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Appendix C — Minor treaty actions

Minor treaty actions are generally technical amendments to existing treaties, which do not impact significantly on the national interest.

Minor treaty actions are tabled in Parliament with a one-page explanatory statement. The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has the discretion to formally inquire into these treaty actions or indicate its acceptance of them without a formal inquiry and report.

The following minor treaty actions were considered by the Committee on the date indicated. The Committee determined not to hold a formal inquiry into this treaty action and agreed that binding treaty action may be taken.

Minor treaty actions tabled on 13 October 2010

Considered by the Committee:

§  Resolution MEPC.202(62): Amendments to the Annex of the Protocol of 1997 to amend the International Convention For The Prevention Of Pollution From Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, adopted at London on 15 July 2011.

This minor treaty action will amend international regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships, by declaring an area surrounding the islands of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands to be an emission control area (ECA).

Ships operating in an ECA are required to take measures to reduce emissions of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

The explanatory statement advises that the declaration of the new ECA is expected to have no impact on Australia.  It is highly unlikely that any Australian ship will travel through the new ECA or that any ship will travel through the new ECA as part of a voyage to or from Australia.

Based on the advice contained in the explanatory statement, the Committee has agreed to deal with the amendment as a minor treaty action.

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