Public Papers - 1991
Message to the Senate Transmitting Protocols to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the International Convention on Load Lines
To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the Protocol of 1988 Relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, with Annex, and the Protocol of 1988 Relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, with Annexes. Both Protocols were done at London November 11, 1988, and signed by the United States April 6, 1989, subject to ratification. I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Protocols.
These Protocols are designed to standardize the inspection intervals and the periods of validity of the certificates required under the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, as amended (SOLAS), and the 1966 International Convention on Load Lines (Load Lines Convention). Entry into force of the 1988 Protocols will reduce the number of ship visits by inspectors, as well as the time a ship must be withdrawn from service for inspection and survey, thereby representing a significant improvement to the existing system. The surveys and certifications of ships required by the SOLAS and Load Lines Conventions will be accomplished in a more efficient manner, bringing the international system to a level more consistent with U.S. domestic inspection requirements. The United States Coast Guard, the American Bureau of Shipping, shipyards, and, most important, shipowners and seafarers will benefit as a result. In addition, the additional survey requirements will improve the level of safety of foreign ships entering U.S. ports, thus having a positive impact on the environment.
The 1988 Protocol to the Load Lines Convention also contains amendments to the regulations of the Convention that replace amendments previously adopted, but that to date have not entered into force. I, therefore, desire to withdraw from the Senate the following treaties:
Amendments to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, adopted at London November 15, 1979 (Treaty Document 97 - 14, 97th Congress, 1st Session);
Amendments to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, adopted at London November 17, 1983 (Treaty Document 100 - 12, 100th Congress, 2nd Session).
The United States has played an active and vital role in the negotiation of the 1988 Protocols to the Safety of Life at Sea and Load Lines Conventions and in promoting and developing the concept of a harmonized system of certification. Early ratification of the 1988 Protocols by the United States should encourage similar actions by other nations.
I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to these Protocols and give its advice and consent to ratification.
The White House,
March 19, 1991.