New Guidelines For Fair Treatment Of Seafarers And Fraudulent Registration Of Ships Finalised

Seafarer
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The 111th session of the Legal Committee (LEG), which deals with all legal matters within IMO, was held at the International Maritime Organization Headquarters in London.

The committee made substantial progress in resolving critical legal challenges in the maritime industry.

The session was chaired by Ms Gillian Grant of Canada and held from April 22 to 26, 2024, and included topics like liability and compensation, fair treatment of seafarers, and combating fraud ship registration.

The highlights of LEG 111 are as follows:

Fair Treatment Of Seafarers Guidelines Finalized-

The Committee approved guidelines to ensure fair treatment for seafarers suspected of committing crimes while working on a ship.

The guidelines include guidance for coastal states, flag states, port states, seafarers, seafarers’ home countries, and shipowners.

The Joint ILO/IMO Tripartite Working Group will further improve these principles, ensuring fair treatment throughout investigations and detention.

A New Task Force Has Been Established To Review The Abandoned Database-

Seafarer abandonment occurs when shipowners fail to meet their commitments, including timely repatriation, payment of wages, and basic requirements, such as food, shelter, and medical treatment.

The Committee recognised that providing information in a timely way is crucial for resolving cases.

Both flag and port states are crucial in ensuring financial security for abandoned seafarers on their ships and at their ports.

Recognising the increased number of seafarer abandonments, LEG 111 formed a Task Force to analyse and update the abandonment database.

This program aims to improve data accuracy and speed up the resolution of abandonment situations.

Continued Work On Fraudulent Ship Registration-

The Committee underlined its commitment to preventing fraudulent ship registration by reactivating the Correspondence Group On Due Diligence.

The organisation will concentrate on defining and developing due diligence methods in the ship registration processes.

Proposal For Guidelines On Ship Registration-

LEG 111 tasked the Correspondence Group on Due Diligence with developing a proposal for guidelines or best practices on ship registration, addressing fraudulent practices and enhancing registration procedures.

Updated Guidelines For Insurance Companies And Certificates Approved-

The Committee approved a change to the standards for accepting insurance companies, enhancing clarity and uniformity in accepting insurance certificates under applicable conventions.

Approval Of Information Brochure On Athens Convention-

Under the protocol, an informative brochure about the Athens Convention was approved to help claimants with claims for death, injury, or loss during sea carriage.

Measures To Assess The Need For Amending Liability Limits Approved-

LEG 111 approved procedures for accessing the need to alter responsibility limits, which provides transparency and accountability in dealing with ship-related damage.

Updated Plan For Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)-

A plan for addressing legal concerns involving Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships was adopted, outlining future assessments and considerations for MASS operations.

Entry Of The 2010 HNS Protocol Into Force Was Facilitated-

The Committee applauded progress toward the entry into force of the 2010 HNS Protocol, which is critical for securing complete liability and compensation for hazardous substance occurrences.

Discussions On Piracy And Armed Robbery-

LEG 111 highlighted significant advancements in legal issues relating to piracy and armed robbery against ships, emphasizing the significance of concrete protocols and potential new outcomes for resolving maritime security concerns.

The discussion concluded with a detailed review of the maritime industry’s legal framework, demonstrating the IMO’s continuous commitment to maintaining maritime safety, fairness, and accountability.

With these initiatives in place, the LEG has reinforced its critical role in defining the legal framework for international maritime activity.

Reference: IMO

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