Imo Legal Committee 2021

The uniform interpretation was agreed in the form of three draft resolutions that will be submitted for approval at the next session of the IMO Assembly in December 2021. The resolutions reaffirm that the criterion of violation of the right to limitation of liability must be interpreted as practically unbreakable, i.e. only in very limited circumstances and on the basis of the principle of unbreakability. The Committee was also informed that the captain of the Kenan Mete had been repatriated at the end of June 2021, but that unpaid wages for himself and other crew members had not yet been paid. Both cases could be considered controversial. The Committee noted the alarming increase in the number of abandoned seafarers reported in the joint IMO/International Labour Organization (ILO) database on seafarers` abandonment. From January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2020. In April 2021, 111 new cases were reported, including 85 in 2020 and 26 cases in the first quarter of 2021. Approximately 18 cases reported since 1 January 2020 were linked to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has complicated the situation of seafarers` crew changes. An additional 27 cases were reported in the three months prior to LEG 108, bringing the total number of new cases this year to 53. IMO has produced some 60 legal instruments that guide the development of regulations by its member States to improve safety at sea, facilitate trade between maritime States and protect the marine environment.

The best known are the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC). Others are the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds). [13] It also acts as depositary of treaties that have not yet been ratified, such as the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Noxious and Dangerous Substances by Sea, 1996 (HNS Convention) and the Nairobi International Convention on the Disposal of Wrecks (2007). [14] The Working Group also noted that, although the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has not been considered part of the LEG CSR since it is not an IMO Convention, MASS should operate within the legal framework of the UNCLOS Convention and, therefore, the IMO Convention on the Law of the Sea needs to be taken into account in the future work of the IMO on MASS, particularly where IMO is a regulatory instrument. of Operation MASS. The Committee completed the establishment of the regulatory scope for autonomous surface ships (MASS) and a gap analysis of 19 conventions of the Committee on Legal Affairs. The objective was to assess the extent to which the existing legal framework can be compromised in order to deal with MASS operations. Both the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and the Legal Affairs Committee have concluded that the role and responsibilities of the master and remotely operated personnel are high priority issues that must serve as a basis for any future work. Some specific legal terms must also be considered in the context of damage caused by autonomous technology, such as the terms “error”, “negligence” and “intent”. The Expert Group also completed its work on defining the regulatory scope of the conventions on the use of autonomous surface ships (MASS). The exercise concluded that MASS can be integrated into the existing legal framework of the LEG Conventions without the need for major adjustments, although some conventions may require additional interpretations or amendments, concerning, for example, the roles and responsibilities of the master and remote operator.

With respect to the future programme of work of the Panel, the Group agreed to add two new conclusions: first, the development of measures to assess in a transparent manner whether limitations of liability in the liability and compensation conventions should be amended; and, second, the development of a claims manual providing guidance to claimants on how to submit claims under the 2001 Bunkers Convention. The Committee noted that the IMO Council had approved the establishment of the ILO-IMO tripartite working group to identify and address the problems and human aspects of seafarers. The ILO noted that the recommendation to establish the Group should be adopted by the members of the Special Tripartite Committee (STC) of the MLC in 2006 and preferably submitted for consideration and decision to the 343rd session of the ILO Governing Council, to be held from October to November 2021. (or alternatively at the 344th session in March 2022). Conventions emanating from the Committee on Legal Affairs, which is commonly understood only with other IMO committees It was noted that the Maritime Safety Committee and the Legal Affairs Committee had concluded that the role and responsibilities of the master and remote operator were high priority issues that should serve as a basis for any further work. Some specific legal terms had to be taken into account with regard to damage caused by autonomous technology, such as the notions of “error”, “negligence” and “intent”. The CSR of the Expert Group concluded that it would be preferable for the consideration of these issues to be dealt with jointly by the Committees, taking into account both technical and legal aspects as well as liability issues, taking into account the different purposes and functions of the conventions within the competence of the Group of Experts and the Maritime Safety Committee.