This page is maintained by İlayda Açıkgöz, Kübra Aygül, Su İlayda Başeğmez, Muhammed İkbal Uzun with the help of Beliz Küçükosman. This page is not a complete report but a program report for the ECON318 project for the 2018-2019 spring semester.

Turkey is subject to a set of international and domestic regulations for its straits. Turkish straits face various environmental disasters such as pollution, vessel collision, closure and harms in land by vessels, oil leak, and explosions of tankers which should covered by Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Insurances. There are other straits around the world which are subject to various legislations against dangers posed by maritime trade. Turkish Straits on the other hand are still constrained by the articles of the Montreux Convention but has since experienced new regulations passed for the safety of the straits in accordance with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions. However, the reduced yet clear continuation of damaging episodes seem to point out a need for improvement in the management and conservation of the Turkish Straits. Thus, the aim of this project is to investigate and offer a design which might be applied to alleviate the damage caused by possible environmental disasters. 

A plan has been devised for Turkey to keep the Turkish Straits clean and safe where steps will be divided into two categories based on their operation time. We argue that Turkey may first introduce a Complimentary Insurance recommended as a Bosphorus transit insurance for ships who are obliged to pay it, build a pipeline (such as the Samsun-Ceyhan Pipeline) with the cooperation of nearby oil exporting countries to decrease traffic and finally implement IMO 2020 as soon as possible to lessen the sulphur emissions harming its citizens. Furthermore, a more comprehensive long-term strategy will be conceived where we urge for the straits acquiring a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) or similar recognition from the IMO which will be invaluable for the Turkish attempts to introduce adjustments to Protection and Indemnity (P&I) insurances or to mandate a wide scale Bosphorus specific insurance only obtained from certain legally accredited insurance companies for a quick recovery from possible incidents.



Nearly 48,000 vessels pass the Turkish straits each year, which makes this area one of the busiest gateways. Although the Turkish government reserves the right to regulate the traits for safety and environmental causes, commercial shipping whose incidents indicate that the regulations made by the government are insufficient maintain the right of free passage in peacetime provided by the Montreux Convention.

1.      Throughout history, the straits have witnessed countless accidents.

a.       Many of them caused environmental disasters.

b.      The accidents not only create a dangerous environment for Turkey but also can harm the surrounding Black, Mediterranean and Aegean seas, potentially causing an aftershock in both environmental and economic terms for the wider region swiftly resulting in an obstruction for international maritime trade.

2.      Abandoned, sunken ships or the ones who are left to their fate are posing a serious threat to marine traffic and need to be cleared of the sea’s ecosystem. The fact that there even is such a problem is an unfortunate expression of the Turkish insurance and marine sectors’ inadequacy.

We conclude that a permanent solution to the many incidents occurring in the straits cannot be immediately implemented due to pre-existing rigidities in the system which Turkey cannot adjust itself easily but there still viable options for the conservation and/or sanitization of the straits. There are three actions which could benefit the country without necessitating heavy political pressure or bring upon drastic diplomatic penalties. In the first two issues, the lack of a well-structured insurance scheme which even originally caused the embarrassing eruption of over 100 ghost ships in Turkish waters, finally corrected with an amendment to correct in November 2017 with article 7 of the ports law can be used as an argument for the need of a re-evaluation.

1.      Complimentary Insurance: Turkey may introduce a complimentary insurance in its legislation under article 9 of the ports’ regulation. This insurance can be implemented as a “strait passage security” which will effectively give Turkey a legitimate reason to add in a secondary warrant. This warrant cannot in any way stop ships that haven’t bought the insurance or exceed minor insurance costs like that of 50 or 100 million dollars. Nevertheless, Turkey can incentivize the secondary insurance as long as all ships aren’t required (allowed) to obtain it and the ships that do are given the opportunity to endure less waiting time which is currently peaked at 168 hours.

2.      Alternative Pipeline: A pipeline, in this case Samsun-Ceyhan, would not only turn Turkey into an Energy hub but would also provide an alternative method of transporting oil. The benefits of such a scheme could be immeasurable as Turkey would be able to discourage any low profit and risky trade operations regarding oil transportation over the straits while also benefiting from the decreased traffic’s safety. The Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline which was shelved due to political reasons was notably promising in this regard (UPI, 2013).

3.      IMO 2020: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 regulations where the members agreed upon a global sulphur oxides (SOx) emission cap of 0.50% m/m in the heavy fuel oil of ships should be implemented immediately, preferably even before January 2020, as the reduced sulphur emission will be critical for the health of the over 10 million residents of Istanbul. The fines should roughly be equal to or slightly be lower than the marginal cost of not using oil with sulphur emissions less than 0.50% m/m.

Although the first two of the above-mentioned three policies will be instrumental in reducing the amount and costs of new ship crashes in the Turkish straits, it is not an entirely cohesive plan. The main issue regarding the uniqueness of the Turkish straits and how Turkey will preserve and benefit from that uniqueness requires two additional measures. These measures should be taken unilaterally and pre-emptively in order to prevent any catastrophic incident, which unfortunately seems to be statistically viable, which would not only bring upon an unprecedented environmental disaster affecting not only the Bosphorus but the neighboring Black and Aegean seas for many years.

1.      Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA): Turkey can be greatly empowered if it can successfully defend the claim that Turkish Straits are or can be likened to a PSSA as in the case of Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea, which would provide a direly needed recognition of the straits’ distinctive vulnerability and importance. The recognition would have to be instigated by a non-biased reputable source or significantly damaging event which Turkey would use as justification to claim that the Bosphorus was “sensitive” which would then require steps of acknowledgement. This claim would not only allow further environmental and safety measures to be taken but could also warrant an entirely unique policy provided that the IMO members do not oppose it with a clear majority. Then these adjustments would require the consent and support of the Montreux Convention signatory parties and permanent UN Security Council members where the opinions of the United Kingdom and Russia which are in both groups could be argued to matter the most.

2.      P&I Adjustment: P&I insurance while being great on paper has unfortunately not solved Turkey’s problems with the Turkish Straits as it has simply proven to be ineffective due to many reasons including the International Group’s (a union of the largest 13 P&I clubs) cartel-like prevalence, the lack of sufficient insurance capital in Turkey and the specific issues regarding the Turkish Straits. The most important recommendations to examine would consist of a basic total assets requirement (necessitated by crashes such as the in the case of the dry cargo ship named Hera), a lean operating requirement (necessitated by crashes such as in the case of the general cargo ship named Tallas) and most notably a Bosphorus related insurance which will be the most effective.

Although a P&I adjustment could be highly potent, a different scheme could also be developed within the wider scheme of maritime insurance. If a PSSA like recognition could be achieved for the Turkish Straits, Turkey could justify a wide scale Bosphorus related insurance where ship-owners whose ships are crossing the straits would have to buy specific insurance from prominent United Kingdom based insurance companies. This insurance would be maintained so that Turkey can immediately have the funds to scour oil out of the Straits.


A. International Agreements Turkey is Subject to;                                                       

A.1. The Montreux Convention

“The 1936 Montreux Convention on the Regime of the Straits (hereafter referred to as the Montreux Convention) regulates the legal status of Turkish Straits which are regulated to settle innocent transit and safety of navigation in the Straits of the Çanakkale, the Sea of Marmara and the İstanbul comprised under the general term "Turkish Straits" and of the Black Sea. It was signed among the former USSR, the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan on July 20, 1936, and entered into force on November 9, 1936. The seven-decade old Convention is the longest lasting accord since the 165 years period of the 1841 Convention[1] on the Straits, which marked the first time the Turkish Straits was regulated by a multilateral convention. The Montreux Convention on the Regime of the Straits has been open for accession to all states. Initially, the effective period is twenty years. The end date of the contract is 9 November 1956. As of this date, the expiry of the termination period was subject to the preliminary notification declarations of the Contracting States to terminate the Convention. However, in Article 1 of the Convention was stated as “Transition from the sea in the Straits and an infinite period of freedom of transportation” (Zorlu Uğur, 2016).

The Montreux Convention on the Regime of the Straits brought an end to the restrictions imposed by the Lausanne Convention, and reconfirmed the sovereign rights of Turkey.

·         Convention has provided for restrictions on the class, tonnage, and duration of stay for warships of non-Black Sea states in the Black Sea,

·         It does not allow any access for the submarines or aircraft carrier of non-littoral states,

·         It does not allow for the passage of aircraft carriers of the Black Seas states,

·         It does permit the navigation of their submarines in exceptional circumstances and on the condition that they navigate on the surface during daytime and are not escorted by another vessel.

Turkey has retained the right to determine and regulate the passage through the straits at its own discretion in time of war when Turkey is belligerent or when Turkey considers itself to be threatened with imminent danger of war. In this case, Turkey may close the Straits to the warships of all states, or it may allow the passage of warships of certain states only. In time of war when Turkey is neutral, the Straits are to be closed to the warships of all belligerent states. Those provisions of the Convention concerning the time of the war when Turkey is neutral and when it is belligerent were applied during World War II. The principle of the freedom of navigation has been fundamentally restricted by the Montreux regime as far as warships and aircraft are concerned. Within the limitations of the Montreux Convention and according to the data on tonnage as of January 1, 2006, non-Black Sea states may maintain up to a maximum total naval force of 43.500 tons, consisting of light surface vessels, minor war vessels and auxiliary vessels in the Black Sea. Any individual non-Black Sea state may keep a total of 29.000 tons of naval force which is two thirds of the aforementioned figure, and the presence of such force in the Black Sea may not exceed twenty-one days. It seems evident that, with such a limited force, a non-littoral state that may have political and military designs regarding the Black Sea would not be able to carry out its objectives.                         For any non-littoral state that wants to maintain a naval force in the Black Sea without any limitations on class, tonnage or duration of stay, and which wants to exercise the rights and freedoms of the high seas in the Black Sea, the Montreux Convention remains as an impediment.” (Oral and Öztürk, 2006).

The Montreux Convention’s Articles

The second article states that “In time of peace, merchant vessels shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation in the Straits, by day and by night, under any flag and with any kind of cargo, without any formalities, except as provided in Article 3” while article 3 only necessitates a “sanitary control prescribed by Turkish law within the framework of international sanitary regulations”. The articles from 8 to 18 are related to peace time passage through the straits yet the 20th article states that if Turkey is a belligerent in a war, those articles are not applicable and that “the passage of warships shall be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish Government.” The ninth article is significant in that it states “Naval auxiliary vessels specifically designed for the carriage of fuel, liquid or non-liquid... (shall) continue to be on the same footing as vessels of war for the purpose of the remaining provisions governing transit”. The eleventh article states that Black Sea Powers can only send capital ships larger than 15.000 gross tonnages if they are passing through the straits “on condition that these vessels pass through the Straits singly, escorted by not more than two destroyers”. The articles from 12 to 16 only concern warships.                                                                              The 17th article notes that the provisions do not prevent any naval force from paying a courtesy visit at the invitation of the Turkish government.  The 18th article specifies in the first paragraph that the “aggregate tonnage which non-Black Sea Powers may have in that sea (Black Sea) in time of peace” as

a.       “The aggregate tonnage of the said Powers shall not exceed 30.000 tons;”

b.      “If at any time the tonnage of the strongest fleet in the Black Sea shall exceed by at least 10,000 tons the tonnage of the strongest fleet in that sea at the date of the signature of the present convention, the aggregate tonnage of 30.000 tons mentioned in paragraph (a) shall be increased by the same amount, up to a maximum of 45.000 tons.”

c.       “The tonnage which any one non-Black Sea Power may have in the Black Sea shall be limited to two-thirds of the aggregate tonnage provided for in paragraphs (a) and (b) above;”

d.      “In the event, however, of one or more non-Black Sea Powers desiring to send naval forces into the Black Sea, for a humanitarian purpose, the said forces, which shall in no case exceed 8.000 tons altogether, shall be allowed to enter the Black Sea without having to give the notification” as long as the Turkish government provides an authorization which the other contracting parties do not object to within 24 hours and the limits specified in (a) and (b) aren’t exceeded.

The 18th article’s second paragraph notes that warships “belonging to Non-Black Sea Powers shall not remain in the Black Sea more than twenty-one days, whatever be the object of their presence there.”

