Council of the European Union considers instructing Member States to ratify or accede to the 2010 HNS Protocol

Posted: 09/10/2015

By: Thomas Liebert

François MarierDear Correspondence Group Members,

There is an important development in recent weeks which I would like to share with the Correspondence Group.

I am pleased to report that the Council of the European Union is currently discussing a proposal for a Council Decision on the ratification and accession by Member States on behalf of the Union to the 2010 HNS Protocol (see European Commission Proposal 2015/0136 (NLE)). Such proposal aims at instructing EU Member States to take the necessary measures and within a certain time to ratify or accede to the 2010 HNS Protocol.  The proposal also contains a recommendation to EU Member States to exchange information and best practices on the procedures leading up to ratification or accession as it can facilitate the Member States’ efforts in setting up a functional reporting system for HNS contributing cargo under the 2010 Convention.

Significantly, that proposal has been backed by the shipping industry, with the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and BIMCO jointly presenting a position paper to the European Union Member States stressing their support for the early entry into force of the 2010 Protocol.  That position paper is available here and I will ensure to keep the Group updated with any towards the formal Council Decision being taken.

This is a very positive development, which I hope will lead to States acceding to the Convention.