There are few works on the obligatory character of civil liability insurance for vessel owners. Civil liability insurance for passenger vessels is regulated in Article 182 of the Maritime Code. This type of insurance for vessel owners to cover damages caused by oil pollution are described in Article 273 of the Maritime Code. These are the only types of maritime insurance that are obligatory. Accordingly, it is obvious that obligatory insurance for only two of many dozen maritime hazards, which can be insured against voluntarily, is grossly insufficient. With the exception of damages cased by oil, there is no obligation to obtain civil liability insurance for other types of damage. The international community has ratified an additional two conventions, which impose alternatives to obligatory insurance or financial security in cases of marine environmental pollution. These include the international convention of 1996 on liability and compensation for damages concerned with the shipping of hazardous and dangerous substances and the international convention of 2001 on civil liability for damages caused by bunker oil pollution. Neither of these two conventions has yet to come into force; however, it is possible that they will be ratified by Poland in the nearest future. The introduction of obligatory insurance should also cover other damages resulting from vessel exploitation. Such an obligation could induce increased shipping safety by eliminating vessels that do not comply with safety standards. It would also have an impact on the principles of fair competition in sailing as well as standardize insurance protection.
M. Adamowicz, Uniwersytet Gdanski, ul. Bazynskiego 1a, 80-952 Gdansk, Poland
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