The 19th article is significant in that it states that if Turkey is not a belligerent in the case of a war, it has to allow warships to pass through the straits as long as they are within the limitations set up in the articles from 10 to 18 while also noting warships “shall not make any capture, exercise the right of visit and search, or carry out any hostile act in the Straits”. The article does also put certain strains on the warships that may pass under exceptional cases such as the non-permitted violation of article 25 regarding the refusal of prejudice to any contracting parties to the convention. The 21st article states the actions that Turkey can take if it considers itself under threatened with imminent war while also necessitating justification by the League of Nations.                                                                        The 23rd article is interested with aircraft whereas the 24th article states that the Turkish government will also undertake the functions of the International Commission which previously controlled the Straits. Thus, the Turkish government is responsible of executing the agreed upon provisions set up mentioned above including the ones regarding warships. The Turkish government is also required to inform the representatives of the contracting parties at Ankara in the case of a foreign naval force passage. The articles from 25 to 29 are only procedural arrangements such as the exclusion of prejudice and how the convention’s ratification will be communicated. Among these, the 28th article is significant however as it clearly states that “The principle of freedom of transit and navigation affirmed in Article 1 of the present convention shall however continue without limit of time”.

Evaluation of the Montreux Convention

A table was created based on the interpretation of the aforementioned articles.

Table 1: Advantages and disadvantages of interpretation of the articles.



The convention clearly gives Turkey jurisdiction over Turkish Straits, transferring the authorities of the International Commission in article 24.

The Convention severely ties down Turkey’s hands whenever the topic is merchant vessels. Most actions it might want to take can be disputed by the other contracting states.

The convention gives Turkey the right and responsibility to secure the Turkish Straits which was probably invaluable considering the times.

The 19th article stating how under specific conditions Turkey is to allow the passage of warships which are not supposed to be hostile during transit seems to be risk to say the least.

The 18th article ought to be taken into consideration as it distinguishes the tonnage limits for non-Black Sea Powers. This article allows helps the Convention relax our neighbors.

The limits specified in the 18th article may also lead up to a situation where non-Black Sea Powers can agitate our neighbors by entering the sea with their warships in time intervals.

There are no restrictions put on Turkey to regulate traffic in the straits. Turkey can set speed, limit and acceleration limits, which it eventually did.

The 28th article stating that the 1st article is without a time limit may yield an open-ended opposition to any changes Turkey may want.

It is clear that the convention was unable to estimate various environmental dangers the ships that passed through the straits brought which necessitates possibly beneficial adjustments.


The complications brought by the extent and speed of modern trade, such as the fulfillment services, are understandably not covered and therefore may be used for a favorable change.


Note: Neighbors here refers to other Black Sea states.

Comments on the Montreux Convention

According to the Montreux Convention, the Turkish Straits are open to warships of Black Sea countries in time of peace, but not to warships of other countries except for the aggregate tonnage allowed. This provides security to the Black Sea countries. When Turkey is neutral in wartime, passage of belligerents' warships is prohibited. This is the only way that Turkey can protect itself from involvement in a war. It is clear that allowing passage of warships belonging to belligerents would make the Straits a battlefield.                                                                                                      Therefore, the second conclusion of this thesis is that the current system under the Montreux Convention is ideal for safeguarding the interests and strategic exigencies of all parties: Turkey, the Russian Federation, other Black Sea countries and the Western powers, including the United States. Nevertheless, it is clear that every side has demands regarding the passage regime for the Turkish Straits. Russia wants greater restrictions while the United States wants a greater naval presence in the Black Sea. As for Turkey, it wants the Straits to be more secure, both environmental and militarily.

A.2 MARPOL 73/78 -International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973, as Amended by the Protocol of 1978

As a result of accidents and pollution events, International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Convention has been developed. MARPOL 73/78 is the basic international convention governing the issues of operation or accident and the prevention of marine pollution from ships. The MARPOL 73/78 contract not only regulates oil pollution, but also bulk and packaged chemical / toxic substances, contaminated water, garbage and air pollution. It was adopted on 2 November 1973. It could not reach the number of signatures required at first and did not enter into force. After an increase in the number of accidents, the contract entered into force on 2 October 1983.

In accordance with the provisions of the Protocol of 1978, participation in Annexes I and II of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention shall be compulsory; III. IV. and V. Annexes are optional. This regulation facilitated the entry into force of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention. In 1997, a new protocol was issued to regulate air pollution issues arising from ships, which added Annex VI to the Convention. The 1997 Protocol was enacted on 19 May 2005 in the world. According to this contract; each flag state is responsible for ensuring that ships under its flag comply with the provisions of the Convention. As a sign of the fulfillment of this responsibility, the ships shall be given the certificates and the conditions specified in the Contract. So, certificates on ships are a sign of compliance with rules.

Also, any violation of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention within the jurisdiction of any Party to the Convention is punishable either under the law of that Party or under the law of the flag State. In this respect, the term “jurisdiction” in the Convention should be construed in the light of international law in force at the time the Convention is applied or interpreted. With the exception of very small vessels, ships engaged on international voyages must carry on board valid international certificates which may be accepted at foreign ports as prima facie evidence that the ship complies with the requirements of the Convention. If, however, there are clear grounds for believing that the condition of the ship or its equipment does not correspond substantially with the particulars of the certificate, or if the ship does not carry a valid certificate, the authority carrying out the inspection may detain the ship until it is satisfied that the ship can proceed to sea without presenting unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment. Under Article 17, the Parties to the Convention accept the obligation to promote, in consultation with other international bodies and with the assistance of UNEP, support for those Parties which request technical assistance for various purposes, such as training, the supply of equipment, research, and combating pollution.

Annex I - Rules for Prevention of Oil Pollution

It entered into force on 2 October 1983. It includes rules for the prevention of oil pollution arising from both accident and operation reasons. It regulates the requirements for ships to have The International Oil Pollution Prevention Document (IOPP) for the compliance of the ships with the rules. There are special and aggravated rules for oil tankers. Double wall requirements, crude oil washing system, separated ballast tanks; inert gas system is one of these requirements. Special sea areas are defined for oil pollution prevention. In the special marine areas, the waste water or bilge water containing oil into the sea is bound to very strict rules.

Annex VI - Rules for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships

New regulations on the limitation of emissions including emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx) from the flue (exhaust) gases of ships by the emission of emissions damaging the ozone layer. This Annex, which covers all international vessels, fixed and floating drilling units and other platforms with 400 GRT and larger tonnage, has limited the sulfur and sulfur ratio of ship fuel, and it has become mandatory to equip the ship chimneys with systems that allow limiting SOx emissions. All new ship diesel engines with 130 kW and higher power installed on the ships built later were required to comply with the requirements in terms of NOx emissions and International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate (IAPP) has been made compulsory for the vessels under the Annex. Special emission control sites where SOx, NOx and particulates are more tightly bounded have been identified. With the new rules that entered into force in 2013, all greenhouse gas emission emissions were significantly reduced.

A.3 OPRC 1990- International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation

After the oil tanker accident named Exxon Valdez in 1989, the conference, which was held in 1990, was adopted in 1995 and the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC) was adopted. The contract will not apply to any warship, auxiliary warship, or other ships used in a state or state-run and non-commercial government business. Nevertheless, States Parties shall ensure that such ships shall act in accordance with the Contract to the extent they are reasonable and practicable, taking appropriate measures not to disrupt the operation or operational capacity of such ships to which they possess or operate. (Article 1/3) The Convention applies to oil pollution incidents originating from sea ports and oil loading and unloading facilities, offshore facilities and finally ships, as well as offshore and marine environment or related interests. Oil pollution from ships may be on the high seas as well as in the territorial waters. Indeed, in accordance with Article 2 of the Convention, the event of oil pollution may be an event which may result in an emergency operation or other opposition, which may originate or result in the same origin, which may or may not result in the means to see the sequence of events. States parties are obliged to ensure that they have oil emergency plans in accordance with the principles determined by IMO on ships carrying their own flags (art. 3). This obligation also applies to oil processing plants, ports and offshore facilities. States parties can control the emergency plans of these ships in their ports or offshore facilities in accordance with international treaties and their legislation. One of the most important stages in the process of oil pollution prevention is undoubtedly to inform the relevant authorities of the incident which will lead to pollution. Because the spread of oil in the sea is fast and requires the intervention with the same speed. Ship and offshore facility managers are obliged to report oil spill or any possibility of a leak to the nearest coastal state in their ships or in any other part of the sea (Art. 4). When the State Party receives such notice, it shall consider the incident to determine whether the incident is an oil pollution; evaluate the nature, scope and possible consequences of oil pollution; shall inform all States whose interests are affected or affected by the incident in an urgent manner, the details of the assessment in relation to the incident, and the measures and other measures to be applied by it’s for the purpose of elimination of the incident (Article 5). If the size of oil pollution makes this necessary, the situation should be reported to IMO. Both IMO's commissioning and individual and collective notification obligations are indicative of international cooperation, taking into account that oil contamination is a result of serious consequences.

A.4 1992 Fund Convention (FUND-92)

The Fund was established in 1996 under the FUND-92 Convention and is funded by the companies and other establishments in the Member States that purchased certain types of oil transported by sea. The Fund is an international organization managed by the member states. The Fund is administered by two entities: The Assembly and The Administrative Committee. The Assembly is made up of representatives of the Governments of the Member States. The Administrative Committee consisting of 15 Member States is a sub-entity elected by the Assembly. The main function of this Committee is to approve the demands. The Administrative Committee, however, left the Director-General to have broader powers of approving and paying the claims. Claimants under the CLC-92 contract; In the event that they do not receive the full amount of compensation requested by an event, they may be entitled to receive additional compensation under the FUND 92 contract. The following may apply for additional compensation under FUND 92:

·         If the damage exceeds the liability limit under the CLC-92 Convention,

·         If the ship owner is not responsible under the CLC-92 Convention (if the damage is caused by a natural disaster or a movement or negligence caused by a natural disaster or by a third party) or by the government responsible for the operation of if the other responsible authorities have been the result of the negligence in carrying out this task)

·         If the ship-owner does not have the financial means to fully meet his responsibilities in the CLC-92 Convention and is insufficient to pay the applicable compensation claim.

The Fund does not pay compensation in the following cases:

·         Damage caused by pollution; if it was caused by oil or if it was caused by a war, hostility, civil war or an uprising, or by the oil cast out of the battleship (the CLC-92 Convention is not held responsible for the owner of the ship).

·         If the applicant, as stated in the Convention, cannot prove that the damage is caused by an incident involving one or more vessels (this is either installed or adapted to carry oil as bulk cargo, loaded or unloaded under certain conditions, The Supplementary Fund provides additional funds (financial resources) for damages in the member states of the 2003 Supplementary Fund Protocol in addition to the 1992 Fund. The criteria required to cover claims for damages are covered by the FUND-92 Convention. The policy adopted by the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund in order to remedy the damages in this book also applies to the Supplementary Fund.

Fund payments under the 1992 Fund Convention (FUND-92)

The maximum compensation payable by the Fund for any event is 203 million SDR regardless of the ship's tonnage. This maximum amount also includes compensation paid by the ship's owner or his insurer under the CLC-92 Convention. If the total amount of accepted claims exceeds the total amount of compensation under the 1992 Conventions (CLC-92 and FUND-92), the amount of compensation to be paid to each claimant shall be reduced proportionately. In the event of the possibility of such a situation, the Fund may have to restrict compensation payments to ensure equal treatment to all claimants. If the uncertainty about the total amount of accepted demand decreases, the payment level may increase at an advanced stage. Following a serious accident assessed under the Supplementary Fund, it provides compensation up to $ 1.15 Billion, including an amount of compensation for each CLC-92 and FUND-92 per accident. An advantage of the Supplementary Fund is that, as the FUND-92, each of the claimants will not be required to reduce the amount of compensation equally, because of the large compensation limit they provide. Because it is not possible to overcome such a large amount of compensation. Thus, it will be possible for the claimants to be fully compensated when more compensation is paid.

Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments

The Courts in a State or States where the pollution damage occurs have exclusive jurisdiction over actions for compensation under the Conventions against the ship-owner, his insurer and the IOPC Funds. If the same incident causes damage in more than one State Party to the respective Convention, any action for compensation for damage arising out of the incident can be brought in the courts of any of these States. A judgment by a Court competent under the applicable Convention, which is enforceable in the State of origin and is in that State no longer subject to ordinary forms of review, shall be recognized and enforceable in the other Contracting States.

