I COMMERCIAL OVERVIEW OF THE SHIPPING INDUSTRY

Japan is the world’s second-largest ship-owning country (it owns and controls more than 2,400 ocean-going vessels) and the third-largest shipbuilding country in terms of tonnage. Japan has a unique maritime cluster that comprises three large shipping companies (NYK, MOL and Kline), several prominent and high-quality shipbuilding companies and individual shipowners, which are mainly located in Tokyo and Imabari, with the remainder in the Shikoku, Chugoku and Kyushu regions. The cluster is supported by banking, leasing corporations and trading houses, which are quite active in investing not only in domestic companies but also overseas companies through schemes such as operating and finance leases. Of approximately 46,000 ocean-going commercial vessels in the world, roughly 2,400 vessels with more than 160 million deadweight tonnage are owned or operated by Japanese companies or special-purpose companies established in Japan or elsewhere, such as Panama, Liberia, Singapore or the Marshall Islands.2

On 7 July 2017, the three main shipping companies established a new company for new integrated container shipping business, named Ocean Network Express (ONE). ONE immediately became the world’s sixth-largest container operator in terms of TEUs, and joined THE Alliance, the other members of which are Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming Line.

II GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

Japan has ratified most of the basic maritime conventions, such as the Hague-Visby Rules, the latest version of the LLMC Convention 1976 with its 1996 Protocol, the 1992 CLC Convention and Fund Convention, MARPOL 73/78 with its Annexes, SOLAS, and relevant rules and regulations that are incorporated or codified by local laws and regulations.

With respect to domestic law, there are provisions in relation to maritime issues set out in Article 684 et seq. of the Commercial Code,3 which has not been amended since its enactment in 1899 and is not often referred to in practice. Reforms to maritime law in the near future will change the legislative framework in Japan. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that there will be any significant effect on shipping practice in the near future, since law reforms follow current business practice in Japan and many of the outstanding issues will be left to future court decisions.

The reform of the Civil Code,4 which will come into effect on 1 April 2020, will also have some effect on maritime law. Inter alia, the reform includes rules regarding standard form contracts to the effect that general terms and conditions should be incorporated into contracts. It will have a commercial impact on maritime-related contracts, particularly contracts of carriage and bills of lading.

III FORUM AND JURISDICTION

i Courts

There are no special courts dedicated to handling shipping disputes. Pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure,5 the district courts are competent to handle shipping matters in the first instance, and small claims (up to 1.4 million yen) are heard at the Summary Court. Disputes may be appealed to the High Court and then to the Supreme Court if a losing party wishes to attempt to have a lower court’s judgment overturned. In general, civil litigation which is initiated in a district court would take one to two years from commencement of the lawsuit to judgment. A successful party is not entitled to recover legal costs from the losing party, unless the court exceptionally finds that a part of legal costs should be recoverable in the case of a tort claim (in general, up to 10 per cent of the admitted amount).

Whether the Japanese courts have jurisdiction in international disputes is determined pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure. In the event that two vessels collided within Japanese territorial water or that a vessel damaged in a collision reached a Japanese port as the first port after the collision, the resulting tort claims can be brought to Japanese courts, regardless of the vessels’ flag.6 Exclusive jurisdiction clauses in contracts, which are normally considered to be valid, would make it clear that the designated courts have the competent jurisdiction.7

Prescription periods as set out in substantive laws (i.e., the Civil Code or the Commercial Code) vary depending on the nature of the claim. In general, claims arising from commercial contracts are subject to a five-year prescription period8 and tort claims are subject to a three-year period,9 counting from when the victim is first aware of the damage and the identity of the wrongdoers. Importantly, shorter time limits apply to specific claims, such as claims for carrier’s liability for breach of carriage contract,10 shipowners’ claims against charterers, shippers or consignees,11 claims arising from general average or collision12 and salvage.13

ii Arbitration and ADR

The Tokyo Maritime Arbitration Commission (TOMAC), which is located in the Japan Shipping Exchange (JSE), is the only arbitral tribunal in Japan for resolving shipping disputes. It has a long history and a prestigious reputation, in particular with regard to disputes relating to the NIPPONSALE sales contract. The TOMAC is recognised as being the more popular choice for dealing with shipping issues than the International Chamber of Commerce Japan (ICCJ), which tends to deal with more general commercial disputes.

