed article of transport, the carrier is not required to inspect it internally unless it is clear that the article of transport is not packed in conformity with the requirements.

 (2) The carrier shall inform the shipper of any deficiencies which the carrier has discovered in the course of the inspection specified in subsection (1) of this section. The carrier may refuse to carry the goods if the deficiencies cannot be eliminated using measures the application whereof can be reasonably expected of the carrier upon the loading of the goods.

§ 8.  Dangerous goods

 (1) In the case of dangerous goods, the shipper shall inform the carrier of the nature of the danger in due time and in a format which can be reproduced in writing. Upon the carriage of dangerous goods, the shipper shall also inform the carrier of the precautions to be taken while carrying the dangerous goods if this can be reasonably expected of the shipper. Dangerous goods shall be correspondingly marked.

 (2) If the carrier has not been informed of the nature of the danger or has not become aware thereof in any other manner, the carrier may unload the dangerous goods, store them, carry them back and, if necessary, destroy them or render them harmless.

 (3) The carrier may demand that the shipper reimburse the necessary expenses that have been incurred in order to apply the precautions specified in subsection (2) of this section. The carrier is not required to compensate the shipper for any damage arising from application of the precautions specified in subsection (2).

 (4) The carrier may unload, destroy or render harmless dangerous goods which are correspondingly marked only if the goods directly endanger the persons on board the ship, the ship or the cargo.

§ 9.  Goods requiring special care

  If the goods require special care upon loading, unloading or during carriage, the shipper shall inform the carrier thereof in due time and shall indicate the measures that may be needed. If necessary, the shipper shall mark the goods correspondingly.

§ 10.  Accompanying documents

 (1) Before the goods are delivered to the carrier, the shipper shall place the documents and information necessary for the loading and unloading of the goods and for conducting other formalities related to carriage, in particular for customs clearance, at the disposal of the carrier.

 (2) The carrier may refuse to commence carriage or may unload the goods if the documents delivered or the information communicated to the carrier are inaccurate or incomplete or if the documents are not delivered or the information is not communicated in due time. The carrier may demand that expenses incurred due to unloading be reimbursed.

 (3) The carrier shall compensate for any damage caused by the loss of or damage to documents delivered to the carrier or by the incorrect use of the documents unless the loss of, damage to or incorrect use of the documents is caused by circumstances the occurrence or consequences whereof could not be avoided by the carrier.

 (4) In the case specified in subsection (3) of this section, the liability of the carrier is limited to the amount which would be paid in compensation for the loss of the goods.

§ 11.  Payment of freight

 (1) Freight shall be paid to the carrier upon delivery of the goods to the consignee. In addition to freight, the carrier may demand reimbursement of the expenses which the carrier incurs in relation to the goods and which the carrier could consider to be necessary in the circumstances. The carrier shall not demand reimbursement of the expenses which are usually incurred upon the performance of such contracts for the carriage of cargo or which the carrier would also have incurred without entering into the contract.

 (2) If carriage cannot be completed due to circumstances preventing carriage or if the goods cannot be delivered to the consignee due to circumstances preventing delivery (§ 20), the carrier may demand payment of freight and reimbursement of expenses corresponding to the itinerary covered. If the circumstances preventing carriage or delivery arise due to the fault of the carrier, the carrier may demand payment of freight and reimbursement of expenses only in so far as the shipper is interested in the carriage.

 (3) If freight is agreed based on the number, weight or measurements of the goods or on the quantity of goods determined in any other way, the information in the bill of lading (§ 38) or the sea waybill (§ 47) is presumed to be correct upon calculation of the freight. This also applies if the bill of lading contains a reservation in respect of the information with the justification that the carrier did not have any reasonable chance of verifying correctness of the information.

§ 12.  Freight for lost goods

 (1) Freight shall not be paid for goods which are lost during carriage and any freight paid in advance shall be returned.

 (2) If freight does not depend on the number, weight or measurements of the goods or on the quantity of goods determined in any other way, it shall be reduced based on the quantity of lost goods in the event of partial loss of the goods.

 (3) Freight shall not be reduced pursuant to subsections (1) and (2) of this section if the loss of the goods is caused by the nature of the goods.

§ 13.  Cancellation of contract for carriage of cargo by shipper

 (1) The shipper may cancel the contract for the carriage of cargo at any time, unless the cancellation would cause a delay in the voyage, endanger the ship or the cargo or result in significant damage to other legitimate interests of the carrier.

 (2) If a bill of lading has been issued, the shipper may cancel the contract only with the consent of the person entitled to dispose of the goods on the basis of the bill of lading.

 (3) If the shipper cancels the contract, the carrier may demand payment of the agreed freight and of expenses subject to reimbursement.

 (4) The shipper may demand that the amount which the carrier saves as a result of termination of the contract or obtains in any other manner as a result of termination of the contract or fails to obtain in bad faith be deducted from the amounts specified in subsection (3) of this section.

 (5) Instead of a claim specified in subsection (3) of this section, the carrier may demand payment of one-third of the agreed freight.

 (6) The carrier does not have the right to file the claims specified in subsections (3) and (5) of this section if the reason for cancellation is a material violation of the obligations of the carrier.

 (7) If the goods are loaded before cancellation of the contract, the carrier shall unload the goods at the expense of the shipper. If the contract is cancelled due to a material violation of the obligations of the carrier, the carrier shall unload the goods at the expense of the carrier.

§ 14.  Cancellation of contract for carriage of cargo by carrier

 (1) The carrier may cancel the contract for the carriage of cargo if the goods are not delivered for carriage in due time.

 (2) Upon cancellation of the contract, the carrier may demand payment of the agreed freight and of expenses subject to reimbursement.

 (3) The shipper may demand that the amount which the carrier saves as a result of termination of the contract or obtains in any other manner as a result of termination of the contract or fails to obtain in bad faith be deducted from the amounts specified in subsection (2) of this section.

 (4) Instead of a claim specified in subsection (2) of this section, the carrier may demand payment of one-third of the agreed freight.

§ 15.  Right to demand carriage of partial cargo

 (1) The shipper may demand that the carrier commence the carriage of goods even if only part of the agreed cargo is loaded (partial cargo), unless carriage of partial cargo would endanger the ship or other goods being carried.

 (2) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, the carrier may demand payment of the agreed freight and reimbursement of any additional expenses incurred due to the carriage of partial cargo. The shipper may demand that any freight for goods carried by the carrier on board the same ship instead of the unloaded goods be deducted from the freight.

 (3) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, the carrier may demand additional security for the freight, demurrage charge and expenses subject to reimbursement if payment thereof is not sufficiently secured with the right of security specified in § 24 of this Act or with other security due to the carriage of partial cargo.

 (4) If the fact that only some of the agreed goods are loaded is caused by violation of an obligation of the carrier, the carrier may demand payment of freight only for those goods which are actually carried. Subsections (2) and (3) of this section do not apply.

§ 16.  Due care by carrier

  From the delivery of goods for carriage until the delivery of the goods to the consignee, the carrier shall perform operations with the goods according to the interests of the owner of the goods and with due care.

§ 17.  Seaworthiness and cargoworthiness

 (1) The carrier shall ensure that, upon commencement of a voyage, the ship is seaworthy, crewed according to the requirements and technically equipped and that it has sufficient supplies for the voyage.

 (2) The carrier shall also ensure that, upon commencing the loading of a ship, the machinery and holds of the ship in which goods are carried are in the required condition for the reception, carriage and preservation of goods (cargoworthiness).

§ 18.  Loading on deck

  Goods may be loaded on deck only with the consent of the shipper unless the loading of the goods on deck is prescribed by law, arises from the nature of the goods or is common practice upon the carriage of such goods.

§ 19.  Instructions for operations with goods, disposal of goods

 (1) The shipper has the right to give instructions regarding operations with the goods and the right to dispose of the goods.

 (2) The carrier shall carry out any instructions only in so far as this does not bring about any harmful consequences for the activities of the carrier or for the shippers or consignees of other goods carried by the carrier. The carrier may demand that the shipper reimburse any expenses related to carrying out instructions and pay reasonable additional freight. The carrier may demand a reasonable advance payment in order to carry out the instructions.

 (3) If a bill of lading has been issued, the lawful holder of the bill of lading has the right to give instructions regarding operations with the goods and the right to dispose of the goods. In the event of a bill of lading being issued, the carrier may carry out the instructions only if the bill of lading is submitted to the carrier.

 (4) The carrier shall promptly notify the person who gives instructions to the carrier of any failure to carry out the instructions.

 (5) If instructions are given by a person who is not entitled to do so and if the obligation to carry out the instructions is dependent on the bill of lading being submitted but the carrier adheres to the instructions without the bill of lading having been submitted to him or her, the carrier shall compensate the person entitled to give instructions for any damage arising from carrying out the instructions even if the damage caused is excused. In such case, the provisions of this Act concerning limitation of the liability of the carrier do not apply.

 (6) Any agreement which precludes or restricts the obligation of a carrier to compensate for damage in the case specified in subsection (5) of this section does not apply to the lawful holder of the bill of lading.

§ 20.  Circumstances preventing carriage or delivery

 (1) If it becomes evident before goods arrive at their port of destination that carriage cannot be completed as prescribed in the contract (circumstances preventing carriage) or if it becomes evident after goods arrive at their port of destination that the goods cannot be delivered to the consignee (circumstances preventing delivery), the carrier shall ask for instructions regarding further operations with the goods.

 (2) If the consignee is entitled to give instructions but cannot be identified or refuses to take delivery of the goods, the shipper may be asked for instructions. If the obligation to carry out the instructions is dependent on the bill of lading being produced, the bill of lading need not be produced.

 (3) The carrier may demand reimbursement of expenses related to carrying out instructions unless the circumstances preventing carriage or delivery are caused through the fault of the carrier. The carrier may demand a reasonable advance payment for carrying out the instructions.

 (4) If the carrier does not receive instructions within a reasonable period of time, the carrier shall take reasonable measures in the interests of the person entitled to give instructions. According to the circumstances, the carrier may, above all:
 1) unload and store the goods, or deposit the goods with a third party at the expense of the person entitled to give instructions; upon storing or depositing the goods, the carrier shall be liable only for the choice of the third party;
 2) carry the goods back;
 3) sell the goods pursuant to the provisions of subsections 125 (3)–(6) of the Law of Obligations Act if the goods are highly perishable or if their condition warrants such a course or if the expenses incurred upon taking other measures would be unreasonably high taking into consideration the value of the goods;
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]
 4) destroy the goods if it is impossible or inexpedient to sell them.

 (5) The carrier may demand reimbursement of necessary expenses incurred in relation to measures taken pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, unless the circumstances preventing carriage or delivery are caused through the fault of the carrier.

§ 21.  Unloading

  The carrier shall unload the goods at their port of destination at the expense of the carrier. The carrier shall inform the consignee of the place of unloading in due time.

§ 22.  Rights of consignee and obligation of consignee to pay

 (1) After arrival of goods at the place of unloading, the consignee may demand that the carrier deliver the goods. The carrier may refuse to deliver the goods if the obligations of the shipper which have fallen due and which arise from the contract for the carriage of cargo have not been performed and if the consignee refuses to perform them.

 (2) In the event of loss of, damage to or a delay in the delivery of goods, the consignee may file claims arising from the contract against the carrier in the name of the consignee. The filing of a claim by the consignee does not preclude the right of the shipper to file the same claim.

 (3) A consignee who files a claim specified in subsection (1) of this section shall pay the carrier the freight due and reimburse the expenses subject to reimbursement up to the amount set out in the bill of lading or sea waybill. If a bill of lading or sea waybill has not been issued or is not submitted to the consignee or if the size of the freight to be paid does not arise from the bill of lading or sea waybill, the consignee shall pay the freight agreed with the shipper.

 (4) If a carrier delivers goods to the consignee without demanding payment of freight and compensation for other expenses, the claims of the carrier against the shipper are maintained, unless the shipper and the carrier agree otherwise.

§ 23.  Delivery of goods

  The goods are deemed to have been delivered to the consignee if:
 1) the consignee or a representative thereof has acquired direct possession of the goods or
 2) in the case specified in clause 20 (4) 1) of this Act or in other cases prescribed in the contract for the carriage of cargo, the goods are stored or deposited at the port of destination in such manner that they are available to the consignee.

§ 24.  Right of security

 (1) The carrier has the right of security over the goods and the accompanying documents of the goods in order to secure claims arising from the contract for the carriage of cargo and claims arising from earlier contracts of carriage, forwarding contracts and storage contracts entered into with the shipper.

