United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Multiyear Expert Meeting on Transport and Trade Facilitation Geneva, Switzerland, 8 – 10 December 2010

Posted: 10/12/2010

Mr Jerry Rysanek, Chairman of the 1992 Fund Assembly, and Mr Thomas Liebert, Head of External Relations and Conference Department, attended the third session of the UNCTAD Multiyear Expert meeting on transport and trade facilitation in Geneva from 8 – 10 December 2010.

They presented a paper on ‘Liability and Compensation for Ship Source Pollution: Oil and HNS’, which provided a comprehensive overview of the international compensation regime and the relevant international legal instruments dealing with ship-source pollution involving oil and HNS. It referred to a number of historical and more recent incidents and described the central role of the IOPC Funds.

An important key message emerged from the discussion suggesting that the international compensation regime of the IOPC Funds and ratification of the HNS Convention may provide win-win solutions, especially for coastal States whose economic well-being and prosperity depended to a large extent on their marine resources, biodiversity, fisheries and tourism. In addition, countries that did not receive significant imports of oil and/or hazardous and noxious substances would be able to benefit from substantial compensation without having to make significant contributions in the event of a claim arising from a pollution incident.

Participants in the meeting were encouraged to raise awareness amongst policy and decision-makers in their respective national administrations about the relevant international legal instruments and to consider the potential benefits arising from their ratification.