Claim Settlement

The principal role of the IOPC Funds is to pay compensation to those who have suffered oil pollution damage in a Member State who cannot obtain full compensation for the pollution damage from the ship-owner under the relevant Civil Liability Convention. Claimants may be individuals, partnerships, companies, private organizations or public bodies, including States or local authorities. In the great majority of cases, claims are settled out of court. The Director has the authority to settle claims and pay compensation up to predetermined levels. However, for incidents involving larger claims or where a specific claim gives rise to a question of principle which has not previously been decided by the governing bodies, the Director needs approval from the relevant governing body of the Fund in question. The Director is further permitted, in certain circumstances, and within certain limits, to make provisional payment of compensation before a claim is settled if this is necessary to mitigate undue financial hardship to victims of pollution incidents. Under the Fund Conventions, the Funds are obliged to ensure that all claimants are given equal treatment so if the total amount of the established claims exceeds the total amount of compensation available under the Civil Liability and Fund Conventions, each claimant will receive the same proportion of the loss. When there is a risk that this situation will arise, the Funds may have to restrict compensation payments to a percentage of the losses to ensure that all claimants are given equal treatment. The payment level may increase at a later stage if the uncertainty about the total amount of the established claims is reduced. One important effect of the establishment of the Supplementary Fund is that, in practically all cases, it should be possible from the outset to pay compensation for pollution damage in Supplementary Fund Member States at 100% of the amount of damage agreed between the Fund and the claimant.

Admissibility of Claims for Compensation

To be entitled to compensation, the pollution damage must result in an actual and quantifiable economic loss. The claimant must be able to show the amount of his loss or damage by producing accounting records or other appropriate evidence. An oil pollution incident can generally give rise to claims for five types of pollution damage:

·         Property damage

·         Costs of clean-up operations at sea and on shore

·         Economic losses by fishermen or those engaged in marine culture

·         Economic losses in the tourism sector

·         Costs for reinstatement of the environment

Claims are assessed according to criteria established by the Governments of Member States. These criteria, which also apply to claims against the Supplementary Fund, are set out in the 1992 Fund’s Claims Manual, which is a practical guide on how to present claims for compensation. The Funds, normally in co-operation with the ship owner’s insurer, usually appoint experts to monitor clean-up operations, to investigate the technical merits of claims and to make independent assessments of the losses.

2003 Supplementary Fund Protocol

The Supplementary Fund Protocol is adopted in 2003 and came into force in 2005, and so, the International Oil Pollution Compensation Supplementary Fund 2003 is established as a supplementary fund. The Supplementary Fund provides additional compensation beyond the amount available in the 1992 Fund Convention in the 1992 Member States of the Fund which is parties of the Protocol. The total amount available for compensation for each event is 750 million SDR, including amounts to be paid under the 1992 Conventions. Annual contribution to the Supplementary Fund is made in the same way as contributions to the 1992 Fund. However, the contribution system for the Supplementary Fund is different from the 1992 Fund, and it is considered that each Member State contributes at least 1 million tons of oil each year in order to pay the contributions.

A.5 BUNKERS 2001-International Convention on Civil Liability for BUNKER Oil Pollution Damage

The Convention was adopted to ensure that adequate, prompt, and effective compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships' BUNKERs. The Convention applies to damage caused on the territory, including the territorial sea, and in exclusive economic zones of States Parties. The BUNKERs convention provides a free-standing instrument covering pollution damage only.

"Pollution damage" means:

·         Loss or damage caused outside the ship by contamination resulting from the escape or discharge of BUNKER oil from the ship, wherever such escape or discharge may occur, provided that compensation for impairment of the environment other than loss of profit from such impairment shall be limited to costs of reasonable measures of reinstatement actually undertaken or to be undertaken; and

·         The costs of preventive measures and further loss or damage caused by preventive measures.

The convention is modeled on the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969. As with that convention, a key requirement in the BUNKERs convention is the need for the registered owner of a vessel to maintain compulsory insurance cover.

Another key provision is the requirement for direct action - this would allow a claim for compensation for pollution damage to be brought directly against an insurer. The Convention requires ships over 1,000 gross tonnage to maintain insurance or other financial security, such as the guarantee of a bank or similar financial institution, to cover the liability of the registered owner for pollution damage in an amount equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime, but in all cases, not exceeding an amount calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, as amended (IMO).

Turkey became a party to the BUNKERS 2001 Convention in 26.02.2013 (Law No. 6439) BUNKER Certificate shall be issued to the ships having a valid financial guarantee by administration. Turkish flagged vessels and BUNKERS-2001 flagship ships of the countries that are not party to the ship registry records 10 different port presidencies (Trabzon, Zonguldak, Samsun, İstanbul, Bandırma, Çanakkale, İzmir, Antalya, Mersin and İskenderun) by proving financial security by applying to the port. They have BUNKER Certificate issued by these presidencies. Vessels operated for all commercial purposes of 1000 GT and above, which do not have this certificate, shall not be taken into the ports of our country and the ports of the other Contracting States and their open terminals, or shall not be permitted if their assurance is filled at this stage. New equip ships covered by the Convention, on the basis of the GT event of a pollution, which Turkey is a party of Liability Convention against Maritime Claims is entitled, to limit its liability determined up to the following limits for events other than death and injury. Therefore, the ships which visit the ports of Turkey and which are within the scope of the contract should have financial security.

Important points of the contract:

Event: A chain of events or events of the same origin that pose a threat to pollution or cause serious and immediate damage.

Application area: The territorial waters, including the country of the Contracting States, the exclusive economic zone.

Pollution Loss: Expenses related to the measures to be taken and the elimination of loss and environmental damages other than the ship caused by ship fuel

Ship Fuel: Any hydrocarbon mineral oil used for the operation and movement of the ship, including lubricating oils, and any residues thereof.

Ship: No matter what type of vessel or sea vessel.

Exceptions: The provisions of this contract include; it does not apply to pollution damage defined in CLC-92, warships, auxiliary battleships and non-commercial vessels.

Obligation to Insurance: Vessels of 1000 GRT and above shall be obliged to undertake an insurance covering the amount of financial responsibility calculated in accordance with the International Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Marine Receivables in 1976 (as enacted in the 2012 Limit Amendments, 8 June 2015). (Through P & I Clubs or Bank Guarantees)


In order to understand the enforcement mechanism of the Convention,

Article 9 Jurisdiction

1. Where an incident has caused pollution damage in the territory, including the territorial sea, or in an area referred to in article 2(a)(ii) of one or more States Parties, or preventive measures have been taken to prevent or minimize pollution damage in such territory, including the territorial sea, or in such area, actions for compensation against the ship-owner, insurer or other person providing security for the ship-owners liability may be brought only in the courts of any such States Parties. 2. Reasonable notice of any action taken under paragraph 1 shall be given to each defendant. 3. Each State Party shall ensure that its courts have jurisdiction to entertain actions for compensation under this Convention.


Article 10 Recognition and enforcement

1. Any judgment given by a Court with jurisdiction in accordance with article 9 which is enforceable in the State of origin where it is no longer subject to ordinary forms of review, shall be recognized in any State Party, except: (a) where the judgment was obtained by fraud; or (b) where the defendant was not given reasonable notice and a fair opportunity to present his or her case. 2. A judgment recognized under paragraph 1 shall be enforceable in each State Party as soon as the formalities required in that State have been complied with. The formalities shall not permit the merits of the case to be re-opened.

Law No. 1997 Regulation on the Determination of the Procedures and Principles Regarding the Regulation and Supervision of the International Contract (BUNKER 2001) Certificate on the Legal Responsibility of The Obligation of Oil Pollution from the Ship Fuels

Approval date: 19/12/2013


ARTICLE 6 Information to be included in the certificate

This certificate is issued in two original copies, in English and Turkish, with the following information.

a) Name of the ship and port of registration,

b) Name of the ship-owner,

c) IMO ship identification number and call sign,

d) Type of collateral,

e) The place and name of the insurer or the bank's business centers providing the collateral or the collateral,

f) The validity period of the certificate (this period shall not be longer than the validity period of the insurance or other security),

g) Certificate number


ARTICLE 7 Documents required for certificate issuance

(1) In order to issue a certificate, financial assurance is mandatory as specified in the Legal Liability Agreement for Ship Fuel.

(2) Financial assurance shall be an insurance policy or bank guarantee in accordance with the international limits determined by the ship's tonnage.


ARTICLE 8 Accepted guarantees for issuing certificates

(1) Certificates shall be issued to the ships in exchange for the policy issued by a club or insurer listed on the list of valid P & I Clubs and Insurance Companies announced by the Ministry in accordance with the Directive on P & I Clubs and Insurance Companies to be Accepted in Administrative Procedures within the Scope of Administrative Procedures as of 12.12.2012 and numbered 18971 (has changed with Law No.45168 and dated 30.05.2017).

(2) In order to issue a Certificate to the ships, the guarantee shown is a bank guarantee, and this bank must be a bank established in accordance with Turkish legislation.

 Law No. 5347 Regulation of Law on the Principles of Intervention and Damages in Emergency for the Protection of the Sea Surrounding by Oil and Other Harmful Materials

Environmental pollution is defined as all kinds of negative impacts that occur in the environment and may impair the health, environmental values and ecological balance of living things. The claims of those who have been damaged due to an incident and those who have interfered with an incident and those who have avoided the contamination are notified to the Undersecretaries. The Undersecretaries shall provide for the determination of damages and compensation by the responsible person or guarantor. Claims for compensation and compensation shall be made in writing to the Undersecretaries. For this purpose, the petition includes the identity and address information of the damaged person, the type, quality, estimated amount of the damage, the loss assessment activities and other information, photographs and reports. Wage requests include information on the location, type, duration, activity and material and equipment used in the activity. The Undersecretaries shall evaluate the requests and recommendations of the responsible persons or their representatives or the experts provided by them for the payment of compensation and compensation requests. These recommendations and requests; the law shall be taken into consideration when it serves the purposes of implementing this Regulation and the provisions of the international contract.

The payment requests to be made to the responsible persons shall be made in writing by the Undersecretaries. If not, responsible Turkish is used in English as well as in Turkish. The request includes the following information:

a) The names and addresses of the claimant and the affected person and their representatives, if any.

b) Identities of vessels involved in the incident.

c) Location, date and other details of the incident.

ç) Type and estimated amount of damage or contamination.

d) The amount of compensation requested.

e) Additional information and documents.

The Undersecretaries examines the requests received by it, taking into consideration the documents and information submitted by the requestor, as well as the documents and information it will obtain, as well as the issues stated below, and takes into account the amount determined by the damage assessment commission, whether or not it can be requested from the responsible person.

a) Whether the loss was incurred or whether the service for the requested fee was provided.

b) Whether the loss is related to the incident or whether the fee is related to the measure taken.

c) The claimant is the one who has been damaged or is entitled to request.

ç) Whether the loss is based on documents and reports generated as a result of appropriate investigations.

d) The damage is generally reasonable.

Turkey is a party to the contractual compensation claims made in the compensation system established in the framework of the implementation of these contracts, the demand of compensation and costs, evaluation and payment is subject to the relevant provisions of the contract. If international contracts do not contain provisions for compensation of damages, the loss shall be compensated in accordance with the relevant national legislation in accordance with the polluter pays principle. If the polluter or responsible person cannot be identified, the Undersecretaries shall intervene with all its capabilities and other resources specified in the emergency response plans. This case is limited to the scope of the compensation fund created by international agreements that Turkey's side of damages. The remuneration of persons and institutions / organizations intervening by means of procurement of services to the Goods and Services under the Law on Emergency Response and Compensation of Damages in the Pollution of the Marine Environment by Petroleum and Other Hazardous Materials published in the Official Gazette no. 26150 payable according to the provisions of the relevant regulation.

Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditures, commonly known as CapEx, are funds used by a company to acquire, upgrade and maintain physical assets, such as properties, buildings, industrial plants, technology or equipment. CapEx is often used by the company to make new projects or investments. Capital expenditure on fixed assets can include everything from repairing a roof to building, buying equipment, building a new factory. Such financial expenditure is also made by companies to maintain or increase the scope of their activities. Capital expenditures are for future large purchases. The lifespan of these acquisitions goes beyond the current account period. Since these costs can only be recovered through depreciation over time, companies often use a separate budget to separate the operating budget for CaPex purchases.

Law No. 5684 Insurance Law

President of KOTO and also TOBB HRH Member Necmi Bulut and KOTO 22th Insurance Professional Committee Chairman Olcay İlter conveyed the problems of their agencies to Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak. In the meeting held at KOTO, banks, brokers, PTT, Turkcell, TÜVTÜRK, such as the structure of the Insurance Law by taking advantage of the gap was made unfair competition. According to claims, the agencies fall into a disadvantaged position during the implementation of the law. Also, before the law, insurance agencies can sign contracts that protect their rights in relation to their own power, and they have to sign contracts where there is no substance that protects itself due to the increase in other sales channels. Insurance agencies that can be called 16 thousand local commercial actors are ignored step by step. Before the law, insurance agencies can sign contracts that protect their rights in relation to their own power, and they have to sign contracts where there is no substance that protects itself due to the increase in other sales channels.

A.6 Other International Conventions

A.6.1 Lausanne Convention

“The 1923 Lausanne Convention on the Straits, which regulated navigation between the Black Sea and the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, and provided for the legal status of the Black Sea, has provided for innocent passage at sea and freedom of navigation on air. Although the regime of Lausanne did not envision any restriction on passage through straits, it did set forth certain limitations on warships concerning their tonnage in the Black Sea. Because the Lausanne Convention on the Straits called for the demilitarization of the Straits zone and no military deployment was permitted therein, the sovereign rights of Turkey were, at the time, restricted over the Turkish Straits. Turkey had been deprived of the right to take measures for its defense and security, and furthermore there were serious gaps left regarding Russian security in the Black Sea.” (Oral and Öztürk, 2006, 18).

A.6.2 International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention

“Another example under current international law recognizing a coastal state’s right to intervene is the section of the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea (1974). The SOLAS protocol applies to all ships over 500 Gross Tonnage as they are presumed to carry environmental risks due to ship fuel and/or crude oil cargo. Regulation 19 of Chapter 1 and Regulation 11 of Chapter 8 gives the coastal state the right to inspect a ship’s certificate and the ships‟ potential danger to the environment, and preserve of safety of navigation. Turkey, as a party to this convention clearly is entitled to conduct an investigation of the ship, including its certificate. In light of Montreux Convention, does this violate freedom of passage? Clearly the convention recognized the overriding safety interest of a state against a potential incident and has imposed a limit on the principle for “freedom of passage and navigation” (Aybay and Oral, 1998). Also, SOLAS allows port states to inspect and hold a ship for serious violations. The Port State shall act in the interest of all coastal states in the region and, at least indirectly, in the interest of the interests of the international community as a whole, if they exercise their powers of application. Port State control minimizes the risk of major pollution damage in marine accidents anywhere, as it helps reduce the number of submarines in the world's oceans; high seas.

A.7 International Agreement Turkey is Not Subject to

A.7.1 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Furthermore, Turkey’s right to regulate the safety and protection of its extensive and densely populated coast finds support under current international law. Many new international conventions have been drawn up reflecting the growing international concern over pollution and the protection of the marine environment (Aybay and Oral, 1998). Turkey, as an active participant of the Third Law of the Sea Conference, has not signed the agreement and approval. Therefore, the provisions of the contract do not bind Turkey. The reason Turkey's disagreement is not in terms of the provisions concerning the protection of the marine environment, mainly is in terms of the breadth of territorial waters and 33 arrangements for compulsory jurisdiction in maritime law disputes. Although Turkey is not a party to UNCLOS, adopting UNCLOS as a new legal regime of the Turkish Straits at this time will probably benefit Turkey because not only is navigational and environmental safety in the Turkish Straits at stake, but also the safety of the twelve million residents of İstanbul. Its authoritative international tribunals provide the means for peaceful dispute resolution. In sum, adopting UNCLOS as the new legal regime of the Turkish Straits should prevent confrontation in the region by providing the internationally-accepted rules of transit for the Turkish Straits and by establishing the legal foundation for the implementation of maritime traffic rules that address -the safety of navigation and environmental concerns raised in the 1994 Turkish Regulations” (Pavlyuk, 1998). Re-addressing the issue of countries' territorial waters, as countries enter into contradictory practices; a clear redefinition of the nature and scope of the powers of the coastal states in terms of fishing rights; determination of the legal regime to be subject to scientific research activities in the seas; content of rights and obligations in coastal states in the protection of the marine environment; the need to conclude various issues such as objections to changing the criteria for the external border of the continental shelf has emerged. The 1982 UNCLOS, however, adopted different rules from the Geneva Convention with respect to the rights of passage through straits used in international navigation. According to the UNCLOS, the transit passage regime became the general rule for straits used in international navigation. The UNCLOS created two divergent rules for two different types of international straits. In the first instance, straits connecting one part of the high seas, or exclusive economic zone, with another part of the high seas, or exclusive economic zone, are subject to the transit regime with one exception. “UNCLOS specifically recognizes the right of coastal states to protect their environment against pollution and other similar hazards. Foreign ships must abide by the laws and regulations enacted by the coastal state. UNCLOS further reflects the heightened international awareness of the very serious safety and environmental hazards modern maritime activities create by imposing a duty on all states to protect the marine environment. UNCLOS rules of transit passage provide a viable alternative to the 1998 Turkish Regulations. As provided in Section 6 (from Article 213 to 222), the enforcement of the Convention is assigned to State Parties. According to those provisions, States shall enforce laws and regulations adopted in accordance with the Convention and with international rules and standards. States also take measures necessary to implement applicable international rules and standards. The Convention stipulates enforcement power specifically for each category of states and for different sources of pollution.

A.8 Articles of the Convention Related with Marine Accidents

               The provisions of international law and contracts for the investigation of marine accidents and the necessity of the investigation of sea accidents, the reporting and the provisions of the contract that each flag state is obliged to examine are as follows:

·         The United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea, 1982 (UNCLOS): Article 94

·         International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS): Portion I Law 21

·         International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1983 (MARPOL): Article 4, 6, 8 and 12, Additional I Law 9(3) and 10(6), Additional II Law 10(3) (1)

·         International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW): Reg. ¼ 

·         International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (LL): Article 23

·         Torremolinos International Convention for The Safety of Fishing Vessels, 1977 (SFV): Article 7

·         International Labor Organization (ILO): ILO No: 134 (Article 2-3) and 152 (Article 36 and 39)

·         Code for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents, IMO Res. 849 (20).

·         On 18 June 2003, Marine Accident Investigation Commission was established within the Undersecretaries for Maritime Affairs to increase the safety of life and the safety of the sea and to prevent similar marine accidents. MAIC examines marine accidents in accordance with the basic principles for determining the conditions and causes of marine accidents, which are taking place in our seas or carrying our flag (Ece).

B. Regulations on Turkish Straits

B.1 Regulation on Turkish Straits (1998) and Its Application Instruction

               Maritime Traffic Regulations for the Turkish Straits were designed in 1994 firstly, in the light of the experience gained, a new one (1998) has been drafted. The reason of the need for this change is mainly due to the misuse of the words and the complaints from other countries like Greece, Black Sea countries etc. (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs). IMO's Maritime Safety Committee was discussed and approved those related separations in regards to respect of safety of navigation in the Turkish Straits. Majority of IMO Member States supported endorsement of using proposed traffic separation. There is a de facto implementation in regards to use traffic separation and reporting formalities during the passage of the Straits. In terms of the tonnage of the vessels passing through the Straits, it is seen that there is a 19-fold increase since signing of the Montreux Convention until 2002 (Güneş, 2007). According to the comparison of 2006 and 2018, it can be said that tonnage passing through İstanbul strait increased by 28% and for Çanakkale Strait the tonnage has increased by 42% (Directorate General of Maritime Commerce). The Straits, based on heavy tanker traffic such as oil transportation, are exposed to a highly risky sea transport due to flammable, explosive toxic chemicals and nuclear waste.

               The Montreux Straits Convention does not include any arrangements for the prevention of complex and multidimensional problems in the Turkish Straits. The principle of free passage contained in the Convention stipulates that merchant ships can freely pass through the straits day and night without taking the pilot to the Turkish authorities without any notification. From 1998 Statues, any ship shall notify its intended entrance to the Straits with Navigation Plan 1 to the Vessel Traffic Control System (VTS) which is obligatory requirement. Content of SP1 report and SP2 report has covers all ship particular together with information about insurer of ship. Transition regime in terms of the Montreux Convention for the Straits subject to the provisions of the Turkish Straits, Turkey's in-land waters regime with the capacity of coastal states will be applied. Turkey, in the straits faced by stay where issues of mitigation, transportation, but receive various measures to ensure that goods, safety of navigation and protection of environment in the straits that the traffic separation scheme envisages to give the transition those who ship building plan, large and passage of the dangerous cargo ships linking to specific conditions, under extraordinary conditions, a series of applications have been initiated, which envisage various provisions to stop the passage of ships from the straits. The legal basis for such practices is the 1998 Statutes which replaced it with 1994 (Güneş, 2007).

               The 1998 Statue laws that are applied are based on international treaties, Turkish legislations, statutory rules and orders.  Maritime Traffic Regulations for the Turkish Straits (1998) are regulated for İstanbul and Çanakkale straits to provide safety of navigation, life, property and environment. All vessels are involved. It is managed by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. The description of the vessels that are passing through the straits and the borders that these straits have are mentioned in that regulation. Traffic separation scheme is organized with the International Convention for Preventing Collision at Sea (COLREGS 72) Reg. (10) and adopted by International Maritime Organization (IMO).

               What COLREGS 72, Reg.10 says about traffic separation scheme,

(a) This Rule applies to traffic separation schemes adopted by the Organization.

(b) A vessel using a traffic separation scheme shall:

(i) proceed in the appropriate traffic lane in the general direction of traffic flow for that lane;

(ii) so far as practicable keep clear of a traffic separation line or separation zone;

(iii) Normally join or leave a traffic lane at the termination of the lane, but when joining or leaving from the side shall do so at as small an angle to the general direction of traffic flow as practicable.

(c) A vessel shall so far as practicable avoid crossing traffic lanes, but if obliged to do so shall cross as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow.

(d) Inshore traffic zones shall not normally be used by through traffic which can safely use the appropriate traffic lane within the adjacent traffic separation scheme.

(e) A vessel, other than a crossing vessel, shall not normally enter a separation zone or cross a separation line except:

(i) In cases of emergency to avoid immediate danger;

(ii) To engage in fishing within a separation zone.

(f) A vessel navigating in areas near the terminations of traffic separation schemes shall do so with particular caution.

(g) A vessel shall so far as practicable avoid anchoring in a traffic separation scheme or in areas near its terminations.

(h) A vessel not using a traffic separation scheme shall avoid it by as wide a margin as is practicable.

(i) A vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of any vessel following a traffic lane.

(j) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the safe passage of a power-driven vessel following a traffic lane.

               According to the 1998 Statue, Directorate General of Coastal Safety of The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure has formed traffic control center and stations. Regulations are giving information about precautions to be taken for transit passage and requirements for shipmaster and authorized personnel to perform at the time of transit. Also, the speed limit to be followed in the straits and what to do in case of an accident or breakdown are mentioned in the regulation. It is expected to follow the instructions of the traffic control center and station. The decisions of stopping and starting of the traffic are made by The Port Presidency and Traffic Control Stations. Vessels have to act within the traffic separation scheme. If there are some vessels that do not have difficulty while they are not in the scheme, they are reported to The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and their flag states (Regulations on Turkish Straits, 1998). Vessels are responsible to report the difficulties that they faced to the traffic control center and stations. Traffic control center and station take measures for the vessels that are carrying dangerous cargo and nuclear cargo. Expenses, which are arising because of illegality, are the liabilities of ship-owners, operators or its agency. Masters have to inform traffic control center and station when there is stream or there are problems with the eyesight. Within the traffic separation scheme, safety and customs inspections are not carried out unless it is deemed necessary.

