The Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners (KVNR) is pleased with the bill to implement an international treaty on the transport of hazardous and noxious substances by sea. This is the HNS Convention, where HNS stands for Hazardous and Noxious Substances.
It is a step in the right direction to create an international compensation fund for major shipping accidents involving HNS cargo. The treaty then provides better protection for parties who suffer damage as a result of the accident.
The HNS treaty obliges shipping companies to take out special insurance when they transport dangerous goods. As a result, sailing to an HNS treaty country provides a more level playing field for ships flying a quality flag, such as the Dutch flag.
Thanks to the convention, it is also clear to what extent a shipowner is liable in the event of such an accident. Additional costs are then reimbursed by the fund. Moreover, because the victims of a shipping accident have direct access to the insurer under the HNS Convention, the risk of bankruptcy of the shipping company is removed, says Cathelijne Bouwkamp, of the Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners.