ICS & CMI urge maritime treaty ramification

Marine insurers will have interest in several of the proposed conventions

ICS & CMI urge maritime treaty ramification

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Comité Maritime International (CMI) have published an updated brochure that calls for governments to ratify international maritime conventions – particularly those adopted by the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The trade associations hope that with more governments ratifying maritime treaties, “the same regulations governing matters such as safety, environmental protection and shipowners’ liability, as well as seafarers’ training and employment standards, apply equally to all ships engaged in international trade, and that the same rules apply during all parts of the voyage.”

The brochure campaign focuses on three IMO instruments: the Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling; the 2003 Protocol to the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions concerning oil spill compensation; and the 2010 Protocol to the HNS (liability) Convention.

“While the slow pace of ratification of these crucial IMO instruments remains disappointing, there is now some cause for optimism,” commented ICS chairman Esben Poulsson.

Poulsson then mentioned that the Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling has been recently ratified by Panama, joining the ranks of Belgium, Denmark, France and Norway. Turkey is projected to ratify soon, he noted.

“But other IMO Member States now need to build on this momentum or else be faced with the confusion likely to be caused by unilateral or regional regulation,” he warned.

The other two IMO Conventions are of particular interest to marine insurers.

The 2003 Supplementary Fund Protocol to the 1992 Fund Convention “provides additional compensation above that available under the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions for pollution caused by oil spills from tankers, but only in those nations that have ratified it,” the brochure reads.

The 2010 Protocol to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS), 1996 “will establish an international regime for HNS damage, the cost of which will be shared between shipowners and HNS cargo receivers.”

If ratified, the conventions will allow shipowners access to an emergency compensation fund for claims that exceed their liability, as well as a comprehensive and global liability and compensation regime for hazardous and noxious substances claims, respectively.

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