Pretoria: 17 July 2019
South Africa on Sunday joined about half a dozen countries in the world to formally ratify and become part of a key International Maritime Organisation compensation treaty covering the transport of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by ship.
The country’s accession to the treaty was delivered by newly appointed Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula to the IMO during a meeting between him and his delegation with IMO Secretary-General, Mr Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London.
The South African delegation led by Mr Mbalula is attending the 122nd session of Council for the IMO that started on Sunday and continues until Friday this week.
Included in Mr Mbalula’s delegation is Mr Sobantu Tilayi, acting Chief Executive Officer of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) – an agency of government under the Department of Transport responsible for application and enforcement of maritime sector related conventions, treaties and related international oceans’ administration and governance instruments.
South Africa is a Member State to the United Nations’ specialised agency, the IMO as well as a member of the IMO Council. The objectives of the IMO, among other things, are to adopt international standards for maritime security and safety, ensuring the protection of pollution from ships, and to facilitate seaborne trade.
According to the IMO on Sunday, the 2010 Protocol to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 (2010 HNS Convention) is a treaty which, when in force, “will provide a regime of liability and compensation for damage caused by HNS cargoes transported by sea, including oil and chemicals, and covers not only pollution damage, but also the risks of fire and explosion, including loss of life or personal injury as well as loss of or damage to property.
“An HNS Fund will be established, to pay compensation once shipowner’s liability is exhausted. This Fund will be financed through contributions paid post incident by receivers of HNS cargoes,” said the IMO.
In embracing the treaty, South Africa become the fifth country in the world – or IMO Member State) to join, after Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey
Said the IMO: “As required by the treaty, South Africa provided data on the total quantities of liable contributing cargo. 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.
“The treaty requires a total quantity of at least 40 million tonnes of cargo contributing to the general account to have been received in the preceding calendar year. The total quantity of contributing cargo has reached 9.8 million tonnes.
For Mr Mbalula’s remarks during the deposit of the SA’s accession to the IMO treaty, please Click below.