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Switzerland Adopts Numerous Maritime Conventions

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

28 August 2012


The Swiss Federal Council has confirmed the adoption of four conventions developed by the International Maritime Organisation to enhance the protection of the marine environment, and is considering legislative amendments to cut bureaucracy to allow the territory to respond more quickly to changes in international standards.

Specifically, Switzerland has adopted Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention, the 2001 International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage; the 2004 International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments; and the 2011 International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships.

The Federal Council said, in becoming party to these conventions, Switzerland seeks to manifest its commitment to the protection of the environment and, more specifically, to the protection of the marine environment. The government noted that its decision to adopt the conventions would support its registered fleet of 41 commercial vessels, operated by six shipping companies whose head offices are required to be in Switzerland, as well as global efforts to mitigate the environmentally-damaging emissions of the shipping industry.

A further proposal to amend legislation pertaining to the Swiss maritime sector would reduce the extensive domestic processes that are required to undertaken in Switzerland to adopt international maritime regulations. Under changes to the Federal Act on Navigation under the Swiss Flag, the Federal Council would be the sole legislative assembly tasked with considering regulatory changes for the nation's shipping registry, which presently also involves other parliamentary chambers.

TAGS: marine | law

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