The use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel by vessels in Arctic waters present unique challenges to the fragile marine environment and vulnerable Arctic communities. Discussions on the regulation of HFO use in Arctic waters have undergone several transformations, from strong resistance by several states before and during the negotiations of the Polar Code, to stalemate, to reluctant evaluation of options, before the emergence of a potential mandatory ban. An HFO ban is expected to be adopted by the International Maritime Organization in 2021 at the earliest. This article examines the formation, development and application of the ban on HFO use by vessels in Arctic waters, and discusses the potential effectiveness of the ban.
This article summarizes and discusses the main issues addressed at two events hosted at the World Maritime University–Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute in Malmö, Sweden in the first half of 2019. The first event was the International Workshop on bbnj: Toward Development of a Balanced, Effective and Universal International Agreement on 7 February, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan, and the second event was the 43rd colp Annual Conference on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction: Intractable Challenges & Potential Solutions co-hosted with the Center for Oceans Law and Policy (colp), University of Virginia School of Law and The Nippon Foundation. The two events covered topics including marine genetic resources – access and benefit sharing, area-based management tools including marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments, capacity building and transfer of technology, cross-cutting issues, and Arctic concerns.
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (unclos) is widely viewed as a “constitutive” instrument that provides a legal framework that is being filled in, rounded out and complemented by existing and subsequently enacted international agreements and customary international law. The International Maritime Organization (imo) is the preeminent international organization with competence to establish international rules and standards for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. In other words, on matters relating to international shipping, unclos outlines the rights and obligations of States parties in various maritime zones that must be exercised and fulfilled through implementation instruments under the auspices of imo.
This article will examine and discuss the relationship between unclos and imo instruments. First, it will provide an overview of imo, including its historical background, its mandates and structure, and the major instruments that are under its auspices. It will then look at the relationship between unclos and imo, and discuss how imo and its instruments have been incorporated into unclos. Furthermore, it will discuss the role of imo and its instruments in assisting States to exercise their rights and fulfil their obligations under unclos.
Evidence-based forecasting and estimation indicate that Arctic shipping will grow in volume and diversify over the coming years, and associated challenges need to be met without compromising too much either the growing demand for shipping or the sustainability of the Arctic environment. Various initiatives have been put forward by the shipping industry, States and international regulatory bodies to reduce the negative impact of the use of marine fuels on the marine environment in the Arctic. This article examines the current regulatory regime concerning use of marine fuels in the Arctic; discusses how to apply legal principles and approaches to close regulatory gaps and harmonise existing efforts to prevent, reduce and control marine pollution from fuel use; and analyses the underlining architecture for designing a regulatory regime, from a technical perspective, for the use of marine fuels by Arctic shipping.