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Abstract

The article examines mandatory (compulsory) nature of maritime civil liability insurance associated with seafaring. The key question is whether maritime civil liability insurance is indeed a type of compulsory insurance and, if so, whether it falls under the 2003 Law on Compulsory Insurance. The author analyses different maritime civil liability insurance schemes in context of their conformity with legal definition of compulsory insurance and its requisite legal features. Finally, the article reviews the amendments to the Maritime Code as proposed by the Maritime Law Codification Committee, in particular those relating to the unification of rules on financial security.
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Abstract

The article examines the legal status of sea harbours in Poland. The author discusses drafting history of the current Act on Ports and Harbours (1996) and analyzes proposals for its amendment raised by the Sea Cities and Communes Union. The new draft centers on the notion that deciding on legal status of sea harbours should be entrusted to the local government.
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Abstract

The article outlines legal characteristics marine insurance contract under Polish law. Marine insurance is a codified contract, governed expressly by Title VIII of the Polish Maritime Code. It is concluded by mere consent of the parties (consensual contract), it is bilateral, aleatory and it entails consideration in money. Its main characteristic is the requirement of utmost good faith (uberrima fides). It is a standard form contract (contract of adhesion) and often operates in context of permanent contractual relationships. The author notes, however, disagreements within academia as to aleatory natureof maritime insurance.
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Abstract

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.
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