The enforcement of shipping standards under UNCLOS

This article discusses the enforcement of shipping standards, with a particular focus on Part XII of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Section 6 of Part XII contains the only comprehensive set of vessel-related enforcement provisions in the Convention, but the Part’s scope is limited to “the preservation and protection of the marine environment.” Therefore, not all shipping standards fall clearly within Part XII’s ambit, including those centered on safety, security, and crewing considerations. The enforcement provisions of Section 6 are favorable to flag states and their vessels, and Section 7 contains a number of safeguards for their benefit, so it is in the interests of these parties to have coastal state enforcement governed by Part XII. However, the ability of coastal states to establish and enforce shipping standards that apply within the territorial sea extends to more than just environmental matters. The result is that different standards give rise to different enforcement powers, depending on the maritime zone in which a vessel is located, even if those standards arise from the same international agreement. It is suggested that to remedy these problems, UNCLOS would need to be amended in order to provide a comprehensive enforcement regime for the enforcement of shipping standards.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01603892
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2016 9:22AM