On 5/4/1440 H. (12/12/2018 G.) and pursuant to Royal Decree No. M/33, the Saudi Arabian legislator has enacted a new law titled 'The Commercial Maritime Law' (the "Commercial Maritime Law").

The Commercial Maritime Law consists of 391 articles. It will enter into force 180 days following its publication in the Official Gazette, which is anticipated to take place shortly. It will supersede the Second Chapter of the Commercial Court Law (issued pursuant to Royal Decree No. 32 dated 15/1/1350 H. (2/6/1931 G.)), the Law of Seaports, Harbors and Lighthouses enacted by Royal Decree No. M/27 of 24/6/1394 H. (14/7/1974 G.), and any other provision that contradicts it.

The Commercial Maritime Law is composed of the following chapters:

  • Chapter I: Vessels (i.e. the rules for the nationality of vessels and requirements for vessel registration).
  • Chapter II: Rights over vessels (i.e. shipbuilding, privileges over vessels, and vessel mortgaging).
  • Chapter III: Vessel arrests (i.e. precautionary arrests, and enforcement arrests and sales).
  • Chapter IV: Maritime professionals (i.e. owners, chandlers, captains, maritime and shipping brokers - maritime work contracts).
  • Chapter V: Vessel exploitation (i.e. vessel charters, bareboat charters, crewed vessel charters, maritime shipping agreements, maritime passenger transportation agreements, and tourist transportation agreements).
  • Chapter VI: Sea accidents (i.e. collisions, rescue, losses, and investigations).
  • Chapter VII: Maritime insurance (i.e. vessel insurance, charter insurance, cargo insurance, and liability insurance).
  • Chapter VIII : Avoidance and remediation of sea pollution.
  • Chapter IX: Maritime safety in ports and territorial waters (i.e. towing and navigation).
  • Chapter X: Sanctions

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.