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Treaties and International Law

International Treaties List as at July 2012

Maritime (including Fisheries and Shipping)

1. South Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA)

In 1999 an unregulated orange roughy fishery emerged in the high seas of the south West Indian Ocean. In response to this development, discussion began with key players, including New Zealand, on the establishment of a regional fisheries management arrangement. Parallel to these discussions, negotiations were taking place between east African coastal States on a draft Agreement to establish a South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC). In 2001, it became clear that the two processes should be linked and the first consultation to establish a SWIOFC, including for high seas demersal fishery resources, took place. At the third consultation in January 2004, it was agreed that the interests of developing coastal States for cooperation and development in relation to fisheries within Exclusive Economic Zone jurisdictions would be progressed separately from interests in the high seas fisheries. A separate high seas agreement would therefore be negotiated.

The SIOFA aims to establish a legally-binding framework to manage the demersal species in the high seas areas of the South Indian Ocean. The objectives of the Agreement are to ensure the long term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources in this area and to promote sustainable development of fisheries taking into account the needs of developing states bordering the region and party to the Agreement. The Agreement provides mechanisms for the Meeting of Parties to adopt legally binding conservation and management measures to achieve these objectives which contracting parties will be required to implement and enforce.

Lead agencies:

Ministry of Fisheries
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Status: 
Multilateral. Negotiations concluded. Text adopted at a Diplomatic Conference held in July 2006.  New Zealand signed the Agreement in July 2006 and is currently working towards ratification.

Website:
Final Act of the Conference on the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement [external link]
Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement [external link]

Legislation required:

Under review

Contact:
James Brown
Senior International Adviser
Ministry for Primary Industries
james.brown@mpi.govt.nz
Ph (04) 819 4697

Alex Lennox-Marwick
Legal Adviser
Legal Division
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
alex.lennox-marwick@mfat.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 8028      Fax (04) 439 8103

 

2. 2005 Protocols to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and its Protocol of 1988 Relating to Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf.
Common name: The Maritime SUA protocols

The Protocols extend the requirements of the Maritime SUA Convention to fixed platforms such as those engaged in the exploitation of offshore oil and gas.  They also add a new article 3bis to the Maritime SUA Convention, which creates new offences.  These offences concern the unlawful and intentional transportation, use or discharge of explosives, radioactive material, or biological, chemical or nuclear weapons on ships.  It is also an offence to unlawfully and intentionally transport another person on board a ship knowing that the person has committed an act that constitutes an offence under the Maritime SUA Convention, and to unlawfully and intentionally injure or kill any person in connection with the commission of any of the offences in the Convention.

Lead agency:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Status:
Multilateral. New Zealand is currently working on implementing legislation in order to ratify the protocols.

Website: Internation Maritime Organisation [external link]

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:

No specific potential impact on Maori interests anticipated.

Legislation required:
Yes

Contact:
David Dolphin
Acting Deputy Director
Legal Division
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
david.dolphin@mfat.govt.nz Ph (04) 439 8563      Fax (04) 439 8103

 

3. International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001
Common Name: Bunkers Convention 2001 or Bunker Oil Convention 2001

Oil spills from ships’ bunkers account for most oil spills in New Zealand and a significant proportion of oil spills internationally.

The International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992 and the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1992 ensure that compensation is available for damage caused by pollution from oil cargoes carried in bulk at sea.

The Bunkers Convention establishes a liability regime for damage from bunker oil spills.  The regime consists of strict but limited liability for ship owners and requirements for compulsory insurance to cover that liability.

Lead agency:

Ministry of Transport

Status:
Multilateral. The Convention was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation in 2001 and entered into force in 2008.  Parliament considered the Convention in August 2008.  New Zealand is now working towards accession.

 

Website: Australasian Legal Information Institute [external link]

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:
The Convention will have little or no implications for Māori interests. 
A discussion document for public consultation calling for written submissions was released in November 2007.  A summary of submissions is available on the Ministry of Transport website.

Legislation required:

Changes to the Maritime Transport Act, and possibly some rules and/or regulations, would be required. 

