The Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation has entered into force on 23 May 2018. This legally binding agreement was signed last year by the eight members of the Arctic Council. The purpose of this agreement is “to increase effectiveness and efficiency in the development of scientific knowledge about the Arctic”, namely by facilitating access to “civilian research infrastructure and facilities and logistical services”, to the “Identified Geographic Areas” and to “scientific information”. The document calls for each party to designate a “competent national authority” as a point of contact to facilitate communication between and among parties. The text of the agreement may be found here. More information about the signature may be found here (USA), here (Canada) and here (Russian Federation).
Monthly Archives: May 2018
Arctic Council: Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation enters into force
The European Union is organizing the European Maritime Day, which will take place in Burgas, Bulgaria. This year’s edition will feature a debate on how to spur sustainable blue growth, generate investment and increase cooperation for an economic boom of the Black Sea region. It will also include a session on how to facilitate access to EU funds for Blue Growth and Sea-basin-cooperation projects. The event takes place on 31 May and 1 June 2018. The plenary sessions will be webstreamed. The programme of the event may be found here.
The European Commission published its Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, 28 May 2018. The directive would apply to single-use plastic products listed in the Annex and to fishing gear containing plastic (art. 2). In general, see pp. 4-5 and 8 for the position of the proposal within wider fisheries, plastic marine litter, marine pollution and oceans governance law and policy of the EU. Preamble, para. 4 addresses the multilateral framework.
The T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Law Faculty of the University of Basel shall host a panel-discussion, entitled, From Strasbourg to Hamburg: the Human Dimension of the Law of the Sea, on the 11 June 2018 at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut (The Hague, Netherlands).
For more information and registration see here.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is hosting a couple of events on port security. The 11 June 2018 special event on ports will maintain the focus of IMO’s World Maritime Day theme for 2017 “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” through a programme of presentations (the outline of the sessions is available here). This will be followed by a symposium on port security operations (12-13 June), co-hosted with the International Organization of Airport & Seaport Police (INTERPORTPOLICE). This second event will focus on the exchange of best practices on port security and law enforcement. More information about these events may be found in the IMO Circular Letter No. 3815 and also here (IMO) or here (INTERPORTPOLICE).
The special legal regime for the protection and conservation of marine turtles has entered into force on 22 May 2018. It aims to provide legal protection to any turtle that frequents the maritime zones under the jurisdiction of Cape Verde, as well as derived products. This regime establishes, among other “crimes against the marine turtles” (Art. 20), that penalties shall apply to the consumption of meat, eggs or any remains or parts of marine turtle. The law (Decreto-Legislativo n.º 1/2018), may be found here (in Portuguese).
The World Maritime University (WMU) and the University of Nantes, will jointly hold a scientific seminar on the theme: Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Ocean – Supportive Technologies and Future Trends. The two-day seminar will include presentations and discussions on Marine Spatial Planning & Blue Growth, Safety Aspects of Exploitation Activities, and issues surrounding Shipping in the Era of Digitalisation including a session on Autonomous Vessels. The seminar is open to professionals and students working in the field of sustainable ocean management, marine spatial planning and maritime technologies. Simultaneous interpretation into French and English will be available. The event takes place at the WMU in Malmö, Sweden, from 29-30 August 2018. The program is available here.
The Government of Japan has approved (15 May 2018) a new Basic Plan on Ocean Policy. Since its first adoption in 2008 (English version here), the ocean policy has been reviewed every five years. In this third stage of the document, reference is made for the first time to an Arctic policy and targets are defined for Japan to become “a new oceanic state”. The “Maritime Domain Awareness” capacity is strengthened and this item receives an independent treatment. In the item “Comprehensive Maritime Security”, the document refers to the strengthening of the “Coast Guard System”. The document also highlights other goals, such as methane hydrate development, the establishment of rules on the use of maritime zones and the improvement of the accuracy of resource evaluation. The official announcement of the approval of this document may be found here (video in Japanese). All the relevant documents of the approval process are here (in Japanese). The outline of the plan is here (in English).
The High Seas Alliance and its partners shall host a conference, entitled, La Haute Mer: Quels Enjeux?/High Seas: What’s at Stake?, 21 June 2018, at the Maison des Océans (Paris, France). The event will have simultaneous translation in French and English.
For the programme and registration, see here.
The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a Portuguese tonnage tax scheme. Under this scheme, maritime transport companies will pay taxes on the basis of the net tonnage (i.e. the size of the shipping fleet) operated in maritime transport activities rather than on the basis of their taxable profits. In addition, for certain more environmentally-friendly ships, companies can achieve an additional reduction of 10% to 20% of the tax base under the tonnage tax scheme. Moreover, a seafarer scheme exempts seafarers employed on vessels that are eligible under the tonnage tax scheme from paying personal income tax. It also allows them to pay reduced rates of contribution for social insurance. Both the tonnage tax and seafarer schemes will remain in force for ten years. More information is available here. The proposal of the scheme (Proposta de Lei 111/XIII) may be found here (in Portuguese).
Conference: Presente e futuro delle aree oltre la giurisdizione nazionale – aspetti sostanziali e procedurali
The Interest Group on the Law of the Sea of the Italian Society of International Law and European Union Law (SIDI) shall host a panel discussion, entitled, Presente e futuro delle aree oltre la giurisdizione nazionale: aspetti sostanziali e procedurali, 6 June 2018, at the University of Ferrara (Ferrara, Italy).
For more information, see the programme.
The Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) agreed to issue a “Letter of Warning”, starting 1 January 2019, to ensure compliance with the new maximum limits for sulphur in ships fuel oil set by the IMO and which will enter into force a year after that date. The approval of this “information campaign” occurred at the organization’s 51st Committee meeting (7-11 May 2018) where the organization also approved the questionnaire for the Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on MARPOL Annex VI to be carried out jointly with the Tokyo MoU. More information on the outcome of this meeting may be found here.
The Norwegian Parliament (Storting) has called on the government to implement requirements and regulations for emissions from cruise ships and other maritime traffic in tourist resorts as well as other suitable means to ensure phasing-in of low-and-zero emissions solutions in the shipping industry by 2030. This includes introducing a zero emissions threshold for ferry ships and ferries in the World Heritage fjords as soon as it is technically feasible, and no later than 2026. The decision is part of a broader set of recommendations from the Energy and Environment Committee on the climate strategy for 2030 to cut Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions. Those recommendations (3 May 2018) may be found here (in Norwegian).
The K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (JCLOS), Peace Palace Library and Le Club de Droit International shall host a book launch, entitled, Maritime Boundary Delimitation: The Case Law; Is it Consistent and Predictable?, 17 May 2018, at the Peace Palace Library (The Hague, The Netherlands). The Panel discussion will include Alex Oude Elferink and Yoshifumi Tanaka.
For more information and registration, see here.