HL Deb 28 February 1980 vol 405 cc1671-3WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In the event of fires or explosions arising on-shore during the unloading

OFFICE(Lord Belstead)

The information is as follows:

of a liquefied gas carrier, what is the limit to the liability, in pounds sterling, arising out of "the ordinary rules of law".

The Earl of GOWRIE

Should a fire or explosion arise on-shore during the unloading of a liquefied gas carrier, the question of limitation of liability would depend on whether the incident could be attributed to the action or inaction of the ship-owner, the ship's officers or persons acting on their behalf or under their instructions. If the liability could be so attributed to the vessel rather than to the shore installation, then the limitation would be affected by what if any action the ship-owner or the ship's officers had taken to limit their liability, under the terms of the 1958 Merchant Shipping (Liability of Ship-owners and others) Act, or similar legislation enacted by other nations in ratifying the 1957 Brussels Convention on this subject. The overall limitation that could be stipulated would amount to £127.05 per limitation ton.

There is no statutory limitation on liability for a land-based installation, should the incident be attributed to the action or otherwise of the owners or management of the installation.