The TOMAC has drawn up three types of arbitration rules:14 (1) Ordinary Rules, (2) Simplified Rules (claims up to ¥20 million), and (3) Small Claims Arbitration Procedure (SCAP) Rules (claims up to ¥5 million). Which of these is used depends on the amount of the claim and agreement by the parties involved. These rules all have a basic concept that the smaller the claim amount is, the lower the costs that will be borne by the arbitration and the quicker the arbitration proceedings are resolved. The average length of arbitration proceedings is about 13 months under the Ordinary Rules, three to five months under the Simplified Rules and five to 10 weeks under the SCAP Rules.

Under the Ordinary Rules, which are similar to those of other arbitral organisations, after one or three arbitrators have been nominated and appointed, the parties can exchange defence statements and supplemental statements in English, and then move to the hearing, which is conducted in English. An arbitral award is issued within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing being announced.

An arbitral award has the same effect as a final and binding judgment and an appeal to the court to set aside the arbitral award is allowed only on narrow grounds (such as violation of the arbitration procedure or public policy).15 One of the advantages of arbitration by the TOMAC in comparison with court proceedings is that the successful party is entitled to recover legal costs from the losing party to a reasonable extent upon application for recovery of such costs.

iii Enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards

The following requirements must be met for foreign judgments to be enforced in Japan:16

  1.  the jurisdiction of the foreign court is recognised under laws, regulations, conventions or treaties;
  2.  the defeated defendant has been issued with a summons or order as required for the commencement of the lawsuit, or has appeared without receiving any summons or order;
  3.  the content of the judgment and the court proceedings are not contrary to public policy in Japan; and
  4.  a mutual guarantee exists.

To date, judgments on point (d) have concluded that a mutual guarantee exists between Japan and the United Kingdom, Japan and Singapore, and so on, whereas a mutual guarantee between Japan and China is denied.

As Japan is a contracting state of the New York Convention, arbitral awards rendered in signatory countries of the Convention would be enforceable in Japan, as long as the requirements of the Convention have been fulfilled. On the other hand, enforceability of arbitral awards in non-party states would be subject to the conditions set out in the Arbitration Act.17

IV SHIPPING CONTRACTS

i Shipbuilding

Japanese shipyards have been constructing high-quality and high-tech commercial vessels for a long time. Owing to the recent global depression in the shipbuilding market, however, some Japanese shipyards have decided to consider consolidating their business or form alliances to withstand this global recession.

Most shipbuilding contracts with Japanese shipyards are based on the SAJ Form issued by the Shipbuilder’s Association of Japan, with some amendments. This is used worldwide and English law is often chosen as the applicable law, with London or Singapore arbitration clauses. The key elements of a contract using the SAJ Form are payment and title transfer, and a performance guarantee. A refund guarantee for security of advance payments may be furnished by the shipyard or its bank. Payment of the purchase price is made in three or four instalments. Title of the vessel is transferred to the buyer at the same time of delivery, which is usually a trigger for payment of the final instalment.

ii Contracts of carriage

Contracts of international carriage are govern by JCOGSA,18 which incorporates the essence of the Hague-Visby Rules, though with some variations. The JCOGSA has force of law for carriage of goods by sea when either the port of loading or the port of discharge, or both, is located outside Japan, whether or not the bill of lading is issued.19 In contrast, contracts of domestic carriage of goods by sea are subject to the Commercial Code.

Under the JCOGSA, the carrier is obligated to exercise due diligence to ensure the vessel is seaworthy in three respects, namely the physical condition of the vessel, the efficiency of the crew and equipment, and the vessel’s cargo-worthiness.20 In the event of damage to cargo during a voyage due to unseaworthiness, the carrier is liable for damages unless it can successfully prove it has fulfilled all aforementioned aspects of due diligence. If a vessel runs aground as a result of errors by the crew in managing or controlling her ballast water, and which causes significant damage to the cargo, the Tokyo District Court has concluded that the carrier is liable to pay for damage occasioned by unseaworthiness in the sense that the seafarer who had managed and controlled the ballast water was not competent to bring about a safe voyage and the carrier was not able to exercise due diligence.21

Recently there have been discussions about liability regarding dangerous goods, and a significant judgment on the issue, which may require further revision of the Commercial Code in due course.

