Collision; is a private institution of Maritime Law that regulates the rights, obligations and responsibilities of those involved in the harm and damage caused by the collision of vessels.
Fault of one party
If the collision occurs due to the fault of one of the vessels or its crew, the party at fault is liable for the damages. The most important feature of the faulty collision is that it is the result of an unnecessary or improper action.
A Mutual Fault Collision
If the collision occurs due to two or more vessels or their crew being at fault, the liability of each vessel is in proportion to the degree of the faults respectively committed.
Fault of Pilot Boats
In the case of the vessel is guided by compulsory consulting pilot or an optional pilot, the Shipowner shall be responsible of the Pilot’s fault or negligence. However, The Shipowner shall not be responsible in case of the collision is occurred as a result of the fault of a mandatory forwarding/drying pilot.
Liability of Master in Collision
The Masters of the collided vessels are obliged to make every possible precaution in order to prevent or reduce the damage of the vessels and the people at the vessels during the collision. The Shipowner shall not be held liable for the damages arising from the Master’s violation of the obligation.
Time-out of Liabilities in Collision
Any kind of damage claim based on the collision has the 2 years time-limit from the collision. According to the article 1297 of Turkish Commercial Code, recourse right of Shipowners against each other is subjected for 1 year time-limit.
Criminal Liabilities after Collision
It is a criminal offense to cause a faulty collision and not to take the necessary precautions to prevent or reduce the damage in collision:
- According to Article 179 and 180 of the Turkish Criminal Code; to cause a sinking or a sea accident by imprudence, inattention, inexperience is offense.
- It is a criminal offense not fulfill the obligation to provide information after the conflict, to register in the logbook, and to submit the copy of the report to the port authority
Applicable Law on Collision
Collision in terms of criminal law
Collusion acts occurred in Turkish territorial waters are considered within the scope of public order. For this reason, the Turkish law is applied since the Turkish judicial organs are authorized in terms of criminal law.
Collision in terms of private law
- If the collision occurs between Turkish and Foreign ships;
- If the foreign flag vessel belongs a participated state of 1910 Brussels Convention 1910, the legal disputes in the collision shall be solved in accordance with the 1910 Brussels Convention.
- If the foreign flag vessel belongs to a state that had not sign the 1910 Brussels Convention, the Turkish law shall be applied in those circumstances.
- If the collision occurs between the foreign flag ships;
First of all, foreign ships are completely free to apply to Turkish judicial organs. If they choose Turkish judicial organs to settle the dispute,
- If the states to which the foreign vessels belong are the participant of 1910 Brussels Convention, they can settle their disputes in Turkish judicial organs by applying Convention provisions.
- In the case of one or both States of the collided vessels are not participant of the Convention, the Turkish law shall be applied.