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Merchant Shipping Act 1995

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[F1Chapter IIIE+W+S+N.I. COMPENSATION BY THE INTERNATIONAL HAZARDOUS AND NOXIOUS SUBSTANCES FUND (HNS FUND)

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Amendments (Textual)

E+W+S+N.I. Establishment of the HNS Fund

Article 13E+W+S+N.I.

1. The International Hazardous and Noxious Substances Fund (HNS Fund) is hereby established with the following aims:

(a) to provide compensation for damage in connection with the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances by sea, to the extent that the protection afforded by chapter II is inadequate or not available; and

(b) to give effect to the related tasks set out in article 15.

2. The HNS Fund shall in each State Party be recognized as a legal person capable under the laws of that State of assuming rights and obligations and of being a party in legal proceedings before the courts of that State. Each State Party shall recognize the Director as the legal representative of the HNS Fund.

E+W+S+N.I. Compensation

Article 14E+W+S+N.I.

1. For the purpose of fulfilling its function under article 13, paragraph 1(a), the HNS Fund shall pay compensation to any person suffering damage if such person has been unable to obtain full and adequate compensation for the damage under the terms of chapter II:

(a) because no liability for the damage arises under chapter II;

(b) because the owner liable for the damage under chapter II is financially incapable of meeting the obligations under this Convention in full and any financial security that may be provided under chapter II does not cover or is insufficient to satisfy the claims for compensation for damage; an owner being treated as financially incapable of meeting these obligations and a financial security being treated as insufficient if the person suffering the damage has been unable to obtain full satisfaction of the amount of compensation due under chapter II after having taken all reasonable steps to pursue the available legal remedies;

(c) because the damage exceeds the owner’s liability under the terms of chapter II.

2. Expenses reasonably incurred or sacrifices reasonably made by the owner voluntarily to prevent or minimize damage shall be treated as damage for the purposes of this article.

3. The HNS Fund shall incur no obligation under the preceding paragraphs if:

(a) it proves that the damage resulted from an act of war, hostilities, civil war or insurrection or was caused by hazardous and noxious substances which had escaped or been discharged from a warship or other ship owned or operated by a State and used, at the time of the incident, only on Government non-commercial service; or

(b) the claimant cannot prove that there is a reasonable probability that the damage resulted from an incident involving one or more ships.

4. If the HNS Fund proves that the damage resulted wholly or partly either from an act or omission done with intent to cause damage by the person who suffered the damage or from the negligence of that person, the HNS Fund may be exonerated wholly or partially from its obligation to pay compensation to such person. The HNS Fund shall in any event be exonerated to the extent that the owner may have been exonerated under article 7, paragraph 3. However, there shall be no such exoneration of the HNS Fund with regard to preventive measures.

5.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (b), the aggregate amount of compensation payable by the HNS Fund under this article shall in respect of any one incident be limited, so that the total sum of that amount and any amount of compensation actually paid under chapter II for damage within the scope of application of this Convention as defined in article 3 shall not exceed 250 million units of account.

(b) The aggregate amount of compensation payable by the HNS Fund under this article for damage resulting from a natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character shall not exceed 250 million units of account.

(c) Interest accrued on a fund constituted in accordance with article 9, paragraph 3, if any, shall not be taken into account for the computation of the maximum compensation payable by the HNS Fund under this article.

(d) The amounts mentioned in this article shall be converted into national currency on the basis of the value of that currency with reference to the Special Drawing Right on the date of the decision of the Assembly of the HNS Fund as to the first date of payment of compensation.

6. Where the amount of established claims against the HNS Fund exceeds the aggregate amount of compensation payable under paragraph 5, the amount available shall be distributed in such a manner that the proportion between any established claim and the amount of compensation actually recovered by the claimant under this Convention shall be the same for all claimants

Claims in respect of death or personal injury shall have priority over other claims, however, save to the extent that the aggregate of such claims exceeds two-thirds of the total amount established in accordance with paragraph 5.

7. The Assembly of the HNS Fund may decide that, in exceptional cases, compensation in accordance with this Convention can be paid even if the owner has not constituted a fund in accordance with chapter II. In such cases paragraph 5(d) applies accordingly.