               According to the regulation that was issued in 1998, execution was belonging to Council of Ministers, and also Under Secretariat of Maritime Affairs was responsible to administer. However, according to the valid application instruction, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure has the execution authorization and General Directorate of Sea and Inland Water Regulation of The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure have the administration of the regulation. If there is a need for change in the regulation, the ability is belonging to the authority which is Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. If there is a need for change because of illegitimacy, petitions can be available.

               According to the application instruction, the indirect passing vessels are allowed to stop for 168 hours -formerly 48 hours- due to traffic planning and / or adverse weather and sea conditions in the Straits. Vessels that lose their technical qualifications or seaworthiness, after having proved their competence in accordance with the fifth article of the regulation, can move again with the permission of the port authority. In cases where the centers temporarily suspend İstanbul or Çanakkale straits traffic in one direction or in both directions for a one-way traffic organization or other reasons, with respect to the conditions of stream or visibility, the vessels must be guided by a pilot and a tugboat. Otherwise, they may be taken to the İstanbul/ Çanakkale Strait with the instructions given by the Center.

Table 2: 8th article of the application instruction

LNG Vessels*

LPG Vessels


the length > 150 meters

passing through İstanbul

Day time, with a pilot, with tugboat

day time




with a pilot

the length > 150 meters and carrying LPG

passing through Çanakkale

Day time, with a pilot, with tugboat

60 tons < tugboat < 150 tons




permission from Directorate General of Maritime and Inland Waters Regulation

150 m < the length <200 m and not carrying LPG

passing through Çanakkale

Day or night time, with a pilot

Source: Application Instruction of Regulations on Turkish Straits Marine Traffic.

* The 8th article of the application instruction for passing through the straits is given below. Although, LNG ships are not allowed to pass through the straits, they are mentioned in the application instruction.

Table 3: 9th article of the application instruction,

The Vessels operated by nuclear power or carrying nuclear power or waste or carrying dangerous and harmful

The length <100 meters

at least 45 tons

100meters <the length <200 meters

at least 60 tons

The length> 200 meters

at least 90 tons

Source: Application Instruction of Regulations on Turkish Straits Marine Traffic.

A reporting system has established to deal with vessel movements within these straits that are accomplished by a vessel providing information which includes Sailing Plan 1, Position and Calling point reports.

Table 4: 11th article of the application instruction,

Vessels aim to pass through straits

Time limits

The vessels carrying dangerous cargo & >500 GT

At least 24 hours before

200 <the length <300

At least 48 hours before

the length > 300

At least 72 hours before

The vessels move from sea of Marmara & >500 GT

At least 6 hours before

Source: Application Instruction of Regulations on Turkish Straits Marine Traffic.

               According to the 12th article of the application instruction, all vessels carrying dangerous cargoes passing through the Turkish Straits, they must have P&I policy (which will be covered later on) covering compensation for deaths or injuries of third parties, in the event of any accident, any damage caused by ship sailing, the removal of the shipwreck, the service costs incurred, the compensation for damage to the environment, compensation of the damaged port, pier, quay, breakwater or any other object on the shore.

Table 5: 13th article of the application instruction,

Stream Conditions

Speed of the vessel relative to stream < 4 mil/h

waiting for the appropriate conditions



Day time, with a pilot, with tugboat


4 mil/h < stream < 6 mil/h or undertow

speed > 10 mil/h

vessel can pass


speed < 10 mil/h and carrying dangerous cargo

cannot be taken to straits



passing: day time, with a pilot and tugboat

6 mil/h < stream < 7 mil/h or undertow

one direction traffic until stream < 6 mil/h



speed > 12 mil /h

vessels can pass in that one direction


regardless of the speed, vessels carrying dangerous cargo cannot be taken to the straits



speed < 12 mil/h and carrying dangerous cargo

passing: day time, with a pilot and tugboat

stream >7 mil/h

No passing through the straits


Source: Application Instruction of Regulations on Turkish Straits Marine Traffic.

Table 6: 14th article of the application instruction

Rules for vessels to pass through Çanakkale Strait

Full or empty tankers, length>200m

Day time

Should not come across with vessel (L>150m) in return of


Vessels with IMDG code-1, length>200 m

Day time


Vessels with IMDG code-1, 150m<length<200m and

Full or empty tankers


Should not come across with vessel (L>150m) in return of


Length>250m tanker or vessel carrying dangerous cargo


Pilot (recommended),

tugboat (advice)

Source: Application Instruction of Regulations on Turkish Straits Marine Traffic.

Table 7: 14th article of the application instruction

Rules for vessels to pass through İstanbul strait

Tankers or vessels that carrying dangerous cargo, length > 200 m

Day time

All towing vessels

Day time

Vessels that must follow the additional passing instruction

Day time

Source: Application Instruction of Regulations on Turkish Straits Marine Traffic.

B.2. Law No. 5312 Law on the Principles of Intervention and Disposal of Damages in the Emergency of the Sea Surrounding with Oil and Other Harmful Materials

Article 2

This law shall ensure that the parties, ministries and public institutions and organizations in charge of the coastal facilities that perform activities which may cause pollution by oil and other harmful substances, ships carrying five hundred grocers or larger oil and other harmful substances in the application areas or who wish to enter the application areas for any reason. It covers the authority, duties and responsibilities. Ships and auxiliary warships and any state-owned or state-operated and off-the-shelf vessels are excluded from the scope of the law

Article 9

Any vessel that wants to enter the territorial waters of Turkey to go to the harbor and this law by liability guarantees have dependents copies of the documents specified in Article 8 of the ships, before entry to Turkish territorial waters, the harbor presidencies will go, will be delivered by an agent means a resident in Turkey. Turkish straits direct passing of the President of the Republic for the purpose of reporting requirements for ships wishing to enter the territorial waters of Turkey is determined to put into effect regulations. Innocent passage for ships to use its territorial waters of Turkey, the name of the ship with information on all kinds of communication devices and liability certificates, call name, flag, port of registration, name of the owner of the ship and place of the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization number (IMO No ), the type of collateral, the validity period of the guarantee, the place of the insurer's name and center, the limits of compensation and the amount and amount of the ship, the type of ship, information about the port of departure and destination and the documents to the nearest port authority.

B.3. Regulations

Vessel Traffic Services (VTS)

Taking into account the marine traffic efficiency in the field of ship traffic services, Ship Traffic Services is the system that responds to the changing traffic conditions by watching the sea traffic and actively organizes and plans the maritime traffic in order to increase the marine safety. This system was first established with the name of “Turkish Straits Ship Traffic Services” in İstanbul Strait, Çanakkale Strait and Marmara Sea by Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. Then, within the scope of the Ship Traffic Management System Project carried out by Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure;

- İzmit Ship Traffic Services, which includes the sea area to the east of the line connecting Pendik Cape in the North and Deveboynu Cape in the South, and the Gulf of İzmit,

- İzmir Ship Traffic Services, which covering the sea area between Gulf of İzmir and Babakale-Çeşme,

- Mersin Ship Traffic Services, which contains the Gulfs of Mersin and İskenderun

- Ship Traffic Management Center was established in Ankara to create a single image with the data to be obtained from all Ship Traffic Services.

Turkish Straits Vessel Traffic Services (TSVTS)

Turkish Straits as a geographical area where Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) are offered; Sovereignty of the Republic of Turkey on 37 Miles long Çanakkale Strait, is comprised of 110 Mile length of the Sea of Marmara and İstanbul Strait length of 17 Miles. Between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, the total length of this waterway, which has a total length of 164 Nautical miles, is not an alternative and is very important for all countries, especially the economies of the Black Sea Countries. The İstanbul Strait is the most important natural narrow waterway in the world with its geographic structure, shortness, strong currents, sharp turns, variable climatic conditions, and approximately 140 non-stop vessels (approximately 25 dangerous ships carrying ships) and 2,500 regional sea movement by carrying two millions of people (Directorate General of Coastal Safety, 2019). The most important of all is the fact that approximately 15 million people living in İstanbul face the dangers of maritime traffic. The high sea traffic density in the Straits, the increase in the length and tonnage of the passing ships, the increase in the passage of dangerous cargo carrying ships, complex and difficult traffic structure, adverse weather, sea, current and climatic conditions, environmental conditions, national and international developments, other maritime activities in the region, the Montreux Convention and the rules and recommendations of the International Maritime Organization and the need to cooperate with other similar systems are the factors that require the establishment of Vessel Traffic Services in the Turkish Straits. The TSVTS System was established in accordance with the recommendation of the National Security Council dated 27.12.1995 and numbered 388. The operation, repair-maintenance and continuation responsibility of the system has been transferred to Directorate of General Coastal Safety in accordance with the Council of Ministers' Decision no 4636, dated 02.08.2002. The commissioning was started, dated 30.12.2003. TSVTS system, at first covering only the İstanbul and Çanakkale Straits was extended to include the “Traffic Separation Scheme” in the Sea of Marmara in 2008 and it is created an opportunity to monitor the ship traffic across the Turkish Straits. Since its inception, the TSVTS system has been operating on a 24/7 basis. The TSVTS function is carried out by 2 VTS centers located in İstanbul and Çanakkale and 16 unmanned Traffic Surveillance Stations (TSS), which are located in different locations in the Turkish Straits and connected with various dGPS (Differential Global Positioning System), RDF and other sensor stations. In all of the TSSs, there are a number of OTS, VHF Radio, Electro-Optic, meteorological sensors that vary according to where they are located.

Ship Traffic Management System (STMS)

The operation, repair-maintenance and continuation responsibility of the VTS in the framework of the STMS project, which was put into planning in 2005, was given to the Directorate General of Coastal Safety in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers dated 21.10.2013 and numbered 2013/5498. İzmit VTS was put into operation on 03.06.2016 and İzmir VTS started to serve in August 2017 but it has not been officially opened. Mersin VTS was planned to be commissioned in the third quarter of 2018. İzmit VTS consists of 1 center and 4 TSS, İzmir VTS 1 center and 12 TSS, Mersin VTS consists of 1 center and 8 TSS.

Purpose and Services of VTS

The purpose of the VTS, within the scope of its responsibility, is to ensure active participant ship traffic within the framework of national and international legislation; information service, traffic organization service, providing navigation assistance service, to increase the safety of navigation, life, property and environment.

In this context, VTS;

·         Follows sea traffic in its areas of responsibility according to all kinds of environmental conditions on a 24/7 basis,

·         Maintains the marine traffic view and transfers this information to the ships when necessary, measures the cruise information to be used for this purpose and keeps records

·         Makes the organization of maritime traffic taking into account the efficiency,

·         On request, provides timely information that may help in the decision of the ship's captain regarding the cruise.

·         Ensures the implementation of national and international legislation related to maritime traffic,

·         Keeps records of audio, data and images related to maritime traffic and prepares these records and information for transfer to relevant institutions and organizations within the framework of the relevant legislation,

·         It ensures the effective and rapid intervention in the event of an accident, takes necessary measures to increase the safety of navigation, life and property, to minimize environmental pollution and other economic losses and to ensure the safety of the traffic as soon as possible.

Accident Research and Investigation Board;

It is decided to establish Accident Investigation Board of continuous nature by the Law On the Organization and Duties of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Law number 655, which was published and has taken effect in the Official Gazette of 1 November 2011 and number 28102 for the purpose of investigation of serious accidents occurring in transport modes and ensuring safety of navigation and life. On the other hand, By Law of Accident Investigation and Board were published in the Official Gazette of 6 May 2013 and number 28639 and the Board is established on this basis and started their activities. Principal field of study of the Board is outlined as follows:

·         To investigate serious accidents which occur in transport modes,

·         To investigate accidents and incidents having a significant effect in terms of safety arrangements and safety management of transport modes,

·         To submit the prepared reports, when required, to the parties and interested national and international bodies and institutions,

·         To publish annual statistics on the accidents and incidents which are investigated and examined.

Through the Board, a centralized and independent investigation and research of accidents occurring in different transport modes such as air transport, maritime transport, railways and highways will be possible. In this way, as resolved in the international conventions to which we are party, an independent structure of non-executive activity will be established and it will be possible to fulfill our reporting responsibilities as included again in the international conventions by means of the independent Board. Matters such as the determination of administrative, legal or punitive responsibility will not be the purpose of accident investigation and research reports and the Board Decisions to be taken based on such reports, but to increase the safety of life and property by means of the lessons learned from the accidents will be the main objective of the Board.

