ギリシャ海難事故調査局:改革の時?

ギリシャ海難事故調査局(HBMCI)は、海運業界における事故調査の枠組みとして、EU指令2009/18/ECを実施するギリシャ法4033/2011に基づき、海難事故を調査する管轄機関として、最近設立されました。HBMCIの調査は、商船が関与する海難事故または事件に限定されます。特に、ギリシャやEU加盟国が所有または管理する軍艦やその他の種類の船舶で、公的な非営利事業に使用されるものは除外されます。(第2条第3項)本記事ではHBMCIの調査、P&I保険からの観点、HBMCIの報告書等について説明しています。

The Hellenic Bureau for Marine Casualties Investigation (HBMCI) was recently instituted as the competent body to conduct marine casualty investigations under Greek Law 4033/2011, which implements EU Directive 2009/18/EC as the framework for accident investigations in the marine transport sector.

HBMCI investigations are limited to marine casualties or incidents involving commercial shipping. It specifically excludes warships or other types of ships owned or managed by the Greek and/or EU Member-States which are used on public non-commercial services (Art. 2 §3). As a consequence, the HBMCI is not able to investigate incidents involving these ships.

The HBMCI’s investigations are restricted to a factual analysis of an incident, without an allocation of fault. It is independent from any criminal, disciplinary, administrative or civil investigations which may seek to determine or apportion liability. Thus, even where the Public Prosecutor appoints a surveyor for the same incident, any criminal investigation is conducted in parallel to, and independent from, the HBMCI. Indeed, the enabling language in the legislation creating the HBMCI clearly evidences the intention that any HBCMI report made should not be used in judicial proceedings.

From a P&I perspective, one way to view the HBMCI is in a way similar to Loss Prevention. The HBMCI’s role is to identify the causal and contributing factors that led to a marine accident or incident, with the objective of avoiding similar marine accidents in the future, thereby enhancing maritime safety. It stands separate to any judicial assessment conducted by the courts or administrative bodies.

However, this does not stop parties in litigation seeking to rely on findings in a HBMCI report to bolster their case. Whilst this is certainly not the correct use of these reports, the HBMCI findings have been admitted as factual evidence in civil proceedings.

Given that the courts seem willing to overlook the intention that HBMCI reports are not used in litigation, unless and until there is an express prohibition on admitting the reports as evident, they should be always be regarded a potentially influential in any civil proceedings.

Anna-Maria Mitrara

Claims Executive

Christos Aporellis

Senior Claims Director

Date2023/11/24