The Department of Transport briefed the Committee on the International Convention on Control of Anti-fouling Systems on Ships. This Convention was adopted in 2001 and now required ratification by Parliament. The Convention covered the control of anti-fouling systems, which were surface coatings, paints or other treatments of ships to prevent attachment of unwanted organisms. Certain systems posed a risk of toxicity and other ecological and economic impacts. The Convention required prohibition or restriction on application of these anti-fouling systems, provided a list of controlled substances, required signatory states to ensure that waste from the application or removal of systems was dealt with in appropriate ways, and required such states also to ensure surveys on their own ships. Any ships in violation of the Convention could be warned, detained, dismissed or excluded from a country’s ports. The Convention required new legislation to be developed in
The Department then briefed the Committee on its request for ratification of the 1991 FAL Amendments to the Convention on the International Maritime Organisation. In essence, this related to the institutionalisation of the Facilitation Committee of the International Maritime Organisation, as this Committee had until now been functioning as a subsidiary body. The Committee concentrated on ensuring proper functioning of the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic. The Department recommended acceptance of the 1991 amendments, which were in the national interest. The amendments were really of a formal nature. The South African Maritime Safety Authority was already carrying out the inspections that would be required by ratification. Members questioned the reason for the late request to ratify.
The Committee considered and adopted its Annual Report for 2007.
International Convention on Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling systems on Ships (CHAF): Department of Transport (DOT) Briefing
Ms Nosipho Sobekwa, Chief Director: Maritime Transport Regulation, Department of Transport, gave a briefing on the International Convention on Control of Anti-fouling Systems on Ships. Her presentation briefly explained the history of how the Convention was adopted in 2001. She went on to define that an anti-fouling system was a coating, paint, surface treatment, surface or device used on a ship to control or prevent attachment of unwanted organisms. However, certain systems posed a risk of toxicity and other impacts on ecologically and economically important maritime organisms. These could also cause harm to human health as a result of consuming affected seafood.
The Convention therefore sought to prohibit or restrict application or use of such harmful anti-fouling systems, including while ships were in port. The Convention provided a list of organotin compounds which acted as biocides and which were not to be used. She explained that the Convention required signatory states to take appropriate measures to ensure that wastes from the application or removal of such systems were dealt with and disposed of in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Parties to the convention were obliged to ensure that their own ships were surveyed and certified, and the Convention provided for inspection, the extent and nature of which was set out. Sanctions must be established for violating the agreement under the signatory country’s law. Any ship in violation of the Convention may be warned, detained, dismissed or excluded from a country’s ports.
Ms Sobekwa noted that new legislation would need to be developed in
Mr B Mashile (ANC) sought clarity on what Ms Sobekwa meant by there being no cost in training surveyors and enacting legislation. Secondly, he asked for further clarity on the use of the phrase “unduly delayed or detained “and asked who determined that the ship was unduly detained.
Ms Sobekwa clarified that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) usually provided free training for member states, thus ensuring international sponsorship so that the quality of training was standard across all countries. In addition to this IMO also sent its own consultants to member states to regularly check the ships. Hence the cost of training surveyors to the South African government would be minimal as its training efforts would merely supplement the efforts of IMO.
Ms Sobekwa noted that the Convention provided that when a ship was unduly detained or delayed it would be entitled to compensation for any loss or damage. ”Unduly delayed” would be ascertained by the authority and the land laws, and common law, so a decision on whether there had been such detention would be heavily dependant on the circumstances. She noted that if a ship had been unduly detained or delayed the money used for compensation would come from the Maritime Fund.
A Member wondered if the system of paying compensation would act as a deterrent to proper inspections.
Ms Sobekwa responded that a ship did not have to be physically present in order for the test to be carried out. Samples could be taken and when results came out the ship could be detained at the next port or harbor.
Ms Sobekwa noted that the terms of the Convention could not be changed, but that the Committee would need to consider ratification, and how the Convention could be enacted into local legislation, and issues around implementation.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee would formally consider ratification of the Convention on 20 February.
Ratification of 1991 FAL Amendments to the Convention on the International Maritime Organisation (1948) (IMO Convention).
Ms Karen Naidoo, Director: Maritime Industry Development, Multilaterals and Environment, Department of Transport, noted that the IMO was a specialised agency of the United Nations, with five main committees.
Ms Naidoo noted that the main objectives of the FAL Convention were to prevent unnecessary delays in maritime traffic, to assist cooperation between governments, to secure uniformity wherever possible and to reduce to eight the number of declarations that could be required by public authorities. The Facilitation Committee concentrated on ensuring proper functioning of the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic. The Annexure to this Convention contained standards and recommended practices. The Department noted that
Acceptance would require the port authority to inspect foreign ships to verify that the condition of the ship and its manning and operation were in compliance with international rules. This was already being done by the South African Maritime Safety Authority. If the 1991 were to be ratified, then the Department would merely need to deposit the instrument of ratification with the IMO Secretary General and participate at a facilitation committee meeting.
Mr S Farrow (DA) asked what the reason was for the late ratification.
Ms Naidoo responded that this was mainly due to lack of resources and staff capacity. Her office only became staffed last year, thus there would be a surge of conventions that would need ratification.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee would consider the ratification on 20 February.
Committee’s Annual Report 2007: Adoption
The Portfolio Committee on Transport’s Annual Report 2007 was adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Committee programme First Term 2008
- Explanatory Memorandum of Ratification of International Convention on Control of Harmful Anti¬fouling Systems on Ships
- Explanatory Memorandum of the Proposed Acceptance of the 1991 (FAL)
- Ratification of the 1991 FAL amendments to Convention on International Maritime Organisation 1948
- Ratification: International Convention of Harmful Anti-fouling systems on ships 2005
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
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