The Merchant Shipping (Compulsory Insurance of Shipowners for Maritime Claims) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/2267) give effect in the UK to Directive 2009/20/EC (the "Insurance Directive"), which entered into force in the EU on 1 January 2012.
Under the Regulations a seagoing ship of 300 GT or more may not enter or leave a port in the UK or elsewhere unless the owner has third party liability insurance at least covering maritime claims subject to limitation under the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, as amended by its 1996 Protocol (LLMC 1996). Ships must carry documentary evidence of the insurance; if this is not the insurer's certificate (e. g. a P&I club Certificate of Entry), the owner must obtain written confirmation from the MCA that the owner's self-insurance or other financial security arrangements are adequate. The documentation must be produced on demand to the MCA by the master.
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