Shipping & Transport, Italy, Dardani Studio Legale updates

Decision on shipbrokers' informative obligations
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 06 November 2019

A significant recent judgment by the Genoa Court of Appeal examined the extent and nature of the informative duties imposed on shipbrokers under Italian law. The decision applies to shipbrokers the principles outlined by the Italian courts for general brokerage activities (in particular, real estate brokerage for which the case law is richer and more consistent). Consequently, a general and uniform legal framework has been extended to shipbrokers.

Tribunal of Genoa examines jurisdiction issue in pre-trial proceedings regarding court surveyor's appointment
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 11 September 2019

A recent Tribunal of Genoa case concerning a yacht lost during carriage examined whether the Italian courts have jurisdiction to appoint court surveyors and order survey operations to take place in Italy where the merits of a dispute are not subject to Italian jurisdiction. According to the tribunal, the fact that the merits of the dispute in question were to be decided in London did not deprive the Italian courts' jurisdiction to order inspection and survey operations on goods located in Italy.

Back to formalities: recap fixture held insufficient evidence of charter contract
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 03 July 2019

The Tribunal of Milan recently published a judgment analysing a common occurrence in shipping matters where a contract of charter is not incorporated into an agreement duly executed by both parties, but is instead contained in a recap fixture exchanged via email. The decision is noteworthy as it reaches conclusions (significantly different from prevailing Italian case law) which deserve to be carefully considered when concluding charter parties.

Genoa Court of Appeal confirms decision on limitation of carrier's liability under Hague-Visby Rules
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 20 February 2019

A recent Genoa Court of Appeal decision interpreted the principle of the limitation of a carrier's liability under the Hague-Visby Rules. The decision affirms that receivers must give actual evidence of a carrier's knowledge that damage would probably have resulted as a consequence of its reckless conduct in order to claim the exclusion of the carrier's limitation of liability, with no recourse to factual presumptions.

Supreme Court rules out vicarious and strict liability of receiver for road carrier violations
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 07 November 2018

The Supreme Court recently issued a significant decision regarding the joint liability of a carrier, shipper and owner of goods following the carrier's violation of road safety rules under Italian law. The decision is notable, as it gives a clear interpretation of Legislative Decree 286/2005's rules that the fault is the subjective element required to establish the liability of a party in the transport chain where there is a violation of the road safety rules.

Supreme Court rules on construction of 'as she lies' clause in sale of second-hand vessel
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 22 August 2018

The Supreme Court recently issued a decision regarding the sale and purchase of a second-hand vessel – in particular, the construction of the words 'as she lies'. While Italian jurisprudence has historically considered the words a mere standard clause with no legal effects, Italian maritime scholars have confirmed the validity of the clause aimed at contracting out the sellers' guarantee to remedy any hidden defects in the goods being sold.

Pro rata rule and apportionment of salvage reward between co-salvors
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 23 May 2018

A recent decision of the Genoa Court of Appeal dealt with two interesting issues arising under the London International Convention on Salvage 1989: whether, for the purposes of fixing a salvage reward, the judge should consider not only the value of the salved vessel, but also that of the cargo on board; and the apportionment of a salvage reward between co-salvors where only one salvor brought proceedings for its remuneration.

Better late than never: long-awaited reforms to Nautical Code introduced
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 14 March 2018

One of the final pieces of legislation that the government enacted before the March 2018 general election was the eagerly awaited reform of the so-called 'Nautical Code'. The changes include a new definition of 'superyachts', the introduction of an electronic registration system for yachts and superyachts, a streamlined cancellation procedure for the Italian yacht registry and restrictions to the occasional chartering regime.

Nautica e Fisco booklet sets legal and fiscal developments in nautical industry
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 13 December 2017

The most recent edition of the Nautica e Fisco booklet issued by the Nautical Association Industry and the Revenue Agency covers legal and fiscal developments in the nautical industry, including issues from registration to customs and fiscal matters. In particular, the booklet provides guidelines on exporting a yacht from Italy, value added tax exemptions for the use of yachts in the high seas and the temporary importation regime and refitting services.