The Supreme Court22 has affirmed a judgment by the Tokyo High Court,23 in which it ruled that the shipper and the cargo manufacturers are liable for damage to the vessel and the cargo caused by the fire on the container of the cargo in question, on the basis of tort and product liability respectively.

Under Japanese law, unless the consignee pays for the freight and costs relating to carriage and anchorage, the shipowner is entitled to exercise a possessory lien on the cargo and the master has a right to detain the cargo.24 Unlike under English law, however, a contractual lien on cargo owned by a third party is not recognised.

The JCOGSA has no provisions that apply to multimodal transport, although the revised Commercial Code sets out new provisions for domestic multimodal transport and bills of lading.

iii Cargo claims

Under the JCOGSA, the lawful holder of a bill of lading is entitled to sue the carrier for loss or damage to the cargo based on the contract of carriage. Even if a bill of lading is not issued, the consignee has title to make claims against the carrier after the cargo reaches the port of discharge, since the consignee is supposed to take over the shipper’s title at that time.25 If there is an issue regarding the identity of the carrier, the Supreme Court26 has established basic rules that the carrier shall be identified on the basis of the description on the bill of lading, concluding that the shipowner shall be considered to be the carrier on the ground that the bill of lading included a signature ‘for the Master’, a demise clause on the reverse side and a statement of receipt of freight by the agent of the shipowner or master, despite the time charterer’s logo being on the face of the bill of lading. It is also considered by this Supreme Court judgment that demise clauses would essentially be enforceable.

When a bill of lading has clear clauses or wording for incorporation of the terms set out in a specific charterparty, the incorporation of those terms (including dispute resolution clauses) into the bill of lading would be adopted by the courts,27 although the requirements for the incorporation is as yet unclear. In this context, the courts are inclined to broadly accept an arbitration clause or an exclusive jurisdiction clause on a bill of lading, which means the courts will dismiss a claim brought under a contract of carriage covered by such a bill of lading.28

The JCOGSA sets out the rules for calculation of damages, which state that the amount shall be either the current market price or, if there is no available market, the normal value at the place and time at which the goods should have been discharged.29 The prevailing view is that determination of the value should be consistent with the cost, insurance and freight value.30 The JCOGSA also includes a package limitation that is identical to that set out in the Hague-Visby Rules.

iv Limitation of liability

Japan is a party to the LLMC Convention 1976 and the LLMC Protocol 1996, both of which have been implemented into the Limitation of Liability Act.31 In 2015, the increased 1996 LLMC Protocol limits of liability was reflected by revising the Act, which came into effect on 8 June 2015. These increased limits are applicable to incidents that have occurred since that date. One significant example is the limitation proceedings for the MOL COMFORT incident,32 which started at Tokyo District Court in July 2013.

Under the Act, an applicant for limitation of liability must be a ‘Shipowner, etc.’,33 which is widely construed to include voyage charterer, time charterer and slot charterer as well as shipowner. The applicant must file an application to the district court to initiate limitation proceedings, and once the court has approved the application, it will issue an order to establish a limitation fund either in cash, equivalent to the liability limit, or in the form of a guarantee made by a bank, insurance company or P&I club.34

At the same time as the court’s decision to commence proceedings, the court will appoint an administrator who is supervised by the court and is responsible for investigation and assessment of the filed claims. Once decisions have been reached about the filed claims and the limitation fund has been distributed accordingly, the proceedings are deemed to be completed.

V REMEDIES

i Ship arrest

The arrest of a vessel may be based upon a maritime lien, a ship mortgage, a provisional attachment order or general civil enforcement of a settled claim that has been proven by, for instance, a judicial settlement agreement or a final and binding judgment.

With regard to a maritime lien, the following have a statutory lien over the vessel:

  1.  a claim stipulated in Article 842 of the Commercial Code (e.g., for taxes, pilotage, towage, salvage and general average, those arising from the necessity to continue a voyage, and mariners’ claims arising from their employment contracts);
  2.  a shipper’s claim for damage to the cargo arising from the ocean carriage contract;35
  3.  a claim subject to a limitation held in accordance with the Limitation of Liability Act;36 and
  4.  a claim pertaining to the damage caused by oil pollution resulting from the spill or discharge of oil from a tanker.37 Maritime liens are superior to the ship mortgage and other creditors.

