LEG 103 | IMO Reports | Annual General Assemblies

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Unity for Safety at Sea

LEG 103

In the opening remarks by Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary General, he mentioned Johan Van Steen, Belgian delegate, killed in Brussels terrorist attack, asked all delegates to stand for moments silence in remembrance. At the invitation of Secretary General, the Belgian delegate spoke of Johan. Then Canada, Norway, France, PandI, Denmark, the Committee Chairman. He then welcomed the IMLI graduates who were attending as observers, and encouraged them to circulate amongst the delegates.

2010 HNS Protocol

Canada introduced the subject. Following discussion, the Committee agreed:

• to extend the mandate of the HNS Correspondence Group until its next session under the coordination of Canada with the amended terms of reference;

• to endorse the proposed outline of the HNS Incidents Scenarios and to further develop the presentation in the HNS Correspondence Group with a view to consideration at LEG 104;

• to invite the International Group of P&I Associations to provide an update of the statistics on incidents with ships carrying HNS that were made available for the 2010 International Conference on HNS;

• in principle, on the draft resolution, provided that there will be no reference to a target ratification date; no reference to group ratification; no reference to the HNS Correspondence Group; that the need for the HNS Convention and the risks of not ratifying it will be further explained; and that LEG 104 will decide on its nature;

• to refer the draft resolution to the HNS Correspondence Group for finalization with a view to further consideration at LEG 104; and

• to consider at LEG 104 whether to hold a workshop on the HNS Convention on the basis of a programme to be developed by the HNS Correspondence Group.

The Committee expressed its appreciation to the correspondence group and its coordinator and thanked the delegations of Canada, Norway and Turkey for their submissions.

The Committee noted document LEG 103/3/3 (Canada) containing a report of an international workshop on the 2010 HNS Convention hosted by Canada on 17 and 18 March 2016 in Montréal, Canada. It also provided a status of the implementation of the HNS Convention in Canada.

In conclusion, the Committee encouraged Member States to ratify and bring into force the 2010 HNS Protocol as soon as possible.

Abandonment of Seafarers

Full Title: Provision of Financial Security in Case of Abandonment of Seafarers, and Shipowners' Responsibilities in Respect of Contractual Claims for Personal Injury to, or Death of Seafarers, in Light of the Progress of Amendments to the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

The discussion was on whether to keep the abandonment of seafarers on the Legal Committee agenda.

IFSMA Intervention:

Support others who wish to keep this subject on the agenda until 2017.

In the light of the discussion on the serious issue of abandonment of seafarers, and because the ILO data indicates that there still remain a number of unresolved cases, the Committee agreed that it should keep the issue under consideration.

Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the Event of a Maritime Accident.

A paper by the ITF was Introduced by Deirdre Fitzpatrick of Seafarers Rights International which made a proposal for holding workshops to assist administrations with the introduction of the Guidelines. The subject had been originally introduced by the ITF and IFSMA at the previous Committee meeting.

ITF informed the Committee that, as agreed at LEG 102, it was preparing guidance for States on the implementation of the Guidelines, drawing on all the materials, answers and comments that it had received in response to the survey. In view of the different approaches that States had taken in implementing the Guidelines, ITF suggested that an effective way to promote the Guidelines would be to organize regional or national workshops to discuss and refine the guidance being prepared, to make it useful for as many States as possible.

IFSMA Intervention:

We would also like to thank the ITF for this initiative and support the proposal for workshops.The Committee expressed its appreciation to ITF for presenting a further analysis of the survey on compliance with the Guidelines and for their continuous efforts. Numerous delegations spoke in support of the organization of a workshop on the implementation of the Guidelines. In the ensuing discussion, the following views were expressed:

• it was important that seafarers all over the world be treated fairly and with dignity in the event of a maritime accident;

• fair treatment of seafarers should be promoted at the global level;

• educational and research institutions related to IMO should more actively promote and teach on the Guidelines;

• Member States were mindful that they had different approaches in interpreting and implementing the Guidelines and that the organization of a workshop to develop a guidance on the Guidelines would therefore be a great opportunity to adopt a common and consistent approach for their effective and uniform implementation;

• consideration should also be given to the current discussions on the development of a new chapter of SOLAS regulating industrial personnel, and to how the Guidelines would apply to industrial personnel;

• fair treatment of seafarers should not be an isolated issue and that an effective linkage has to be established between the work of the Maritime Safety Committee dealing with the reports on marine casualty investigations (that could lead to unfair treatment of seafarers) and TCC through which the workshop and further assistance should be requested; and

• the organization of a workshop would be useful to provide assistance to Member States and should be requested through the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) of the Technical Cooperation Committee (TCC).

The Secretary-General congratulated ITF for its work. He highlighted the importance of the human element issues relating to both safety aspects and the fair treatment of seafarers, and of finding the proper linkage between the work of Technical Cooperation Committee (TCC) and the work of Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) on this issue. In this context, the Secretariat would report the outcome of the Committee on this issue to TCC and MSC.

Election of Chairman for next meeting

Despite the current Chairman, Dr. Kofi Mbiah (Ghana), deciding to step down, the Committee unanimously decided that he should be persuaded to stand again. He agreed and unanimously elected. Mrs Gillian Grant (Canada) was elected as Vice Chair.

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