C. International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions

C.1. Civil Liabilities Convention

The current “International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage” which will be referred briefly as the CLC hereafter was signed at 1992 (IMO, 2009a). “The Convention covers pollution damage resulting from spills of persistent oils suffered in the territory (including the territorial sea) of a State Party to the Convention”. However, it should be noted that the Civil Liability Convention (CLC) covers ships which carry over 2000 Gross tonnage of crude oil while we have other liability conventions such as the BUNKER Convention which covers all ships over 1000 Gross tonnage (IMO, 2009b). Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) centers ask a valid BUNKER Certificate on board from all ships over 1000 Tons, and ask a valid CLC certificate additionally if the ship is carrying over 2000 Tons of crude oil as cargo on board. The CLC convention has setup liability limits for possible offender while clearly stating that ship-owners cannot limit their liability “if it is proved that the pollution damage resulted from the ship-owners’ personal act or omission, committed with the intent to cause such damage, or recklessly and with knowledge that such damage would probably result” (IMO, 2009c).

The compensation limits for environmental costs which were set up at the 1992 convention were later increased by 50% with the 2000 amendments which entered into force at 2003.

Table 8: Ship Size and Liability Limits

Ship Size

Liability Limit

Ships under 5.000 gross tonnage

4,51 million SDR

Ships between 5.000 to 140.000 gross tonnage

An addition of 631 SDR for each additional gross ton added to 4,51 million SDR

Ships over 140.000 gross tonnage

89,77 million SDR

Source: (IMO, 2009a).

Civil Liability Convention Articles Regarding Insurance

It should be noted that all transgressions within Turkish waters answer to Turkish Courts where their actions are judged with Turkish Law regardless of the fact that ship does or does not carry a CLC certificate. Incidents regarding oil pollution are punishable within the Turkish Environmental Law based on their gross tonnages. CLC then comes into the picture in order to alleviate the costs of the liable party. Certain trade conflicts may be subject to International law but if the actions are illegal within Turkish waters, they are left to the jurisdiction of our courts.

Article 5

The first paragraph goes on to specify the limits of liability charged to the ship-owner in the case of an accident while the third paragraph then states that the “owner shall constitute a fund for the total sum representing the limit of his liability with the Court or other competent authority of any one of the Contracting States in which action is brought”. The fund to be presented “can be constituted either by depositing the sum or by producing a bank guarantee or other guarantee, acceptable under the legislation of the Contracting state where the fund is constituted, and considered to be adequate by the Court or other competent authority”.                                                                                                      The fifth paragraph states the right of subrogation (which refers to the insurer’s right to bring up charges to the liable party) for the provider of the insurance or security whereas the sixth paragraph indicates that this right “may also be exercised by a person other than those mentioned therein in respect of any amount of compensation for pollution damage which he may have paid but only to the extent that such subrogation is permitted under the applicable national law”. Finally, the seventh paragraph clarifies the situation in the case of a disburse.                                                                           The ninth paragraph specifies the process regarding payments in the national currency with relation to SDRs. The eleventh paragraph notes that “insurer or ether person providing financial security shall be entitled to constitute a fund in accordance with this Article on the same conditions and having the same effect as if it were constituted by the owner” while also stating that this entitlement continues even if the compensation cannot be limited due to reasons such as preventive measures not being taken.

Article 7

The first paragraph states that any “ship registered in a Contracting State and carrying more than 2,000 tons of oil in bulk as cargo shall be required to maintain insurance or other financial security, such as the guarantee of a bank or a certificate delivered by an international compensation fund, in the sums fixed by applying the limits of liability prescribed” whereas the second paragraph denotes all the required information required from a necessary certificate including the period of validity of the certificate.                                                                                                                The third paragraph states that the certificate should be issued in the official language/languages of the State that provides it while the fourth paragraph states that in full that “The certificate shall be carried on board the ship and a copy shall be deposited with the authorities who keep the record of the ship‘s registry or, if the ship is not registered in a Contracting State, with the authorities of the State issuing or certifying the certificate”. The fifth paragraph then states that any insurance or security cannot satisfy the requirements if it can cease for reasons other than an expiry date.

The sixth paragraph is of particular interest as it gives states the right to determine the properties of the certificate along with paragraph 7 that notes that certificates issued by any of the contracting states shall have the same force for the other contracting states with certificates that they themselves had issued. The tenth paragraph however states that a contracting state will still require a certificate even if the trading ship happens to be under its flag and the eleventh paragraph requires contracting states to ensure all ships                                                                                                    The eighth paragraph states that all claims regarding pollution damage can be brought to insurer or any “other person providing financial security for the owner‘s liability” and the defender cannot excuse themselves from the charges as long as they cannot prove that the ship owner was negligent while the ninth paragraph sums provided from insurance or security “shall be available exclusively for the satisfaction of claims under this Convention”. Lastly the twelfth paragraph states that “if insurance or other financial security is not maintained in respect of a ship owned by a Contracting State” than the ship shall carry a certificate issued by that state which will “follow as closely as practicable the model prescribed by paragraph 2”.

The Republic of Turkey’s Application of IMO Conventions

Turkey’s Applications within the Civil Liability Convention

The directive of 19 December 2013 titled “1992 PETROL KİRLİLİĞİNDEN DOĞAN ZARARIN HUKUKİ SORUMLULUĞU İLE İLGİLİ ULUSLARARASI SÖZLEŞME (CLC 92) SERTİFİKASININ DÜZENLENMESİNE VE DENETİMİNE YÖNELİK USUL VE ESASLARIN BELİRLENMESİNE İLİŞKİN YÖNERGE” (Law No. 4658) by the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure can be roughly translated as the “1992 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage Certificate’s Counseling Regarding Regulation and Supervision Procedure and Principles”. The directive numbered 1998 illustrates the application and procedures regarding the convention. The third article of the directive states that the 4507th law (renewed version of Law No. 4658, 2000) had justified our accession to the convention with 4658th law while the fifth article of the directive states that just as the fifth article of the convention states ships carrying more than 2000 tons of oil are required to carry the CLC-92 certificate. The seventh article states the certificate will require an insurance or security as it was specified by the convention. The tenth article necessitates that a copy be held at ship, that if the guarantee is a P&I bill which is also referred to as a CLC Blue Card then the bill be verifiable through the official website of the company that issued it and that if the guarantee requires changes, the final format should be submitted within 3 workdays or else the certificate will be nullified. The twelfth article necessitates that all ships docking to a Turkish port or anchoring in Turkish territorial waters have to submit their certificate to the nearest port administration, ships passing through Turkish territorial waters without docking have to submit their certificate via an agency to any port administration that may ask for it and that ships that do not have this certificate cannot move within Turkish territorial waters. The thirteenth article then specifies the amount to be deposited by the ship owner to the Ministry as 600 TL and then adds that that in the case that the insurance be made by Turkish companies or banks there will be a 50% discount.

Our Options for a Possibly Beneficial Readjustment

The relevant articles’ pages from the Directive and the Convention have been cropped.

·         Government Directive

a.       Editing the 13th article of the 1998 directive we may increase costs, change certain procedures or add in new ones in order to reach an agreement more beneficial to Turkey.

·         Civil Liabilities Convention

a.       We can add new conditions with the approval of other contracting parties of IMO to the process of granting a certificate again under paragraph 6 of article 7 to incentivize a more profitable transportation process for Turkey.

b.      Using paragraph 11 of article 7 we can ensure that all ships sailing across our straits carry the certificate using paragraph 10 of the same article as justification. This process can take as much as we see fit, as we have jurisdiction over all ships that pollute within our waters.

c.       Using paragraph 8 of article 7 we may bring up charges to the insurer if the chances of prosecuting the ship-owner proves to be more tedious or less realistic.

C.2. Ballast Water Management

“IMO has been addressing the issue of invasive species in ships’ ballast water since the 1980s, when Member States experiencing particular problems brought their concerns to the attention of IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). Guidelines to address the issue were adopted in 1991 and IMO then worked to develop the Ballast Water Management Convention, which was adopted in 2004 and was put into application in 2017.” (IMO, 2009d)                                   “Ballast water is routinely taken on by ships for stability and structural integrity. It can contain thousands of aquatic microbes, algae and animals, which are then carried across the world’s oceans and released into ecosystems where they are not native. The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BMW Convention) requires ships to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments.”                                                               “Under the Convention, all ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan. All ships will also have to carry a ballast water record book and an international ballast water management certificate. The ballast water management standards will be phased in over a period of time. Eventually most ships will need to install an on-board ballast water treatment system.” (IMO, 2009e)

D. What Types of Insurances That Vessel Should Have?

The subject of Marine Insurance is very wide and encompassing, which is why there is a definite categorization of various types of marine insurance and different types of marine insurance policies. As per the needs, requirements and specifications of the transporter, an appropriate type or types of marine insurance can be narrowed down and selected to be put into operation. Any insurance is designed to manage risks in the event of unfortunate incidents like accidents, damage to the property and environment or loss of life. When it comes to Ships, the stakes are higher as all factors are involved in the operation, i.e. risk of losing valuable cargo or expansive ships, the risk of damage to the environment due to oil pollution and risk of losing precious lives of seafarers due to accidents. To ensure all the risk can be managed without the lack of monetary fund’s when needed the most, different Maritime insurances are made necessary for ships and ship owners to take. There are several marine insurance companies providing types of insurance, which are effective for sustainability of merchant marine, ships have financial guarantees for their businesses, for ship owners, cargo owners and charterers. The different types of marine insurance can be elaborated as follows:

·         Hull & Machinery (H & M) Insurance: Hull insurance mainly caters to the torso and hull of the vessel along with all the articles and pieces of furniture on the ship. This type of marine insurance is mostly taken out by the owner of the ship to avoid any loss to the vessel in case of any mishaps occurring. All the essential machinery is covered under this insurance and in case of any operational damages, claims can be compensated (post survey and approval by the surveyor). The H&M insurance can also be extended to cover war risk covers and strike cover (strike in port may lead to delay and increase in costs)

·         Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Insurance: This insurance is provided by the P&I clubs, which is ship owners’ mutual insurance covering the liabilities to the third party and risks which are not covered elsewhere in standard H & M and other policies.

·         Protection: Risks which are connected with ownership of the vessel. e.g. Crew related claims.

·         Indemnity: Risks which are related to the hiring of the ship. e.g. Cargo-related claims.

·         Marine Cargo Insurance: Cargo insurance caters specifically to the marine cargo carried by ship and also pertains to the belongings of ships’ voyages. It protects the cargo owner against damage or loss of cargo due to ship accident or due to delay in the voyage or unloading. Marine cargo insurance has third-party liability covering the damage to the port, ship or other transport forms (rail or truck) resulted from the dangerous cargo carried by them.

Marine Insurance is an area which involves a lot of thoughts, straightforward and complex dealings in order to achieve the common ground of payment and receiving. But as much as complex the field is, it is nonetheless interesting and intriguing because it caters to a lot of people and offers a wide range of services and policies to facilitate easy and uncomplicated business transactions. 

E. Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Insurances

E.1 What is Protection and Indemnity Club (P&I), roles and initiatives

The first P&I Club were established in 1855, by the name of Ship-owners Mutual Protection Society. Protection and Indemnity Club (P&I) takes 1/4 of the responsibility of the insurance is not included in the scope of the hull and machinery insurance is left to the owners after the unification of the freighters has emerged. As time passes P&I has begun to include more responsibility as hull & machinery insurance does not include. The International Group (pool system); demonstrates the wider benefits of ‘maintaining mutuality’. The goal of this system is to share the risks mutually. The principal risks covered are liabilities, costs and expenses for:

·         Injury, illness and death of crew, passengers or other persons

·         Cargo loss or damage

·         Wreck removal

·         Pollution

·         Collision

·         Dock damage

·         Fines or administrative penalties arising out of the operation or management of ships.

