Status of the HNS Convention and 2010 Protocol

Ms Dilek Ayhan, State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, handing an instrument of ratification of the 2010 HNS Protocol to IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at the IMO Headquarters.

Entry Into Force

The 2010 HNS Protocol will enter into force 18 months after the date on which it is ratified by at least twelve States, including four States each with not less than 2 million units of gross tonnage, and having received during the preceding calendar year a total quantity of at least 40 million tonnes of cargo that would be contributing to the general account.


The Protocol was open for signature at the headquarters of the IMO between 1 November 2010 and 31 October 2011. It now remains open for accession. Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession is effected by the deposit of an appropriate instrument with the Secretary-General of IMO.

A Contributing Cargo Reporting Form for States and receivers of HNS have been developed to accompany any expression of consent to be bound by the Protocol and is designed to assist in the ratification/accession process only. If a State has not received any HNS contributing cargo, it can submit a nil declaration.

Status of Signature/Ratification

Norway became the first State to ratify the 2010 HNS Protocol on Friday 21 April 2017 at the IMO Headquarters. Although eight States (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and Turkey) signed the 2010 HNS Protocol, subject to ratification, Norway is the first State to ratify the Protocol (Click for photos.).

Secretary-General of IMO, Mr Kitack Lim, warmly welcomed the ratification by Norway and encouraged other States to follow suit.

"The HNS Convention is the last piece in the puzzle needed to ensure that those who have suffered damage caused by HNS cargoes carried on board ships have access to a comprehensive and international liability and compensation regime," said IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim. "The number of ships carrying HNS cargoes is growing steadily with more than 200 million tonnes of chemicals traded annually by tankers and we have to recognize that accidents can and do happen. I urge all States to follow the example set by Norway and consider acceding to the HNS 2010 treaty as soon as possible, in order to bring it into force."

The Director of the IOPC Funds has been given the role of carrying out the tasks necessary to set up the International Hazardous and Noxious Substances Fund (HNS Fund) and making preparations for the first session of the HNS Assembly. Following the meeting today he stated: "I am delighted that Norway has taken all the necessary steps to become the first State to ratify the Convention. This is great progress and I hope that further States will soon follow Norway and bring about the entry into force of the 2010 HNS Convention."

The 1992 Fund Secretariat undertakes a number of administrative tasks in cooperation with IMO in relation to the preparations for the entry into force of the Convention. It also remains available to support States in their efforts to prepare for ratification or accession to the HNS Convention and industry stakeholders on technical issues. For further information please visit

Mr. Kasper Høeg-Jensen, Minister Counsellor, Royal Danish Embassy, London, signed the HNS Protocol 2010 on behalf of Denmark at IMO Headquarters on 14 April 2011.