Mexico Ratifies IMO Legal Conventions
The maritime authorities of the Government of Mexico have agreed to place a high priority on ratifying three important International Maritime Organization (IMO) legal conventions, following a workshop in Mexico City.
Mexico has said it will work towards ratifying the 2003 Fund Protocol, the 2001 Bunkers Convention and the 2007 Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention. It will also consider accession to the 2010 HNS Convention. The Governments of Guatemala and Honduras expressed similar intent.
Both the Fund Protocol and the Bunkers Convention deal with compensation following oil spills from ships. Together with the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions, to which Mexico is already a State Party, they provide a framework to ensure that funds are available to compensate spill victims while, at the same time, establishing limits of liability.
The Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention provides the legal basis for States to remove shipwrecks that may put the safety of lives and the marine environment, as well as goods and property at sea, at risk.
While all these three measures are in force and therefore legally binding on all countries that have ratified them, the 2010 HNS Convention is not yet in force. Among the criteria that have to be met for this to happen, at least 12 states have to formally ratify it. So, far, just five have done so. The HNS Convention will establish a compensation and liability regime covering accidents involving hazardous and noxious substances.
Mexico confirmed its commitment to these measures at the conclusion of a marine environment seminar (4 October) organized by P&I Services Mexico, an insurance organization. Several international organizations, including IMO, were on hand to explain the benefits of ratifying the conventions and offer advice and assistance.