ECJ on passenger ships: Passenger rights also apply at sea

ECJ on passenger ships: Passenger rights also apply at sea

Status: 02.09.2021 12:49 pm

Passenger rights also apply at high seas – even if the ship carrying the passengers is still in the dock. This was decided by the European Court of Justice.

Fabian Toppel, ARD Legal Editor

Passenger rights also apply at sea – although the ordered ship has not yet arrived at the shipyard. It was decided by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest court in the European Union.

The ferry company must pay compensation to the passengers

The proceedings involved a ferry to and fro between Cherbourg, France, and Dublin, Ireland. However, the ferry did not arrive on time from the shipyard. So, the trips were canceled for months. The ferry company offered to take passengers to other ports or take a route via Great Britain Overland.

But that was not enough. Irish Transport Authority defined: The shipping company Irish Ferries had to pay extra compensation for the extra time required for passengers who wanted to travel on a replacement. Because she had not fulfilled her obligations under the Passenger Rights Ordinance.

“Extraordinary circumstances” do not apply

The ECJ has now confirmed this and has also imposed restrictions on passenger rights if the ship is not operational. The shipping company cannot call these circumstances “extraordinary circumstances”.

ECJ Judgment on Passenger Rights in Shipping

Fabian Toppel, ARD Legal Editor, September 2, 2021 12:31 pm

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