During August and September 2020, the IOPC Funds assisted the GI WACAF Project team in providing remote legal assistance in relation to the effective implementation of relevant IMO liability and compensation conventions in The Gambia, Liberia, Namibia and Nigeria.
The IOPC Funds had been due to participate in a sub-regional workshop on the ratification and effective implementation of IMO conventions relating to pollution and liability and compensation in Ghana in April 2020. The event, which was organised by the GI WACAF Project, was expected to be attended by seven English-speaking countries of the region and planned to address the various challenges faced by those States in that regard.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop was postponed and a remote legal assistance project was instead initiated by the GI WACAF team in an effort to achieve some of the original activity’s objectives.
With the voluntary participation of The Gambia, Liberia, Namibia and Nigeria, this activity provided an opportunity for the GI WACAF Project team, supported by a consultant, IMO officers and IOPC Funds representatives and working in close cooperation with the Focal Points for the participating countries, to remotely review the national legislation relating to oil pollution and liability and compensation for each of the four States.
The review analysed the gaps in existing legislation and made recommendations towards the transposition of relevant IMO conventions into national legislation and their effective implementation. The review included the Oil Preparedness and Response Convention (OPRC), 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions and the Bunkers Convention. Webinars were organised for each State with the national focal points to present the reports resulting from the review and to address outstanding issues. It is expected that these reports will guide policy makers and legislative drafters on the legislative mechanisms that should be applied when developing and updating national laws related to IMO conventions in the future.