Contact:

Tom Forster
Manager
Maritime and Freight Sector
Ministry of Transport
t.forster@transport.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 9020      Fax (04) 439 9004

 

4. Protocol Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Pollution by Substances other than Oil
Common Name: Intervention Protocol 1973

The Intervention Convention 1969 affirmed the right of coastal States to take measures on the high seas to protect their coastlines from pollution by oil following a maritime casualty. New Zealand is a party to the Intervention Convention 1969.  The Intervention Protocol 1973 would extend the coverage of the Convention to pollution by substances other than oil.

The Protocol would also require a coastal State to consult with other States and persons whose interests would be affected by the measures (such as the respective flag States, the owners of the affected ships or cargo) before it undertakes intervention measures on the high seas.  A coastal State would be required to pay compensation for damage caused by intervention measures that exceeded those allowed by the Protocol.

Lead agency:

Ministry of Transport

Status:

Multilateral. New Zealand has signed the Protocol.  Parliament considered the protocol in August 2008.  New Zealand is now working towards ratification.

Website:

Protocol of 1973 to the International Convention Relation to Intervention on the High Seas in the Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties 1969 [external link]

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:
A discussion document for public consultation calling for written submissions was released in November 2007.  A summary of submissions is available on the Ministry of Transport website.

Interest groups with which consultation is appropriate include shipping industry organisations such as the New Zealand Shipping Federation and the New Zealand Marine Transport Association.

Legislation required:

Changes to the Maritime Transport Act, and possibly some rules and/or regulations, would be required. 

Contact:

Tom Forster
Manager, Maritime and Freight Sector
Ministry of Transport
t.forster@transport.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 9020     Fax (04) 439 9004

 

5. Protocol of 1996 to Amend the 1976 International Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims
Common Name: LLMC Protocol 1996

The 1976 International Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC) was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation in 1976 and entered into force internationally in December 1986.  The Convention was later amended by the LLMC Protocol, which entered into force internationally in May 2004.

The LLMC sets out ship owners’ rights to limit their liability in respect of various types of maritime claims, including loss of life or personal injury, loss or damage to property and loss resulting from delay in the carriage by sea of cargo, passengers or luggage.  The LLMC also identifies conduct that will bar a limitation claim, the formula for calculating the limits of liability and the unit of account to be used.

New Zealand implemented the LLMC through Part VII of the Maritime Transport Act 1994.
The purpose of the LLMC Protocol is to significantly increase the liability limits for compensation established in the LLMC Convention due to erosion of their value by inflation.

Lead agency:

Ministry of Transport

Status:

Multilateral. The Protocol entered into force internationally in 2004.  Parliament considered the Protocol in August 2008.  New Zealand is now working towards accession.

Website: Australasian Legal Information Institute [external link]

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:

The Protocol will have little or no implications for Maori interests. A discussion document for public consultation calling for written submissions was released in November 2007. A summary of submissions is available on the Ministry of Transport website.

Interest groups with which consultation is appropriate include:

Legislation required:

Amendments to the Maritime Transport Act.

Contact:

Tom Forster
Manager, Maritime and Freight Sector
Ministry of Transport
t.forster@transport.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 9020     Fax (04) 439 9004

 

6. Annex IV (Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships) International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973, as amended.
Common name: MARPOL IV

Annex IV regulates the discharge of sewage into the sea; ships’ equipment and systems for the control of sewage discharge; the provision of facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of sewage; and requirements for survey and certification.  It also includes a model International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificate to be issued by national shipping administrations to ships under their jurisdiction.

The Annex entered into force internationally on 27 September 2003.  A revised Annex was adopted on 1 April 2004, with an entry into force date of 1 August 2005.

The revised Annex will apply to new ships engaged in international voyages, of 400 gross tonnage and above or which are certified to carry more than 15 persons.  Existing ships will be required to comply with the provisions of the revised Annex IV five years after the date of entry into force of Annex IV, namely 27 September 2008.  The annex requires ships to be equipped with either a sewage treatment plant, a sewage comminuting and disinfecting system, or a sewage holding tank.

The discharge of sewage into the sea will be prohibited, except when the ship has in operation an approved sewage treatment plant at a distance of more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land.

Lead agency:

Ministry of Transport

Status:
Multilateral. Entered into force in September 2003, revised Annex adopted in April 2004, and entered into force in August 2005.  New Zealand officials are considering potential accession.

Website: International Maritime Organisation [external link]

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:
Māori are likely to be interested in the impact of MARPOL IV on discharge of human waste in the Coastal Marine Area.