“In the P&I Clubs, that self-interest happens to be maximized by co-operative rather than competitive relations, and sanctions and incentives are used to ensure individual behavior is reconciled with the interest of the group of ship-owners as a whole (which may incidentally have safety and environmental benefits). Nevertheless, it is self-interest, albeit supposedly ‘enlightened’, which is further legitimized: insurers are told they should act in favor of governmental programs because it is in their commercial interest. There is no guarantee that the social and environmental interest will always coincide with (individual or collective) private interests, yet it is the latter that is being further legitimized as the only rational motivation behind decision-making. Morality, paradoxically, plays little part in the ‘moral economy’ of the P&I Clubs” (Bennett, 2001).

Role of P&I companies;

·          24/7 reachable, and helpful

·         Appoints experts, experts and lawyers

·         Informs interventionists such as, International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) in case of fuel leaks/pollutions

·         Creates immediate response team,

·         Make ideas and recommendations on the action plan to be implemented,

·         Follows the legal processes.

E.2. Which P&I Companies are Valid in Turkey? How are They Determined?

Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure has published the instruction, Law no.45168, enacted on 30.05.2017, that is about P&I clubs and companies that can be accepted as party for the flag state applications and administrative procedures. Second part of this instruction gives the requirements that P&I clubs have to have and do. In the article 6, there are two different groups that the clubs can enter into. For the first group institutions which are calling as International Group of P&I are responsible for to provide following requirements, letter of invention, existence of authorized person or firm and permission to check validity of its P&I commercial papers as online. For the second group, addition to the first group’s requirements, the companies have to indicate that it has A(-) and above or equivalent international credit rating that is confirmed by international credit rating agencies, which are A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service, and also the rating is available to be checked online. Additionally, companies must provide commitment regarding to report the vessels that are cancelled the insurance in ten days. Companies’ reinsurance agreements have to cover limits of stipulated liability in international conventions where Turkey is a party and shows the total guarantee amount is not less than 500 million USD manner approved by the reinsurer or reinsurers and companies must present financial reports and compensation payments that are approved by independent auditors for P&I insurance for the last three years. Additionally, The Article 11 states that if there is national company that demands to be accepted as a P&I company, it has different procedures. In cases where there is no provision in this instruction, the opinions of the administration shall be taken as basis for approval.

Table 9: The P&I Clubs recognized by Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

Accepted according to the article 11/1




Accepted according to the article 6/1



American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc.


The Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Ltd.


Assuranceforeningen Gard (Gjensidig)


Gard P&I (Bermuda) Ltd.


The Japan Ship Owners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association


The London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Ltd.


The North of England Protecting & Indemnity Association


The Ship-owners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association (Luxembourg)


Assuranceforeningen Skuld (Gjensidig)


The Standard Club Ireland Designated Activity Company


The Standard Club UK Ltd.


The Standard Club Asia Ltd.


The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association Limited


The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Ltd.


Sveriges Angfartygs Assurans Forening - The Swedish Club


United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Ltd.


United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Europe) Ltd.


The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association (Luxembourg)

Accepted according to the article 6/2



Navigators International P&I


Navigators P&I


Hanseatic P&I


MS Amlin Marine N.V.


Lodestar Marine Limited


Noord Nederlandsche P&I Club


Carina P&I


Thomas Miller Specialty


British Marine

Source: Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (2019).

Risks that are protected by P&I, personal injury, death, illness, conflict in the sea, wreck removal, given damage to fixed or floating objects, pollution, damage or lack of cargo, fines, stowaways, quarantine, lawsuit expenses, etc. In case of injury, sickness or death of the crew, passengers, guests and other third parties on board the hospital, treatment and funeral expenses, material and non-pecuniary damages, salaries paid to the seafarers during the period they are ill and treated are covered by the guarantee of this insurance. In addition, the return of the ship-men, the cost of substitution and the loss of shipmen, passengers, guests' personal belongings and damage is covered. Insured maritime damage is not covered. ¼ of the damage of the counter-ship or the entire damage under the agreement is covered. Injury, pollution, etc. that may occur after such a cracking incident costs incurred is covered by this insurance. Liabilities arising from floating, displacement, destruction or marking of the ship's debris, responsibilities arising from the displacement of the wreckage of the ship or unintentional debris, costs or expenses related to the loss of the burden on the wreckage are covered by the guarantee. Physical damage to scaffolds, fixed or floating objects fishing nets and coral reefs are covered by the guarantee. Guarantees against the spread of pollution, loss, damage or contamination of third party responsibilities are covered by the insurance. Liabilities arising from the withdrawal of the insured ship and the drawdown of the insured ship are covered by the insurance. The responsibilities of the ship-owners such as the loss or damage of the load against the load holders, the cost of the destruction of the damaged cargo, the common stock share of the load and the costs of the aid of the rescue and the load deficiencies are covered by the insurance. In case of incomplete or overload of the cargo being handled, violations of special conditions related to the declaration of the cargo or the documents of the freight, violation of the regulations related to smuggling or customs or immigration, the ship owner's responsibility for the pollution by the insurer if it is under the policy and the related liability limit by accident, the penalties imposed on the ship concerned in relation to any substance released or leaked are covered by the insurance. Expenses for the return of illegal passengers to the country, expenses for extra security on board, expenses for boarding the ship, expenses for arranging travel documents are covered by the guarantee. Exemptions, risks incurred by boat machinery insurance, double insured risks, risks arising as a result of unlawful action, exclusion of the ship from the class, risks faced by the flag state due to non-compliance with the legal requirements are not covered by the insurance.

E.3. What Do We Know About Turkish P&I?

Turkish P&I were established to meet liability insurance requirements of Turkish maritime interests which arise under Insurance Law no. 5684, enacted on 31.12.2013. The major purpose of this law is to establish a framework which legally compels Turkish interests to carry liability insurance for risks which are deemed mandatory to be insured under Turkish Laws & Regulations. Laws and Regulations enacted in Turkey in the last few years made it compulsory for majority of maritime interests in Turkey to carry P&I insurance, thus Turkish P&I was brought into existence to assist ship owners in having easier access to P&I insurances, which is deemed a specialty marine insurance product. In respect of Regulation on the Establishment and Operation Principles of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (Law no.26623 enacted in 24.08.2007); company applied for license from Turkish Prime Ministry Under Secretariat of Treasury General Directorate of Insurance (General Directorate of Insurance) and received the operating license on 18.02.2014. Turkish P&I Insurance Company is located in İstanbul. Board of Directors consists of 13 members. It is made up of 2 Board members representing A Group shareholder, 2 Board members representing B Group shareholder, 2 Board members representing C Group shareholder, 5 Board members representing D Group shareholder, 1 Board member representing Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and General Manager.

When the news is examined, Turkish P&I was established by six companies, three of them were public cooperate which are Güneş Sigorta, Halk Sigorta and Ziraat Sigorta, and remaining three were ship-business companies which are Ömür Marine, Metropole, Vitsan. The aim was protection and indemnity of small boats and ships to Turkish operators. It was a national company in order to increase the level of being insured. It has a board member that is from Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. It is said that the company was set up in order to meet the need of compulsory insurance, and the profit was for sustainability by the founders of company (2014). Even if the company started as national, in 2019, it is said by the general director of the company that the company gets larger and larger. It has now around two thousand ships to insure, and the goal is to become an international company which serves for the ships that are not belong to Turkish operators.

Since Turkish P&I is the one and only Company that operates P&I insurances, it has advantages and disadvantages. As its disadvantages, looking at the Law No. 5684 (insurance law) in Turkey, there is no requirement to be a local company to make P&I insurance. Foreign P&I companies are also available to get the confirmation and sell P&I coverage in the domestic market. Also, foreign companies mostly are in this sector for longer than Turkish P&I. An important advantage of Turkish P&I is the language. P&I rule printed in book form are both in Turkish and English. The company is familiar to the local market conditions, and it has Turkish technical personnel. Another advantage is that Turkish P&I is subject to Turkish laws. It can find solutions to problems in Turkish courts.

Table 10: Capital of Turkish P&I, current


Payment Group

Nominal Amount of Capital (TL)


Ziraat Sigorta A.Ş.




Güneş Sigorta A.Ş.




Türkiye Halk Bankası A.Ş.




Ömür Denizcilik A.Ş.




Metropole Denizcilik ve Ticaret Ltd. Şti.




Vitsan Denizcilik A.Ş.








Source: Turkish P&I (2019)

Table 11: Assets and Liabilities that Turkish P&I has


Without Independent Audit 30.09.2018

With Independent Audit 31.12.2017

Current Assets Total



Non-Current Assets Total



Assets Total



Short-Term Liabilities Total



Long-Term Liabilities Total



Equity Total



Liabilities & Equity Total



Source: Turkish P&I (2019)

F. LNG Ships

LNG Carrier Types

“A typical modern LNG ship is approximately 300 meters (m) (975 feet) long, 43m wide (140 feet) wide and has a draft of about 12 m (39 feet). LNG ships vary in cargo capacity, from 1,000 cubic meters to 267,000 cubic meters, but the majority of modern vessels are between 125,000 cubic meters and 175,000 cubic meters capacity. Smaller LNG ships (1,000 – 25,000 cubic meters capacity) also operate in some areas, such as Norway and Japan. LNG carriers are capable of speeds of up to 21 knots (oil tankers operate at 15-20 knots) in open waters” (The International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers, n.d.).

LNG Hazards

·         “BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) results from rapid vaporization due to container failure, but these are highly unlikely due to modern US DOT standards which mandate double-walled containers and durable insulation.

·         RPT (Rapid Phase Transition) is an extremely uncommon and curious phenomenon where large quantities of LNG dumped in water can physically explode but not combust. There is no fire, but there is potential for damage to nearby equipment. RPT’s have been studied extensively in labs but never documented in real world practice. They are more common with rich mixtures of LNG that have high proportions of ethane and propane. It would take more than 10,000 gallons of LNG in an RPT scenario to cause significant damage and as such are considered to be extremely unlikely.

·         The most dangerous and likely hazard is if LNG is spilled inside a contained area where the vapors cannot dissipate, in this scenario there is great danger of fire if ignition sources are present.

·         Extreme ruptures of LNG tanks, such as a highway accident of an LNG transport truck or a weapon attack, could cause a fire if there are ignitions sources present such as sparks or fires.

·         LNG is cryogenic, cooled to -260° F, and can cause cryogenic burns to skin.

·         Methane can be an asphyxiant in an enclosed space.

·         Methane fires must be fought with dry chemicals as water can excite the fire.

·         LNG does not take odorants so it has no smell.

LNG shipping is considered much safer than comparable crude oil shipping. P&I insurance rates are 25% less for LNG shipping than for crude oil shipping. The liability within the insurance coverage is focused on fire and damage and not on environmental pollution.” (Dodge, n.d.). “Shipping safety and security for LNG ships is maintained at a very high level, especially considering the very low historical accident/incident rate of the industry. As recently reported by MSNBC, LNG tankers have sailed over 100 million miles without a shipboard death, major accident, or loss of cargo.” (The International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers, n.d.)

Table 12: Comparison of properties of liquid fuels





Fuel Oil











Flammable Vapour





Forms Vapour Clouds






Yes, but in a vapor cloud

Same as LNG



Extreme Cold Temperature


Yes, if refrigerated



Other Health Hazards



Eye irritant, narcosis, nausea, others

Same as petrol

Flash Point* Celsius (F)

C: -188, F: -306

C: -144, F: -156

C: 10, F: -50

C: 60, F: 140

Boiling point Celsius (F)

C: -160, F: -256

C: -42, F: -44

C: 32, F: 90

C: 214, F: 400

Flammability Range in air, %

5 to 15

2.1 to 9.5

1.3 to 6


Stored Pressure


Pressurized (atmospheric if refrigerated)



Behavior if spilled

Evaporates as visible clouds, parts of which could be flammable or explosive (if contained) under certain conditions

Evaporates, as vapor clouds which could be flammable or explosive under certain conditions.

Evaporates, forms flammable pool; environmental cleanup required.

Same as petrol

Source: After et al. (2003).

Flash Point means the minimum temperature at which a liquid gives off a vapour within a best vessel in sufficient concentration to form an ignitable mixture with air near the surface of the liquid (OSHA, 2008).

Table 13: Auto-ignition Temperature of Liquid Fuels


Auto-ignition Temperature: C,F

LNG (primarily methane)

540, 1004


454 to 510, 850 to 950


523, 793


464, 867


257, 495


316, Approx. 600

Source: After et al. (2003).

