PH deposits instruments of accession to 3 maritime conventions

MANILAThe Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday announced that the country has deposited instruments of accession to three maritime conventions before the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on April 24.

Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the IMO Gilberto Asuque deposited the documents signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on the safety of ships and prevention of air pollution to the IMO Secretary General.

The Protocol of 1997 to Amend the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL Annex VI) secures Manila's commitment to the global efforts to reduce air pollution from ships.

MARPOL Annex VI, first adopted in 1997, limits the main air pollutants contained in ships' exhaust gas, including sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides, and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances.

According to the DFA-Office of Public Diplomacy, MARPOL Annex VI regulates shipboard incineration, and the emissions of volatile organic compounds from tankers.

The other two documents deposited were the Instruments of Accession to the Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, or measures aiming to further improve the safety of ships, particularly tankers; and the accession to the Protocol of 1988 Relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966.

The Load Lines Convention prescribes the minimum reserve buoyancy and freeboard of ships to ensure their stability by preventing overloading.

In March 2018, Senator Loren Lagarda said Manila's accession to Load Lines Convention will demonstrate the country's "commitment" in ensuring the safety of ships and preventing accidents that could lead to massive loss of life and serious damage to the marine environment through oil spills.

During the Senate hearings for the concurrence to the accession of these IMO instruments, Asuque explained the importance of these IMO conventions for the safety of Filipino seafarers and in protecting the marine environment from the operation of ships.

The DFA said the IMO Secretary General is the designated depository of all instruments of ratification or accession by Member States to IMO Conventions.

In accordance with IMO regulations, these three IMO instruments will become effective for the Philippines three months from the date of deposit or on July 2018.

The Instruments of Accession were deposited during the 105th Session of the IMO Legal Committee (LEG 105) which discussed agenda item 10 or the Review of the Status of Conventions and Other Treaty Instruments Emanating from the Legal Committee. (PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency