IMO Pushes Transboundary Oil Pollution Convention

The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Legal Committee encouraged Member States to ratify and bring into force, as soon as possible, the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 2010 (2010 HNS Convention), which to date has received no ratification.

During the Committee’s 102nd session held in London from April 14 to 16, 33 countries and a number of international organisations met under the chairmanship of Denmark and Indonesia to discuss liability for damages and the obligation to take out insurance in connection with transboundary oil pollution damage resulting from offshore activities, resulting in the drafting of a guidance that is expected to be presented to the IMO Legal Committee in the spring of 2016.

On several occasions, Denmark and Indonesia have tried to make the IMO undertake to develop an international convention in this area, but resistance from a number of major oil producing countries have made this impossible until now, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) reports.

The IMO Legal Committee has instead held the view that the issue was more suitable for regulation by means of regional and bilateral agreements. Therefore, the Committee has supported the development of guidance on the conclusion of such agreements.

The 2010 HNS Convention would fill the remaining gap in the global liability and compensation regime for international shipping.

The work of the HNS Correspondence Group and the IOPC Funds to support implementation was welcomed by IMO, in particular, the creation of the HNS Protocol Blog as a forum for Member States and observer delegations to exchange ideas, best practices and collaborate on solutions to promote the Convention and facilitate its entry into force.

The HNS Correspondence Group was formally re-established, with a mandate to continue its work as a forum for exchange of information and to provide guidance and assistance on issues regarding the implementation and operation of the Convention.

The Group was also asked to develop a user guide to the 2010 HNS Convention (“Understanding the HNS Convention”); HNS scenarios; and a draft resolution on implementation and entry into force of the 2010 HNS Convention.

Image: DMA

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