CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATIONSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 104-36
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[Senate Treaty Document 104-36] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] 104th Congress Treaty Doc. SENATE 2d Session 104-36 _______________________________________________________________________ CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION, SIGNED AT GENEVA, MARCH 6, 1948 (IMO CONVENTION) October 1, 1996.--Convention was read the first time and, together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate. LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, October 1, 1996. To the Senate of the United States: I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to acceptance, amendments to the Convention on the International Maritime Organization, signed at Geneva, March 6, 1948 (the OMO Convention). The amendments were adopted on November 7, 1991, and November 4, 1993, by the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMC) at its seventeenth and eighteenth sessions. I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State describing the amendments, their purpose and effect. The United States is the world's largest user of international shipping. These amendments strengthen the International Maritime Organization's capability to facilitate international maritime traffic and to carry out its activities in developing strong maritime safety and environmental protection standards and regulations. The IMO's policies and maritime standards largely reflect our own. The United States pays less than 5 percent of the assessed contributions to the IMO. The 1991 amendments institutionalize the Facilitation Committee as one of the IMO's standing committees. The Facilitation Committee was created to streamline the procedures for the arrival, stay and departure of ships, cargo and persons in international ports. This committee effectively contributes to greater efficiencies and profits for the U.S. maritime sector, while assisting U.S. law enforcement agencies' efforts to combat narcotics trafficking and the threat of maritime terrorism. The 1993 amendments increase the size of the IMO governing Council from 32 to 40 members. The United States has always been a member of the IMO govering Council. Increasing the Council from 32 to 40 Member States will ensure a more adequate representation of the interests of the more than 150 Member States in vital maritime safety and environmental protection efforts worldwide. The 1991 amendments institutionalize the Facilitation Committee as one of the IMO's main committees. The 1993 amendments increase the size of the Council from 32 to 40 members, thereby affording a broader representation of the increased membership in the IMO's continuing administrative body. Support for these amendments will contribute to the demonstrated interest of the United States in facilitating cooperation among maritime nations. To that end, I urge that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to these amendments and give its advice and consent to their acceptance. William J. Clinton. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of State, Washington, September 12, 1996. The President, The White House. The President: I have the honor to submit to you two amendments to the Convention on the International Maritime Organization, signed at Geneva March 6, 1948, 9 UST 621 (the IMO Convention). The amendments were adopted on November 7, 1991, and November 4, 1993, by the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) at its seventeenth and eighteenth sessions. I recommend that these amendments be transmitted to the Senate for advice and consent to acceptance. i. the 1991 amendments The 1991 amendments institutionalize the Facilitation Committee (FAL Committee) by establishing it as one of the five standing committees of the IMO. Institutionalization of the FAL Committee provides States and the shipping industry with a powerful tool to simplify and harmonize trade and transport procedures to facilitate the flow of vessels, cargo, passengers and crews into and out of international gateway ports. These amendments are also consistent with the spirit and intent of the Convention on Facilitation of Maritime Traffic, with annex, done at London, April 9, 1965, 18 UST 411. The 1991 amendments have three segments. --First, Articles 11, 15, 21, 56 and 57 of the IMO Convention are amended to reflect the addition of the FAL Committee to the existing bodies of the IMO, which include the Assembly, the Council, the Maritime Safety Committee, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, the Legal Committee, the Technical Cooperation Committee, and the Secretariat. --Second, these amendments establish a new Part IX, entitled ``The Facilitation Committee''. Part XI contains five new Articles (47-51): Article 47 states that the FAL Committee will be open to all IMO members. Article 48 provides that the FAL Committee will consider all IMO matters that are concerned with the facilitation of international maritime traffic. The Committee is directed to perform the functions conferred in this area on the IMO by international conventions, particularly with respect to adoption and amendment of measures or other provisions as provided in those conventions. Article 49 requires the FAL Committee to report to the Council on the facilitation recommendations and guidelines which it has developed and on all work since the previous session. Article 50 requires the FAL Committee to meet at least once a year, elect its own officers and adopt its own rules of procedure. Article 51 requires that the FAL Committee, when exercising functions conferred upon it by any other international convention or instrument, shall conform to the provisions of that convention or instrument, particularly the rules-governing procedures. --Third, the amendments renumber Parts XI to XX, and existing Articles 47 to 77 to reflect the addition of the new provisions. Changes are also made to references to the renumbered parts in Articles 15 and 25(a) and to the number of the renumbered Article referred to in Appendix II of the IMO Convention. --Fourth, the amendments make consequential changes in references to renumbered Articles in Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 66, 67, 68, 70, 72, 73, and 74. ii. the 1993 amendments The 1993 amendments increase the size of the Council from thirty-two to forty member States to ensure adequate representation of all 153 member States' interests. This change is desirable because the Council, which holds two regular sessions per year in London, is responsible for all functions of the Assembly between the Assembly's biennial sessions. The amendments also state the number of Council members to be elected from each of three specified categories of members. To effect these changes, the 1993 amendments revise three articles of the IMO Convention, as follows: Article 16 states that the Council shall be composed of forty members elected by the Assembly. Article 17 provides that in electing the members of the Council, the Assembly shall observe the following criteria: (a) Ten shall be States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services; (b) Ten shall be States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade; (c) Twenty shall be States not elected under (a) or (b) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world. Article 19(b) states that twenty-six members of the Council shall constitute a quorum. As of April 1, 1996, 27 members of the IMO had accepted the 1991 amendments and 35 members had accepted the 1993 amendments. In accordance with the provisions of Article 66 of the IMO Convention, the 1991 and 1993 amendments will enter into force twelve months after the requisite instruments from two-thirds of the members of the Organization, i.e., 102 member governments out of the present total membership of 153, have been deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations. The U.S. Coast Guard believes that acceptance of these amendments by the United States will encourage their acceptance by other States and facilitate their entry into force. I concur in that view and recommend their submission to the Senate for its advice and consent to acceptance at an early date. Respectfully submitted, Warren Christopher.