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NEW COMPENSATION REGIME FOR MARITIME DISASTERS

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The UK government is the first to sign up to the establishment of a new multi-million pound international compensat...
The UK government is the first to sign up to the establishment of a new multi-million pound international compensation regime for maritime disasters, Lord Goschen, minister for shipping and aviation, has announced.

The Hazardous and Noxious Substances Convention will provide compensation for loss or damage resulting from pollution, fire or explosion threatened or caused by hazardous and noxious substances carried on sea-going ships.

Attending the signing ceremony of the HNS Convention, Lord Goschen said: 'This is an important step toward the introduction of a compensation regime which underlines our commitment to maintain, and where possible, to improve the safety of life at sea and the prevention of marine pollution.

'We will be working hard to ensure that this measure is implemented.It will extend benefits to victims of damage caused by dangerous and polluting cargoes carried by ships. The convention will also set significantly higher limits on shipowner liability for general maritime claims.'

The fund, based on the existing oil pollution compensation regime, would be a two tier system. Compensation would initially be paid by shipowners, who would be required to maintain insurance to cover their strict liability for damage. Additional compensation would be available, if needed, from an international compensation fund (the HNS Fund) financed by contributions from receivers of cargoes of hazardous and noxious substances.
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