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Cl. 3-22 was amended in 2016. Further, the Commentary to Cl. 3-22 and Cl. 3-25 and this introduction to Section 3 were amended. 

Historically, this Section of the Plan contained both provisions concerning safety regulations and provisions concerning seaworthiness. In the 2007 Version, however, the rule regarding unseaworthiness was revoked in its entirety.

The reason for this amendment was the entry into force of the Norwegian Ship Safety and Security Act of 2006 on 1 January 2007. The Ship Safety and Security Act replaced inter alia the Norwegian Seaworthiness Act of 1903, in which the concept of seaworthiness played a prominent role, cf. first and foremost Section 2. It was therefore logical, and in keeping with general traditions in marine insurance law, that the previous marine insurance Plans made seaworthiness a key factor. At the same time, subsequent developments, particularly the growing significance of safety regulations issued by the public authorities or by classification societies, showed that there was a declining need for a separate rule on seaworthiness, and that the overlapping of such a rule with the system of safety regulations could, on the contrary, have unfortunate consequences.

The concept of seaworthiness could, in principle, impose more stringent requirements on the assured than the requirements laid down by the provision regarding breaches of safety regulations if the vessel had defects which were relevant to the vessel’s safety, but which might not have been covered by the safety regulations in force. One aim of doing away with the concept of seaworthiness in the 2007 version was thus to make it clear that the duties of the assured in this respect were limited to complying with safety regulations as they are defined in Cl. 3-22. In this way, insurers were deprived of the possibility of asserting that even though the vessel satisfied the relevant safety regulations, it was nevertheless unseaworthy on account of a defect. This also creates a greater degree of predictability for the assured because the concept of unseaworthiness is not a clearly defined term, but a legal standard that creates uncertainty as regards the content of the concept.

In the Norwegian Ship Safety and Security Act, the legislature has chosen to no longer apply the concept of seaworthiness. Instead, the statute sets out – in a more concrete, explicit manner – the requirements that must at all times be satisfied by the management on shore and the master and officers on board the vessel. These requirements relate to four specific matters, each of which is covered in a separate Chapter of the Act: Technical and operational safety (Ch. 3), Personal safety (Ch. 4), Environmental safety (Ch. 5) and Safety and Terrorism Preparedness (Ch. 6). Furthermore, the Act lays down a general principle of safety management (Ch. 2), whereby the shipowner must ensure that a safety management system, which can be documented and verified, is established, implemented and maintained in the shipowner's organisation and on each vessel. The safety management system must be used to identify and control risks, and ensure compliance with requirements laid down in or pursuant to statutes or set out in the safety management system itself. The latter also entails compliance with all provisions of the other chapters of the Norwegian Ship Safety and Security Act and appurtenant regulations.

In relation to the regulation of safety regulations in the Plan, the requirements in Chapters 3 to 6 of the Norwegian Ship Safety and Security Act with accompanying regulations, which incorporate the specific rules found in international conventions such as SOLAS, MARPOL etc., may be characterized as traditional safety regulations. The regulations provide for specific and detailed duties that the shipowner has to comply with. Of particular relevance to the Plan is Chapter 3 on Technical and operational safety. These rules are based on the same legislative technique as the Plan and causes no specific problems The principle of safety management, on the other hand, raises more difficult questions with regard both to the concept of safety regulation, the question of causation and the burden of proof. These questions are addressed below in the Commentaries to Cl. 3-22 and Cl. 3-25.

The background for phasing out the rules on seaworthiness is, as aforesaid, the Norwegian Ship Safety and Security Act. This Act is only applicable to vessels under the Norwegian flag. For vessels under the flag of another country, the safety rules of the flag state will be decisive. If the flag state applies the seaworthiness concept, as is the case in the Nordic countries other than Norway, this will be relevant in the form of compliance with the safety requirements set by the legislature and the classification society as a condition for seaworthiness. The Committee has assumed that this will normally not cause any problems because under the current international rules unseaworthiness normally presupposes a breach of a rule that qualifies as a safety regulation, but reference is made to the reason for the abolishment of the concept in the 2007 Version of the Plan above.