Limiting ones liability involves somewhat removing oneself form the responsibility of a situation. Once removed from full responsibility under the law, the potential losses that an individual can incur are also limited. We see this in many businesses, that are described as limited liability companies. In these cases, one can only lose as much as they have put into the business, and their external assets will be safe. Historically in the case of limited liability in the maritime industry, it is the ship captains who are involved and had to consider this matter.
The sea can be a rough place, and for ships carrying freight, the loss of a clients goods could lead to disaster. This would be especially true for items of extreme value, and so the concept of limiting maritime liability was introduced to the industry.
Within the UAE, Federal Law Number 26 of 1981 (the UAE Maritime Code) relates to all matters regarding maritime activities. Articles 138-142 entitle owners, charterers or workers to restrict their liability given the size of their vessels. However, this law and these regulations first arose as a response to international regulations such as the 1957 and 1976 international maritime regulations.
To find out more about International and UAE specific regulations on maritime liability, read here, or contact on of our lawyers for further details.