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International Maritime Law

Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

International Maritime Law

Simon Baughen*


170. IMO: HNS Convention Protocol

The diplomatic conference convened for the week starting 26 April 2010 adopted the Protocol to the 1996 HNS Convention. The Protocol opened for signature at the Headquarters of the IMO from 1 November 2010 and will remain open for signature until 31 October 2011. Thereafter, it will remain open for accession. The Protocol will enter into force 18 months after the date on which the following conditions are met:
  • (i) at least 12 states, including four states each with not less than 2 million units of gross tonnage, have expressed their consent to be bound by it; and
  • (ii) the Secretary-General has received information in accordance with Art 20, paras 4 and 6, that those persons in such states who would be liable to contribute pursuant to Art 18, paras 1(a) and (c), of the Convention, as amended by this Protocol, have received during the preceding calendar year a total quantity of at least 40 million tonnes of cargo contributing to the general account.

171. IMO: The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009

The Convention opened for signature by any state at the Headquarters of the IMO from 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010 and shall thereafter remain open for accession by any state. To date, France, Italy, The Netherlands, St Kitts and Nevis and Turkey have signed the Convention, subject to acceptance or ratification.

172. IMO: International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL)

The following amendments of Marpol Annex VI became effective as from 1 July 2010.
Reg 2: Definitions: “SOx Emission Control Areas” (SECAs) to be renamed “Emission Control Areas” (ECAs). These are areas with controlled SOx and NOx emission.
Reg 6: Issue or Endorsement of a Certificate: A new type of IAPP certificate is to be issued for vessels with a keel laying date after 1 July 2010. Vessels with keel laying date before 1 July 2010 will need to obtain such a certificate no later than the first scheduled dry dock after 1 July 2010 but in no case later than three years after that date.
Reg 12: Ozone Depleting Substances (“ODS”): Vessels of 400GT and above must have an ODS record book and list of equipment containing ODS.
Reg 13: Nitrogen Oxides (NOx): From 1 July 2010 there will be three emission limits for engines Tier I, II, III. Engines with power output more than 130kW will have to be equipped with respective EIAPP certificate and approved NOx technical file. Tier I: is the current NOx emission limit. Tier II applies to engines installed on ships on or after 1 January 2011 or to non-identical engine replacement on or after this date. Tier III applies to engines installed on ships on or after 1 January 2016 operating in ECAs.
Reg 14: Sulphur Oxides (SOx) and particulate matter (PM): Sulphur content shall not exceed: -4.5% prior to 1/1/2012; -3.5% on or after 1/1/2012; -0.5% on or after 1/1/2020. In ECAs the sulphur content should not exceed: -1.5% prior to 1/7/2010; -1.0% on or after 1/7/2010; -0.1% on or after 1/1/2015. Mandatory written fuel oil change-over procedures must be available on board after 1 July 2010.
Reg 15: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): Tankers carrying crude oil should have an approved VOC management plan which must be ship specific and must contain written procedures for minimising VOC emissions.
Reg 16: Shipboard Incinerator: In addition to the existing prohibitions in Marpol Annex VI, the following are not permitted to be incinerated: sewage sludge; sludge oil that is not generated on board; exhaust gas cleaning system residues.

173. IMO: International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974

On 1 July 2010 amendments to the ISM Code adopted under Resolution MSC 273(85) entered into force, and tighten up the risk assessment obligations imposed on shipowners. In particular:
Para 1.1.10 defines a “major non-conformity” so as to make clear that this can be: either a lack of effective and systematic implementation of a requirement of the Code; or an identifiable deviation that poses a serious threat to the safety of personnel or the ship; or a serious risk to the environment that requires immediate corrective action.
Para 1.2.2, in setting out the objectives, explicitly requires assessment of all identified risks to the Company’s ships, personnel and the environment, retaining the requirement to establish appropriate safeguards.
Para 5.1.5 provides that the Master’s responsibility to review the Safety Management System (SMS) and report its deficiencies to the shore-based management must be “periodic”.
Para 7 rephrases the requirement for establishing procedures for key shipboard operations so as to refer to the safety of the ship and protection of the environment and to include the safety of personnel.
Para 9.2 amends the requirement for implementation of corrective action so as to include measures intended to prevent recurrence.
Para 12.1 provides that internal safety audits must be carried out on board and ashore at intervals not exceeding 12 months, which in exceptional circumstances may be exceeded by three months.
Para 12.2 requires the company’s Company evaluation of the safety management system to address the effectiveness of that system.


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