Italian International Registry will soon be open to all EU-flagged ships
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 04 October 2017

The Italian International Registry provides a number of substantial fiscal advantages to shipowners. However, the European Commission recently established an EU pilot procedure against Italy to enquire into the nature of the advantages that Italy has made available to ships registered in the registry. The European Commission's message was taken on board and measures are now being discussed to amend national legislation so that it conforms to EU principles.

Court addresses demurrage claim under voyage charterparty
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 06 September 2017

The Milan Court of Appeal recently addressed a demurrage claim under a voyage charterparty. The decision dealt with the issue of contract formation and focused on the choice of law provision contained in the charterparty. This case has confirmed that, when so called, the Italian courts are keen and ready to pronounce judgments in line with commercial shipping practice.

Supreme Court affirms validity of forum selection clause in multimodal bill of lading
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 26 April 2017

In an important decision, the Supreme Court recently established the validity of a forum selection clause contained in a multimodal bill of lading. The judgment is notable as it overturns the main trend in Italian case law on this subject. Before the issuance of the Supreme Court judgment, many lower courts had denied the validity of jurisdiction clauses contained in multimodal bills of lading.

First step in applying EU Passenger Liability Regulation to Italian domestic market
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 22 February 2017

As of January 1 2017, the EU Passenger Liability Regulation applies to Class A ships sailing Italian domestic voyages, as defined under the EU Directive on Safety Rules and Standards for Passenger Ships. Accordingly, such ships can limit their liability, pursuant to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974, and must fulfil the relevant compulsory insurance duties.

Limitation of maritime pilots' liability
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 25 January 2017

With Parliament's recent passage of Act 230, the long-awaited reform of the Italian legal regime regulating maritime pilots' liability has now come to fruition. The amendments introduced to the Code of Navigation establish a system based on limitation of liability and compulsory insurance. Pilots' representatives have welcomed the reform.

Tribunal confirms sea waybill is evidence of contract of carriage
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 04 January 2017

The Tribunal of Genoa recently issued two decisions dealing with the legal nature of sea waybills. In both decisions the tribunal considered the extent to which the content of a sea waybill is relevant when identifying the parties to the contract of carriage and, consequently, when deciding on the defence of title to be sued.

Supreme Court adopts strict interpretation of maritime liens and judicial managers' remuneration
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 12 October 2016

A recent Supreme Court judgment addressed the issue of maritime liens and the remuneration of shipping companies' court-appointed managers by adopting a strict interpretation of the maritime liens rules. The judgment provides an idea of which credits are assisted by liens and highlights the difference between the rules of law regarding liens and those regarding managers' duties and rights.

Bareboat-in registration made available in International Ship Registry to ships from EU registries
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 07 September 2016

Bareboat-in registration in the Italian International Ship Registry has recently been made available to ships from EU registries and ships owned by EU persons or entities, to which access was previously denied. After almost two decades of silence regarding this crucial matter regulating ship registration, the government and legislature are again concentrating their efforts on a strategically important area.

Shipping agency as affiliated company not branch office of foreign carrier
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 20 July 2016

The Tribunal of Genoa recently issued a judgment regarding the corporate structure of a group of shipping companies. In particular, the court considered the liability of a local shipping agent where it was established as a subsidiary of the line carrier and alternatively where it was merely a branch office of the line carrier.

Supreme Court issues decision concerning Brussels Convention and FILO clause
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 23 December 2015

The Supreme Court recently issued a decision concerning the interpretation of Article 3.2 of the Brussels Convention and a free in liner out clause contained in a bill of lading. The case concerned compensation for the loss of and damage to cargo and focused on whether a terminal operator had acted as a servant of the carrier or the shipper and, as a consequence, on the limitation period applicable to the action brought against the terminal operator.

Ship arrest for unpaid bunkers following OW Bunker group collapse
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 14 October 2015

The OW Bunker group collapse continues to affect the wider shipowning community, with a number of physical bunker suppliers not receiving payment. A recent Tribunal of Venice decision addressed whether a physical bunker supplier was entitled to arrest the vessel to which it supplied fuel where it had received no payment from the insolvent contractual bunker supplier.

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