Passenger claims for compensation in case of marine accidents

The EU has made a summary of passenger rights under the Athens regulation. Please notice that it is stated in the summary that it is not legally binding. This is, inter alia, the case because it does not contain any information about the carrier's possibility of limiting his responsibility in a number of special situations.

Read the EU summary of passenger rights

What is the difference between the passenger rights according to the Athens regulation and according to the merchant shipping act?

According to the Danish merchant shipping act, passengers have almost the same rights as under the Athens regulation. Passengers have a few more rights under the Athens regulations than passengers have under the scope of application of the merchant shipping act. These rights are the following:

  • Passengers are entitled to compensation in case of marine accidents and accidents other than marine accidents arisen due to acts of war, including acts of terrorism.
  • In case of marine accidents, passengers are entitled to compensation for mobility aids or other aids unless the carrier can prove that the marine accident occurred without his error or neglect.
  • In case of the death or injury of a passenger, the passenger or another person entitled to receive compensation is entitled to an advance payment for covering the immediate economic needs. The amount will be calculated in accordance with the extent of the injury suffered, must be paid within 15 days and amount to at least EUR 21,000 in case of death.
  • Passengers are entitled to be given appropriate and intelligible information about their rights under the Athens regulation. 

The Danish Maritime Authority has made a table which outlines the passenger rights deriving from the scope of application of the Athens regulation and the merchant shipping act, respectively. The compensation amounts have been calculated as Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which is the unit used by the International Monetary Fund. The daily rate of exchange of the SDR is available from the webpage of the National Bank and is normally a little below DKK 9.



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