Iceland/Norway/Denmark (The Faroe Islands): Three Maritime Delimitation Agreements Signed

On the 30 October 2019, three maritime delimitation agreements concerning the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in the southern part of the “Banana Hole” (North Atlantic) were signed, between Norway and Iceland, Norway and Denmark/The Faroe Islands and Iceland and Denmark/The Faroe Islands respectively. The Delimitation Agreements will enter into force when both parties to the respective Agreements have ratified the Agreement.

For further information see the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Danish). While the text of the Agreements is not yet published, it is stated by Norway to be in line with the previous 2006 Agreed Minutes where authors may also find a (preliminary and illustrative) 2006 map.

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Torremolinos Declaration and Torremolinos Statement on the 2012 Cape Town Agreement

On the 21 October 2019, during the Torremolinos Ministerial Conference on Fishing Vessel Safety and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, forty-eight states signed the Torremolinos Declaration. The Torremolinos Declaration expresses their determination to take action to ensure the entry-into-force criteria of the 2012 Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety are met by the target date of 11 October 2022. The Declaration is open for signature until 21 October 2020.

On the 21 October 2019 the accessions of the Cook Islands and Sao Tome and Principe to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement brings the total contracting parties to 13 states (not yet in force).

On the 23 October 2019 the Ministerial Conference adopted 2 resolutions, whereby Ministerial Conference Resolution 1 adopted the Torremolinos Statement on the Cape Town Agreement of 2012, relating to fishing vessel safety, and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This encourages states to sign the Torremolinos Declaration and become party to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement and and the 1995 STCW-F Convention.

For more information see the IMO pages here and here.


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India: ban on single use plastic on board ships imposed

The Government of India (Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai) has issued an Order on the prohibition of use of single use plastics on board ships. This ban is applicable to all Indian ships and to foreign ships in port or within Indian waters. The enforcement shall be undertaken on the basis of flag and port state capacity surveys, inspections and audits.

Surveyors carrying out port state inspection of foreign flag vessels are expected to ensure that single use plastics are not in use and are kept locked in a store during their stay in Indian ports and on their passage through the territorial waters of India. A foreign ship intending to enter an Indian port is required to make a log entry identifying “Single Use Plastic Items” on board the ship. No single use plastic items are to be discharged to port reception facilities at an Indian port. The Order further clarifies that no detention of foreign ships is to be enforced.

DGS Order No. 05 (16 October 2019) is available here.

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Conference: SEA of Solutions 2019

SEA circular will convene a conference, entitled, SEA of Solutions 2019: Partnership week for plastic pollution prevention, 11-14 November 2019 at the United Nations Conference Centre (Bangkok, Thailand).

For further information see here and the draft programme.

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ICJ: Amendments to the Rules of Court

On the 21 October 2019 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) adopted amendments to Articles 22, 23, 29, 76 and 79 of its Rules of Court (entry into force 21 October 2019). Of particular interest is the amendment to Article 76(1) to “clarify” the Court has the power to revoke or modify provisional measures on its own initiative:

1. At the request of a party or proprio motu, the Court may, at any time before the final judgment in the case, revoke or modify any decision concerning provisional measures if, in its opinion, some change in the situation justifies such revocation or modification.

The ICJ may, for example, prescribe provisional measures in a case submitted to it by way of Articles 287 and 290 of UNCLOS. For an example of previous requests on the basis of Article 41 of the ICJ Statute and (former) Article 76 of the Rules of Court see the submissions of both Costa Rica and Nicaragua in Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua); Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica), Order of 16 July 2013, Provisional Measures, I.C.J. Reports 2013, p. 230.

For further information see ICJ Press Release No. 2019/42 (21 October 2019).

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EMSA: guidance on ship inspections by port States published

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has published a new guidance on inspections of ships by the Port States in accordance with Regulation 1257/2013 on Ship Recycling (SRR). The aim of this EMSA guidance is to assist the Member States and their designated inspectors in their efforts to fulfil the requirements of SRR and Port State Control (PSC) Directive, in relation to inspections covering the respective requirements of these two instruments. It is a reference document that provides both technical information and procedural guidance thus contributing to harmonised implementation and enforcement of the provisions of the SRR and the PSC Directive. The Guidance is available here.

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Call for papers: EU contribution to the protection of biological resources in marine areas of international interest

The Spanish Association of International Law and International Relations Professors (AEPDIRI), together with the University of Córdoba, is accepting paper submissions for a conference entitled The European Union’s contribution to the protection of biological resources in marine areas of international interest.

The event shall have a special focus on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction. A first panel will address the protection of fishery resources in the exclusive economic zone, assessing whether the EEZ has served the purpose of preserving marine living resources. A second panel will examine the protection of fishery resources in the high seas from a regulatory and practical perspective. A third panel will focus on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including the UNCLOS instrument currently under negotiation. A fourth panel will study the environmental problems affecting the protection of biological resources in the polar areas.

The papers must be submitted before 8 December 2019. The event is set to happen in Córdoba, Spain, on 16-17 April 2020. The program is available here.

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