Legal Committee, 103rd session, 8-10 June 2016

Supporting ratification and implementation of 2010 HNS Convention
The Legal Committee agreed on the urgent need for the ratification and national implementation of 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).

To support the ratification and entry into force of the treaty, the Committee extended the Correspondence Group to develop a HNS Scenarios presentation, in order to present several scenarios of different types of HNS incidents with the damage that could occur. The presentation would also highlight the benefits the Convention will bring by creating a safety net for States.

The Correspondence Group was also tasked with reviewing a proposed draft LEG resolution on implementation and entry into force of the 2010 HNS Protocol and a programme for a possible future workshop to be considered at LEG 104.

Together with the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds) and the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF), IMO has produced a six page brochure that explains the benefits of the Convention and encourages the next steps for States to implement and accede to the Convention.

Moving forwards with delegation for issuing of certificates under CLC and HNS
The Committee agreed to move forward with allowing the delegation of authority to issue certificates in relation to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992 (the 1992 Civil Liability Convention) and 2010 HNS Convention.

Unlike the Bunkers Convention, the 2002 Athens Convention and the Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention, the 1992 Civil Liability Convention and 2010 HNS Convention do not provide an explicit framework for the delegation of certificates of insurance.

A correspondence group was established to develop an Assembly resolution on the delegation of the authority to issue insurance certificates under the CLC and the HNS Convention. The resolution should ensure certainty in respect of the interpretation of these two instruments and provide the clarity requested by States Parties.

Fair treatment of seafarers – guidance and workshops welcomed
The Committee welcomed the work of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) to develop guidance on the implementation of the Guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident and to organize regional or national workshops to discuss and refine the guidance, to make it useful for as many States as possible.

Electronic certificates implementation urged
Following consideration of recommendations to reduce administrative burdens, the Committee urged States Parties to expedite the implementation of electronic certificates under CLC 1969, CLC 1992 and the 2001 Bunkers Convention.

Meanwhile, the Secretariat was invited to include insurance certificates under the 2002 Athens Convention, the 2007 Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention and the 2010 HNS Convention into the list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships and to include them in a LEG circular. (Certificates to be carried on board ships are listed in FAL.2/Circ.127; MEPC.1/Circ.817; MSC.1/Circ.1462.)

New treaty mooted
A proposal for a new output on the international convention on the recognition of the judicial sale of ships was debated. The Committee agreed not to pursue the proposal at this time.

Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
The Committee unanimously re-elected Mr. Kofi Mbiah (Ghana) as Chairman for 2017 and unanimously elected Ms. Gillian Grant (Canada) as Vice-Chairman for 2017.

The Committee paid tribute to the outgoing Vice-Chairman, Mr. Walter de Sá Leitão (Brazil), for his many years of service to the Committee and contribution to the work and objectives of IMO.