Month: December 2015

Council of the European Union in agreement to authorise EU Member States to ratify or accede to the 2010 HNS Convention

TL_smallDear Members of the Correspondence Group,

I am pleased to inform you that on 10 December 2015, the Council of the European Union adopted two Council Decisions authorising EU Member States to ratify or accede to the 2010 HNS Convention, if possible within four years of entry into force of these Decisions. As parts of the Convention fall under the EU’s exclusive competence in the area of maritime transport, EU Member States needed to be authorised to be able to ratify or accede to it which is the purpose of the first Decision. In addition, the Convention contains provisions that affect EU secondary legislation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, issues which are covered by the second Council decision.

Based on a proposal from the European Commission in June this year, discussions had been taking place at Council-level on whether EU Member States should be instructed to take the necessary measures and within a certain time to ratify or accede to the 2010 HNS Convention. The Commission’s proposal was backed by the shipping industry, with the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and BIMCO jointly presenting a position paper stressing their support for the early entry into force of the 2010 Convention. As part of those discussions, the IOPC Funds’ Director and I, attended a meeting of the Council’s Shipping Working Party on 2 December 2015, providing presentations on both the legal framework of the Convention and the reporting obligations and practicalities which receivers of HNS will be subject to in the period leading to the Convention’s entry into force.

The two Decisions agreed by the Council (decisions 13806/15 and 14112/15) will now be sent to the European Parliament for its consent before publication, but even at this stage, the Council’s support for the Convention is clearly a positive step towards its entry into force.

Kind regards

Thomas Liebert

IOPC Funds

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The HNS Convention Why it is Needed publication

François MarierDear Members of the Correspondence Group,

The latest draft of , which was formally known the Understanding the HNS Convention, is now available here. Please excuse the delay in getting an updated version to you.

You will note that it has changed somewhat from the original version that was provided on October 13th. Namely, the text has been amended in a number of areas and now provides a much clearer and comprehensive introduction of the issue that the HNS Convention is aimed at resolving.  Another change is removing the three examples of HNS incidents and inserting a graph and some text showing the compensation available under the Convention. This addresses a number of concerns with the use of specific HNS incidents and provides a more compelling argument.

A significant amount of work and consideration has gone into this draft publication and it is now up to the Correspondence Group to review it one last time before it can be finalized. I remind you that at LEG 102 in April 2015, it was agreed that this publication would be finalized by the Correspondence Group and thus the intent is to do so by the end of 2015.

This will thus allow the Correspondence Group to turn its attention to the remaining two specific items in its mandate:

  • HNS Incident Scenarios; and,
  • Legal Committee resolution on the implementation entry into force of the 2010 HNS Convention

I will therefore ask for any views and specific comments on the attached publication by December 29. These can be shared with the Group or sent directly to me.

Best regards,

François Marier