International Convention on Load Lines
- Type: Convention
- Date of signature: 05/04/1966
- Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
- Depositary: International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- Date of entry into force: 21/07/1968
What is it about?
This Convention deals with the limitations to which a ship may be loaded. These limitations are given in the form of freeboards (the distance between the water line and the uppermost full deck of a ship), which constitute the main objective of the Convention. It determines the freeboard of vessels by subdivision and damage stability calculations. This instrument also covers weathertight and watertight integrity, taking into account the potential hazards in different zones and seasonal periods. The Technical annex presents other several safety measures related to doors, freeing ports, hatchways and other items, ensuring the watertight integrity of ships’ hulls bellow the freeboard deck.
Why is it relevant?
This instrument contributes to the safety of the passengers and cargo of a ship by ensuring safe limitations on loading and weather and watertight integrity.
Originally, amendments to this Convention were made by positive acceptance. In this sense, an amendment would then only enter into force 12 months after being accepted by two thirds of State Parties. In practice, amendments between 1971 and 1983 never received enough acceptances to enter into force. The 1998 Protocol, which entered into force on the 3rd of February 2000, introduced the tacit amendment procedure where amendments enter into force after a certain period unless they are rejected by one-third of State Parties. It also harmonized the Convention’s survey and certification requirements with those contained in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS, London, 01/11/1974) and the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as amended (MARPOL PROT, London, 17/02/1978).
- Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as amended (MARPOL PROT, London, 17/02/1978).
- International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) (London, 01/11/1974)
- Convention on the International Maritime Organization (Geneva, 06/03/1948).