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Joint IMO/ILO Ad Hoc Expert Working Group on Liability and Compensation regarding Claims for Death, Personal Injury and Abandonment of Seafarers


The Joint Working Group developed Guidelines relating to financial security to cover claims from seafarers in cases of abandonment, personal injury and death which were adopted by the IMO Assembly in November 2001:

A.930(22) Guidelines on Provision of Financial Security in Cases of Abandonment of Seafarers

The resolution on provision of financial security in case of abandonment of seafarers states that abandonment of seafarers is a serious problem involving a human and social dimension and recognises that, given the global nature of the shipping industry, seafarers need special protection. In this context, the resolution notes that the adoption of guidelines is an appropriate interim measure to ensure provision of financial security in case of abandonment of seafarers. The resolution recommends measures to be implemented by shipowners to ensure the provision of an adequate financial security system for seafarers in case of abandonment and includes associated Guidelines which set out the main features and scope of coverage of the financial security system and also contain recommendations for certification of such systems. 

A.931(22) Guidelines on Shipowners' Responsibilities in respect of Contractual Claims for Personal Injury to or Death of Seafarers.

The resolution on claims for personal injury to or death of seafarers notes a need to recommend minimum international standards for the responsibilities of shipowners in respect of contractual claims in such cases. It expresses the concern that, if shipowners do not have effective insurance cover, or other form of financial security, seafarers are unlikely to obtain full and prompt compensation. It states that putting in place effective arrangements for the payment of compensation is part of the shipowners' responsibilities to provide safe and decent working conditions. The resolution includes associated Guidelines recommending measures to be implemented including certification and a model receipt and release form for claims.

The Joint Working Group continues to meet regularly and to report to the Legal Committee.

The database on reported incidents of abandonment of seafarers contains a regularly updated list of vessels that have been reported to the ILO as abandoned in various ports of the world by appropriate organizations. It specifically includes information on seafarers who have been abandoned and their current status.

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