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What is Maritime Law? Everything You Need to Know

It’s estimated that 80% of global trade by value and volume occurs through the seas via ports globally.

Maritime trade is considered the backbone of any economy through its transport and offshore trading.

So what is maritime law?

Here’s everything you need to know about its history and how it applies today.

What is Maritime Law?

Maritime law is a body of laws and agreements imposed to govern the activities, behaviors, roles and trade at the sea.

The laws regulate the registration, issuance of licenses, the inspection procedures followed by ships, shipping contracts, and the carriage of both goods and passengers.

In some instances, maritime law applies interchangeably with admiralty law. Historically, admiralty law focused on oceanic issues however it now covers any public body of water that includes rivers and lakes.

The International rules that govern the use of oceans and seas refer to the Laws of the Sea.

Below are some of the maritime basics covered by the maritime law:

• Commercial shipping accidents. It entails a damaged vessel or cargo.
• Errors and omissions.
• Piracy and other criminal activity.
• Pollution from spillage or leakage of hazardous materials
• Maritime labor regulations

What is the History of Maritime Law?

The International Maritime Organization was established in 1948 by Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization and came into effect in 1958. It has issued many laws that are enforced by navies, maritime forces, and coast guards globally.

The organization ensures that existing international maritime agreements are updated regularly, as well as developing new arrangements as and when the needed. Many domestic maritime laws are governed by international agreements as laws that are independent jurisdiction from the national laws.

In the US maritime law is under the federal law.

Are there Statutes of Limitation to the Law?

There exists statutes of Limitation to the law.

A maritime lawyer will give more information on these statutes and advice you accordingly especially when seeking for compensation or in dispute resolution.

Legal actions must be filed within a stipulated time frame after the occurrence of the questionable act, offence, or omission.

One of the primary factors that determine the statute of limitation for maritime legal matters is the amount of time you or an immediate family member has to file a legal action.

Below are Examples of Common Legal Acts and Their Statutes of Limitation

• Death on the High Sea Act

Under this act, family members or other parties who claim interest on behalf of the deceased are allowed up to three years to file for wrongful death claims.

• The Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act

Plaintiffs should file their suites within one year of the alleged accident or incident to be eligible for legal compensation

Maritime statutes of limitation are more like other legal statutes of limitation. Thus, your suit should be brought within the given period of time after the accident or incident otherwise you’ll not be able to recover damages or get legal compensation

Get a Reputable Lawyer

Maritime lawyers should comprehend state and federal laws. They must have a sound judgment to benefit their clients when making decisions and understand how federal laws, international agreements, and state laws exist and are applicable to their cases.

Maritime Venture is Easy When You Understand the Law

Now that you know what is maritime law, you can conduct business or enjoy a holiday on a cruise ship with confidence.

An important take away is, as a passenger read your ticket carefully so as not to miss your statute of limitation in case of any eventuality.

Check out this page to find the best lawyers for maritime law.

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