Should the initial assessment warrant further investigation, the Ministry of Transport will consult with relevant government departments, regional councils, the shipping industry, boating interests and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. Wider public consultation would also be anticipated.

Legislation required:

Maritime Rules amendments.

Contact:

Tom Forster
Manager, Maritime and Freight Sector
Ministry of Transport
t.forster@transport.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 9007      Fax (04) 439 9004

 

7. International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments
Common name: International Ballast Water Convention

The primary objective of the Convention is “to prevent, minimize and ultimately eliminate the risks to the environment, human health, property and resources arising from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments”.

The introduction of foreign marine organisms can have potentially devastating impacts on a range of economic, social, cultural, and environmental values that we associate with our marine environment. Ballast water discharges are one of the main pathways by which foreign marine organisms could be introduced to New Zealand waters.

The Convention will provide a binding set of international regulations to control discharges of ballast water by shipping. Existing controls in New Zealand provide some protection against introductions of marine organisms in ballast water discharges, but they have limitations. These limitations would be addressed by the Convention.

Lead agency:

Ministry for Primary Industries

Status:

Multilateral. The Convention was adopted by a Diplomatic Conference in February 2004. It has yet to enter into force. The Government has determined that New Zealand will accede to the Convention, subject to the passage of implementing legislation.

Website: Australasian Legal Information Institute [external link]

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:

Public consultation on the options for New Zealand in response to the Convention was undertaken in late 2007. Feedback was received from the shipping industry and a range of marine stakeholder groups that benefit from biosecurity protection. The views of stakeholders informed the Government’s decision on accession to the Convention.

Legislation required:

The legislative amendments to give effect to the convention are contained in the Biosecurity Law Reform Bill. Marine Protection Rules made under the Maritime Transport Act will also be required before New Zealand is able to accede the Convention.

Contact:

Derek Belton
Manager, International Standards Organisations
Ministry for Primary Industries

derek.belton@mpi.govt.nz

Ph (04) 894 0434      Fax (04) 894 0735

 

8. Maritime Labour Convention 2006

In 2006 the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a new Maritime Labour Convention. The Convention sets out comprehensive rights and labour protections for seafarers. It revises and consolidates over 60 existing ILO maritime labour instruments, in some cases dating back to the 1920s. They include 14 conventions to which New Zealand is party, which are implemented primarily in the Maritime Transport Act 1994 and in maritime rules. Obligations are also given effect through general legislation concerning labour, occupational health and safety, accident compensation, and social welfare.  New Zealand voted in support of the adoption of the Convention by the ILO, but is not yet party to it.

Lead agency:

Ministry of Transport

Status:
Multilateral.  The Ministry of Transport has assessed the compatibility of New Zealand’s law, policy and practice with the provisions of the Convention.

Website: Maritime Labour Convention [external link]

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:

When progressing its assessment, it is anticipated that the Ministry of Transport will consult with relevant government departments, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, and Business New Zealand.

Contact:

Tom Forster
Manager
Maritime and Freight Sector
Ministry of Transport
t.forster@transport.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 9020     Fax (04) 439 9004

 

9. Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

The objective of the Agreement is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources through strengthened and harmonized port State measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

To this effect, the Agreement establishes a set of minimum standards on the management of access of fishing vessels and related support vessels to port.  It specifies requirements for vessels and related ports; under what circumstances States shall deny access to port services for IUU vessels; how information should be exchanged within and between States; how inspections of all fishing vessels (IUU and otherwise) should be prioritised and undertaken; follow up actions; and how disputes should be handled.

Flag States are also required to encourage their vessels use ports of States that act in accordance with the Agreement.  This should help address ‘ports of convenience’ whereby vessels land fish at ports with weak inspection systems.  An article on the special requirements of developing states requires Parties to cooperate to establish special funds and provide assistance in implementation.

 

Lead agencies:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Ministry for Primary Industries

Status:
Multilateral.  Negotiations on the text of the Agreement were initiated in June 2008 and concluded on 28 August 2009. 

The Agreement was formally adopted at the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 18-23 November 2009.  New Zealand signed the Agreement 15 December 2009 and is currently working towards ratification. The agreement will enter into force once it has been ratified by 25 countries.

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:
There is not expected to be any direct impact on Māori interests.

