Category Archives: State Practice

Norway: Arctic Sunrise removed from Songa Enabler safety zone

Having failed to follow an order to leave the Songa Enabler safety zone, issued by the Troms Police District, 17 August 2017, the Greenpeace vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, has been boarded and towed away by the Norwegian Coast Guard.

See further the order here, and Greenpeace response here.

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Canada: boundary of the Lancaster Sound NMCA agreed

The Government of Canada, the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association announced an agreement on the final boundary for a future national marine conservation area (NMCA) in Tallurutiup Imanga / Lancaster Sound. A section of this area twice the size of Nova Scotia will be protected, making it the largest marine conservation area in Canada. This conservation area will protect Inuit harvesting rights guaranteed under the Nunavut agreement and ensure the protection of species at risk. More information may be found here.

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Joint Statement: Code of Conduct for the South China Sea

The joint statement, issued at the conclusion of the Australia-Japan-United States Trilateral Strategic Dialogue Ministerial, 6 August 2017, touched upon the maritime disputes in the South China Sea. Calling upon all claimants to clarify their claims in compliance with UNCLOS and to respect the Philippines-China Arbitration Award, the statement also called for the proposed ASEAN Code of Conduct for the South China Sea to be legally binding.

For more information see the Joint Statement here. For the ASEAN and China consensus on a framework for the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea (without reference to its legal status) see the Joint Communiqué of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting here.

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UN: agreement on a new treaty on BBNJ

States have agreed to recommend to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elements to be considered in the development of a new treaty on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). A Preparatory Committee was tasked with advising the UNGA on the elements of a draft text of an international legally binding instrument under the UNCLOS. It recommended that the UNGA take a decision, as soon as possible, on the convening of an intergovernmental conference to consider the recommendations on the elements and elaborate the text of a treaty. The UNGA is to decide at its next session on the convening and starting date of an intergovernmental conference to elaborate on a treaty. More information is available here.

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Canada: Oil Tanker Moratorium Act proposed in Parliament

The Government of Canada has introduced the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act in Parliament, respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast. The proposed legislation aims to prohibit oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude and persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations in northern British Columbia. The Bill can be found here.

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EC: Portugal referred to the CJEU regarding flag state obligations

The European Commission (EC) decided to refer Portugal to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) for failing to respect its obligations as a flag state. The EC issued two separate referrals to the CJEU concerning flag state requirements on one hand (Article 8(1) of Directive 2009/21/EC), and monitoring and reporting activities of its recognised organisations on the other hand (Directive 2009/15/EC). The EC had already requested Portugal to comply with these Directives in September 2016 (flag state requirements) and July 2016 (monitoring and reporting). More information is available in this press release.

 

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Pacific MOU on Flag State Implementation Signed

The Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting, held 24-28 April 2017 (Nuku’alofa, Tonga), adopted the Memorandum of Understanding on Flag State Implementation for Domestic Ship in the Pacific Islands Region (Pacific MoU), the first in the world to address the safety of domestic shipping. Despite inclusion in previous discussions, port state control was excluded form the MoU to avoid duplication with the Tokyo MoU.

For more information see the Pacific MoU, Communiqué and the Transport Resolutions (paras. 21-22). Other documentation and resources from the meeting are available here.

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