Insurance certificates are changing

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 46, August 2014

The provisions for certificates of insurance for New Zealand ships are changing, with amendments planned to the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (MTA) and Part 102 of the marine protection rules.

Currently, all ships over 400 gross tonnes (GT) entering or leaving a New Zealand port or New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone have to be insured against liability for oil spill damage (with different requirements for tankers and non-tankers) and hold a domestic certificate of insurance issued by the Director of MNZ. However, countries that are signatories to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001 (Bunker Convention) require visiting ships of more than 1000GT to hold an international Bunker Convention certificate.

The international requirement for New Zealand ships visiting countries where the Bunker Convention is in force have not previously been covered by their domestic New Zealand certificate, and New Zealand has been unable to accept bunker certificates from foreign ships.

New Zealand is now a party to the Bunker Convention. Under the impending changes, New Zealand-registered foreign-going ships will be able to be issued with a bunker certificate in New Zealand that is accepted in other countries. The bunker certificates of foreign ships travelling to New Zealand will be recognised here.

New Zealand domestic law will allow for the issue of bunker certificate after amendments to the MTA and Marine Protection Rule Part 102 come into force on 1 October 2014.

Ships over 1000GT will be required to have a bunker certificate. The Director will issue these in the form required by the Bunker Convention and they will be recognised by other countries. Ships of 400–1000GT will not need a bunker certificate and will continue to be issued with a domestic certificate of insurance.

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