 (2) The right of security continues until the goods are in the possession of the carrier. The right of security continues after delivery of the goods to the consignee if the carrier files an action arising from the right of security with a court for the satisfaction of the claims specified in subsection (1) of this section and applies for the seizure of the goods within three days after delivery of the goods and if the goods are still in the possession of the consignee at the moment of seizure.

 (3) Notices provided for § 293 and subsection 294 (2) of the Law of Property Act shall be submitted to the consignee. If the consignee cannot be identified or if the consignee refuses to take delivery of the goods, the notices shall be submitted to the shipper.

§ 25.  Liability of carrier for loss of or damage to goods

  The carrier shall be liable for the loss of or any damage to the goods caused between the time the goods are accepted for carriage and the time the goods are delivered.

§ 26.  Release of carrier from liability

 (1) The carrier shall not be liable for damage if the carrier proves that the damage has been caused:
 1) as a result of an act or omission by the master, a crew member or a pilot while navigating the ship;
 2) because the ship was not seaworthy or cargoworthy at the moment of commencement of the voyage and the carrier was not able, using all due care, to detect this;
 3) because the ship lost its seaworthiness or cargoworthiness during the voyage;
 4) as a result of fire, unless the fire is caused by an act or omission of the master, a crew member or any other person in service on board the ship and involved in running the ship;
 5) as a result of a marine accident, war, the activities of public authorities, quarantine or disorder;
 6) as a result of the seizure of the ship;
 7) as a result of a strike;
 8) as a result of an act or omission by the shipper or the owner of the goods or by the agents or representatives of the shipper or the owner.

 (2) Any agreement which prescribes the release of the carrier from liability in a case not specified in subsection (1) of this section is void.

§ 27.  Release from liability in event of rescue or salvage

  The carrier shall not be liable for a violation of the contract for the carriage of cargo if the violation is caused due to taking necessary measures to rescue persons or salvage property at sea.

§ 28.  Presumption of loss of goods

 (1) If the goods are not delivered within sixty days from the moment when they should have been delivered, the consignee may deem the goods to be lost and submit an application regarding the loss to the carrier in a format which can be reproduced in writing.

 (2) If the consignee or shipper receives compensation for the loss of the goods, the consignee or shipper may, upon receipt of the compensation from the carrier, demand to be notified immediately should the goods be recovered.

 (3) A person who files a claim specified in subsection (2) of this section may demand that the goods be delivered to him or her against refund of the compensation within one month after receipt of a notice concerning recovery of the goods. If, in addition to compensation for the value of the goods, the compensation included also reimbursement of expenses related to the carriage and loss of the goods, such expenses shall be deducted from the compensation to be refunded.

 (4) The provisions of subsection (3) of this section do not preclude or restrict the filing of a claim against the carrier for compensation for damage caused by exceeding a time limit for carriage.

 (5) If the goods are recovered after compensation has been paid and the person who receives compensation for the loss of the goods has not demanded to be notified of the recovery of the goods or does not file a claim specified in subsection (3) of this section after receiving the notice, the carrier may deal with the goods at the carrier’s own discretion.

§ 29.  Compensation for value of goods

 (1) In the event of the loss of the goods, the carrier shall compensate for the value of the lost goods. The value of the goods shall be determined on the basis of the value of the goods at the place of unloading.

 (2) In the event of damage to the goods, the difference between the value of the goods in their undamaged and damaged form, as determined at the port of unloading, shall be compensated.

 (3) The value of the goods shall be determined on the basis of their market price or, in the absence thereof, on the basis of the usual price of goods of the same kind and with similar characteristics.

 (4) Compensation for damage other than that specified in subsections (1) and (3) of this section shall not be demanded from the carrier upon loss of or damage to the goods. This does not preclude the right to demand repayment of the freight paid in advance.

§ 30.  Limits in event of compensation for value of goods

 (1) If no information concerning the type and value of the goods is submitted to the carrier before loading commences and if the information is not entered in the bill of lading or sea waybill, the carrier shall, in the event of loss of or damage to the goods, be liable to the extent of 666.67 SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) per unit of goods or to the extent of 2 SDRs per kilogram of gross weight of the lost or damaged goods, whichever is the greater.

 (2) If the goods are in a container, on a pallet or in another similar article of transport, each unit of goods contained in the article of transport according to the bill of lading or sea waybill is deemed to be one unit of goods within the meaning of subsection (1) of this section. If the bill of lading or sea waybill does not contain this information, the container, pallet or other similar article of transport together with the contents thereof is deemed to be one unit of goods.

 (3) The liability of the carrier for exceeding a time limit for carriage and violating the contract for the carriage of cargo which does not result in the loss of or damage to the goods carried shall be limited to the size of the freight.
[RT I 2003, 1, 3 - entry into force 16.01.2003]

§ 31.  Loss of right to limit liability

  The carrier loses the right to limit the carrier’s liability pursuant to § 30 of this Act if the carrier violates the contract for the carriage of cargo intentionally or through gross negligence.

§ 32.  Claims not arising from contract for carriage of cargo

 (1) The limits of liability specified in § 30 of this Act also apply to the claims of a shipper or consignee against a carrier arising from loss of or damage to goods or from a time limit for carriage being exceeded, if these claims do not arise from the contract for the carriage of cargo, and particularly to claims arising from the causing of unlawful damage, negotiorum gestio and unjustified enrichment.

 (2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section do not apply to the claims of a third party arising from loss of or damage to goods if the third party to whom the carried goods belong did not agree to the carriage and the carrier knew or should have known that the shipper did not have the right to consign the cargo.

§ 33.  Liability of employee

  If a claim arising from loss of or damage to the goods or a time limit for carriage being exceeded is filed against an employee of the carrier or against another person for whom the carrier is responsible rather than against the carrier, the employee or other person may also rely on the limits of liability prescribed in § 30 of this Act and in the contract for the carriage of cargo unless the damage is caused by the employee or other person intentionally or through gross negligence.

§ 34.  Liability of actual carrier

 (1) If the goods are wholly or partially carried by another person (the actual carrier), the actual carrier shall be liable for any damage caused by loss of or damage to the goods or a time limit for carriage being exceeded in the same manner as the carrier if the damage is caused during the period when the goods are being carried by the actual carrier. An agreement between the carrier and the shipper or consignee regarding non-application of the limits of liability specified in § 30 of this Act or extension of the liability of the carrier applies to the actual carrier only if the actual carrier has agreed thereto in a format which can be reproduced in writing.

 (2) The actual carrier may present the same objections against a claim filed against the actual carrier as may be presented by the carrier.

 (3) The carrier and the actual carrier shall be liable as solidary obligors.

 (4) If a claim is filed against an employee of the actual carrier or against another person for whom the actual carrier is responsible, the provisions of § 33 of this Act also apply to them.

§ 35.  Limit of liability in event of liability of several persons

  If several persons are liable for causing the same damage, the compensation paid by them in total shall not exceed the limit of liability provided for in § 30 of this Act

§ 36.  Notification of damage

 (1) If damage to or loss of goods is apparent upon external inspection but the consignee or shipper fails to notify the carrier thereof upon delivery of the goods to the consignee at the latest, the goods are presumed to have been delivered in the condition prescribed in the contract. The notice shall contain a general description of the damage.

 (2) If, upon their delivery, the damage to or loss of the goods is not apparent to the consignee of the goods upon external inspection, the goods are presumed to have been delivered in the condition prescribed in the contract unless the consignee or shipper notifies the carrier of the loss of or damage to the goods within seven days from the delivery of the goods to the consignee.

 (3) A claim arising from a time limit for carriage being exceeded shall not be filed if the consignee fails to notify the carrier of the claim having been filed within twenty-one days from the delivery of the goods to the consignee.

 (4) If a notice is submitted upon delivery of the goods, it may be submitted in any form. If the notice is submitted after delivery of the goods, it shall be submitted in a format which can be reproduced in writing. The notice need not be signed if the sender of the notice can be identified in any other manner. The notice is deemed to have been submitted in due time if it is sent within the term specified in subsection (2) or (3) of this section.

 (5) If a notice regarding loss of or damage to the goods or the time limit for carriage being exceeded is submitted upon delivery of the goods, it is sufficient to notify the person who delivers the goods.

§ 37.  Mandatory nature of provisions

  The contracting parties shall not alleviate by agreement the liability of the carrier provided for in this Act.

§ 38.  Bill of lading

 (1) A bill of lading is a document of title in which the carrier recognises that the goods to be carried have been received and undertakes to carry the received goods to their port of destination in the manner described in the bill of lading and to deliver the goods there to the person who submits the bill of lading and is entitled to receive the goods pursuant to the bill of lading.

 (2) The rights and obligations of the carrier and the consignee shall be determined in the bill of lading. The bill of lading certifies that a contract for the carriage of cargo has been entered into. The terms and conditions of the contract for the carriage of cargo are mandatory for the consignee if they are referred to in the bill of lading.

 (3) The bill of lading applies to the legal relationship between the shipper and the carrier besides the contract for the carriage of cargo only if the shipper is also the consignee of the goods.

 (4) If a bill of lading has been issued in several original copies and several persons demand the delivery of goods on the basis of different original copies, the person who has acquired the bill of lading from the entitled person has the right to demand delivery of the goods.

§ 39.  Issue of bill of lading

 (1) After receiving goods, the carrier shall, at the request of the shipper, issue a bill of lading. The shipper may demand that the bill of lading be issued in several original copies.

 (2) If the goods are not delivered for carriage by the shipper but by a third party who is not a representative of the shipper, said person may demand that a bill of lading be issued.

 (3) Unless otherwise set out in the bill of lading, the bill of lading certifies that the carrier has received the goods specified in the bill of lading and loaded them onto a ship.

 (4) The carrier may issue an initial certificate concerning receipt of the goods to the shipper or the person specified in subsection (2) of this section. The certificate shall be returned to the carrier against the bill of lading.

§ 40.  Contents of bill of lading and liability for issue of bill of lading

 (1) The shipper or the person specified in subsection 39 (2) of this Act may demand that a bill of lading include the following information:
 1) the name of the ship if the goods are to be carried on board a particular ship;
 2) the name of the carrier; if the name of the carrier is incorrect, inaccurate or not indicated, the operator is deemed to be the carrier;
 3) the type of goods received by the carrier;
 4) the name of the shipper; if the goods are not delivered for carriage by the shipper but by a third party who is not a representative of the shipper, also the name of the third party;
 5) the port of destination unless it is to be chosen by the shipper or the person who delivers the goods for carriage;
 6) the name of the consignee;
 7) the marking and description of the goods according to the type, characteristics and quantity, weight or measurements of the goods;
 8) observations regarding the condition of the goods as apparent upon external inspection;
 9) agreements on freight and payment thereof;
 10) the time and place of issue;
 11) the number of original copies of the bill of lading.

 (2) The carrier may demand the information and documents necessary for the issue of a bill of lading from the shipper or the person specified in subsection 39 (2) of this Act.

 (3) The carrier shall sign the bill of lading. The bill of lading may be signed by the master or a person authorised therefor by the carrier or by another person permanently acting for the carrier who performs such duties.

 (4) The carrier shall be liable to the lawful holder of the bill of lading for the issue of the bill of lading in accordance with the requirements. If the carrier fails to perform this obligation, the carrier shall compensate the lawful holder of the bill of lading for the damage that arises as a result of the lawful holder of the bill of lading relying on the accuracy of the information set out in the bill of lading.

§ 41.  Receipt of information provided by shipper

 (1) The carrier shall enter the information specified in clause 40 (1) 7) of this Act in the bill of lading in the form in which the information is provided to the carrier in writing by the shipper or the person specified in subsection 39 (2) of this Act.

 (2) The carrier does not have the obligation specified in subsection (1) of this section if:
 1) the markings on the goods or their packaging are not clearly visible or it is evident that in normal conditions they will not remain legible until the end of the voyage;
 2) according to the circumstances, the carrier has to presume that the information provided by the shipper or the person specified in subsection 39 (2) of this Act is inaccurate, and
 3) the carrier does not have a reasonable opportunity to verify the accuracy of the information provided by the shipper or the person specified in subsection 39 (2) of this Act;
 4) the carrier establishes that the information provided by the shipper or the person specified in subsection 39 (2) of this Act is inaccurate.

 (3) If the carrier enters the information provided by the shipper or the person specified in subsection 39 (2) of this Act in the bill of lading in spite of the circumstances specified in clauses (2) 1)–3) of this section, the carrier may enter a corresponding reasoned notation in the bill of lading. In the case of goods which are delivered to the carrier for carriage in a container, tank or another similar closed article of transport, the notation “ sisu tundmatu ” [contents unknown] may be entered in the bill of lading.

§ 42.  Presumption of correctness of information in bill of lading

 (1) If a bill of lading has been issued, the information in the bill of lading is deemed to be correct until the opposite is proven. This does not apply to information concerning which a reasoned notation has been made in the bill of lading pursuant to subsection 41 (3) of this Act.

 (2) If information in a bill of lading is deemed to be correct pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the carrier shall not contest the information if the bill of lading has been delivered to a third party who, at the time of receiving the bill of lading did not know and did not have to know that the information in the bill of lading was incorrect. This does not apply to information concerning the value of the goods included in the bill of lading.

§ 43.  Delivery claim in event of several holders of bill of lading

  If several holders of originals of the bill of lading claim delivery of the goods, the carrier shall arrange to have the goods stored or deposited at the expense of the consignee and shall inform the holders of the bill of lading claiming delivery of the goods thereof.

§ 44.  Through bill of lading

 (1) A through bill of lading is a bill of lading in which it is stated that the carriage of the goods is to be performed by more than one carrier.

 (2) The person who issues a through bill of lading shall ensure that a bill of lading issued for a part of the carriage by the carrier participating in the carriage enunciates that the goods are carried according to the through bill of lading.

§ 45.  Delivery of goods and return of bill of lading

  The carrier is required to deliver the goods to the consignee only if the bill of lading is returned to the carrier and if the consignee provides a signature concerning the fact that delivery has been taken of the goods. If only part of the goods set out in the bill of lading is delivered, the consignee shall deposit the bill of lading in favour of the carrier and provide a signature concerning the fact that delivery has been taken of the goods.

§ 46.  Meaning of delivery of bill of lading

  If the carrier has accepted the goods for carriage, the delivery of the bill of lading to the person who may claim delivery of the goods pursuant to the bill of lading has the same meaning as transfer of the possession of the goods.

§ 47.  Sea waybill

 (1) The shipper or the person specified in subsection 39 (2) of this Act may demand a certificate concerning receipt of the goods (a sea waybill) instead of a bill of lading from the carrier.

 (2) The shipper may require that the carrier deliver the goods to a consignee not specified in the sea waybill until the consignee has not filed a delivery claim and paid freight pursuant to § 22 of this Act.

 (3) The provisions of clauses 40 (1) 1), 2) and 4)–11), subsection 40 (2), § 41 and subsection 42 (1) of this Act apply correspondingly to a sea waybill.

§ 48.  Limitation period for claims

 (1) The limitation period for claims arising from carriage provided for in this Chapter is one year from the delivery of goods.

 (2) If goods are not delivered, the limitation period shall commence at the date when the goods should have been delivered. If the time of delivery of the goods has not been agreed, the limitation period shall commence when sixty days have passed from the delivery of the goods to the carrier.

 (3) If a person obliged to satisfy a claim arising from carriage can demand compensation for that which was delivered from another person in order for the claim to be satisfied, the limitation period for the person’s claim for compensation shall commence as of satisfaction of the claim arising from carriage or as of the entry into force of a court judgment regarding the carriage. The provisions of this subsection do not apply if the person against whom the claim for compensation is filed is not notified of the damage within three months from the time when the person entitled to exercise the right of recourse became aware or should have become aware of the damage and of the person obliged to satisfy the claim pursuant to the right of recourse.

 (4) If the shipper or consignee makes an application in a format which can be reproduced in writing by which the shipper or consignee files a claim for compensation for damage, the limitation period for the claim against the carrier shall be suspended from the making of the application until such time as the carrier rejects satisfaction of the claim in a format which can be reproduced in writing. Submission of the same claim for compensation in a new application shall not suspend the limitation period anew.

Chapter 3 VOYAGE CHARTERING 
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 - entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 49.  Voyage charter party

  [RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]
A voyage charter party is a contract for use by which a person (the shipowner) undertakes to make available a duly crewed and equipped seaworthy ship or a part thereof for use to another person (the voyage charterer) for one or several agreed voyages, without providing carriage services to the voyage charterer. The voyage charterer undertakes to pay an agreed charge (freight) for using the ship.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 50.  Provision of ship in due time

  The shipowner shall provide a ship for the goods to be loaded within the prescribed period of time. A replacement vessel may be provided only with the consent of the voyage charterer. The voyage charterer may refuse to grant the consent only if the replacement vessel is not in compliance with the terms and conditions of the voyage charter party. In such case, the voyage charterer may cancel the charter party.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 51.  Delayed provision of ship

 (1) If the shipowner expects not to be able to provide a ship within the prescribed period of time, the shipowner shall promptly notify the voyage charterer thereof and indicate the estimated time when the ship will be provided.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (2) If the voyage charterer may cancel a voyage charter party due to the provision of a ship being delayed, the shipowner may, when giving the notice specified in subsection (1) of this section, request that the voyage charterer cancel the charter party or waive the cancellation on condition that the ship is provided at the time indicated in the notice specified in subsection (1).
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (3) If the voyage charterer fails, within 48 hours from receiving the request specified in subsection (2) of this section, to notify the shipowner of whether the voyage charterer will cancel the charter party or waive cancellation of the charter party on condition that the ship is provided at the time indicated in the notice specified in subsection (1) of this section, cancellation of the charter party due to the provision of the ship being delayed is prohibited if the charter party is cancelled due to delay until the time when the ship is provided as indicated in the notice specified in subsection (1).
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (4) The provisions of subsection (3) of this section do not preclude or restrict the use of other legal remedies by the voyage charterer.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 52.  Port of loading

 (1) A ship shall be provided for the goods to be loaded at the port determined in the voyage charter party (the port of loading).
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (2) It may be agreed in the charter party that the voyage charterer may determine the port of loading within a specified term after entry into the charter party. If the term is not determined, the voyage charterer shall determine the port of departure in such manner that the ship would arrive at the port by the time provided for in the charter party. The voyage charterer shall choose a suitable and safe port.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (3) If the port of loading has not been determined or if it has not been determined in due time or if the port which has been determined to be the port of loading is unsuitable, the shipowner may cancel the charter party and demand:
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]
 1) payment of the agreed freight and reimbursement of expenses subject to reimbursement or
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]
 2) payment of one-third of the agreed freight.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (4) If the claim specified in clause (3) 1) of this section is submitted, the voyage charterer may demand that the amount which the shipowner saves as a result of termination of the charter party or obtains in any other manner as a result of termination of the charter party or fails to obtain in bad faith be deducted from the amounts specified in clause (3) 1).
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 53.  Place of loading

 (1) The voyage charterer shall specify a suitable place of loading in due time. If the voyage charterer fails to do so, the shipowner shall have the rights specified in subsection 52 (3) of this Act after expiry of the laytime (subsection 54 (1)).
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (2) The shipowner shall deliver the ship to the place of loading specified by the voyage charterer and ensure that the ship is ready for loading.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (3) The shipowner may deliver the ship to another suitable place of loading instead of the place of loading specified by the voyage charterer if:
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]
 1) the place of loading specified by the voyage charterer is not suitable for the loading of the ship;
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]
 2) the voyage charterer has not specified a place of loading in due time;
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]
 3) [repealed – RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]
 4) the safety of the ship or the rules in force at the place of loading do not enable to use the place of loading specified by the voyage charterer.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (4) The voyage charterer may demand that the ship be delivered to another place of loading at the expense of the voyage charterer.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (5) [Repealed – RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 54.  Laytime and time on demurrage

 (1) The shipowner shall enable the ship to be loaded within the agreed period of time (laytime) and keep the ship ready during that time. No additional charge shall be demanded for the laytime unless it has been expressly agreed upon.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (2) If it is agreed that, after the expiry of the laytime, the shipowner shall enable the ship to be loaded within an agreed period of time for an additional charge, the agreed period of time is deemed to be the time on demurrage.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (3) If the voyage charter party prescribes payment of a charge for time on demurrage, the time on demurrage is deemed to have been agreed upon. If the size of the charge has not been agreed, the usual charge shall be paid for the time on demurrage.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (4) The obligation of the shipowner to pay dispatch money to the voyage charterer for loading or unloading a ship before the laytime has expired may be agreed in the charter party.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 55.  Commencement of laytime and readiness

 (1) Laytime commences after expiry of the preparation time. Preparation time is the period of time between a notice of readiness being given and the beginning of the first shift of the following working day at the port of loading.

 (2) If loading commences before the expiry of the preparation time, the actual time used for loading before the expiry of the preparation time shall be included in the laytime.

 (3) A notice of readiness may be given when the ship has arrived at the port of loading and is ready for the goods to be loaded. If the place of loading is agreed beforehand, the notice may be given when the ship arrives at the place of loading and is ready for the goods to be loaded. The notice may set out that the ship is ready for loading upon expiry of the preparation time.

 (4) The voyage charterer shall be informed of the readiness of the ship. If the goods are required to be delivered for carriage not by the voyage charterer but by a third party who is not a representative of the voyage charterer, the third party shall be informed of the readiness of the ship.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (5) If a ship cannot enter port for reasons which do not depend on the shipowner or if the place of loading is not ready to receive the ship, the notice specified in subsection (3) of this section may be given after the shipowner has taken all reasonable steps to bring the ship to the port or place of loading.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (6) If the ship is found not to be ready for loading after a notice specified in subsection (3) of this section has been given, the period of time from the discovery that the ship is not ready for loading to the restoration of its readiness for loading shall not be included in the laytime. A ship is not ready for loading if the machinery and holds of the ship in which goods are carried are not in the required condition for the receipt of goods.

 (7) The provisions of subsection (6) of this section do not apply if the shipowner knew or should have known at the time of giving a notice of readiness that the ship was not ready for loading. In such case, readiness is deemed not to have been communicated.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 56.  Length of laytime

 (1) If the length of laytime has not been agreed, the usual loading time for a similar ship at a similar port is deemed to be the laytime.

 (2) The loading time shall be calculated in days, hours and minutes. Sundays and public holidays shall not be included in the loading time except in the case and to the extent they are actually used for loading.

 (3) If the ship cannot receive goods, for example during hauling in order to change berths, the loading time shall cease to run. The loading time shall also cease to run if goods cannot be delivered or can be delivered only by damaging the condition of the goods due to the weather conditions. The loading time shall not cease to run due to hindrances arising from preparation of the goods for loading at the port.

 (4) If the length of laytime has been agreed, the laytime shall not cease to run before the expiry of the agreed time.

§ 57.  Commencement and length of time on demurrage

 (1) The time on demurrage shall commence after the expiry of the laytime.

 (2) If the length of the time on demurrage has not been agreed, the time on demurrage shall be the same length as the laytime.

 (3) The time on demurrage also runs on Sundays and public holidays and at the time when the ship cannot receive goods or can receive goods only by damaging the condition of the goods. The time during which the ship is not ready for loading shall not be included in the time on demurrage.

 (4) Within a reasonable period of time before the expiry of the time on demurrage, the shipowner shall inform the voyage charterer of the time as of which the shipowner will no longer wait for the cargo. If the goods are not to be delivered for carriage not by the voyage charterer but by a third party who is not a representative of the voyage charterer, the third party shall be informed. The time on demurrage shall not expire before the notice is given.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 58.  Place of unloading, laytime, time on demurrage and dispatch money upon unloading of ship

  The provisions of §§ 53-57 of this Act also apply upon determination of the place of unloading, laytime and time on demurrage and upon payment of dispatch money specified in subsection 54 (4).

Chapter 4 CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS BY SEA 

§ 59.  Contract for carriage of passengers by sea

 (1) A contract for the carriage of passengers by sea is a contract of carriage by which a party (the carrier) undertakes to another party to carry by sea one or more persons (passengers) to a destination with or without luggage. The other party undertakes to pay a charge (the fare) therefor. The provisions of the Law of Obligations Act concerning contracts for the carriage of passengers apply to contracts for the carriage of passengers by sea with the specifications provided for in this Chapter.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

 (2) Carriage commences as of the moment when a passenger embarks on the ship and ends when the passenger disembarks from the ship. Carriage also includes the period during which the passenger is carried by waterway from land to the ship or vice-versa if the cost of such carriage is included in the fare or if the vessel used to provide the service has been provided by the carrier. Carriage does not include the period during which the passenger is in a terminal or on a quay.

 (3) In the case of luggage, carriage commences from the time the luggage is delivered to the carrier and ends at the time of its re-delivery to the passenger. Carriage of hand luggage commences at the same time as the carriage of the passenger.

 (4) A ticket issued by the carrier is proof that a contract for the carriage of passengers by sea has been entered into and that the fare has been paid. A luggage check is proof that the luggage has been delivered to the carrier.

 (5) A cruise contract is a contract for the carriage of passengers by sea according to which the organiser of a cruise undertakes to organise a collective excursion tour with a set programme on board a ship (a cruise) and provide appropriate services to the passengers.

 (6) Only an operator who has insured his or her liability for damage caused to passengers to the extent of the limits of liability specified in this Act, taking into account the number of passengers which the ship used for the carriage of passengers may take on board, may engage in the organisation of regular carriage of passengers or regular cruises.
[RT I, 31.05.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.06.2021]

§ 60.  Obligations of parties

 (1) The carrier and the passengers shall take all reasonable steps to avoid endangering the life and health of persons on board the ship and to ensure the safety of the passengers and order on board the ship.

 (2) The carrier shall ensure according to the requirements that, upon commencement of the voyage, the ship is seaworthy, holds a passenger ship certificate or another certificate certifying the right of carriage of passengers, and is equipped and crewed as required and that the safety of passengers is ensured.
[RT I, 31.05.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.06.2021]

 (3) During the voyage, the carrier shall ensure that the passengers are accommodated and taken care of in an ordinary manner corresponding to the nature and duration of the voyage. If a passenger becomes ill during the voyage, the carrier shall take all the necessary measures which can be reasonably expected of the carrier under the circumstances in order to take care of the passenger and to organise the passenger’s treatment.

 (4) Passengers shall obey the orders of the master regarding safety and order on board the ship.

§ 601.  Protection of rights of passengers

 (1) The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority shall ensure the implementation of Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 (OJ L 334, 17.12.2010, pp 1–16) in relation to sea carriage service for passengers and cruises departing from an Estonian port and in relation to sea carriage service for passengers arriving at such port from a state outside the European Union.
[RT I, 12.12.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (2) The cruise set out in subsection (1) of this section refers to a cruise with a duration of more than two nights on board the ship.

 (3) The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority has the right to issue a precept which requires a person to perform an act required pursuant to Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council or to avoid performing an act prohibited under said Regulation. A precept cannot be issued for resolving a dispute between a consumer and a carrier deriving from a contract of carriage.
[RT I, 12.12.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (4) A precept issued by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority shall be in written form and shall contain the following information:
[RT I, 12.12.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]
 1) the name of the person to whom the precept is directed;
 2) information about the act constituting the object of the precept;
 3) the term for compliance with the precept;
 4) the reason for issuing the precept;
 5) the date of issue of the precept, the name, position, official title and signature of the person issuing the precept.

 (5) The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority may impose a penalty payment of up to 3200 euros in case of non-compliance with the precept according to the procedure provided for in the Substitutive Enforcement and Penalty Payment Act.
[RT I, 12.12.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

§ 61.  Limitation of liability of carrier

 (1) The carrier may limit the carrier’s liability arising from a contract for the carriage of passengers by sea pursuant to Regulation No. 392/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents (OJ L 131, 28.05.2009, pp. 24–46).
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

 (2) If, in the case of regular carriage of passengers, the port of departure or port of destination of the voyage is in a state the legislation whereof prescribes obligatory higher limits of liability than those which would apply pursuant to Regulation No. 392/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, the higher limit of liability shall apply.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

 (3) The contracting parties shall not agree to reduce the liability of the carrier provided for in this Chapter.

Chapter 5 TIME CHARTERING  
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 - entry into force 01.07.2020]

§ 62.  Time charter party

  [RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (1) A time charter party is a contract for use by which a person (the shipowner) undertakes to deliver a ship, crewed or bareboat, for contractual use to another person (the charterer) for a specified term without providing carriage services to the charterer.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

 (2) If the shipowner undertakes to deliver a crewed ship, the shipowner shall ensure that the ship is crewed and equipped according to the requirements and in correspondence with the purpose of use of the ship.

 (3) If a crewed ship is delivered, the charterer may provide the master and other members of the crew with instructions regarding the use of the ship. The instructions shall not contradict the terms and conditions of the charter party or safe navigation practices. The master is not required to comply with instructions for navigation of the ship.
[RT I 2003, 1, 3 - entry into force 16.01.2003]

§ 63.  Delivery of ship

 (1) The ship and the equipment thereof shall comply with the agreed conditions or, in the absence of an agreement, with the usual requirements. The ship shall be delivered at the agreed time and place. The shipowner may refuse to deliver the ship if the agreed security for securing performance of the obligations of the charterer is not given to the shipowner.

 (2) In the case of bareboat charter, the hull, machinery and equipment of the ship shall comply with the requirements for seaworthiness upon delivery of the ship. In other respects, the ship shall, upon delivery, be fit for use for the agreed purpose. Upon delivery, the condition of the ship shall be documented according to the requirements.

 (3) In the case of bareboat charter, the obligations of the shipowner arising from this section are deemed to have been performed when the charterer takes delivery of the ship.

§ 64.  Elimination of deficiencies

 (1) The charterer shall inform the shipowner of any deficiencies of the ship and organise the elimination of the deficiencies in a manner acceptable to the shipowner.

 (2) If the charterer is not liable for a caused deficiency, the shipowner shall reimburse the expenses incurred in eliminating the deficiency. In the case of bareboat charter, the charterer may demand that the shipowner reimburse the expenses incurred in eliminating a deficiency which becomes evident after taking delivery of the ship only if the deficiency becomes evident within eighteen months from delivery of the ship and it was not possible to detect the deficiency in the course of the inspection upon delivery of the ship and also if the shipowner knew or should have known of the deficiency upon delivery of the ship.

 (3) The charterer shall ensure protection of the shipowner’s interests related to the ship against third parties.

 (4) If the contractual use of the ship by the charterer is impossible for more than twenty-four hours due to deficiencies for which the charterer is not liable, the charterer need not pay a charge for that time.

§ 65.  Obligation to pay charge in event of shipwreck

 (1) In the event of shipwreck, the obligation to pay a charge terminates as of the date of the shipwreck. If the date of the shipwreck cannot be determined, the obligation to pay the charge terminates as of the date on which the last message was received regarding the ship.

 (2) If the charterer is liable for causing the shipwreck, the charterer shall not be released from the obligation to pay a charge for the whole duration of the time charter party.
[RT I, 28.02.2020, 2 – entry into force 01.07.2020]

Chapter 6 TOWAGE 

§ 66.  Towage contract

 (1) A towage contract is a contract for services by which a person (the provider of towage services) undertakes to tow a ship, particularly by drawing or pushing the ship. Another person (the contractor) undertakes to pay the agreed or usual charge therefor.

 (2) Within the meaning of subsection (1) of this section, making a tug ready in the vicinity of a towed ship in order to help the ship manoeuvre is also deemed to be towage. Periods which are reasonably necessary for the tug to reach the ship of the contractor and to return to its usual location shall also be included in the duration of the towage.

§ 67.  Obligations of parties

 (1) The provider of towage services shall make a tug which is suitable for the planned manoeuvre and crewed and equipped according to the requirements ready at the specified time and at the agreed place.

 (2) The contractor shall make the ship ready at the agreed place and in due time. The ship shall be fit for towage.

 (3) If, in the course of towage, damage is caused to a participant in towage or to a third party, the ship whose master was navigating is deemed to be liable in the relationships between the parties to a towage contract until the contrary is proved. Upon towage of a powered vessel with power installations which are in working order, the master of the towed ship is deemed to be liable for navigation unless the parties agree otherwise. A crew under the navigational command of the master of another ship participating in towage shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the towage is safe.

 (4) A provider of towage services does not have the right to request a salvage reward in the event of a salvage operation relating to a ship and its cargo endangered in the course of towage unless the provider of towage services provides assistance outside the scope of services provided in the course of towage and the danger which requires assistance to be provided is not caused by the provider of towage services.

Chapter 7 OPERATOR, LIABILITY OF OPERATOR 

§ 68.  Definition of operator

  An operator is a person who is in possession of a ship and uses it in the operator’s own name and has been entered in the respective register of ships. An operator is also a person who has taken over the obligations and liability for managing the maritime safety and technical service of a ship from the owner of the ship under a contract pursuant to the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention established on the basis of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

§ 69.  Liability of operator

 (1) The operator shall be liable for the operation of the ship in compliance with the requirements.

 (2) If the operator is not the carrier, the operator shall be liable to the shipper, consignee or passengers according to the contract of carriage to the same extent as if the operator was the carrier.

§ 70.  Application of conventions

 (1) The operator may limit its liability for maritime claims pursuant to the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims as amended by the 1996 Protocol (hereinafter the Convention on Limitation of Liability), and the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (2) Liability shall not be limited:
 1) in respect of maritime claims filed against operators by salvors and by employees of operators specified in paragraph (e) of Article 3 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability if Estonian law applies to the employment contract or salvage contract;
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]
 2) in respect of claims for the reimbursement of legal expenses and arbitration expenses.

§ 71.  Limit of liability in event of small craft

  The limit of liability for a ship with a gross tonnage of up to 250 tons shall be one half of the limits of liability for a ship with a gross tonnage of up to 500 tons pursuant to paragraph 1 (b) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

§ 72.  Limit of liability in event of claims for reimbursement of expenses

 (1) The conventions specified in subsection 70 (1) of this Act also apply in respect of claims for reimbursement of the costs of raising, removal, destruction or the rendering harmless of a ship which is sunk, wrecked, stranded or abandoned, including anything that is or has been on board the ship, and removal, destruction or the rendering harmless of the cargo of the ship.

 (2) Liability shall not be limited in respect of claims specified in subsection (1) of this section if the ship or the cargo of the ship in respect of which the measures specified in subsection (1) are taken poses a danger to the environment.

 (3) Claims specified in subsection (1) of this section shall be subject to the limit of liability pursuant to paragraph 1 (b) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims. The limit of liability applies to claims specified in subsection (1) of this section which have arisen from the same event against the same group of persons within the meaning of paragraphs 1 (a), (b) or (c) of Article 9 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims; paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 6 of the Convention are not applied.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

§ 73.  Priority of claims arising from damage to port facilities and waterways

 (1) Claims arising from damage to port facilities, port basins, waterways and aids to navigation have priority, in case of other maritime claims, with respect to claims specified in paragraph 1 (b) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section do not preclude or restrict the right arising from paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims if it is connected with claims arising from causing loss of life or bodily injury.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

§ 74.  Limit of liability with respect to pilots

 (1) The limits of liability specified in paragraphs 1 (a) and (b) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims also apply to claims against pilots. If the gross tonnage of the piloted ship exceeds 1000 tons, the pilot may limit the pilot’s liability to the amount which would apply in the case of a ship with a gross tonnage of 1000 tons.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (2) If the number of passengers which may be carried by a piloted ship exceeds twelve, the pilot may limit the pilot’s liability, in the case of personal injury, to the amount which would apply in the case of a ship which may carry twelve passengers.

§ 75.  Liability in event of collision of ships

 (1) In the event of the ships colliding, the provisions of the Law of Obligations Act concerning contractual and non-contractual liability together with the right to limit one’s liability provided for in this Act apply to the liability of the operator.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

 (2) After a collision between ships, the master shall provide assistance to persons on board the other ship and to the ship in so far as is possible without seriously endangering the persons on board the master’s ship and without seriously endangering the ship.

 (3) The masters of ships that are involved in a collision shall each communicate to the other the name and home port of their ship, their port of departure and port of destination or the nearest port to which the ship is proceeding.

§ 76.  Law applicable to claims arising from collision of ships

 (1) In addition to international navigation rules, the law of the state where the collision takes place is applied to claims arising from a collision between ships.

 (2) If a collision takes place outside the jurisdiction of any state, the law of the flag state of the ship which causes the collision or the ship of the injured party, as chosen by the injured party, is applied to claims arising from the collision between the ships.

 (3) If a collision is caused by both ships which are involved in the collision being operated in a manner that is not in conformity with the requirements, the law of the flag state of the other party is applied to the claims of each party.

§ 77.  Right of other persons to limit liability

 (1) The provisions of this Chapter concerning limitation of the liability of operators also apply to the owners and charterers of ships.

 (2) The provisions of this Chapter concerning limitation of the liability of operators also apply to the master, crew members or other persons employed by the operator, owner or charterer of a ship, if that person has caused damage while performing his or her duties, and to persons for whose acts or omissions the operator is held responsible.

Chapter 71 LIABILITY INSURANCE OF SHIPOWNERS FOR MARITIME CLAIMS  
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

§ 771.  Obligation and terms of liability insurance of shipowners

 (1) The owner of a ship flying the national flag of Estonia shall have a valid liability insurance contract covering the liability of the shipowner for claims of third persons arising upon operation of the ship. The provisions regulating the liability insurance of a shipowner shall also apply to an operator or charterer operating a ship.

 (2) The owner of a ship flying another flag shall have the liability insurance contract set out in subsection (1) of this section if the ship arrives at an Estonian port.

 (3) A shipowner or another person set out in subsection (1) of this section with liability insurance is an insured person.

 (4) The insurance set out in subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall cover maritime claims that are subject to limitation of liability pursuant to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims.

 (5) A ship of with a gross tonnage of 300 tons or more shall be insured under liability insurance.

 (6) Warships, auxiliary warships or other state owned or operated ships used only for a non-commercial public purpose need not be insured under liability insurance.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

§ 772.  Maritime claims covered by liability insurance

  Liability insurance shall cover at least the following maritime claims:
 1) claims for causing loss of life, bodily injury or damage to health, for destruction or loss of or damage to a thing, including damage to port facilities, port basins, waterways and aids to navigation which took place on board a ship or in direct connection with the operation of a ship of a salvage operation, and claims that have arisen thereby due to further damage;
 2) claims for compensation for damage caused by delays in carriage of cargo, passengers or their luggage by sea;
 3) claims for compensation for damage that is caused by violation of a right other than that deriving from a contract and is directly connected with the operation of a ship or a salvage operation;
 4) claims for reimbursement of costs of raising, removal, destruction or rendering harmless of a ship which is sunk, wrecked, stranded or abandoned, including anything that is or has been on board the ship;
 5) claims arising from removal, destruction or the rendering harmless of the cargo of the ship;
 6) claims arising from damage caused by a ship to the environment or the coastline or interests related thereto, or a hazard of such damage;
 7) claims other than those of a responsible person due to measures taken to eliminate or minimize such damage for which the responsible person can limit its liability for maritime claims pursuant to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, as well as claims for compensation for further damage caused by such measures.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

§ 773.  Insurance policy

 (1) The existence of a liability insurance contract shall be evidenced by an insurance policy carried on board the ship.

 (2) A policy of liability insurance shall include the following information:
 1) name of the ship, her IMO number and the port of registry;
 2) name and principal place of business of the shipowner;
 3) type and duration of liability insurance;
 4) name and principal place of business of the insurance undertaking.

 (3) The insurance policy of a ship flying the national flag of Estonia shall be either in English or in Estonian and English.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

§ 774.  Limit of liability for causing loss of life, damage to health or bodily injury of passenger

 (1) The limit of liability applied in the event of causing the loss of life, damage to health or bodily injury of a passenger shall be at least 250 000 SDR per each passenger in case of international carriage of passengers in accordance with Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 392/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents (OJ L 131, 28.05.2009, pp. 24–46). If there is a military risk during the carriage of passengers, the limit of liability per each event shall not exceed 250 000 SDR per passenger or 340 million SDR per ship, whichever is lower.

 (2) In case of domestic carriage of passengers, the limits provided for in subsection (1) of this section shall be applied on the basis of the obligatory navigation area of the ship as follows:
 1) a ship used for carriage of passengers in a navigation area where it is obligatory to run at least a Class A passenger ship – from 1 January 2017;
 2) a ship used for carriage of passengers in a navigation area where it is obligatory to run at least a Class B passenger ship – from 1 January 2019.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

§ 775.  Certificate of validity of liability insurance in case of causing loss of life, damage to health or bodily injury of passenger

 (1) In case of international carriage of passengers, a respective certificate shall be applied for from the Estonian Transport Administration to prove the existence and validity of the liability insurance or other financial security that meets the requirements provided for in subsection 774 (1) of this Act. If the liability insurance contract or another financial security contract meets the requirements provided for in subsection 774 (1) of this Act, the Estonian Transport Administration shall issue a certificate regarding the existence and validity of the liability insurance or other financial security (hereinafter certificate of liability insurance or other financial security). If the requirements are not met, the Estonian Transport Administration shall refuse to issue the certificate.
[RT I, 10.12.2020, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2021]

 (2) A certificate of liability insurance or other financial security shall be issued for a term that shall not exceed the term of the liability insurance contract or other financial security contract, on the basis whereof the certificate is issued.

 (3) The procedure for application for, issue, revocation and maintenance of a certificate of liability insurance or other financial security shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.
[RT I, 31.05.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.06.2021]

 (4) A state fee shall be paid for the processing of an application for a certificate of liability insurance or other financial security.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

§ 776.  Certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of liability for the removal of wrecks

 (1) The owner of a ship flying the national flag of Estonia with 300 gross tonnage and above which is subject to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007 (hereinafter Nairobi Convention) shall maintain insurance or other financial security which conforms to the requirements of Nairobi Convention.

 (2) If the insurance or other financial security specified in subsection (1) of this section conforms to the requirements of Nairobi Convention, the Transport Administration shall issue a certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of liability for the removal of wrecks (hereinafter certificate).

 (3) The period of validity of the certificate shall not be longer than the period of validity of the insurance or other financial security.

 (4) If the insurance or other financial security does not conform to the requirements of Nairobi Convention, the Transport Administration shall refuse to issue the certificate to the ship specified in subsection (1) of this section.

 (5) The Transport Administration shall revoke the certificate in the following cases:
 1) upon termination of the insurance or other financial security if it ends before the expiry of the period of validity of the certificate;
 2) if it appears that incorrect data have been submitted while applying for the certificate.

 (6) The procedure for application for and issue of the certificate shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.

 (7) A state fee shall be paid for the review of an application for the certificate.

 (8) The Transport Administration may, in adherence to the procedure set forth in this section, issue the certificate also to a ship flying the flag of a state that is not a State Party to Nairobi Convention.
[RT I, 31.05.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.06.2021]

§ 777.  Issue of a certificate of insurance or other financial security in electronic format

  If the Transport Administration issues a certificate of insurance or other financial security specified in this Chapter in an electronic format, it shall meet the conditions set forth in subsection 1 (71) of the Maritime Safety Act.
[RT I, 31.05.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.06.2021]

§ 778.  Certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of liability for damage caused by hazardous and noxious substances

 (1) The owner of a ship flying the national flag of Estonia with 200 gross tonnage and above which is subject to the Protocol of 2010 to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 (hereinafter HNS Convention) shall maintain insurance or other financial security which conforms to the requirements of the HNS Convention.

 (2) If the insurance or other financial security specified in subsection (1) of this section conforms to the requirements of the HNS Convention, the Transport Administration shall issue a certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of liability for damage caused by hazardous and noxious substances (hereinafter certificate).

 (3) The period of validity of the certificate shall not be longer than the period of validity of the insurance or other financial security.

 (4) If the insurance or other financial security does not conform to the requirements of the HNS Convention, the Transport Administration shall refuse to issue the certificate to the ship specified in subsection (1) of this section.

 (5) The Transport Administration shall revoke the certificate if it appears that incorrect data have been submitted while applying for the certificate.

 (6) The procedure for application for and issue of the certificate shall be established by a regulation of the minister responsible for the area.

 (7) A state fee shall be paid for the review of an application for the certificate.

 (8) The Transport Administration may, in adherence to the procedure set forth in this section, issue the certificate also to a ship flying the flag of a state that is not a State Party to the HNS Convention.
[RT I, 31.05.2021, 1 – entry into force on the day of entry into force of the Protocol of 2010 to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996]

Chapter 8 LIMITATION FUND AND DISTRIBUTION THEREOF 

Division 1 General Provisions. Competence 

§ 78.  Commencement of distribution proceedings

 (1) In order to constitute a fund provided for in Article 11 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims or paragraph 3 of Article V of the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage and to distribute the fund, proceedings shall be commenced in the court where the claim against the person entitled to constitute the fund is filed (distribution proceedings).
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (2) Distribution proceedings are conducted as judicial and extrajudicial proceedings. The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure regarding proceedings on petition apply correspondingly to distribution proceedings, unless otherwise provided for in this Act.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) An appeal may be filed against a court ruling made in distribution proceedings in the cases provided for in this Act. The filing of an appeal against a ruling does not stay the execution of the ruling unless otherwise provided for in this Act. The limitation period for filing an appeal against a ruling is one month after the ruling being made public. If the ruling is not subject to being made public, the limitation period for filing an appeal against a ruling is one month after the delivery of the ruling.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 79.  Scope of distribution proceedings

 (1) Distribution proceedings shall cover claims arising from the same event and belonging to the same class of claims (subsection 81 (1)) which are filed against any person in the same group of persons entitled to commence distribution proceedings (§ 80).

 (2) If distribution proceedings are commenced on the basis of an application by a pilot operating on board a ship in respect of claims in classes A, B or C, proceedings shall be conducted only in order to satisfy claims against the applicant. Such distribution proceedings may be commenced for as long as no other person entitled to commence distribution proceedings has commenced distribution proceedings in respect of claims which have arisen from the same event and belong to the same class of claims.

§ 80.  Groups of persons entitled to commence distribution proceedings

 (1) Distribution proceedings shall be commenced on the basis of an application by a person specified in subsection (2) of this section.

 (2) The following may apply for the commencement of distribution proceedings:
 1) the owner of a ship, the operator or the carrier, and a person for whose activities the owner of the ship, the operator or the carrier is held responsible;
 2) the owner of a ship from which salvage services are provided or a salvor working on the ship, and a person for whose activities the owner or salvor is held responsible;
 3) a salvor not operating on a ship or operating solely on a ship to which salvage services are provided, and a person for whose activities the salvor is held responsible;
 4) the owner of a ship within the meaning of paragraph 3 of Article I of the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage.

 (3) A person specified in subsection (2) of this section may apply for the commencement of proceedings if the person has the right to limit his or her liability according to subsection 70 (1) and §§ 71, 72 and 74 of this Act and if judicial proceedings have been commenced against the person due to a claim specified in subsection 81 (1).

 (4) An insurer who insures liability for claims, in respect of which a person specified in subsection (2) of this section may limit his or her liability on the bases specified in subsection (3), and a person providing financial security within the meaning of paragraph 11 of Article V of the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage may apply for the commencement of distribution proceedings.

§ 81.  Claims covered by distribution proceedings

 (1) Distribution proceedings shall be conducted for satisfaction of the following claims:
 1) claims arising from causing loss of life, bodily injury or damage to health within the meaning of paragraph 1 (a) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (claims for personal injury) and other claims within the meaning of paragraph 1 (b) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (claims for property damage) – claims in class A;
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]
 2) passenger claims within the meaning of Article 7 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims – claims in class B;
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]
 3) claims specified in § 72 of this Act – claims in class C;
 4) claims arising from the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage – claims in class D.

 (2) Distribution proceedings for the satisfaction of claims in class A shall be conducted with the following specifications:
 1) if claims arising from personal injury in respect of which liability may be limited have not arisen or such claims can no longer be filed or if the total amount of claims arising from personal injury is not expected to exceed the limit of liability established in paragraph 1 (a) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, distribution proceedings shall only be conducted to satisfy claims arising from property damage if the amount of claims arising from property damage is expected to exceed the limit of liability established in paragraph 1 (b) of Article 6 of the Convention;
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]
 2) if claims arising from personal injury in respect of which liability may be limited cannot be filed against an applicant but may be filed against another person specified in clauses 80 (2) 1)–4) of this Act, distribution proceedings shall only be conducted to satisfy claims arising from property damage if the person who filed an application for the commencement of distribution proceedings applies therefor and the amount of claims arising from property damage is expected to exceed the limit of liability established in paragraph 1 (b) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

Division 2 Commencement Proceedings and Public Call 

§ 82.  Application

 (1) An application for the commencement of distribution proceedings shall be filed with a court in writing and shall set out the following:
 1) a detailed description of the events from which the claims have arisen for the satisfaction of which the distribution proceedings are conducted;
 2) information on the group of persons regarding whom proceedings are to be commenced or information that the proceedings are only to be commenced regarding the applicant;
 3) information on the class of claims to which the claims in respect of which proceedings are to be commenced belong or an application for the commencement of proceedings only for the satisfaction of claims arising from property damage;
 4) the name of the applicant and information regarding the applicant’s place of residence or place of business; if the applicant knows the identity of other obligors regarding whom distribution proceedings may be conducted, then also information regarding them;
 5) information on the name, flag and place of registration of the ship;
 6) information on the gross tonnage of the ship and, if liability is limited in respect of claims in class B, the number of passengers which may be carried by the ship, in order to calculate the amount necessary to constitute a fund (§ 83);
 7) information on the amounts and bases of claims known to the applicant.

 (2) A publicly authenticated copy of the entries in the register of ships concerning the ship and a publicly authenticated copy of the entries in the logbook of the ship concerning the event shall be appended to an application.

 (3) If an applicant applies for distribution proceedings pursuant to subsection 81 (2) of this Act, the applicant shall prove the existence of the prerequisites specified in subsection 81 (2).

 (4) An applicant may withdraw the application until the time when the proceedings are commenced.

