Italy, Dardani Studio Legale updates

Shipping & Transport

Contributed by Dardani Studio Legale
Supreme Court rules on apportionment of salvage reward among shipowner and cargo interests
  • Italy
  • 21 October 2020

The Supreme Court recently issued a significant decision on the apportionment of a salvage reward among a shipowner and cargo interests. The decision has confirmed the principle already expressed in previous Supreme Court judgments that the shipowner is liable towards the salvor for an entire salvage reward, subject to recourse action by said shipowner against the cargo interests. However, the Supreme Court's conclusions are debatable, as is its interpretation of Article 497 of the Code of Navigation.

Immunity of jurisdiction defence rejected in compensation claim
  • Italy
  • 15 July 2020

The Court of Genoa recently referred a jurisdictional immunity claim to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on whether it should decline to hear the case on the basis of said immunity exception or whether it must apply the EU Brussels Regulation. The case concerned a compensation claim by survivors and relatives of the deceased of a ferry accident.

Ship sale and purchase transactions and acquisition of business assets: recent developments
  • Italy
  • 06 May 2020

Italian law includes no specific rules concerning the sale of ships. As such, the general rules on the sale of movable assets apply. However, should the purchase of a ship qualify as an acquisition of business assets, certain mandatory rules of law apply. In two recent judgments, the Rome Court of Appeal held that the mandatory rules regarding the transfer of business assets do not apply to sale and purchase agreements concerning a single ship.

Supreme Court upholds Agrigento Criminal Court decision in Sea-Watch 3 case
  • Italy
  • 08 April 2020

The Supreme Court recently upheld the decision of the Agrigento Criminal Court in the Sea-Watch 3 case. The appeal decision has given a clear and straightforward interpretation of the concept of 'place of safety' in search and rescue operations: the rescuing vessel cannot be deemed a place of safety.

Sea Watch 3: can coastal states limit right of innocent passage?
  • Italy
  • 29 January 2020

Can a coastal state prevent a ship from exercising the right of innocent passage into its territorial waters to access one of its ports in a maritime distress scenario deriving from rescuing migrants at sea? This question has been the focus of attention due to legislation that the government passed in 2019 in order to restrict such rights and the case of Sea Watch 3, which entered the Italian port of Lampedusa despite a government veto.


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