The Bahamas, home to the world's third-largest registered fleet of ships, has acceded to two key International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions that aim to discourage environmental pollution on the high seas, the United Nations agency announced today.
The Caribbean nation has acceded to the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships 2001 (known as the AFS Convention) and to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001 (Bunkers Convention). The AFS Convention requires parties to the pact to ban or restrict the use of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships flying their flag, operating under their authority or entering their ports, shipyards and offshore terminals. The Bahamas' accession means 28 States comprising 43.79 per cent of the global fleet of ships have now ratified the treaty, which will enter into force on 17 September. The Bunkers Convention aims to ensure that prompt and adequate compensation is available to people who suffer damage caused by oil spills when carried as fuel in ships' bunkers. This pact enters into force on 21 November. IMO is the UN agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.