Legal Committee (LEG), 92nd session: 16-20 October 2006, Paris
Legal Committee approves draft wreck removal convention
convention on the removal of wrecks has been approved by the IMO's Legal Committee,
which met for its 92nd session from 16 to 20 October 2006 at the UNESCO headquarters
in Paris, France.
The draft text will now be forwarded to a Diplomatic Conference, scheduled to
be held from 14 to 18 May 2007 at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya.
and in force, the new convention will provide the legal basis for States to remove,
or have removed, from their exclusive economic zones (EEZs), wrecks that may pose
a hazard to navigation or, because of the nature of their cargo, to the marine
and coastal environments, or to both. The new convention will also require shipowners
to take out insurance to cover costs of removal and provide States with a right
of direct action against insurers.
extend the scope of the new convention to the territorial sea of States Parties
are still under consideration and will be the subject of consultations by interested
delegations before the Diplomatic Conference.
- reservation and guidelines adopted
Committee adopted the text of a reservation, intended for use as a standard
reservation, to the 2002 Protocol to the Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage
of Passengers and Their Luggage by Sea (2002 Athens Protocol) and Guidelines
for the implementation of the Athens Convention, to allow limitation of
liability in respect of claims relating to war or terrorism.
The aim is
to put States in a position to ratify the 2002 Protocol and thereby afford passengers
better cover. The 2002 Athens Protocol has, to date, been ratified by just four
States (representing only 0.13 per cent of the world's merchant shipping tonnage)
- against the 10 States required for its entry into force - which is, in part,
due to concerns relating to the ability of the insurance market to provide compulsory
cover up to the general limits established under the Protocol and its ability
to provide insurance cover for injury and damage arising out of acts of terrorism.
of the agreed reservation states that the Government concerned reserves the
right to and undertakes to limit liability to 250,000 units of account in respect
of each passenger on each distinct occasion; or 340 million units of account
overall per ship on each distinct occasion. This relates in particular to war
insurance which, under the guidelines, shall cover liability, if any, for loss
suffered as a result of death or personal injury to a passenger caused by:
civil war, revolution, rebellion, insurrection, or civil strife arising
therefrom, or any hostile act by or against a belligerent power;
seizure, arrest, restraint or detainment, and the consequences thereof or
any attempt thereat;
mines, torpedoes, bombs or other derelict weapons of war;
of any terrorist or any person acting maliciously or from a political motive
and any action taken to prevent or counter any such risk;
The Guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime
accident were adopted by the Legal Committee at its last session and by
the Governing Body of the ILO at its 296th session on 12 June this year.
Committee, at this session, discussed submissions relating to possible changes,
but decided, at this point in time, that it would be premature to amend the
Guidelines. The Committee agreed, however, that review and monitoring of the
Guidelines should be kept on its agenda.
Claims for death,
personal injury and abandonment of seafarers
The Committee invited the Joint IMO/ILO Ad Hoc Expert Working Group
on Liability and Compensation regarding Claims for Death, Personal Injury and
Abandonment of Seafarers to make arrangements to hold a seventh session, with
a view to developing a standard and guidelines in relation to such claims.
This invitation was extended, in part, following a resolution adopted by the
ILO International Labour Conference which, at its 94th session in February this
year, adopted the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention. The ILO Resolution notes
that the text in the Convention does not address many of the provisions set
out in the Guidelines on Shipowners' Responsibilities in respect of Contractual
Claims for Personal Injury to or Death of Seafarers and the Guidelines
on Provision of Financial Security in Cases of Abandonment of Seafarers,
which have been adopted by both the IMO Assembly and the ILO Governing Body.
The resolution, therefore, recommends to both Organizations that the way forward
would be for the Working Group to develop a standard accompanied by guidelines,
which could be included in the Maritime Labour Convention or another existing
instrument, at a later date.
The Committee was also updated on the Database on Abandonment of Seafarers which
can be viewed on the ILO website (http://www.ilo.org/dyn/seafarers/seafarersbrowse.home).
The database currently includes 40 reported cases, 22 of which had been agreed
The Committee was updated on the status of the 1996 International Convention
on Liability and Compensation for Damage in connection with the Carriage of
Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (the HNS Convention).
The HNS Convention currently has eight Contracting States (Angola, Cyprus, Morocco,
Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Slovenia and Tonga). Entry
into force will occur 18 months after 12 States have accepted the Convention,
four of which have not less than two million units of gross tonnage, provided
that persons in these States who would be responsible to pay contributions to
the general account have received a total quantity of at least 40 million tonnes
of contributing cargo in the preceding calendar year.
was reminded of the obligation, pursuant to Article 43 of the Convention, for
States to submit information on contributing cargo received, or, in the case
of LNG, discharged in that State, when depositing their instruments of ratification
or acceptance with the Secretary-General, and annually thereafter, until the
Convention has entered into force.