§ 83.  Amount necessary to constitute fund

 (1) A court shall specify the amount which is necessary to constitute a fund by making a corresponding ruling. The amount shall be determined pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 11 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims and paragraph 3 of Article V of the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (2) The amount necessary to constitute a fund shall be paid into the bank account specified by the court.

§ 84.  Replacement of amount necessary to constitute fund with security

 (1) A court may decide that payment of the amount necessary to constitute a fund shall be wholly or partially replaced by the provision of security. In such case, the court shall specify the type of security and the part of the amount necessary to constitute the fund that the security replaces.

 (2) If, in the course of proceedings, security proves to be insufficient, a court shall determine the way in which the security is to be increased or additional security is to be provided. Before a judgment is made, the opinion of the person who filed the application for the commencement of distribution proceedings shall be heard.

§ 85.  Commencement of proceedings

 (1) A court shall decide on the commencement of distribution proceedings after payment of the amount necessary to constitute a fund or provision of the required security, by making a corresponding ruling.

 (2) A ruling on the commencement of proceedings shall set out:
 1) a detailed description of the events from which the claims have arisen for the satisfaction of which the distribution proceedings are conducted;
 2) the person or group of persons regarding whom the proceedings are commenced;
 3) the class of claims to which the claims in respect of which proceedings are commenced belong or a reference to the fact that the proceedings are only commenced to satisfy claims arising from property damage;
 4) the name of the applicant and information on the applicant’s place of residence or place of business, and information on other obligors known to the court regarding whom distribution proceedings may be conducted;
 5) information on the name, flag, place of registration and home port of the ship;
 6) information on payment of the amount necessary to constitute a fund or the provision of security, and a reference to the part of the amount necessary to constitute the fund that the security replaces;
 7) information on appeals filed against a ruling on determination of the amount necessary to constitute a fund;
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
 8) the time of commencement of the distribution proceedings.

 (3) Upon submission of an application, a copy of the ruling on the commencement of distribution proceedings shall be given to the person against whom an action is filed or regarding whom compulsory execution is conducted due to a claim of an obligee participating in the distribution proceedings.

§ 86.  Consequences of commencement

 (1) A fund is deemed to have been constituted when distribution proceedings commence.

 (2) By constitution of a fund, the liability of persons who belong to the group of persons specified in the ruling on the commencement of distribution proceedings shall be limited in respect of claims specified in § 81 of this Act to the amount necessary to constitute the fund.

 (3) All obligees for the satisfaction of whose claims a fund is constituted shall participate in the distribution proceedings.

 (4) Claims for the satisfaction of which a fund is constituted may only be filed pursuant to the procedure provided for in this Chapter. Claims in respect of which liability cannot be limited pursuant to subsection (2) of this section may be filed both in distribution proceedings and outside distribution proceedings.

 (5) Judicial proceedings regarding claims in respect of which liability may be limited pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall be suspended as of the making of a ruling on the commencement of distribution proceedings until the distribution proceedings are terminated or suspended.

 (6) Compulsory execution or the filing of a claim outside distribution proceedings is prohibited as of the commencement of distribution proceedings until the suspension or termination thereof if the obligee has filed a claim against the fund.

 (7) If distribution proceedings are commenced, a court may terminate execution proceedings with respect to the obligor's property and release the property from seizure pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 13 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims or paragraph 1 (b) of Article VI of the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage if the compulsory execution is conducted in order to satisfy a claim in respect of which the liability of the obligor is limited pursuant to subsection (2) of this section. Before the commencement of distribution proceedings, a court may suspend execution proceedings with respect to the obligor's property if the obligor has filed an application for constituting a fund; in such case compulsory execution may be suspended for up to three months.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (8) If, after the commencement of distribution proceedings, bankruptcy proceedings are commenced regarding an obligor participating in the distribution proceedings, it shall not bear on the distribution proceedings. An amount contributed to constitute a fund or any security which replaces the amount shall not be included in the bankruptcy estate of the obligor participating in the distribution proceedings. Claims in respect of which the liability of the obligor is limited pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall not be filed in bankruptcy proceedings during distribution proceedings.

 (9) After the commencement of distribution proceedings, an obligee participating in the proceedings shall not set off his or her claim against the claim of the obligor. This does not apply to the case specified in Article 5 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (10) After the commencement of distribution proceedings, an obligee shall not sell any security provided in order to secure a claim.

§ 87.  Fund administrator

 (1) Upon the commencement of distribution proceedings, the court shall appoint a fund administrator. A natural person who is suitable for the case, competent and independent of the obligees and obligors shall be appointed as fund administrator. A trustee in bankruptcy may be appointed as fund administrator.

 (2) The court shall issue a publicly authenticated certificate to the fund administrator concerning his or her appointment. The certificate shall be returned to the court after expiry of the term of office of the fund administrator.

 (3) A fund administrator:
 1) may contest claims filed in distribution proceedings;
 2) shall sell the security specified in § 84 of this Act if necessary;
 3) shall collect the costs relating to distribution proceedings from an applicant.

 (4) The court may assign the duty to manage the security specified in § 84 of this Act to the fund administrator.

 (5) The fund administrator shall be liable for any damage wrongfully caused to participants in the proceedings by violating his or her duties. Before appointing a fund administrator, the court may demand a reasonable security from the fund administrator. The security may be provided by entry into a liability insurance contract with sufficient insurance cover.

 (6) The fund administrator shall be under court supervision. If the fund administrator violates his or her obligations, the court may impose a fine on the fund administrator or release the fund administrator from office on the fund administrator’s own initiative. A single fine shall not exceed 6 400 euros. Before a ruling is made, the fund administrator shall be heard. The fund administrator may file an appeal against a court ruling by which the fine is imposed on the fund administrator.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

§ 88.  Remuneration of fund administrator and reimbursement of expenses

 (1) The fund administrator has the right to demand reasonable remuneration for the fund administrator’s activities and reimbursement of the necessary expenses incurred in the performance of the fund administrator’s duties. Remuneration shall be paid and expenses reimbursed from the fund.

 (2) The fund administrator may demand an advance payment from the fund to reimburse the expenses incurred by him or her if this is necessary for the performance of the fund administrator’s duties.

 (3) The court shall determine the size of the remuneration and advance payment.

§ 89.  Fund administrator’s report

 (1) Upon expiry of his or her term of office, the fund administrator shall submit a report on his or her activities to the court. In particular, the report shall include information on claims filed by obligees, defence of the claims and distribution of the amount contributed to constitute the fund.

 (2) The report shall be submitted for review to the participants in the proceedings within one week after termination of the distribution proceedings at a place determined by the court. If the fund administrator is released from office before termination of the distribution proceedings, the report shall be submitted for review to the participants in the proceedings within two weeks after the release of the fund administrator from office.

 (3) Obligors and obligees who participate in the proceedings have the right to file objections to the report. If no objections are filed within one week after submission of the report for review, the report is deemed to be approved.

§ 90.  Limitation period for filing claims

 (1) The court shall determine the limitation period for filing claims and the time of the meeting for the defence of claims by a ruling on the commencement of distribution proceedings.

 (2) The limitation period for filing claims shall be at least two months from the commencement of distribution proceedings. If it may be presumed that obligees whose place of residence or place of business is outside the Republic of Estonia will participate in the proceedings, the limitation period for filing claims shall be at least four months from the commencement of distribution proceedings.

 (3) The period between the expiry of the limitation period for filing claims and the time of the meeting for the defence of claims shall not be shorter than one week or longer than two months.

§ 91.  Call for filing claims

 (1) The court shall publish a notice for filing claims that shall set out the following:
 1) a call for obligors to file with the court all claims that have arisen from the event specified in the ruling on the commencement of distribution proceedings and in respect of which the liability of the obligor is limited pursuant to subsection 86 (2) of this Act, within the limitation period specified in the ruling;
 2) a reference that the claim is also to be filed with the court if the court knows of the existence of the claim or if the claim has been communicated in another manner;
 3) a reference that claims in respect of which the liability of the obligor is limited pursuant to subsection 86 (2) of this Act may be filed only pursuant to the procedure provided for in this Chapter and that the obligees of unfiled claims shall not participate in the distribution of the amounts contributed to constitute the fund;
 4) a call to all obligors who, in addition to the person who filed an application for the commencement of distribution proceedings, are liable for satisfaction of a claim arising from an event specified in the ruling on commencement and whose liability is limited after the commencement of proceedings pursuant to subsection 86 (2) of this Act, to communicate their addresses to the court within the term specified in the call if they wish to be informed of the course of the proceedings;
 5) a reference stating that the consequences of the distribution proceedings also apply to obligors who do not obey the call.

 (2) If proceedings are conducted only in order to satisfy claims arising from property damage, the court shall also publish a call to give notice of all claims arising from personal injury that have arisen from events specified in the ruling on commencement of distribution proceedings and in respect of which the liability of the obligor would be limited pursuant to subsection 86 (2) of this Act if the proceedings had also been commenced for the satisfaction of claims arising from personal injury.

§ 92.  Publication of documents related to commencement of proceedings

 (1) After the commencement of distribution proceedings, the court shall publish the following in the official publication Ametlikud Teadaanded:
 1) the ruling by which the amount necessary to constitute the fund is approved;
 2) the subject matter of the ruling on the commencement of distribution proceedings;
 3) a public call for filing claims and the time of the meeting for the defence of claims;
 4) the name and address of the fund administrator.

 (2) If it may be presumed under the circumstances that many obligees whose place of residence or place of business is outside the Republic of Estonia will participate in the proceedings, the court shall publish the information specified in subsection (1) of this section also in at least one newspaper which is presumed to be available to such obligees.

 (3) The publication of information is deemed to be equal to the delivery of a corresponding document with regard to persons whom the published information concerns.

 (4) The court shall deliver the documents specified in subsection (1) of this section individually to obligees and obligors whose address is known. Failure to deliver does not preclude the occurrence of the consequence specified in subsection (3).

§ 93.  Appeal against ruling on determination of amount necessary to constitute fund

 (1) An applicant, an obligor who has given notice of being an obligor and an obligee who has filed a claim may file an appeal against the ruling that approved the amount necessary to constitute the fund. The limitation period for filing an appeal against a ruling expires one month after the limitation period for filing claims.

 (2) The court shall decide on all appeals against rulings filed pursuant to subsection (1) of this section at the same time in a single proceeding. Upon the hearing of an appeal against a ruling filed by an obligor, all obligees of filed claims shall be heard. Upon the hearing of an appeal against a ruling filed by an obligee, the opinion of the obligor currently present shall be heard.

 (3) The fact that the applicant was not entitled to file an application for the commencement of distribution proceedings as the amount of claims does not exceed the limits of liability prescribed for such claims shall not be the grounds for an appeal against a ruling.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Division 3 Defence of Claims 

§ 94.  Filing of claims

 (1) In order to file a claim, a proof of claim that sets out the sum of and basis for the claim shall be filed in writing. Documents that certify the facts set out in the claim or publicly authenticated copies thereof shall be appended to the proof of claim.

 (2) If a judgment that takes into account the limits of the liability of the obligor is made regarding a claim before the commencement of proceedings, the claim shall still be filed in the total sum.

 (3) A fund administrator shall prepare a list concerning filed claims. The claims arising from personal injury and claims arising from property damage shall be entered in the list separately if distribution proceedings have been commenced regarding claims in class A on the basis of claims in both groups. Claims for which obligors are solidarily liable shall be set out separately. The list together with the proofs of claim shall be made available to the participants in the proceedings.

 (4) The proof of claim may be withdrawn until the claim and the right of the obligee to participate in the proceedings are defended. The proof of claim may be withdrawn by filing a written application.

§ 95.  Value of claims

 (1) Claims shall be filed in euros. The sum of a claim is the value that the claim has on the day of commencement of distribution proceedings. A claim that is not directed at payment of a sum of money or the sum whereof has not been determined or is not known shall be filed in an estimated value.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

 (2) In distribution proceedings, a claim for interest may be filed only to an extent to which interest has fallen due before commencement of the proceedings.

 (3) A claim for reimbursement of expenses related to participation in distribution proceedings cannot be filed in distribution proceedings.

 (4) Claims paid in instalments are deemed to fall due when distribution proceedings commence.

 (5) If the estimated value of a claim cannot be determined, the claim shall be filed without indicating the sum. Upon filing a claim in such case, the upper limit of the claim to be filed in distribution proceedings shall be set out. The upper limit shall not exceed the value that the claim can be expected to have according to the circumstances.

 (6) If several obligors whose liability cannot be limited in one distribution proceeding are solidarily liable for a single claim and if the liability of one or several obligors is limited, an obligee may file a claim in each distribution proceeding in the total value that the claim had upon commencement of the proceeding until the claim is satisfied in full.

