Subject: Athens convention correspondence group


Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 14:27:32 +0200




Dear Professor Røsæg,
Dear Erik.

I consulted your draft of 8 august 2006 for a Norwegian paper, developed as leader of the Athens correspondence group, to be introduced at LEG92 . I thank you for your continuing work. We are convinced that the new papers is a leap forward and that it offers the basis for a constructive discussion at the LEG92.

Please find the following remarks of the Belgian delegation to LEG92.

1) paragraph 6

We understand the concern to stress the need to make final decisions at LEG92 on basis of the arguments explained in paragraphs 4 to 7. We are however not sure it is the task of the IMO Legal Committee to assess the quality of private operators or to assess / predict the reaction of a market. Interesting to point out also is the fact that Marsh made so far an oral communication without written evidence. It would be advisable to stay as neutral as possible and not to be caught in the commercial strategy of a or some commercial actors. This could be detrimental for the IMO in the future.

We then believe the Correspondence Group means the following (in blue):
6  The basic argumentation for alternative solutions has not - or has not only - been that they have been better for passengers. The availability of such solutions in respect of terrorism related insurance as those outlined in document LEG 91/WP.3 have been questioned. There has, however, (long since) been statements available in the Correspondence Group that insurance solutions such as those outlined in document LEG 91/WP.3 would be found in the market. And at the 91st session, one (well reputed) London firm of brokers expressed confidence in being able to arrange such terrorism related insurance as foreseen in document LEG 91/WP.3.11 (Albeit) Some brokers have indicated that they will not make further attempts to arrange such insurance. However,  (there are more statements of) market availability of the insurance in respect of terrorism related claims is not to be excluded (than ever before in the history of the Legal Committee).
7 The London broker has confirmed they will submit insurance conditions to the Legal Committee for their consideration prior to LEG 92. However, there has never been a tradition in the Legal Committee to disclosure of what the commercially sensitive details (Also the P&I proposals do not disclose the exact premium, although P&I has submitted that they could disclose this information.  (Now that the legal framework has been established, it can be predicted with confidence that the market will meet the needs at an affordable cost.)
2) paragraph 14, The global limitation

we believe that there is a typographical error and that you refer to Art. 19 of the Athens Convention instead of article 18 :

14  Athens Convention Article (18) 19 reads :

3)  paragraph [1.4.] of the draft IMO guidelines for implementation of the Athens Convention

Keeping in mind the will to ensure a better cover for passengers and the willingness to keep an exposure that remains insurable as provided for within paragraph 16 of the explanatory note, it would not be advisable that the LLMC option to enhance limitations amounts be utilized in respect of terrorism related liabilities. Therefore  we suggest to modify the §1.4 of the Guidelines as following.
§1.4: The Government of ... undertakes to utilize Article 19 of the Convention to limit liability for any loss suffered as a result of the death of or personal injury to a passenger resulting from an act of war, terrorism or related perils, or from an act relating to an act of war, terrorism or related perils, or action to prevent an act of war, terrorism or related perils to SDR 175,000 - multiplied by the number of passengers which the ship is authorized to carry according to the ship's certificate - until a proposal for enhancement of this limit first has been (considered) approved by the Legal Committee of the Organization.

We wish you success with your proposals at LEG92,

Johan Van Steen

Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport
Maritime Transport
Vooruitgangstraat 56
1210 Brussel


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