International Maritime Conventions Volume I: The Carriage of Goods and Passengers by Sea
Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974, as amended by the Protocol of 2002
The Athens Convention relating to the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea, adopted in Athens on 13 December 1974, was intended to replace the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to the Carriage of Passengers by Sea, adopted in Brussels on 29 April 1961, entered into force on June 1965, but with very few ratifications,1 and the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to the Carriage of Passengers’ Luggage by Sea, adopted in Brussels on 27 May 1967, never entered into force. It consisted in the merger, albeit with some modifications, of the provisions of the previous two Conventions. The Athens Convention, which entered into force on 30 April 1976, provided in art. 3 that the basis of liability of the carrier for death of and personal injury to passengers and for loss of or damage to luggage was fault and the burden of proof was on the claimant except where it resulted from shipwreck, collision, stranding, explosion or fire or defect in the ship, in respect of which fault was presumed. The limits of liability were expressed in units consisting of 65.5 milligrams of gold of millesimal fineness 900 (the Poincaré franc) and were 700,000 francs2 for death and personal injury, and 12,500 francs3 for cabin luggage. The sums expressed in Poincaré francs were converted into SDRs by a Protocol, adopted on 29 March 1990, which never entered into force. More significant changes to the original text were made by a second Protocol, adopted on 1 November 2002.4 This latter Protocol has so far been ratified by four States only. The analysis that follows is based on the Convention as amended by the Protocol of 2002.