E+W+S+N.I. Related tasks of the HNS Fund

Article 15E+W+S+N.I.

For the purpose of fulfilling its function under article 13, paragraph 1(a), the HNS Fund shall have the following tasks:

(a) to consider claims made against the HNS Fund;

(b) to prepare an estimate in the form of a budget for each calendar year of:

Expenditure:

(i) costs and expenses of the administration of the HNS Fund in the relevant year and any deficit from operations in the preceding years; and

(ii) payments to be made by the HNS Fund in the relevant year;

Income:

(iii) surplus funds from operations in preceding years, including any interest;

(iv) initial contributions to be paid in the course of the year;

(v) annual contributions if required to balance the budget; and

(vi) any other income;

(c) to use at the request of a State Party its good offices as necessary to assist that State to secure promptly such personnel, material and services as are necessary to enable the State to take measures to prevent or mitigate damage arising from an incident in respect of which the HNS Fund may be called upon to pay compensation under this Convention; and

(d) to provide, on conditions laid down in the internal regulations, credit facilities with a view to the taking of preventive measures against damage arising from a particular incident in respect of which the HNS Fund may be called upon to pay compensation under this Convention.

E+W+S+N.I. General provisions on contributions

Article 16E+W+S+N.I.

1. The HNS Fund shall have a general account, which shall be divided into sectors.

2. The HNS Fund shall, subject to article 19, paragraphs 3 and 4, also have separate accounts in respect of:

(a) oil as defined in article 1, paragraph 5(a)(i) (oil account);

(b) liquefied natural gases of light hydrocarbons with methane as the main constituent (LNG) (LNG account); and

(c) liquefied petroleum gases of light hydrocarbons with propane and butane as the main constituents (LPG) (LPG account).

3. There shall be initial contributions and, as required, annual contributions to the HNS Fund.

4. Contributions to the HNS Fund shall be made into the general account in accordance with article 18, to separate accounts in accordance with article 19 and to either the general account or separate accounts in accordance with article 20 or article 21, paragraph 5. Subject to article 19, paragraph 6, the general account shall be available to compensate damage caused by hazardous and noxious substances covered by that account, and a separate account shall be available to compensate damage caused by a hazardous and noxious substance covered by that account.

5. For the purposes of article 18, article 19, paragraph 1(a)(i), paragraph 1(a)(ii) and paragraph 1(c), article 20 and article 21, paragraph 5, where the quantity of a given type of contributing cargo received in the territory of a State Party by any person in a calendar year when aggregated with the quantities of the same type of cargo received in the same State Party in that year by any associated person or persons exceeds the limit specified in the respective subparagraphs, such a person shall pay contributions in respect of the actual quantity received by that person notwithstanding that that quantity did not exceed the respective limit.

6. “Associated person” means any subsidiary or commonly controlled entity. The question whether a person comes within this definition shall be determined by the national law of the State concerned.

E+W+S+N.I. General provisions on annual contributions

Article 17E+W+S+N.I.

1. Annual contributions to the general account and to each separate account shall be levied only as required to make payments by the account in question.

2. Annual contributions payable pursuant to articles 18, 19 and article 21, paragraph 5 shall be determined by the Assembly and shall be calculated in accordance with those articles on the basis of the units of contributing cargo received or, in respect of cargoes referred to in article 19, paragraph 1(b), discharged during the preceding calendar year or such other year as the Assembly may decide.

3. The Assembly shall decide the total amount of annual contributions to be levied to the general account and to each separate account. Following that decision the Director shall, in respect of each State Party, calculate for each person liable to pay contributions in accordance with article 18, article 19, paragraph 1 and article 21, paragraph 5, the amount of that person’s annual contribution to each account, on the basis of a fixed sum for each unit of contributing cargo reported in respect of the person during the preceding calendar year or such other year as the Assembly may decide. For the general account, the above-mentioned fixed sum per unit of contributing cargo for each sector shall be calculated pursuant to the regulations contained in Annex II to this Convention. For each separate account, the fixed sum per unit of contributing cargo referred to above shall be calculated by dividing the total annual contribution to be levied to that account by the total quantity of cargo contributing to that account.