The provisional attachment order and general civil enforcement make it possible to arrest sister ships; however, associated ships may not be arrested unless the arresting party succeeds in piercing the corporate veil, which is normally difficult to be admitted.

Only when arresting a vessel by way of a provisional attachment order, the arresting party must provide security, such as cash, a bank guarantee or club LOU. In this event, the court will determine the security amount at its discretion, which may be, say, one-third of the vessel’s value.

If a creditor arrests a vessel by provisional attachment order, the arresting party is normally expected to file an action on the merits in Japan. In contrast, when arresting a vessel by execution of a lien, mortgage or settled claim, examination of the merits commences only if the debtor files an objection against the execution.

Tort claims on the ground of wrongful arrest can be admitted if negligence of the arresting party is proven by the shipowner whose vessel has been arrested.

ii Court orders for sale of a vessel

The arrest of a vessel based on a maritime lien, ship mortgage or general civil enforcement with a title of obligation is commenced by a court order for compulsory judicial auction.38 Under these circumstances, the arrest of a vessel is automatically a part of the judicial auction procedures. On the other hand, the arrest of a vessel by provisional attachment order does not proceed to a judicial auction until the creditors’ substantive claim is adopted and settled by the courts.

The arrest of a vessel is conducted to satisfy the claims of all potential claimants who have a right or title over the vessel or debtor. Thus, the proceeds from the sale of the vessel through the judicial auction are distributed to all claimants who submit a petition demanding distribution,39 in accordance with the statutory order of priority.

The private sale of a vessel is prohibited during the judicial auction procedure. Therefore, if the arresting party wishes to hold a private sale, that is only possible if the vessel is sold immediately after the arresting party withdraws its petition.

VI REGULATION

i Safety

Japan has ratified, accepted or acceded to major conventions for ship safety, such as SOLAS and relevant codes including the IMDG Code,the IMSBC Code, the IBC Code, the ISM Code and the STCW Convention. Japan has also introduced the COLREGs and the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972 into domestic legislation.40

ii Port state control

Japan has entered into a memorandum of understanding on port state control (PSC) in the Asia-Pacific region (the Tokyo MOU), which comprises 20 countries.41 So far, the Tokyo MOU has launched concentrated inspection campaigns with other PSC MOUs each year, which generally last for three months. In 1 January 2016, the Tokyo MOU started the New Inspection Regime, under which vessels are categorised as high risk, standard risk or low risk based on consideration of the vessel type and age, flag, recognised organisation, company performance, and number of deficiencies and detentions. The PSC is set for every two months for high-risk ships, every five months for standard-risk ships and every nine months for low-risk ships. On its website, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) publishes a monthly list of the vessels detained in Japan.42

iii Registration and classification

In order for a vessel to be eligible to fly the Japan flag, its owner must be (1) a Japanese authority, (2) a Japanese citizen, (3) a company incorporated under the law of Japan with all its representatives and at least two-thirds of its executive officers being Japanese nationals, or (4) an entity other a company as described in point (3) of which all its representatives are Japanese nationals.43 Only Japan-flagged vessels are able to call at closed ports or conduct coastal transportation of cargoes and passengers.44

There is no precedent or arbitral award related to ship registration procedure in Japan because it is assumed that the requirements of the registry under the applicable law are clear and that no legal controversy may arise in this respect.

Only the classification societies approved by the Maritime Bureau of the MLIT are permitted to conduct mandatory inspections, which are stipulated in the Ship Safety Act45 and the Act on Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disaster,46 on behalf of the Minister of the MLIT. To date, only Class NK (Nippon Kaiji Kyokai), Lloyd’s Register, DNV GL and the American Bureau of Shipping have been approved.

iv Environmental regulation

Japan has ratified the 1972 London Dumping Convention, MARPOL (73/78) and the OPRC Convention, including the OPRC-HNS Protocol. These were implemented by the Act on Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disaster. This Act applies to all vessels and marine structures in Japanese territorial waters, and all Japan-flagged vessels. The Act prohibits anyone from discharging oil and other harmful substances from the vessels. A person who breaches the Act even without negligence may be held liable for criminal punishment. If there is discharge of oil or harmful substances from a vessel, and the shipowner does not or could not carry out effective measures against it, the Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard may conduct necessary actions to prevent pollution by oil or harmful substances, as well as requesting the related authorities or local government to take the necessary action for the same purposes.

