A recent decision clarifies the nature of the obligations existing between the entities in a transportation chain under Italian jurisdiction. A transportation subcontract must be considered an independent contract between the carrier and the subcontractor, with its obligations being directly binding on the subcontractor in respect of the carrier.
A recent case, involving goods stowed at an Italian port, centred on determining the validity of the international commercial terms and the point at which ownership and risks were transferred. Parties concluding an agreement that involves the transportation of goods should take care to specify the point at which ownership is transferred and the point at which risk is transferred.
The Court of Palermo recently ruled that certain clauses in a carrier's contracts for the transport of passengers by sea were void, as they violated the Consumer Code and potentially disadvantaged passengers. The ruling follows a judicial opinion that interprets general conditions of carriage as clauses subject to Article 1341 of the Civil Code, even if such conditions have been approved by the Ministry of Transport.
The Supreme Court has ordered an iron and steel producer to pay full price for the fuel it uses to transport scrap iron. The company had claimed a reduced tax rate under legislation that implements the EU Mineral Oils Directive. However, the court did not explicitly support the Ministry of Transport's view that such a reduction should apply only to transport services with an element of public utility.
The Supreme Court has ruled that port taxes for the loading and unloading of goods must be levied for each loading dock within the port area as defined by ministerial decree, regardless of the ownership of the port and the company providing the relevant port services.
A recent resolution of the Revenue Office clarifies that the value added tax exemption regime in Article 8(2) of Presidential Decree 633/72 applies to the sale of pleasure craft if such craft are enrolled in the International Register and used for commercial charter activities.
A decision by the Court of Ravenna included a ruling on the condition of prima facie evidence of a claim. The court held that the condition does not apply to the arrest of a number of ships where a decision on the merits of the case by a foreign forum has dismissed maritime claims for which arrest was sought as a securing measure, even if such a ruling has been appealed.
A Supreme Court ruling confirms that a judge deciding a case involving the carriage of cargo by sea must establish the degree of negligence of a carrier and its employees or agents, as a carrier’s right to limit its liability under Article 423 of the Navigation Code does not apply where cargo is lost or damaged as a result of gross negligence or wilful misconduct.
A Milan Court of Appeal decision sheds light on what a chartering broker does and whether commission payments may be reclaimed in the event of a contract being terminated earlier than planned. A claim by a broker to have its entitlement to commission recognized for the duration of a contract until its natural expiry cannot be granted if the charter was terminated by the parties and the ship was returned.
A Council of State decision has confirmed that ships over 20 years old which are migrating from the registers of other EU member states may register in Italy. The ministry may refuse registration in the international register only on grounds which would justify the rejection of an application for an Italian ship.
A Court of Cassation decision in a case involving an accident which befell an Italian worker aboard a foreign vessel examined issues relating to the statute of limitations for claims brought by workers in connection with incidents at sea. The nationality of the vessel is a connecting factor when determining the relevant law only if the contracting parties have not chosen the applicable law, even implicitly.
The Ministry of Transportation has enacted Decree 63/2007, which sets out the requirements for obtaining state credit facilities under Articles 1(1040) and (1041) of Law 296/2006 for registered naval enterprises. The credit facilities are intended to support the development of innovative products or production processes.
A decision of the Court of Genoa confirms that when a voyage charterparty contains a clause which provides for uploading in a specific port, defining the port as safe and specifying its depth, the charterer is liable for damages suffered by the broker owing to the insufficient depth of the berth assigned to the ship.