4. The Assembly may also levy annual contributions for administrative costs and decide on the distribution of such costs between the sectors of the general account and the separate accounts.

5. The Assembly shall also decide on the distribution between the relevant accounts and sectors of amounts paid in compensation for damage caused by two or more substances which fall within different accounts or sectors, on the basis of an estimate of the extent to which each of the substances involved contributed to the damage.

E+W+S+N.I. Annual contributions to the general account

Article 18E+W+S+N.I.

1. Subject to article 16, paragraph 5, annual contributions to the general account shall be made in respect of each State Party by any person who was the receiver in that State in the preceding calendar year, or such other year as the Assembly may decide, of aggregate quantities exceeding 20,000 tonnes of contributing cargo, other than substances referred to in article 19, paragraph 1, which fall within the following sectors:

(a) solid bulk materials referred to in article 1, paragraph 5(a)(vii);

(b) substances referred to in paragraph 2; and

(c) other substances.

2. Annual contributions shall also be payable to the general account by persons who would have been liable to pay contributions to a separate account in accordance with article 19, paragraph 1 had its operation not been postponed or suspended in accordance with article 19. Each separate account the operation of which has been postponed or suspended under article 19 shall form a separate sector within the general account.

E+W+S+N.I. Annual contributions to separate accounts

Article 19E+W+S+N.I.

1. Subject to article 16, paragraph 5, annual contributions to separate accounts shall be made in respect of each State Party:

(a) in the case of the oil account,

(i) by any person who has received in that State in the preceding calendar year, or such other year as the Assembly may decide, total quantities exceeding 150,000 tonnes of contributing oil as defined in article 1, paragraph 3 of the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1971, as amended, and who is or would be liable to pay contributions to the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund in accordance with article 10 of that Convention; and

(ii) by any person who was the receiver in that State in the preceding calendar year, or such other year as the Assembly may decide, of total quantities exceeding 20,000 tonnes of other oils carried in bulk listed in appendix I of Annex I to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, as amended;

(b) in the case of the LNG account, by any person who in the preceding calendar year, or such other year as the Assembly may decide, immediately prior to its discharge, held title to an LNG cargo discharged in a port or terminal of that State;

(c) in the case of the LPG account, by any person who in the preceding calendar year, or such other year as the Assembly may decide, was the receiver in that State of total quantities exceeding 20,000 tonnes of LPG.

2. Subject to paragraph 3, the separate accounts referred to in paragraph 1 above shall become effective at the same time as the general account.

3. The initial operation of a separate account referred to in article 16, paragraph 2 shall be postponed until such time as the quantities of contributing cargo in respect of that account during the preceding calendar year, or such other year as the Assembly may decide, exceed the following levels:

(a) 350 million tonnes of contributing cargo in respect of the oil account;

(b) 20 million tonnes of contributing cargo in respect of the LNG account; and

(c) 15 million tonnes of contributing cargo in respect of the LPG account.

4. The Assembly may suspend the operation of a separate account if:

(a) the quantities of contributing cargo in respect of that account during the preceding calendar year fall below the respective level specified in paragraph 3; or

(b) when six months have elapsed from the date when the contributions were due, the total unpaid contributions to that account exceed ten per cent of the most recent levy to that account in accordance with paragraph 1.

5. The Assembly may reinstate the operation of a separate account which has been suspended in accordance with paragraph 4.

6. Any person who would be liable to pay contributions to a separate account the operation of which has been postponed in accordance with paragraph 3 or suspended in accordance with paragraph 4, shall pay into the general account the contributions due by that person in respect of that separate account. For the purpose of calculating future contributions, the postponed or suspended separate account shall form a new sector in the general account and shall be subject to the HNS points system defined in Annex II.

E+W+S+N.I. Initial contributions

Article 20E+W+S+N.I.

1. In respect of each State Party, initial contributions shall be made of an amount which shall for each person liable to pay contributions in accordance with article 16, paragraph 5, articles 18, 19 and article 21, paragraph 5 be calculated on the basis of a fixed sum, equal for the general account and each separate account, for each unit of contributing cargo received or, in the case of LNG, discharged in that State, during the calendar year preceding that in which this Convention enters into force for that State.