The broad definition of ‘fishing related activities’ used to capture support vessels that provide supplies to IUU fleets may impact a few New Zealand vessels not captured by existing fisheries legislation.  Support vessels, like fishing vessels, may be subjected to additional inspections, restrictions on port use, and subsequent penalties.

Consultation with private sector and NGO stakeholders has already taken place on the draft Agreement.  Both private sector and NGO stakeholder groups support the intent of the Agreement.

Legislation required:
Not yet clear.

Contact:

Jane Willing
Manager International Fisheries
Ministry for Primary Industries

jane.willing@mpi.govt.nz

Ph (04) 819 4691      Fax (04) 819 4261

Alex Lennox-Marwick
Legal Adviser
Legal Division
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
alex.lennox-marwick@mfat.govt.nz

Ph (04) 439 8028      Fax (04) 439 8103

 

10. Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea
Common name: Rotterdam Rules

The Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea is a private international law convention that allocates financial and legal risk between the carrier and cargo interests and regulates for such matters as:

The Rotterdam Rules apply to Contracts of Carriage, Bills of Lading and non-negotiable documents.

New Zealand is currently a party to the Hague-Visby Rules. The objectives of this new Convention are to: (i) update the rules applicable to maritime carrier liability; and (ii) develop an instrument that will be widely adopted, thereby harmonising the international application of maritime carrier liability rules (there are currently three maritime carrier liability regimes in existence).    

The general scope-of-application provisions of the Rotterdam Rules mean that it will apply to shipments either to or from a State Party. The implication for New Zealand is that, depending on whether New Zealand’s trading partners adopt the Rules, New Zealand traders may find themselves subject to its rules regardless of whether New Zealand adopts them.

Lead agency:

Ministry of Transport

Status:
Multilateral. The Rotterdam Rules are currently open for signature.  The Rotterdam Rules will come into force one year after 20 countries have ratified.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the text of the convention on 11 December 2008 and authorised the opening for signature of the convention at a signing ceremony on 23 September 2009 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. New Zealand officials are in the early stages of considering potential accession.

Website: A/63/17 Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law [external link]

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:

The convention will have little or no implications for Māori interests. Should detailed assessment of accession to the treaty progress it is anticipated that general consultation will take the form of a written discussion paper calling for written submissions.


Interest groups with which consultation is appropriate include:

Legislation required:
Yes. 

Contact:
Tom Forster
Manager
Maritime and Freight Sector
Ministry of Transport
t.forster@transport.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 9020      Fax (04) 439 9004

 

11. International Code of Safety for Ships Operating in Polar Waters
Common name: Mandatory Polar Code

When complete, the Mandatory Polar Code will provide both recommendatory and mandatory provisions for vessels operating in the Antarctic and Arctic. The Code will provide specific provisions for Arctic-bound and Antarctic-bound vessels as necessary, but will also have general provisions applying to vessels operating in either the Arctic or Antarctic. The purpose of the Code is to ensure that only vessels suitable for the conditions operate in these remote and inhospitable waters.

The Code will be a stand-alone instrument, to be made mandatory under the Convention on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the Convention on Marine Pollution (MARPOL), as appropriate.

As a country from whose ports vessels depart for Antarctica together with our responsibility for Search and Rescue coordination in the Ross Sea and our commitment to protecting the Antarctic environment, New Zealand has a strong interest in the development of the mandatory code for ships operating in polar waters.

Lead agency:

Ministry of Transport / Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Status:
Multilateral. The Polar Code was first considered by the IMO Subcommittee on Design and Equipment at its 53rd meeting (DE53) in February 2010. Work on the Code is expected to be concluded in 2014/15

Particular interest to Maori and other groups:
This Treaty will be of interest to the:

The Code only applies to SOLAS vessels and takes a risk based approach.  As such it is likely that more stringent design, equipment and operating standards are likely to impose additional compliance costs for vessels operating in Antarctic waters.  At this stage the Code is unlikely to apply to fishing vessels which are classified as non-SOLAS vessels but this may change in the future. The IMO has proposed to commence work on the development of provisions relating to non-SOLAS vessels in 2013.

Legislation required:
Yes.  The International Maritime Organisation is likely to bring the Code into force as an amendment or schedule to SOLAS and MARPOL. As a party to both Conventions New Zealand will need to implement the Code.  This will most likely be done by amending the relevant Maritime Rules.

