Actions to preserve or obtain access to evidence in relation to maritime claims including any available procedures for the preservation of physical evidence, examination of witnesses or pre-action disclosure

The Spanish Civil Procedural Act (Act 1/2000) regulates the procedure to obtain evidence prior to the commencement of legal proceedings, as well as the procedure to adopt measures to seize evidence (articles 293 et seq.).

The party which intends to initiate this may request the Court to examine the evidence in advance, when there is grounded fear that, due to the persons or due to the state of things, these acts cannot take place at the generally stipulated procedural time. If the Court upholds the request, it shall agree to it, and, through a procedural Court order, it shall provide that the procedure be carried out when it is considered to be necessary prior to the proceedings or the hearing, and an appropriate date shall be set by the Court.

As far as available measures for the seizure of evidence are concerned, before the commencement of any proceedings, the party which intends to initiate these or any of the litigants during the course of the proceedings may request that the Court adopt useful measures to ensure that through human conduct or natural events which might destroy or alter physical objects or states of things in order to prevent it becoming impossible to carry out a relevant taking of evidence.

Articles 504 and 505 LNM rule the procedure for issuing sea protests. After an incident, the master must issue a sea protest upon its arrival to a Spanish port, including in the file a certified copy of the log book.

General disclosure obligations in court proceedings:

There is no obligation under Spanish Law to disclose any document and/or evidence.

Although any Court could request parties into proceedings or even to a third party to produce a document before the Court, there is no penalty in cases where such a party would not produce the requested document and/or evidence.