Japan has ratified the 1992 CLC and 1992 Fund conventions, which have been incorporated in the Act on Liability for Oil Pollution Damage.47 This Act imposes on owners and charterers of tankers and other types of vessels, including bulk carriers, the obligation and liability relating to the discharging of bunker oil in Japanese territorial waters and its exclusive economic zone. These provisions are similar to the Bunker Pollution Convention 2001, although Japan has not ratified it.

v Collisions, salvage and wrecks

Japan has ratified the 1910 Collision Convention, which was promulgated and enforced as a domestic law. In general, the Convention applies when all the vessels concerned in any action belong to signatory countries, whereas in all other cases, general tort provisions of domestic law are applied. The major differences between the Convention and domestic law lie in the rules of time bar and joint-and-several liability. As regards the time bar, the Convention stipulates a two-year time bar starting from the date of the collision. Domestic law stipulates that a claim based on death or personal injury is time-barred for three years from when the victim is first aware of the damage and the perpetrator,48 and a claim based on property damage is time-barred for one year from when the victim is first aware of the damage and the perpetrator.49 However, the three-year time bar on claims for death or personal injury will be amended to five years by the reform of the Civil Code, and the one-year time bar on property damage will be amended to two years by the reform of the Commercial Code. As regards joint-and-several liability, the Convention stipulates that damage caused to the cargo or the property of the crew, passengers or other persons on board are borne by the vessels separately, based on the proportion of fault. On the other hand, liability for all damages imposed by domestic law could be held jointly and severally.50

Although Japan has ratified the 1910 Salvage Convention, it has not ratified the 1989 Salvage Convention. The Lloyd’s Standard Form of Salvage Agreement (LOF) and the JSE Form of Salvage Agreement, which has similar terms to the LOF, are the two forms most widely used for salvage operations in Japan. When there is no specific agreement between the parties, the Commercial Code applies. In that event, the principle of ‘no cure, no pay’ is generally sustained and the claim is time-barred for one year.51 In the reform of the Commercial Code, the labour and costs incurred as a result of any necessary measures to prevent or reduce environmental pollution are taken into account in determining the amount of salvage reward, and the time bar for the claim for the salvage reward is two years from the time of salvage.

With regard to wreck removal, Japan has not ratified the Nairobi Convention 2007. Under Japanese law, the regulations on wreck removal are separately stipulated in various domestic legislation, such as the Act on Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disaster, the Port and Harbor Act,52 the Coast Act53 and various relevant ordinances. As a whole, these laws and ordinances prohibit owners or other interests from leaving the wrecks in the sea, in ports or harbours and, where necessary, grant authority to remove them at the cost of the owner or others who are responsible for them.

vi Passengers’ rights

Japan has not ratified the Athens Convention on passengers’ liability. The rights of the passenger against the ocean carrier are governed by the passenger transportation agreement and the Commercial Code. With regard to liability for death or personal injury of passengers, there is no legislative limitation in favour of the carrier. A carrier may not be released from the liability to compensate for damages arising from its own negligence, intentional acts or gross negligence of mariners or other employees, or from the vessel failing to be seaworthy. Any provisions of an agreement that contradict the aforementioned rules are considered null and void,54 save that the reform of the Commercial Code will allow the parties to agree only the liability for the delay of the carrier to lighten the carrier’s liability. Further, the burden of proof on the exercising of due care by the carrier or its employees lies with the carrier. Unless otherwise agreed, a court must take into consideration the circumstances of the victim and his or her family when it determines the amount of damages, which is a special rule that protects passengers far more than the general rules of tort. However, this special rule will be removed by the reform bill for the Commercial Code.

vii Seafarers’ rights

Japan has ratified the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 with its amendment of 2014 and has introduced it into the Mariner’s Act.55 For instance, the Mariner’s Act stipulates the shipowner’s obligations, such as delivery of documents and explanation with regard to the working conditions on each specific voyage, repatriation of employees at its own cost, limitation on working hours, minimum age requirements, and establishment of procedures for handling complaints arising on board the vessels. The Mariner’s Act also stipulates the procedures for inspection of employment conditions to be conducted by the authorities. The Act applies to mariners on board Japan-flagged vessels and other vessels stipulated by the Act that are in a similar condition to Japan-flagged vessels.56

VI OUTLOOK

As has already been mentioned, there are to be substantial reforms of the Commercial Code and the Civil Code, which will affect, in some aspects, the legislative framework of Japanese maritime law. A close watch should be kept on how the changes are likely to affect shipping practice. Nevertheless, the shipping and shipbuilding industries in Japan will continue to have a significant presence worldwide, especially in Asia, in its competition with China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.