§ 96.  Filing of claims by obligor

  If an obligor has satisfied a claim that an obligee could have filed in distribution proceedings, the obligor may file the claim in distribution proceedings to the extent that the claim is satisfied. If an obligee has already filed the claim in distribution proceedings, the claim is deemed to have been filed by the obligor.

§ 97.  Extension of proceedings to claims arising from personal injury

 (1) If distribution proceedings are only commenced for the satisfaction of claims arising from property damage, the court shall amend the ruling on determination of the amount necessary to constitute the fund if claims arising from personal injury that have arisen from the same event are filed against the applicant, provided that the obligor can limit the liability thereof regarding the claims, and the amount of the claims exceeds the limits of liability established in paragraph 1 (a) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims. The ruling cannot be amended after a meeting for the defence of the claims is held.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (2) In the case specified in subsection (1) of this section, the court shall specify a term for payment of an additional amount. Section 84 of this Act applies correspondingly.

 (3) If an amount has been contributed by which the amount necessary to constitute the fund is increased according to subsection (1) of this section, the court shall decide, by making a corresponding ruling, that distribution proceedings are also to be commenced for the satisfaction of claims arising from personal injury.

§ 98.  Termination of proceedings

 (1) The court shall terminate distribution proceedings by a ruling if:
 1) the amount necessary to constitute the fund has been increased after the commencement of distribution proceedings and the additional amount is not paid within the specified term;
 2) in the case specified in subsection 84 (2) of this Act, new or additional security is not provided within the term;
 3) an application for the commencement of proceedings is withdrawn after the commencement of distribution proceedings.

 (2) A ruling on the termination of proceedings that is made on a basis specified subsection (1) of this section shall be published in the manner provided for in § 92 of this Act. If termination is decided after the claims of obligees and their right to participate in proceedings are defended, the notice to be published shall set out that the obligees have the rights arising from subsections 102 (3) and (4) of this Act.

 (3) To the extent that the amount contributed to constitute the fund and the security provided to constitute the fund do not need to be used for the satisfaction of the claims of obligees specified in subsection (4) of this section and subsection 102 (3) of this Act, the amount contributed to constitute the fund shall be repaid to the contributor and the security provided to constitute the fund shall be returned after one month has passed from the expiry of the limitation period for filing an appeal against the ruling on termination of the proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (4) If several obligees participating in proceedings seize a claim for repayment of the amount contributed to constitute the fund or for return of security specified in subsection (3) of this section within one month after expiry of the limitation period for filing an appeal against the ruling on termination of the proceedings, the claims of these obligees shall be satisfied out of the seized claim in proportion to the sizes of the claims of the obligees.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 99.  Meeting for defence of claims

 (1) Filed claims shall be verified as regards the sum of the claim and the right of the obligee of the claim to participate in the proceedings at a meeting for the defence of claims.

 (2) An obligor is required to participate in the meeting for the defence of claims. In the absence of the obligor, the meeting shall decide whether the defence of the claims is possible. The absence of an obligee who has filed a claim does not hinder the defence of the claim.

 (3) An obligor may file written objections with the fund administrator with respect to claims.

 (4) If, with good reason, a claim is filed after the limitation period provided for in § 90 of this Act but before the meeting where claims are defended, the meeting may reinstate the limitation period for filing the claim at the request of the obligee.

 (5) If the limitation period for filing a claim is not reinstated, the claim may be defended but, in the event of acceptance, the claim shall be satisfied after satisfaction of the accepted claims which were filed in due time.

§ 100.  Defence of claims

 (1) A claim and the right of the obligee of the claim to participate in proceedings are deemed to be accepted if, at the meeting for the defence of claims, neither the fund administrator nor any obligee objects thereto or if the obligee or fund administrator who filed an objection waives his or her objection at the meeting for the defence of claims.

 (2) If an obligee files a written objection before the meeting for the defence of claims is held and the obligee does not attend the meeting, the written objection has the same effect as an objection filed at the meeting.

 (3) At the meeting for the defence of claims, a claim that has been satisfied by a judgment of a court or arbitral tribunal that has entered into force is deemed to have been accepted without defence. In such case, only the right of the obligee to participate in distribution proceedings can be contested at the meeting for the defence of claims.

 (4) The minutes of the meeting for the defence of claims shall indicate regarding each claim whether or not the claim was accepted and who objected to the claim or its priority. The minutes shall also indicate who waived a filed objection.

 (5) The fund administrator shall prepare a list of accepted claims. The list shall set out the extent to which a claim is accepted. Regarding obligors, obligees and the fund administrator participating in proceedings, the entry of a claim in the list is deemed to be equal to a court judgment in force concerning the sum of the claim, the right to participate in the proceedings and the type of claim (property damage or personal injury).

 (6) Upon the defence of a claim that is filed without indicating the sum and the estimated value of which cannot be determined by the time the meeting for the defence of claims is held, the right of the obligee to participate in proceedings is deemed to have been accepted up to the upper limit of the claim indicated upon filing the claim provided that the size of the claim can be determined later.

§ 101.  Unaccepted claims

 (1) If a claim or the right of an obligee to participate in distribution proceedings is not accepted at the meeting for the defence of claims, the court shall decide on acceptance of the claim or the right of the obligee to participate in proceedings on the basis of a statement of claim of the obligee.

 (2) If the fund administrator objects to a claim or the right of an obligee to participate in distribution proceedings, the obligor represented by the fund administrator shall be the defendant in the case specified in subsection (1) of this section. If an obligee objects to a claim or the right of an obligee to participate in distribution proceedings, the obligee objecting to the claim or its priority shall be the defendant in the case specified in subsection (1) of this section.

 (3) The limitation period for an action specified in subsection (1) of this section shall be one month from the day when the meeting for the defence of claims did not accept the claim or its priority.

 (4) If a claim is deemed accepted pursuant to subsection 100 (3) of this Act, a person who wishes to contest the claim may file an action with a court for contestation of the claim. In such case, the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section apply correspondingly.

 (5) A court judgment that has entered into force in a dispute specified in subsections (1) and (4) of this section applies to all obligees and the fund administrator.

§ 102.  Extinguishment of right of security

 (1) If a claim of an obligee and the right of an obligee to participate in distribution proceedings are defended, the defence of the claim has the same legal consequences as upon termination of the claim in respect of the continuation of maritime mortgages, maritime liens and other rights of security that secure the claim.

 (2) A court shall issue an authenticated extract from the list of accepted claims concerning the defence of a claim to an obligor.

 (3) If distribution proceedings are terminated without distribution of the fund and if a security lost by an obligee pursuant to subsection (1) of this section existed for the claim of the obligee, the obligee, in order to secure his or her claim, has the right of security over a claim for repayment of the amount contributed to constitute the fund. If several rights of security arise, they shall have equal ranking. The rights of security specified in this subsection are ranked higher than the seizure specified in subsection 98 (4) of this Act.

 (4) If, in the case specified in subsection (3) of this section, the contribution necessary to constitute the fund is replaced by the provision of security, an obligee has the preferential right to satisfaction of a claim out of the security. Pursuant to a court ruling, the security shall be sold to the necessary extent. The amount received from the sale of the security shall be equal to the amount contributed to constitute the fund.

 (5) The rights specified in subsections (3) and (4) of this section shall extinguish unless they are enforced in a court within one month from the expiry of the limitation period for filing an appeal against the ruling on the termination of proceedings.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (6) After the expiry of the limitation period specified in subsection (5) of this section, the court shall repay the amount contributed to constitute the fund to the contributor unless the claim for repayment is seized pursuant to subsection 98 (4) of this Act.

 (7) If distribution proceedings are conducted only in order to satisfy claims against an applicant, subsections (1)–(6) of this section apply only if a security secures claims against the applicant.

§ 103.  Termination of compulsory execution

  If a claim and the right of an obligee to participate in distribution proceedings are defended, the enforcement proceedings commenced for the satisfaction of the claim shall be terminated on the basis of an application of the obligor.

§ 104.  Extinguishment of rights of security and termination of compulsory execution in event of unfiled claims

 (1) If, in distribution proceedings, an obligee fails to file a claim in respect of which the liability of the obligor is limited pursuant to subsection 86 (2) of this Act, termination of the meeting for the defence of claims has the same legal consequences in respect of the security that secures the claim as the termination of the secured claim.

 (2) If distribution proceedings are conducted only in order to satisfy claims against an applicant, the provisions of subsection (1) of this section apply only if security is provided in order to secure claims against the applicant.

 (3) Upon termination of the meeting for the defence of claims, enforcement proceedings that are commenced for the satisfaction of the claim specified in subsection (1) of this section out of security shall be terminated on the basis of an application of the obligor.

 (4) The court shall issue a certificate concerning termination of the meeting for the defence of claims to the obligor.

Division 4 Distribution of Fund 

§ 105.  Principles of distribution

 (1) The obligees of accepted claims shall participate in the distribution of an amount contributed to constitute the fund. Claims shall be satisfied out of the amount contributed to constitute the fund in proportion to the size of the claims.

 (2) In the distribution proceedings of claims in class A, claims arising from damage to port facilities, port basins, waterways and aids to navigation shall be satisfied before other claims arising from property damage.

 (3) If the distribution proceedings regarding claims in class A are conducted for the satisfaction of claims arising from property damage and claims arising from personal injury, the amount contributed to constitute the fund shall be divided into two component amounts. The first component amount shall correspond to the limits of liability specified in paragraph 1 (a) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, and the second component amount shall correspond to the limits of liability specified in paragraph 1 (b) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims. Only accepted claims arising from personal injury shall be satisfied out of the first component amount in proportion to the size of the claims. The obligees of all claims arising from property damage participate in the distribution of the second component amount in the total sum of the claims and the obligees of claims arising from personal injury participate in the distribution of the second component amount to the extent to which their claims were not satisfied upon distribution of the first component amount. Claims participating in distribution shall be satisfied in proportion to their size.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (4) The expenses subject to reimbursement out of the fund pursuant to subsection 113 (2) of this Act shall be compensated before the satisfaction of accepted claims. If distribution is conducted pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, expenses relating to disputes over claims arising from personal injury shall be reimbursed out of the component amount prescribed for such claims and expenses relating to disputes over claims arising from property damage shall be compensated out of the component amount prescribed for such claims.

 (5) The part of the amount contributed to constitute the fund that remains after distribution shall be repaid to the contributor. In the event of several contributors, the part remaining after distribution shall be repaid in proportion to the amounts of the contributions.

§ 106.  Payments made upon distribution of fund

 (1) After the meeting for the defence of claims, the amounts contributed to constitute the fund shall be paid to the obligees of accepted claims. Payments shall be made on the basis of a court ruling. The court shall also determine the sale of the security to the extent necessary for distribution.

 (2) Before making payments, the court shall submit a list of claims subject to satisfaction, which, in the case of claims in class A, is divided into claims arising from personal injury and claims arising from property damage, to all the participants in proceedings for review. The court shall publish the total amount of claims to be paid in the manner provided for in § 92 of this Act and a notice as to where and when the list of claims subject to satisfaction can be accessed. Subsections 92 (3) and (4) of this Act apply correspondingly.

 (3) If a claim of an obligee is not defended and, due to an objection filed in respect of the claim of the obligee upon defence, judicial proceedings are conducted, the obligee shall evidence, within four weeks from the court ruling specified in subsection (1) of this section, whether and in what amount the obligee has filed an action specified in subsection 101 (1) of this Act. If evidence is not submitted in due time, the claim of the obligee shall not be taken into account upon distribution.

 (4) Upon distribution, the following amounts shall not be paid:
 1) amounts attributed to a claim regarding which judicial proceedings are conducted due to an objection filed in respect of the claim upon defence;
 2) amounts attributed to a claim regarding which only the right of the obligee of the claim to participate in proceedings has been established but the sum of the claim has not been established.

 (5) If an obligor whose liability in respect of a claim is limited pursuant to subsection 86 (2) of this Act proves to the court that compulsory execution in a foreign state is expected due to the claim, the court may refuse to pay the amount attributed to the claim by making a corresponding ruling. If circumstances change, the court may amend its ruling.

 (6) An appeal against the court ruling specified in subsection (1) of this section may be filed within ten days from publication of the notice specified in subsection (2).
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 107.  Determination of size of claim after meeting for defence of claims

 (1) If, after a meeting for the defence of claims, it is possible to determine the size of a claim in the case of which only the right of an obligee to participate in distribution proceedings up to the limit of the claim set out upon filing the claim is accepted, the court shall determine the size of the claim at the request of the obligee.

