1. The registered owner of a ship of 300 gross tonnage and above and flying the flag of a State Party shall be required to maintain insurance or other financial security, such as a guarantee of a bank or similar institution, to cover liability under this Convention in an amount equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime, but in all cases not exceeding an amount calculated in accordance with article 6.1b) of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, as amended.
A certificate attesting that insurance or other financial security is in force in accordance with the provisions of this Convention shall be issued to each ship of 300 gross tonnage and above by the appropriate authority of the State of the ship’s registry after determining that the requirements of paragraph 1 have been complied with. With respect to a ship registered in a State Party, such certificate shall be issued or certified by the appropriate authority of the State of the ship’s registry; with respect to a ship not registered in a State Party it may be issued or certified by the appropriate authority of any State Party. This compulsory insurance certificate shall be in the form of the model set out in the annex to this Convention, and shall contain the following particulars:
a)name of the ship, distinctive number or letters and port of registry;
b)gross tonnage of the ship;
c)name and principal place of business of the registered owner;
d)IMO ship identification number;
e)type and duration of security;
f)name and principal place of business of insurer or other person giving security and, where appropriate, place of business where the insurance or security is established; and
g)period of validity of the certificate, which shall not be longer than the period of validity of the insurance or other security.
a)A State Party may authorize either an institution or an organization recognized by it to issue the certificate referred to in paragraph 2. Such institution or organization shall inform that State of the issue of each certificate. In all cases, the State Party shall fully guarantee the completeness and accuracy of the certificate so issued and shall undertake to ensure the necessary arrangements to satisfy this obligation.
A State Party shall notify the Secretary-General of:
(i)the specific responsibilities and conditions of the authority delegated to an institution or organization recognized by it;
(ii)the withdrawal of such authority; and
(iii)the date from which such authority or withdrawal of such authority takes effect.
An authority delegated shall not take effect prior to three months from the date on which notification to that effect was given to the Secretary-General.
c)The institution or organization authorized to issue certificates in accordance with this paragraph shall, as a minimum, be authorized to withdraw these certificates if the conditions under which they have been issued are not maintained. In all cases the institution or organization shall report such withdrawal to the State on whose behalf the certificate was issued.
4. The certificate shall be in the official language or languages of the issuing State. If the language used is not English, French or Spanish, the text shall include a translation into one of these languages and, where the State so decides, the official language(s) of the State may be omitted.
5. The certificate shall be carried on board the ship and a copy shall be deposited with the authorities who keep the record of the ship’s registry or, if the ship is not registered in a State Party, with the authorities issuing or certifying the certificate.
6. An insurance or other financial security shall not satisfy the requirements of this article if it can cease for reasons other than the expiry of the period of validity of the insurance or security specified in the certificate under paragraph 2 before three months have elapsed from the date on which notice of its termination is given to the authorities referred to in paragraph 5 unless the certificate has been surrendered to these authorities or a new certificate has been issued within the said period. The foregoing provisions shall similarly apply to any modification, which results in the insurance or security no longer satisfying the requirements of this article.
7. The State of the ship’s registry shall, subject to the provisions of this article and having regard to any guidelines adopted by the Organization on the financial responsibility of the registered owners, determine the conditions of issue and validity of the certificate.
8. Nothing in this Convention shall be construed as preventing a State Party from relying on information obtained from other States or the Organization or other international organizations relating to the financial standing of providers of insurance or financial security for the purposes of this Convention. In such cases, the State Party relying on such information is not relieved of its responsibility as a State issuing the certificate required by paragraph 2.
9. Certificates issued and certified under the authority of a State Party shall be accepted by other States Parties for the purposes of this Convention and shall be regarded by other States Parties as having the same force as certificates issued or certified by them, even if issued or certified in respect of a ship not registered in a State Party. A State Party may at any time request consultation with the issuing or certifying State should it believe that the insurer or guarantor named in the certificate is not financially capable of meeting the obligations imposed by this Convention.
10. Any claim for costs arising under this Convention may be brought directly against the insurer or other person providing financial security for the registered owner’s liability. In such a case the defendant may invoke the defences (other than the bankruptcy or winding up of the registered owner) that the registered owner would have been entitled to invoke, including limitation of liability under any applicable national or international regime. Furthermore, even if the registered owner is not entitled to limit liability, the defendant may limit liability to an amount equal to the amount of the insurance or other financial security required to be maintained in accordance with paragraph 1. Moreover, the defendant may invoke the defence that the maritime casualty was caused by the wilful misconduct of the registered owner, but the defendant shall not invoke any other defence which the defendant might have been entitled to invoke in proceedings brought by the registered owner against the defendant. The defendant shall in any event have the right to require the registered owner to be joined in the proceedings.
11. A State Party shall not permit any ship entitled to fly its flag to which this article applies to operate at any time unless a certificate has been issued under paragraphs 2 or 14.
12. Subject to the provisions of this article, each State Party shall ensure, under its national law, that insurance or other security to the extent required by paragraph 1 is in force in respect of any ship of 300 gross tonnage and above, wherever registered, entering or leaving a port in its territory, or arriving at or leaving from an offshore facility in its territorial sea.
13. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 5, a State Party may notify the Secretary-General that, for the purposes of paragraph 12, ships are not required to carry on board or to produce the certificate required by paragraph 2, when entering or leaving a port in its territory, or arriving at or leaving from an offshore facility in its territorial sea, provided that the State Party which issues the certificate required by paragraph 2 has notified the Secretary-General that it maintains records in an electronic format, accessible to all States Parties, attesting the existence of the certificate and enabling States Parties to discharge their obligations under paragraph 12.
14. If insurance or other financial security is not maintained in respect of a ship owned by a State Party, the provisions of this article relating thereto shall not be applicable to such ship, but the ship shall carry a certificate issued by the appropriate authority of the State of registry, stating that it is owned by that State and that the ship’s liability is covered within the limits prescribed in paragraph 1. Such a certificate shall follow as closely as possible the model prescribed by paragraph 2.