1 Jumpei Osada is a partner and Masaaki Sasaki and Takuto Kobayashi are associates of TMI Associates.

2 The relevant data is taken from SHIPPING NOW 2017-2018, issued by the Japanese Shipowners’ Association.

3 Law No. 48 of 1899.

4 Law No. 89 of 1896.

5 Law No. 109 of 1996.

6 Article 3.3(viii), (ix) of the Code of Civil Procedure.

7 Article 3.7 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

8 Article 522 of the Commercial Code.

9 Article 724 of the Civil Code. Tort claims for damages caused by death or personal injuries will be subject to a five-year prescription period, following enactment of the above-mentioned reform of the Civil Code.

10 Article 14(1) of JCOGSA.

11 Article 765 of the Commercial Code.

12 Article 798(1) of the Commercial Code. The reform of the Commercial Code extends the prescription period to two years, in line with the 1910 Collision Convention.

13 Article 814 of the Commercial Code.

15 Article 44, 45 of the Arbitration Act: Law No. 138 of 2003.

16 Article 118 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

17 Article 46 of the Arbitration Act.

18 Act on International Carriage of Goods by Sea: Law No. 172 of 1957.

19 Article 1 of JCOGSA.

20 Article 5 of JCOGSA.

21 Judgment of the Tokyo District Court dated 30 November 2012, The ‘Cougar Ace’.

22 Judgment of the Supreme Court dated 12 December 2015, The ‘NYK Argus’.

23 Judgments of Tokyo High Court dated 28 February 2013 (claim against the shipper) and 29 October 2014 (claim against the cargo manufacturer).

24 Article 753 of the Commercial Code.

25 Article 583 of the Commercial Code and Article 20 (2) of JCOGSA.

26 Judgment of the Supreme Court dated 27 March 1998, The ‘Jasmine’.

27 Judgment of the Osaka District Court dated 11 May 1959, The ‘Tribeam’.

28 Judgment of the Supreme Court dated 28 November 1975, The ‘Tjisadane’.

29 Article 12 bis of JCOGSA.

30 Judgment of the Tokyo District Court dated 27 October 2008, The ‘Keiyo’.

31 Act on Limitation of Shipowner Liability: Law: No. 94 of 1975.

32 In June 2013, the container ship MOL COMFORT was broken in half in the middle of the Indian Ocean, resulting in it sinking with a number of carrying containers.

33 Article 2(1)(ii) of the Limitation of Liability Act.

34 Articles 19 and 20 of the Limitation of Liability Act.

35 Article 19 of JCOGSA.

36 Article 95(1) of the Limitation of Liability Act.

37 Article 40(1) of the Act on Liability for Oil Pollution Damage.

38 Articles 114(1), 189 of the Civil Execution Act: Law No. 4 of 1979.

39 Articles 51(1), 121, 189 of the Civil Execution Act.

40 Act on Preventing Collision at Sea: Law No. 62 of 1977.

43 Article 1 of the Ships Act: Law No.46 of 1899.

44 Article 3 of the Ships Act.

45 Law No. 11 of 1993.

46 Law No. 136 of 1970.

47 Law No. 95 of 1975.

48 Article 724 of the Civil Code and Judgment of the Supreme Court dated 20 April 1915.

49 Article 798(1) of the Commercial Code and Judgment of the Supreme Court dated 21 November 2005.

50 Article 719(1) of the Commercial Code.

51 Article 814 of the Commercial Code.

52 Law No. 218 of 1950.

53 Law No. 101 of 1956.

54 Article 786(1), 739 of the Commercial Code.

55 Law No. 100 of 1947.

56 Article 1(1) of the Mariner’s Act.