2. The fixed sum and the units for the different sectors within the general account as well as for each separate account referred to in paragraph 1 shall be determined by the Assembly.

3. Initial contributions shall be paid within three months following the date on which the HNS Fund issues invoices in respect of each State Party to persons liable to pay contributions in accordance with paragraph 1.

E+W+S+N.I. Reports

Article 21E+W+S+N.I.

1. Each State Party shall ensure that any person liable to pay contributions in accordance with articles 18, 19 or paragraph 5 of this article appears on a list to be established and kept up to date by the Director in accordance with the provisions of this article.

2. For the purposes set out in paragraph 1, each State Party shall communicate to the Director, at a time and in the manner to be prescribed in the internal regulations of the HNS Fund, the name and address of any person who in respect of the State is liable to pay contributions in accordance with articles 18, 19 or paragraph 5 of this article, as well as data on the relevant quantities of contributing cargo for which such a person is liable to contribute in respect of the preceding calendar year.

3. For the purposes of ascertaining who are, at any given time, the persons liable to pay contributions in accordance with articles 18, 19 or paragraph 5 of this article and of establishing, where applicable, the quantities of cargo to be taken into account for any such person when determining the amount of the contribution, the list shall beprima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

4. Where a State Party does not fulfil its obligations to communicate to the Director the information referred to in paragraph 2 and this results in a financial loss for the HNS Fund, that State Party shall be liable to compensate the HNS Fund for such loss. The Assembly shall, on the recommendation of the Director, decide whether such compensation shall be payable by a State Party.

5. In respect of contributing cargo carried from one port or terminal of a State Party to another port or terminal located in the same State and discharged there, States Parties shall have the option of submitting to the HNS Fund a report with an annual aggregate quantity for each account covering all receipts of contributing cargo, including any quantities in respect of which contributions are payable pursuant to article 16, paragraph 5. The State Party shall, at the time of reporting, either:

(a) notify the HNS Fund that that State will pay the aggregate amount for each account in respect of the relevant year in one lump sum to the HNS Fund; or

(b) instruct the HNS Fund to levy the aggregate amount for each account by invoicing individual receivers or, in the case of LNG, the title holder who discharges within the jurisdiction of that State Party, for the amount payable by each of them. These persons shall be identified in accordance with the national law of the State concerned.

E+W+S+N.I. Non-payment of contributions

Article 22E+W+S+N.I.

1. The amount of any contribution due under articles 18, 19, 20 or article 21, paragraph 5 and which is in arrears shall bear interest at a rate which shall be determined in accordance with the internal regulations of the HNS Fund, provided that different rates may be fixed for different circumstances.

2. Where a person who is liable to pay contributions in accordance with articles 18, 19, 20 or article 21, paragraph 5 does not fulfil the obligations in respect of any such contribution or any part thereof and is in arrears, the Director shall take all appropriate action, including court action, against such a person on behalf of the HNS Fund with a view to the recovery of the amount due. However, where the defaulting contributor is manifestly insolvent or the circumstances otherwise so warrant, the Assembly may, upon recommendation of the Director, decide that no action shall be taken or continued against the contributor.

E+W+S+N.I. Optional liability of States Parties for the payment of contributions

Article 23E+W+S+N.I.

1. Without prejudice to article 21, paragraph 5, a State Party may at the time when it deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession or at any time thereafter declare that it assumes responsibility for obligations imposed by this Convention on any person liable to pay contributions in accordance with articles 18, 19, 20 or article 21, paragraph 5 in respect of hazardous and noxious substances received or discharged in the territory of that State. Such a declaration shall be made in writing and shall specify which obligations are assumed.

2. Where a declaration under paragraph 1 is made prior to the entry into force of this Convention in accordance with article 46, it shall be deposited with the Secretary-General who shall after the entry into force of this Convention communicate the declaration to the Director.

3. A declaration under paragraph 1 which is made after the entry into force of this Convention shall be deposited with the Director.

