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Web Alert: Italy - New legislation on pilot liability

27 January 2017

 On 19 December 2016, a law was published in the Official Gazette introducing certain amendments in respect of liability for port pilots. The new regime became effective on 3 January 2017, amending relevant sections of the Italian Code of Navigation.

Prior to the amendments, a pilot would only be liable for damages caused to the ship.

The new regime provides that a pilot will also be liable for any damage caused to third parties, whether persons or property.

The burden of proof continues to rest on the claimant.

The new section 93 of the Code of Navigation introduces a cap by providing that the liability of an authorised pilot for any loss or damage caused by any act or omission whilst acting as a pilot shall not exceed EUR1,000,000. The cap does not apply if the loss or damage arises through gross negligence or wilful misconduct.

Lastly, new section 94 provides that all pilots shall carry liability insurance to cover civil liability claims arising from pilotage services. A copy of the insurance contract must be maintained at the headquarters of the pilots’ association where the pilot is registered.

The full text of the law can be found on the right.