 (2) The court ruling specified subsection (1) of this section shall be published in a manner provided for in § 92 of this Act. An obligor, obligee or fund administrator participating in distribution proceedings may file an appeal against the court ruling.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 108.  Subsequent distribution

 (1) In the course of subsequent distribution, claims in the case of which the amounts attributed to the claims were not paid in the course of payments made pursuant to § 106 of this Act and which are satisfied by court judgments that enter into force later or the size of which is determined pursuant to § 107 of this Act, shall be satisfied.

 (2) Subsequent distribution shall be conducted after the prerequisites specified in subsection (1) of this section are met, if there is an amount sufficient for subsequent distribution.

§ 109.  Termination of proceedings due to distribution of fund

 (1) The court shall terminate distribution proceedings by a ruling after the fund has been distributed or if only the amounts specified in clause 106 (4) 1) and § 115 of this Act have not been paid. At the request of an interested person, the court shall issue a certificate concerning termination of distribution proceedings.

 (2) If, after the termination of distribution proceedings, a claim that has not been paid pursuant to clause 106 (4) 1) of this Act is deemed to be accepted or the right of an obligee to participate in proceedings is defended or if it becomes evident that the claim need not be taken into account upon making payments or that an amount for covering expenses need not be deducted (§ 115), subsequent distribution shall be conducted.

§ 110.  Subsequent extension of proceedings to claims arising from personal injury at request of obligor

 (1) If proceedings are commenced only for the satisfaction of claims arising from property damage and if claims arising from personal injury the amount of which exceeds the limits of liability established in paragraph 1 (a) of Article 6 of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims have also arisen from the same event, the obligor of a claim arising from personal injury, if the obligor belongs to the group of persons for the satisfaction of claims against whom the proceedings were commenced, may apply for the increase of the amount necessary to constitute the fund by the amount necessary for the satisfaction of the claims arising from personal injury.
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

 (2) If an additional amount is not contributed, proceedings shall only be conducted for the satisfaction of claims arising from property damage after the increase of the amount necessary to constitute the fund.

 (3) If an additional amount necessary to constitute the fund determined pursuant to subsection (1) of this section is contributed after the proceedings for the satisfaction of claims arising from property damage have been commenced, the court shall decide that proceedings are also to be commenced for the satisfaction of claims arising from personal injury. The extension of proceedings to claims in class A is precluded after the meeting for the defence of claims.

§ 111.  Expiry of personal liability

  After the termination of distribution proceedings, an obligor is not liable for the satisfaction of claims in respect of which the liability of the obligor was limited pursuant to subsection 86 (2) of this Act regardless of whether the claims were filed in distribution proceedings or not.

§ 112.  Expiry of personal liability in event of claims regarding which liability cannot be limited

  If, in distribution proceedings, an obligor accepts an amount attributed to the obligor, the obligor cannot file his or her claim against an obligee outside distribution proceedings even if the obligor could not limit the obligor’s liability in respect of the claim pursuant to subsection 86 (2) of this Act.

Division 5 Costs of Distribution Proceedings 

§ 113.  Incurring costs of distribution proceedings

 (1) A person who files an application for the commencement of distribution proceedings shall incur the following costs relating to the distribution proceedings:
 1) remuneration of and costs relating to the fund administrator;
 2) expenses incurred by the fund administrator upon management and the sale of security.

 (2) The expenses incurred by the fund administrator on court actions regarding claims filed in distribution proceedings and regarding the right of the obligees of the claims to participate in proceedings shall be reimbursed out of the amounts contributed to the limitation fund.

§ 114.  Payment of costs incurred by applicant

 (1) The court shall determine the costs to be incurred by a person who files an application for the commencement of distribution proceedings in a ruling on the termination of distribution proceedings.

 (2) Upon commencement of distribution proceedings, the court shall determine the amount of the advance payment required in order to cover the costs specified in subsection 113 (1) of this Act. If the advance payment is not made, the court may refuse to commence distribution proceedings.

 (3) If a claim for the reimbursement of costs specified in subsection 113 (1) of this Act cannot be satisfied upon compulsory execution with respect to the property of a person who filed an application for the commencement of distribution proceedings due to a lack of assets, the costs specified in subsection 113 (1) shall be reimbursed out of the amounts contributed to the limitation fund. In such case, the amount contributed to constitute the fund shall be distributed after reimbursement of the costs specified in subsection 113 (1) of this Act.

§ 115.  Deduction upon distribution

 (1) If, upon deciding on payment of the amount necessary to constitute the limitation fund, it is unclear whether any more costs will be incurred in the course of distribution proceedings which will have to be reimbursed out of the amounts contributed to the limitation fund, the court shall refuse to pay the amount which is expected to be necessary for covering these costs upon distribution.

 (2) Under the circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this section, it is prohibited to file an appeal against a court ruling specified in subsection 109 (1) of this Act.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

 (3) A court shall amend its ruling if the circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this section cease to exist.
[RT I 2008, 59, 330 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

Chapter 9 RIGHT OF REPRESENTATION OF MASTER 

§ 116.  Representation of operator

 (1) The master may, in the name of the operator, enter into transactions that are necessary for the operation and use of the ship, for taking care of persons on board the ship and ensuring their safety or ensuring the safety of things on board the ship.

 (2) The operator may restrict the right of representation of the master.

 (3) The restriction specified in subsection (2) of this section applies to a third party only if the third party knew or should have known of the restriction of the right of representation.

§ 117.  Right of representation in respect of shipper or consignee

 (1) In order to preserve cargo or perform other necessary acts with the cargo, the master may enter into transactions in the name of the shipper or consignee if this is necessary due to extraordinary circumstances.

 (2) The master shall promptly notify the shipper and the consignee of any transactions entered into.

Chapter 10 Salvage 

§ 118.  Definition of salvage

  For the purposes of this Act, salvage is an operation undertaken to assist a ship or any other property in danger at sea or in navigable waters.

§ 119.  Application of Convention on Salvage

  The 1989 International Convention on Salvage (RT II 2001, 19, 102) applies to the legal relationships arising from the salvage of a ship or property at sea.

§ 120.  Security for claims arising from Convention on Salvage

 (1) A person with a claim for a salvage reward specified in Article 12 of the 1989 International Convention on Salvage and a person with a claim for special compensation specified in Article 14 of the Convention have a maritime lien in respect of the salved ship in order to secure the claims.

 (2) A person with a claim for a salvage reward specified in Article 12 of the 1989 International Convention on Salvage and a person with a claim for special compensation specified in Article 14 of the Convention have the right of security in respect of other salved things. The operator and the carrier are required to provide information regarding the owner of the salved things to the person with a claim for a salvage reward and the person with a claim for special compensation.

 (3) The rights specified in subsections (1) and (2) shall not be exercised if:
 1) sufficient security is provided to a person with a claim in order to secure the claim pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 20 of the 1989 International Convention on Salvage;
 2) the salved ship or other salved thing belonged to the state or if the salved ship was at the disposal of the state and the ship or thing was being used for non-commercial purposes and was, at the time of salvage operations, entitled to sovereign immunity according to generally recognised principles of international law.

 (4) The right of security specified in subsection (2) of this section shall expire one year after the creation of the claim which is secured by the right of security.

 (5) If the person with a claim for a salvage reward or the person with a claim for special compensation releases the salved ship or thing, the owner is required to accept it.

§ 121.  Order of satisfaction of rights of security

 (1) The right of security specified in subsection 120 (2) of this Act shall be privileged in respect of all other rights of security encumbering the salved things.

 (2) If several rights of security specified in subsection 120 (2) of this Act have arisen in respect of one thing, the right of security securing a claim that arose earlier shall be privileged in respect of the right of security securing a claim that arose later.

Chapter 11 GENERAL AVERAGE 

§ 122.  Definition of general average

 (1) Damage which is caused by extraordinary expenditure or sacrifice incurred or made intentionally and within reasonable limits in order to salve a ship, freight and cargo on board the ship from a common danger threatening them is deemed to be a general average.

 (2) The sacrifice and expenditure made and incurred in a general average shall be divided between the ship, cargo and freight pursuant to the York-Antwerp Rules unless otherwise provided for in the contract for the carriage of cargo and the liability insurance contract of the carrier.

 (3) The size of the sacrifice and expenditure made and incurred shall be determined pursuant to the York-Antwerp Rules .

 (4) The law of the state in which the average adjustment (§ 124) is issued applies to relationships arising from a general average, unless agreed otherwise

§ 123.  Personal liability and provision of security

 (1) The owner of a ship involved in a general average, the operator and carrier and the shipper and consignee of the cargo shall not be personally liable for making a general average contribution. This does not apply to goods the consignee whereof knew, upon taking delivery thereof, that a general average contribution is to be made for the goods. The personal liability of a consignee for making a general average contribution shall be limited to the value of the goods upon delivery thereof to the consignee.

 (2) The operator and carrier shall ensure that goods for which a general average contribution is to be made are not delivered to the consignee without the general average contribution being made or without security for the making of the general average contribution being provided.

 (3) If the operator or carrier violates an obligation specified in subsection (2) of this section, the operator or carrier shall be personally liable for making a general average contribution for the goods.

 (4) The owner of a ship, the operator or charterer and the carrier with a claim for freight have the right of security in respect of goods for which a general average contribution is to be made. The rights arising from the right of security shall be exercised by the carrier. The right of security also applies to the claim for freight if freight has not been paid.

 (5) If a third party has acquired direct possession of goods encumbered with the right of security specified in subsection (4) of this section, the rights arising from the right of security cannot be exercised in respect of the third party if the third party was not aware and was not required to be aware of the existence of the right of security while acquiring possession.

§ 124.  Average adjustment

 (1) General average contributions and the extent of damage shall be determined and divided by the person appointed for this purpose (average adjuster) at the request of the operator, and the person shall prepare a corresponding document (average adjustment).

 (2) In order to perform the acts specified in subsection (1) of this section, the operator shall promptly, but not later than within one month after the general average occurs, issue a corresponding authorisation agreement to the average adjuster. If the operator delays issuing the authorisation agreement, the owner of a ship involved in a general average, the carrier and the shipper or consignee of the cargo may also do the same.

Chapter 111 LIABILITY  
[RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

§ 1241.  Lack of insurance policy and certificate of insurance or other financial security

 (1) Use of a ship without an insurance policy or the certificate attesting the compliance of the insurance or other financial security provided for in this Act is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units.

 (2) The same act, if committed by a legal person, is punishable by a fine of up to 16,000 euros.
[RT I, 31.05.2021, 1 – entry into force 01.06.2021]

§ 1242.  Proceedings

  [Repealed - RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

§ 1243.  Carriage of passengers by sea without liability insurance or other financial security in compliance with requirements

 (1) Carriage of passengers without liability insurance or other financial security in compliance with requirements is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units.

 (2) The same act, if committed by a legal person, is punishable by a fine of up to 3200 euros.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

§ 1244.  Failure to provide assistance to disabled passenger or passenger with reduced mobility on board ship

 (1) Failure to meet the requirement provided for in Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council is punishable by a fine of up to 150 fine units.

 (2) The same act, if committed by a legal person, is punishable by a fine of up to 3200 euros.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

§ 1245.  Disregard of requirement to inform passengers of cancelled or delayed departure, change of route or to allow compensation for ticket price

 (1) Failure to meet the requirements provided for in Articles 16 and 18 of Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council is punishable by a fine of up to 150 fine units.

 (2) The same act, if committed by a legal person, is punishable by a fine of up to 3200 euros.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

§ 1246.  Failure to provide information regarding passenger service or cruise on board a ship

 (1) Failure to meet the requirement provided for in Article 22 of Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council is punishable by a fine of up to 150 fine units.

 (2) The same act, if committed by a legal person, is punishable by a fine of up to 3200 euros.
[RT I, 30.05.2013, 4 - entry into force 09.06.2013]

§ 1247.  Proceedings

 (1) The provisions of the General Part of the Penal Code and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure apply to misdemeanours provided for in this Chapter.

 (2) The Estonian Transport Administration is the extra-judicial body that conducts proceedings in matters of misdemeanours provided for §§ 1241 and 1243 of this Act.
[RT I, 10.12.2020, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2021]

 (3) The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority is the extra-judicial body that conducts proceedings in matters of misdemeanours provided for §§ 1244–1246 of this Act.
[RT I, 12.12.2018, 3 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

Chapter 12 IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS 

§ 125.  [Omitted from this text]

§ 126.  Entry into force of Act

  This Act enters into force on 1 October 2002.


1 Directive 2009/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the insurance of shipowners for maritime claims (OJ L 131, 28.05.2009, pp. 128–131). [RT I, 30.12.2011, 1 – entry into force 01.01.2012]

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