France has become the seventh Contracting State to the 2010 HNS Protocol after it deposited an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on 23 October 2023.
IOPC Funds’ Director, Gaute Sivertsen, joined Secretary-General Mr Kitack Lim and the Representative of France, Her Excellency Mrs. Marine de Carné-Trécesson, as the formal paperwork was deposited, signifying another important step towards entry into force of the long awaited 2010 HNS Convention.
France has been actively working towards this moment for several years, regularly reporting its progress to the IMO and the governing bodies of the IOPC Funds. It has liaised closely with the IMO and IOPC Funds Secretariats to ensure it is fully prepared to implement the Convention into its national law and to efficiently manage the reporting of contributing cargo, as required under the Convention. To that end, France has developed a customised reporting system, which it is confident will assist, at a practical level, with the complex but essential task of identifying and reporting the receipt of HNS substances to the HNS Fund Secretariat each year.
Mr Sivertsen stated ‘The ratification by France of this important treaty signifies a key step forward towards entry into force. France has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring an international compensation regime exists for HNS incidents and I am confident that further States will follow shortly. In the meantime, the IOPC Funds, in cooperation with IMO, will continue to provide assistance to States and make the necessary preparations for the establishment of the HNS Fund.’
The Secretariat of the IOPC Funds will report on the latest progress in respect of the preparations for the entry into force of the 2010 HNS Convention at the next meetings of the governing bodies in November 2023 (ref documents IOPC/NOV23/8/1 and IOPC/NOV23/8/2/1).