New Maritime Navigation and Commerce Law Published

June 24, 2006
New Maritime Navigation and Commerce Law Published

On June 1, 2006 the Mexican government published a decree issuing the newMaritime Navigation and Commerce Law (“Ley de Navegación y Comercio Marítimos”) in order to completely reform this sector. Thiscomes as a result of the reactivation of the National Merchant Marine and the establishment of competitive conditions for internationalshipping through the regulation of navigation permits and increasing the number of flagged Mexican vessels, which will lead to more jobs byrecruiting Mexican crewmembers. The new law cancels the prior legislation in this area and creates a legislative framework under which alllegal elements pertaining to this sector will now fall. Among the provisions contained in the new law are the following: i) the possibility thatnon-owners, such as possessors, of shipping vessels may flag and register such vessels through international financing contracts entered intonot only with Mexican banking institutions, but also with authorized foreign institutions; ii) the establishment of a new navigation regimewith specific rules for the free use of shipping vessels of a large size or capacity, as well as the regulation of rates for providing maritimeshipping services; iii) new guidelines with respect to inspections, maritime contamination or spills, shipping service contracts and civilliability related to maritime losses and casualties; iv) incorporation of a chapter regulating the purchase and sale of maritime vessels,including the application of INCOTERMS which correspond according to international purchase and sale contracts, at least when thetransport of goods via maritime vessels is involved; and v) the inclusion of provisions for maritime procedures in order to regulate placingliens or withholding cargo, procedures for executing maritime mortgages, procedures for boarding claims, and procedures related to fault,salvage and limitations of civil liability.

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