Legal Committee (LEG), 96th session: 5 - 9 October 2009
Bunkers Convention certificates clarified by Legal Committee
IMO's Legal Committee
moved to resolve possible confusion over some aspects of the implementation
of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution
Damage, 2001 (Bunkers Convention), when it met for its 96th session, with the
approval of a draft Assembly resolution on the issuing of bunker certificates
of insurance to bareboat-registered vessels.
state that: "State Parties should avoid burdening shipowners with unnecessary
bureaucracy; and State Parties which allow ships to be registered as bareboat
chartered should co operate to find viable solutions in a spirit of understanding
The Bunkers Convention entered into force in November 2008 and currently has 46 States Parties, representing 79.24 per cent of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant fleet.
financial security for abandonment and personal injury/death of seafarers should
be made mandatory
The Joint Group's report will also be submitted to the 306th Session of the Governing Body of ILO (November 2009), for consideration and action, as appropriate.
The Legal Committee agreed that an amendment to the MLC 2006 represented the best way forward to create such a mandatory instrument or instruments, but noted that this Convention was not yet in force, and further work on the draft amendments might be needed after its entry into force. The MLC 2006 has, to date, been ratified by five ILO Members representing more than 44% of the world gross tonnage and the related responsibility for nearly 50% of the world's seafarers working on these ships, but requires ratification by at least 30 Members representing at least 33% of the world gross tonnage to come into force.
It was also noted that the financial security envisaged in the draft text was restricted to contractual compensation as provided for under the employment contract, collective bargaining agreement or other employment agreement.
Guidelines on Provision of Financial Security in Cases of Abandonment of Seafarers and Guidelines on Shipowners' Responsibilities in respect of Contractual Claims for Personal Injury to or Death of Seafarers were adopted by IMO (and also by the ILO) in 2001.
Review of national
In discussing the topic, delegations commented that many issues needed to be further explored, including national and regional prosecution mechanisms, and the establishment of regional courts. The establishment of an international tribunal did not, however, seem to be a viable alternative at this point in time.
2005 SUA Protocols
nearing entry into force
Both 2005 SUA Protocols were adopted as part of the IMO strategy in response to the terrorist incidents of 9 September 2001, the other significant measures adopted (which have already entered into force, under the tacit amendment procedure) being the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code and long-range identification and tracking of ships, both made mandatory under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea
to be reviewed
The limits were last revised under the 1996 LLMC Protocol, which entered into force in 2004.
In article 6.1, the limits of liability for claims other than in article 7 (The limit for passenger claims), arising on any distinct occasion, are calculated as follows: b) in respect of any other claims (i.e. not loss of life or personal injury), 1 million Units of Account for a ship with a tonnage not exceeding 2,000 tons, (ii) for a ship with a tonnage in excess thereof, the following amount in addition to that mentioned in (i): for each ton from 2,001 to 30,000 tons, 400 Units of Account; for each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 300 Units of Account; and for each ton in excess of 70,000 tons, 200 Units of Account.
No single model
compulsory insurance certificate at this stage
In particular, the fact that only three of the six liability instruments involved were currently in force was an obstacle to approving or adopting a single model certificate.
The liability treaties
referred to include: the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil
Pollution Damage, 1969 (in force); the 1992 Protocol to the International Convention
on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (in force); the International Convention
on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (in force), the Protocol
to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage
by Sea, 2002 (not yet in force); the Nairobi International Convention on the
Removal of Wrecks, 2007 (not yet in force); and the International Convention
on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of
Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996, which is not in force and is
set to be amended by a new Protocol to be adopted at a Diplomatic Conference
in April 2010.