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International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996

Document type
Field of application
May 3, 1996
IUCN (ID: TRE-001245)
Title abbreviation


Title (French)

Convention internationale de 1996 sur la responsabilité et l'indemnisation pour les dommages lies au transport par mer de substances nocives et potentiellement dangereuses

Place of adoption
IMO International Maritime Organization
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
Sea, Waste & hazardous substances
Transport/storage Data collection/reporting Vessel ownership Radioactive waste Legal proceedings/administrative proceedings Resource/damage valuation Special fund Oil Hazardous waste Enforcement/compliance Liability/compensation Jurisdictional competence Hazardous substances

Objectives: To adopt uniform international rules and procedures for determining questions of liability and compensation in respect of damage caused by incidents in connection with the carriage by sea of hazardous and noxious substances. Summary of provisions: Chapter I defines the terms covered by the Convention and the scope of its application, in respect of damage, claims, and ships. Chapter II concerns liability of the owner of the ship carrying hazardous and noxious substances who is entitled to limit his liability in accordance with art. 9, and is to constitute a fund for the total sum representing the limit of his liability, to be distributed amongst the claimants. Furthermore, the owner is to maintain insurance or other financial security to cover liability for damage under this Convention (art. 12), and is to be issued a compulsory insurance certificate to be allowed to trade under the flag of a Party. Chapter III provides for compensation by the International Hazardous and Noxious Substances Fund (HNS Fund) in cases where persons suffering damage have been unable to obtain full and adequate compensation under the terms of chapter II. Compulsory contributions to the HNS Fund are to be made by shipping industries and people with cargo interests, but State Parties may declare that they assume responsibility for obligations imposed on such persons (art. 23). When such persons do not fulfil the obligations in respect of any such contribution or any part thereof and are in arrears, action, including court action, may be taken against them on behalf of the HNS Fund with a view to recovery of the amount due (art. 22). Chapter IV deals with claims and actions, including prescription of the right to compensation, jurisdiction in respect of action against the owner or against the HNS Fund, and recognition and enforcement of judgements. Institutional mechanisms: The International Hazardous and Noxious Substances Fund (HNS Fund) is established (art. 13). It has an Assembly and a Secretariat, headed by a Director (art. 24).

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Countries Entry into force Ratification * Simple signature
Angola - -
Canada - -
Cyprus - -
Denmark - -
Ethiopia - -
Finland - -
Germany - -
Hungary - -
Liberia - -
Lithuania - -
Morocco - -
Netherlands - -
Norway - -
Russian Federation - -
Saint Kitts and Nevis - -
Samoa - -
Sierra Leone - -
Slovenia - -
Sweden - -
Syrian Arab Republic - -
Tonga - -
United Kingdom - -

* [1] Ratification [2] Accession/approbation [3] Acceptance/approval [4] Succession [5] Consent to be bound [6] Definite signature

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