Contact:
Ian Lancaster
Principal Advisor International
Maritime New Zealand
ian.lancaster@maritimenz.govt.nz
Ph (04) 473 0111      Fax (04) 494 8901

Jocelyn Ng
Senior Policy Officer
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
jocelyn.ng@mfat.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 8232      Fax (04) 439 8517

12.Agreements to Confirm Tokelau's Maritime Boundaries
Common name: Mandatory Polar Code

An agreement to confirm Tokelau’s maritime boundaries with the Cook Islands (the Agreement between the Government of NewZealand and the Government of the Cook Islands Concerning the Delimitation of the Maritime Boundaries between Tokelau and the Cook Islands) was signed on 4 August 2010. It has been considered by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee and is expected to enter into force in the coming months.

Negotiations have begun for an agreement to confirm Tokelau’s maritime boundaries with Kiribati. A draft text has been provided to Kiribati authorities and is currently under consideration.

Lead agency:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Status:
Kiribati: Bilateral. Draft agreement text supplied to Kiribati.

Cook Islands: Bilateral. An agreement for the boundary between Tokelau and the Cook Islands was signed on 4 August 2010 and is expected to enter into force in the coming months.

Legislation required:
No.

Contact:
Bethany Madden
Legal Adviser
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
bethany.madden@mfat.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 8023      Fax (04) 439 8103

13. 13. Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels Protocol of 1993
Common name: Torremolinos Convention or SFV Protocol 93

The 1993 Protocol supersedes the International Convention for the safety of Fishing Vessels (1997).

The Protocol applies to fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above. It contains safety requirements for the construction and equipment of new, decked, seagoing vessels, including those vessels also processing their catch.

The provisions include automatically controlled machinery spaces, improved life-saving appliances, immersion suits and thermal protective aids, satellite communication systems and other components of the global maritime distress and safety system.

The Protocol is not yet in force. A diplomatic conference in South Africa in October 2012 intends to facilitate its entry into force.

Lead agency: Ministry of Transport

Status:
Multilateral. Not yet in force. Adopted in April 1993 by the International Maritime Organization. A diplomatic conference in South Africa in October 2012 intends to facilitate its entry into force. New Zealand officials are in the early stages of considering potential accession.

Particular interest to Māori and other groups:
The convention applies to fishing vessels that are at least 24 metres in length. Should the initial assessment warrant further investigation, the Ministry of Transport will consult with relevant stakeholders.

Legislation required:
Not yet clear. Changes to the Maritime Transport Act, and possibly some rules and/or regulations, may be required.

Contact:
Tom Forster
Manager
Maritime and Freight Sector
Ministry of Transport
t.forster@transport.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 9020     Fax (04) 439 9004

14. International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995
Common name: STCW-F 95

The STCW-F Convention sets the certification and minimum training requirements for crews of seagoing fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above.

The Convention prescribes minimum standards relating to training, certification and watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, which countries are obliged to meet or exceed.

The Convention’s focus is on improving the safety of life at sea, and property at sea, and the protection of the marine environment by ensuring seagoing fishing vessel personnel are qualified and fit for their duties. STCW-F seeks to create a mandatory international regime for safety standards on fishing vessels. It covers training and certification standards for: skippers and watchkeepers on seagoing fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above; engineers on vessels of more than 750kW; and for crew in charge of radio communications. The Annex to the Convention includes requirements for basic safety training for all fishing vessel personnel.

STCW-F 1995 is set to enter into force on 29 September 2012.

Lead agency: Ministry of Transport

Status:
Multilateral. Not yet in force. Adopted in July 1995 by the International Maritime Organization, and due to enter into force in September 2012. New Zealand officials are in the early stages of considering potential accession.

Particular interest to Māori and other groups:
The Convention applies to crews of fishing vessels that are at least 24 metres in length. Should the initial assessment warrant further investigation, the Ministry of Transport will consult with relevant stakeholders.

Legislation required:
Not yet clear.

Contact:
Tom Forster
Manager
Maritime and Freight Sector
Ministry of Transport
t.forster@transport.govt.nz
Ph (04) 439 9020     Fax (04) 439 9004

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Page last updated: Monday, 30 July 2012 11:44 NZST