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40 J. Mar. L. & Com. 291 (2009)
Port State Jurisdiction and Article 218 of the UN Convention on the Law of Sea

handle is hein.journals/jmlc40 and id is 297 raw text is: Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce, Vol. 40, No. 2, April, 2009

Port State Jurisdiction and Article 218 of the
UN Convention on the Law of Sea
Ho-Sam Bang*
Marine pollution from ships, whether caused by operational discharges or
accidents, is a very serious problem. Most commonly associated with vessel-
source pollution are oil spills, which cause devastating effects on the marine
environment. Oil spills can foul the coastline in no time and kill a large
number of sea creatures. Moreover, vessel-source pollution can pose a great
threat to local fisheries and the tourism industry. Primary responsibility for
regulating pollution from ships rests with the flag State. Flag States used to
have sole responsibility in this regard, but for many years a number of flag
states have been either unwilling or unable (due to, sometimes, the lack of
their infrastructure and/or human resources) to take the necessary action to
discharge their duty. Moreover, the problems of the exercise of the powers of
flag States have been exacerbated by the advent of 'flags of convenience'
(FOC) countries, most of which (if not all) laxly enforced relevant rules and
regulations for their ships. As a result, there has been an increased use of port
States' powers of control and jurisdiction over ships visiting their ports over
the past 30 years. The willingness of port States to exercise powers of control
and jurisdiction over sub-standard ships is important in controlling and reduc-
ing vessel-source pollution. Ships not complying with the minimum standards
contained in international maritime conventions such as MARPOL 73/78,'
*Ph.D. candidate, School of Law, Cardiff University; BE., LL.M., Korea Maritime University; E-
mail Address: banghs@cardiff.ac.uk. I am grateful to Professor Robin Churchill for helpful discussions
relating to issues raised here and Dr Urfan Khaliq and Dr Erik Molenaar for their comments on an ear-
lier draft of this article.
'International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, London, 2 November 1973, as
amended by the Protocol, London, 1 June 1978 (in force 2 October 1983) 1340 U.N.T.S. 61.

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