4. A declaration made in accordance with this article may be withdrawn by the relevant State giving notice thereof in writing to the Director. Such a notification shall take effect three months after the Director’s receipt thereof.

5. Any State which is bound by a declaration made under this article shall, in any proceedings brought against it before a competent court in respect of any obligation specified in the declaration, waive any immunity that it would otherwise be entitled to invoke.

E+W+S+N.I. Organization and administration

Article 24E+W+S+N.I.

The HNS Fund shall have an Assembly and a Secretariat headed by the Director.

E+W+S+N.I. Assembly

Article 25E+W+S+N.I.

The Assembly shall consist of all States Parties to this Convention.

Article 26E+W+S+N.I.

The functions of the Assembly shall be:

(a) to elect at each regular session its President and two Vice-Presidents who shall hold office until the next regular session;

(b) to determine its own rules of procedure, subject to the provisions of this Convention;

(c) to develop, apply and keep under review internal and financial regulations relating to the aim of the HNS Fund as described in article 13, paragraph 1(a), and the related tasks of the HNS Fund listed in article 15;

(d) to appoint the Director and make provisions for the appointment of such other personnel as may be necessary and determine the terms and conditions of service of the Director and other personnel;

(e) to adopt the annual budget prepared in accordance with article 15(b);

(f) to consider and approve as necessary any recommendation of the Director regarding the scope of definition of contributing cargo;

(g) to appoint auditors and approve the accounts of the HNS Fund;

(h) to approve settlements of claims against the HNS Fund, to take decisions in respect of the distribution among claimants of the available amount of compensation in accordance with article 14 and to determine the terms and conditions according to which provisional payments in respect of claims shall be made with a view to ensuring that victims of damage are compensated as promptly as possible;

(i) to establish a Committee on Claims for Compensation with at least 7 and not more than 15 members and any temporary or permanent subsidiary body it may consider to be necessary, to define its terms of reference and to give it the authority needed to perform the functions entrusted to it; when appointing the members of such body, the Assembly shall endeavour to secure an equitable geographical distribution of members and to ensure that the States Parties are appropriately represented; the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly may be applied,mutatis mutandis, for the work of such subsidiary body;

(j) to determine which States not party to this Convention, which Associate Members of the Organization and which intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations shall be admitted to take part, without voting rights, in meetings of the Assembly and subsidiary bodies;

(k) to give instructions concerning the administration of the HNS Fund to the Director and subsidiary bodies;

(l) to supervise the proper execution of this Convention and of its own decisions;

(m) to review every five years the implementation of this Convention with particular reference to the performance of the system for the calculation of levies and the contribution mechanism for domestic trade; and

(n) to perform such other functions as are allocated to it under this Convention or are otherwise necessary for the proper operation of the HNS Fund.

Article 27E+W+S+N.I.

1. Regular sessions of the Assembly shall take place once every calendar year upon convocation by the Director.

2. Extraordinary sessions of the Assembly shall be convened by the Director at the request of at least one-third of the members of the Assembly and may be convened on the Director’s own initiative after consultation with the President of the Assembly. The Director shall give members at least thirty days’ notice of such sessions.

Article 28E+W+S+N.I.

A majority of the members of the Assembly shall constitute a quorum for its meetings.

E+W+S+N.I. Secretariat

Article 29E+W+S+N.I.

1. The Secretariat shall comprise the Director and such staff as the administration of the HNS Fund may require.

2. The Director shall be the legal representative of the HNS Fund.

Article 30E+W+S+N.I.

1. The Director shall be the chief administrative officer of the HNS Fund.

Subject to the instructions given by the Assembly, the Director shall perform those functions which are assigned to the Director by this Convention, the internal regulations of the HNS Fund and the Assembly.

