Canada Signs Important Maritime Convention to Protect Environment
On October 25, 2011, Canada took part in a ceremony to sign a protocol that will establish a global liability regime and further protect our environment from the risks of marine transport.
The Protocol of 2010 to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 was signed at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, United Kingdom. Canada was one of the states that led the development of this important protocol at the IMO.
The protocol will be tabled in Parliament this fall, and subsequently amendments to the Marine Liability Act will be introduced to implement the protocol by ensuring that compensation is available for victims of marine pollution and that polluters are held responsible. Following its ratification, Canada will be able to implement the protocol.
“Canada is a trading nation that depends to a large degree on marine transport for its exports and imports, and it is vital that we have strong rules to protect our environment,” said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “These amendments will provide increased levels of compensation to those affected by pollution from hazardous and noxious substances that is caused by ships and also ensure that polluters pay for any damage resulting from such incidents.”
The Marine Liability Act, which came into force on August 8, 2001, is the principal legislation dealing with the liability of shipowners and ship operators in relation to passengers, cargo, pollution and property damage. Its intent is to establish uniform rules on liability and compensation by balancing the interests of shipowners and other parties involved in maritime accidents.
Source: Government of Canada, October 28, 2011