Interpretation of Article 5 of the HNS Convention
By: Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries – Republic of Korea
In Korea, there are many ships carrying HNS substances. We expect that the ratification of the HNS Convention will have no significant impact on insurance fees for oceangoing ships but could have an impact on insurance fees for ships engaged on voyages between Korean ports.
Therefore, it is very important for us to clarify which ships can be excluded under Article 5 of the HNS Convention.
Article 5 allows a State, at the time of ratification or accession or at any time after that, to exclude certain ships from the application of the HNS Convention.
Three conditions are set out in Article 5.1 for such exclusion. Ships must not exceed 200 gross tonnage (a), AND must carry HNS only in packaged form (b), AND only while they are engaged on voyages between ports or facilities of that State (c). Those three conditions are cumulative, which means that if a ship does not exceed 200 gross tonnage and is engaged only on voyages between two domestic ports, but is carrying HNS in bulk, such ship cannot be excluded from the application of the HNS Convention.
Article 5.2 also indicates that two neighbouring States can agree to exclude ships that are engaged in voyages between ports and facilities of these two States, if they meet conditions (a) and (b) of Article 5.1.
For the exclusion to be effective, the State must deposit a declaration to that effect with the Secretary-General of IMO. Such declaration can be withdrawn at any time.
As of 27 September 2019, Canada is the only Contracting State to have deposited a declaration under Article 5 with the Secretary-General of IMO.