2. The Director shall in particular:

(a) appoint the personnel required for the administration of the HNS Fund;

(b) take all appropriate measures with a view to the proper administration of the assets of the HNS Fund;

(c) collect the contributions due under this Convention while observing in particular the provisions of article 22, paragraph 2;

(d) to the extent necessary to deal with claims against the HNS Fund and to carry out the other functions of the HNS Fund, employ the services of legal, financial and other experts;

(e) take all appropriate measures for dealing with claims against the HNS Fund, within the limits and on conditions to be laid down in the internal regulations of the HNS Fund, including the final settlement of claims without the prior approval of the Assembly where these regulations so provide;

(f) prepare and submit to the Assembly the financial statements and budget estimates for each calendar year;

(g) prepare, in consultation with the President of the Assembly, and publish a report on the activities of the HNS Fund during the previous calendar year; and

(h) prepare, collect and circulate the documents and information which may be required for the work of the Assembly and subsidiary bodies.

Article 31E+W+S+N.I.

In the performance of their duties the Director and the staff and experts appointed by the Director shall not seek or receive instructions from any Government or from any authority external to the HNS Fund. They shall refrain from any action which might adversely reflect on their position as international officials. Each State Party on its part undertakes to respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Director and the staff and experts appointed by the Director, and not to seek to influence them in the discharge of their duties.

E+W+S+N.I. Finances

Article 32E+W+S+N.I.

1. Each State Party shall bear the salary, travel and other expenses of its own delegation to the Assembly and of its representatives on subsidiary bodies.

2. Any other expenses incurred in the operation of the HNS Fund shall be borne by the HNS Fund.

E+W+S+N.I. Voting

Article 33E+W+S+N.I.

The following provisions shall apply to voting in the Assembly:

(a) each member shall have one vote;

(b) except as otherwise provided in article 34, decisions of the Assembly shall be made by a majority vote of the members present and voting;

(c) decisions where a two-thirds majority is required shall be a two-thirds majority vote of members present; and

(d) for the purpose of this article the phrase “members present” means “members present at the meeting at the time of the vote”, and the phrase “members present and voting” means “members present and casting an affirmative or negative vote”. Members who abstain from voting shall be considered as not voting.

Article 34E+W+S+N.I.

The following decisions of the Assembly shall require a two-thirds majority:

(a) a decision under article 19, paragraphs 4 or 5 to suspend or reinstate the operation of a separate account;

(b) a decision under article 22, paragraph 2, not to take or continue action against a contributor;

(c) the appointment of the Director under article 26(d);

(d) the establishment of subsidiary bodies, under article 26(i), and matters relating to such establishment; and

(e) a decision under article 51, paragraph 1, that this Convention shall continue to be in force.

E+W+S+N.I. Tax exemptions and currency regulations

Article 35E+W+S+N.I.

1. The HNS Fund, its assets, income, including contributions, and other property necessary for the exercise of its functions as described in article 13, paragraph 1, shall enjoy in all States Parties exemption from all direct taxation.

2. When the HNS Fund makes substantial purchases of movable or immovable property, or of services which are necessary for the exercise of its official activities in order to achieve its aims as set out in article 13, paragraph 1, the cost of which include indirect taxes or sales taxes, the Governments of the States Parties shall take, whenever possible, appropriate measures for the remission or refund of the amount of such duties and taxes. Goods thus acquired shall not be sold against payment or given away free of charge unless it is done according to conditions approved by the Government of the State having granted or supported the remission or refund.

3. No exemption shall be accorded in the case of duties, taxes or dues which merely constitute payment for public utility services.

4. The HNS Fund shall enjoy exemption from all customs duties, taxes and other related taxes on articles imported or exported by it or on its behalf for its official use. Articles thus imported shall not be transferred either for consideration or gratis on the territory of the country into which they have been imported except on conditions agreed by the Government of that country.

5. Persons contributing to the HNS Fund as well as victims and owners receiving compensation from the HNS Fund shall be subject to the fiscal legislation of the State where they are taxable, no special exemption or other benefit being conferred on them in this respect.

6. Notwithstanding existing or future regulations concerning currency or transfers, States Parties shall authorize the transfer and payment of any contribution to the HNS Fund and of any compensation paid by the HNS Fund without any restriction.

E+W+S+N.I. Confidentiality of information

Article 36E+W+S+N.I.

Information relating to individual contributors supplied for the purpose of this Convention shall not be divulged outside the HNS Fund except in so far as it may be strictly necessary to enable the HNS Fund to carry out its functions including the bringing and defending of legal proceedings.]

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