Norway First to Ratify Hazardous Cargo Treaty
Norway has become the first country to become a contracting state
to a key compensation treaty covering the transport of hazardous
and noxious substances (HNS) by ship.
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), when in force,
will provide a regime of liability and compensation for damage
caused by HNS cargoes transported by sea, complementing existing
regimes already in force for the transport of oil as cargo,
bunker oil used for the operation and propulsion of ships, the
removal of hazardous wrecks and claims for death of or personal
injury to passengers, or for damage to their luggage, on ships.
Dilek Ayhan, State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade,
Industry and Fisheries, handed over the instrument of
ratification of the 2010 HNS Protocol to IMO Secretary-General
Kitack Lim on Friday, April 21, during a meeting at IMO
Headquarters in London, United Kingdom.
Norway also provided, as required by the treaty, data on the
total quantities of contributing cargo liable for contributions
received in Norway during the preceding calendar year.
Lim warmly welcomed the ratification by Norway and encouraged
other states to follow suit.
"The HNS Convention is the last piece in the puzzle needed to
ensure that those who have suffered damage caused by HNS cargoes
carried on board ships have access to a comprehensive and
international liability and compensation regime," Lim said. "The
number of ships carrying HNS cargoes is growing steadily with
more than 200 million tonnes of chemicals traded annually by
tankers and we have to recognize that accidents can and do
happen. I urge all states to follow the example set by Norway and
consider acceding to the HNS 2010 treaty as soon as possible, in
order to bring it into force."
Entry into force of the treaty requires accession by at least 12
states, meeting certain criteria in relation to tonnage and
reporting annually the quantity of HNS cargo received in a state.
IMO, together with the International Oil Pollution Compensation
Funds (IOPC Funds) and the International Tanker Owners Pollution
Federation (ITOPF), has disseminated a six-page brochure that
explains to states the purpose and benefit of the HNS Convention
and encourages IMO member states to take the next steps to ratify
or accede to the Convention.
IMO measures relating to the prevention of accidents that involve
HNS cargoes are already in force, including ship design,
operations and safety on board as well as safety of loading and
unloading operations. There is also a Protocol covering
preparedness and response to shipping accidents involving
The 2010 HNS Convention aims to deliver the uniform and
comprehensive regime needed to provide compensation for costs,
including clean-up and restoring the environment, in the event of
an incident involving HNS cargoes. Total compensation available
under the Convention is capped at 250 million Special Drawing
Rights (SDR) of the International Monetary Fund (approximately
USD $340 million at current exchange rates) per event. Shipowners
are held strictly liable up to a maximum limit of liability
established by the Convention for the cost of an HNS incident.
Registered owners of ships carrying HNS cargoes have to maintain
insurance that is state certified. The HNS Fund pays compensation
once shipowner's liability is exhausted and is financed through
contributions paid post incident by receivers of HNS cargoes.
The HNS Fund is administered by states and contributions will be
based on the actual need for compensation.
HNS covered by the Convention include: oils; other liquid
substances defined as noxious or dangerous; liquefied gases;
liquid substances with a flashpoint not exceeding 60�C;
dangerous, hazardous and harmful materials and substances carried
in packaged form or in containers; and solid bulk materials
defined as possessing chemical hazards.
The HNS Convention establishes the principle that the 'polluter
pays' by ensuring that the shipping and HNS industries provide
compensation for those who have suffered loss or damage resulting
from an HNS incident.
Apr 21, 2017