Workshop on the 2010 HNS Convention
On the 3 and 4 April 2023, a workshop on the 2010 HNS Convention was held at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The event was organised by Canada in co-operation with IMO and the IOPC Funds.
It was attended by over 200 representatives from States and industry who participated either in person or remotely, and focussed on assisting States in their work towards ratification of the 2010 HNS Protocol, with particular emphasis on preparing implementing legislation and HNS cargo reporting.
The workshop included a number of presentations and discussion sessions, with Mr François Marier (Canada) acting as moderator. The Director, Mr Gaute Sivertsen and HNS Project Officer, Mr Thomas Liebert, both delivered presentations and actively participated in the event, with help from other members of the Secretariat.
The programme covered domestic implementation, risks and claims of HNS incidents, industry views on the importance of the HNS Convention, HNS reporting requirements and the future implementation of the Convention. Expert speakers shared their experiences from their own areas. A number of States shared their implementation experiences and several industry representatives expressed their support whilst sharing important insight into their practices.
During the second day of the workshop, regional break-out groups were organised to allow for exchanges, sharing information and work through issues.
The Secretariat was on hand to respond to questions and participate in discussions and led the session entitled ‘HNS reporting requirements’, which examined how the reporting process will function once the HNS Convention enters into force and also provided information on the work carried out by the 1992 Fund Secretariat for the setting up of the HNS Fund and its first Assembly.
Mr Marier summarized the exchanges carried out, noting the importance of putting into place a global HNS liability and compensation regime. He noted the interest of States to coordinate their implementation, highlighting the collaboration of European States, and pointed out that although States appreciated the tools and resources already available, more tools and technical training would be of interest to States considering becoming a Party to the Convention.
During his closing remarks, IMO’s Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations, Mr Frederick J Kenney, was pleased to observe that all key groups had been represented and recognised that they each had different requirements in respect of the management of HNS and the Convention itself. He confirmed that IMO, together with the IOPC Funds, would focus their work on providing wide and effective support to facilitate the entry into force of the Convention.
The IOPC Funds Director echoed those words and reaffirmed the commitment of the IOPC Funds to supporting States and delivering the tasks it had been assigned in order to prepare for the entry into force of the Convention. He reiterated the importance of finding pragmatic solutions to the complex issue of reporting and looked forward to the upcoming meeting of the IOPC Funds’ governing bodies in May, where the discussions of the workshop would be further discussed.
The presentations provided during the workshop are available to download via the document library of the HNS website: www.hnsconvention.org. A document will also be submitted to the May 2023 meeting of the IOPC Funds’ governing bodies.