G. What can be done to control the Straits?

G.1 IMO 2020 Plan

By the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which is the regulatory authority for international maritime, the 70th Meeting of the Committee for the Protection of the Marine Environment (MEPC) in London decided to implement the global sulfur upper limit of 0.50 % m/m in 2020. The date of application is 1 January 2020, a turning point for both the environment and human health. This represents a significant reduction from the current 3.5% m / m global limit and shows a clear commitment by IMO to ensure that shipping is fulfilling its environmental responsibilities. Regulations governing sulfur oxide emissions from ships are included in Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships (MARPOL Convention). The date of 2020 was decided in the amendments adopted in 2008. It was also acknowledged that, when these amendments were adopted, a review should be conducted by 2018 to assess whether sufficient fuel would be available to meet the 2020 deadline. If not, this date could be postponed to 2025. The review was completed in 2016 and submitted to the MEPC 70. In the examination, it was concluded that sufficient fuel could be supplied to meet the mite fuel requirements.

 Table 14: Global Sulfur Cap


Source: Deniz Portal (2018).

            In order to prevent emissions from marine fuels, more stringent standards are adopted worldwide. Turkey in this respect is adapting increasingly closer to the EU standards in the application. However, the effects of the new regulations on the sector should be evaluated in a multifaceted way. Due to the increase in the use of low sulfur fuel, the supply is not developing at the same rate; therefore, significant investments have to be made in the refining sector. Meanwhile in Turkey, close to the application of the EU adopting regulations those region-specific situations should also be considered. With all this in mind, the need for multidisciplinary research in reducing emissions from maritime is becoming more visible. While taking steps in line with the trends around the world for the protection of the environment, new problems, infrastructure works and investment areas that need to be taken into consideration should be taken into consideration.

Ship-owners may choose to use scrubbers’ gas cleaning filter systems. This investment can be made to modern ships, but considering the cost benefit analysis on old vessels, the benefits of these systems will be financially troublesome. The use of diesel is another method, but its price is approximately 2 times more expensive than currently used fuels. In addition, demand for diesel will increase prices by 3 to 4 times. Refineries can focus on low sulfur fuel system integration. However, the implementation of the system to a refinery requires an investment of between 1 and 2 billion dollars. If this investment is implemented, it is inevitable to reflect the money spent on fuel prices. As a result, this system, which IMO will implement, will create significant additional costs for both ship owners and fuel companies. As a recommendation, ship systems using LNG fuel should be evaluated. Necessary measures should be taken for this price increase in the sector.

What does the “IMO 2020” Regulation really say?

The right fuel

As of 1 January 2020, all ships are required to burn fuel with a Sulfur content of no more than 0.5% (Regulation 14.1.3, MARPOL Annex VI) unless fitted with an exhaust gas emissions cleaner (scrubber) capable of reducing Sulfur emissions to 0.5% or less (Regulation 4, MARPOL Annex VI). Regulation 4 also allows for the use of alternative fuels. This means that before midnight on 31 December 2019, ships must take on board enough 0.5% fuel to be able to reach their next BUNKERing port after the new regulation comes into force.

The carriage bans

Apart from ships that have scrubbers, all other ships that have “residual” fuel with Sulfur content higher than 0.5% on board will have to remove it. A total ban on the carriage of residual fuel (excluding ships operating scrubbers) will come into force on 1 March. After this date port state control will check ships’ BUNKER tanks for non-compliant fuel.

The scrubbers

Scrubbers are permitted by Regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI, but no technical requirements are given. Three main designs are available: open, closed and hybrid. Open loop scrubbers’ use and discharge seawater as part of the scrubber process and their use may be restricted in some waters. This means that a ship will need to carry a stock of compliant 0.5% fuel when the scrubber cannot be used.

The enforcement

The 2020 global cap will apply to all ships flying the flag of a state that has ratified MARPOL Annex VI and/or calling at a port or passing through the waters of a state that has ratified the Convention. In real terms this means that the Sulfur caps will apply to 96% of the world’s fleet. How the cap will be enforced will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and it will be left to each port state to determine the level of fines imposed and if ships will be detained. Ships should monitor and maintain a log of exhaust emissions. A failure to properly maintain the log or make false entries is likely to be considered non-compliance by port state control and other authorities, even if exhaust emission levels are within limits. After the ban on ships carrying fuel with Sulfur content greater than 0.5% comes into force in 2020, port state control is likely to survey BUNKER tanks to check compliance.

What to keep in mind

Developing a ship-specific implementation plan is necessary to prepare for 1 January 2020. Such a plan should cover issues such as:

·         Having a minimum quantity of 0.5% fuel on board by the end of December 2019

·         Fuel management on board the ship – co-mingling, compatibility and separation

·         Availability of compliant fuel

·         Tank cleaning after switching to new fuels

·         De-BUNKERing of non-compliant and residual fuel before the carriage ban

·         Monitoring and logging emissions

·         Charter party issues

Ship-owners and operators have various options to meet the IMO sulfur cap requirements. These options include the use of compliant low sulfur fuels or alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG), biofuel, solar power or fuel cells. SOx also can be controlled by using an alternative technology such as an exhaust gas cleaning system.

What must ships do to meet the new IMO regulations?

The IMO MARPOL regulations limit the Sulfur content in fuel oil. So ships need to use fuel oil which is inherently low enough in Sulfur, in order to meet IMO requirements. Refineries may blend fuel oil with high Sulfur content with fuel oil with Sulfur content lower than the required Sulfur content to achieve a compliant fuel oil. Additives may be added to enhance other properties, such as lubricity. Some ships limit the air pollutants by installing exhaust gas cleaning systems, also known as “scrubbers”. This is accepted by flag States as an alternative means to meet the Sulfur limit requirement. These scrubbers are designed to remove Sulfur oxides from the ship’s engine and boiler exhaust gases. So a ship fitted with a scrubber can use heavy fuel oil, since the Sulfur oxides emissions will be reduced to a level equivalent to the required fuel oil Sulfur limit. Ships can have engines which can use different fuels, which may contain low or zero Sulfur, for example, liquefied natural gas, or biofuels. 

How can ship operators and owners to plan ahead for the 0.50% Sulfur 2020 limit?

To assist ship operators and owners to plan ahead for the 0.50% Sulfur 2020 limit, the MEPC has approved guidance on ship implementation planning. The guidance is part of a set of guidelines being developed by IMO for consistent implementation of the MARPOL regulation coming into effect from 1 January 2020. The ship implementation planning guidance includes sections on:

Risk assessment and mitigation plan (impact of new fuels);

1.      Fuel oil system modifications and tank cleaning (if needed); Fuel oil capacity and segregation capability;

2.      Procurement of compliant fuel;

3.      Fuel oil changeover plan (conventional residual fuel oils to 0.50% Sulfur compliant fuel oil); and

4.      Documentation and reporting.

Consistent compliance with the new limit is vital. What is IMO doing about that?

            Monitoring, compliance and enforcement of the new limit belongs to governments and national authorities of Member States that are Parties to MARPOL Annex VI. Flag States (the State of registry of a ship) and port States have rights and responsibilities to enforce compliance.  IMO is working with Member States as well as industry (including the shipping industry and the BUNKER supply and refining industry) to identify and mitigate transitional issues so that ships may meet the new requirement. For example, developing guidance, developing standardized formats for reporting fuel oil non-availability if a ship cannot obtain compliant fuel oil and considering verification and control issues. In October 2018, IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted a MARPOL amendment to prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship - unless the ship has an exhaust gas cleaning system ("scrubber") fitted. The MEPC also approved guidance on ship implementation planning, part of a set of guidelines being developed by IMO for consistent implementation of the MARPOL regulation coming into effect from 1 January 2020. The MEPC also approved Guidance on best practice for fuel oil suppliers. The Guidance is intended to assist fuel oil purchasers and users in assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered to and used on board ships, with respect to both compliance with the MARPOL requirements and the safe and efficient operation of the ship. The guidance pertains to aspects of the fuel oil purchase up to the loading of the purchased fuel oil on board. And what sanctions will there be for not complying? Sanctions are established by individual Parties to MARPOL, as flag and port States. IMO does not set fines of sanctions - it is down to the individual State Party.

What Turkey says?

Globally, before 2020, the sulfur rate has dropped to 3.5%, then to 0.5% after 2020. In 2019, China made use of 0.5% mandatory. Thus, China entered IMO 2020 a year ago. If there is no fuel in accordance with IMO rules, the form will be filled. The amount of sulfur in the fuel oil used for or used on board will not exceed 0.5%. Previously, fuels must be used until March 1, 2020. Unsuitable fuel in the tank will not be used until March 1, 2020. This applies to ships not wearing scrubber (Deniz Portal).

·         A delay in the rule is not expected. Average sea fuel prices are expected to increase by 25%

·         The cost of maritime transport worldwide will increase by 5060 Billion Dollars.

·         Local diesel and gasoline prices are expected to increase.

·         Uncertainty and confusion may occur in the first quarter of 2020.

·         The first quarter of 2020 is expected to increase scrubber orders.

·         3.2 million tons of waste will be prevented from entering the sea.

·         Using fuel with a ratio of 0.5 may increase the cost.

·         Using 3.5% fuel with Scrubber may be more appropriate in terms of price.

·         Scrubber can cover this ratio if it goes to 0.1 at global level.

·         It is not known whether high sulfur fuel will be in each port.

·         LNG meets all emission values, but there are conditions such as price uncertainty.

·         It is estimated that 50% of the fuels will be 0.5% fuel oil after 2020.

·         The adaptation strategies of the ship-owners have been introduced. Orders for the installation of scrubbers on existing ships began to be given.

·         We see ship-owners doubting their quality.

·         Clarity is expected at prices.

·         Refineries do not change very much for 2020.

·         High sulfur, low sulfur at large supply points. One of the refueling points in İstanbul.

·         In 2020 many refineries have to continue to produce high sulfur.

·         Fuel oil and gas oil price difference are expected to increase.


We as Turkey, have 5 different options before 2020.

·         Low sulfur fuel (Distillate Fuel MFGO / MDO)

·         Liquefied Natural Gas LNG

·         Maximum 0.5% sulfur fuel (VLSFO)

·         Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (Sox Scrubber)

·         Antenna type fuels

72th Meeting of MEPC and Its Impact on Maritime

In the scope of the 2020 sulfur limit application in the ship fuels, the ban on transporting over-the-limit fuel-oil has been accepted. The regulation on limiting the sulfur content in the fuel used in international vessels to 0.50% shall be implemented on 1 January 2020. This value is determined as 0.10% in emission control areas. Alternatively, an approved exhaust gas cleaning system according to Chapter 4.1 of MARPOL Annex VI may also be used on ships. In this meeting, the draft amendments made in Chapter 14 of MARPOL Annex VI were approved in order to prohibit the transport of fuel oil with a limit above the sulfur content on board. In addition, guidelines are being prepared by the IMO's Pollution Prevention and Response Subcommittee (PPR) to support the implementation of the 2020 sulfur border. These guidelines will cover a number of issues such as verification, control and fuel supply problem issues for implementation. Due to 8 thousand 333 kilometers long coastline, linking Europe and Asia, proximity to the energy-producing countries, located on international transport routes and adequate rate of road and rail links Turkey has importance on maritime transport. It has %87 of foreign trade by seaway. The decision of emission reduction that comes from 72th Meeting of MEPC may have an important economic opportunity for Turkey. With wind and geothermal potential of Turkey, zero-emission clean and have a chance to become a world leader in becoming a fuel provider. With the help of this decision, the maritime industry is currently dependent on oil and fossil fuels with zero emission targets will begin conversion of net energy importer, may create conditions that will allow the reduction of Turkey's foreign dependence (Deniz Haber Ajansı, 2018).

Proposed solution: Enforcement of IMO 2020 for all the signatory countries starting from March 1st of 2020, excluding Black Sea countries that will be given a time period to adjust to the new regulations made on the Turkish straits.

G.2. Suitable Vessels According to Physical Structure of Turkish Straits

Ships can be constructed considering the physical structure of the Turkish Straits. There exists a project that is called as ’İstanbulmax’. According to this project, the length of the ships will not be longer than 199.9 meters. The width of the ship will be determined according to maneuverability. If a double-machine and double-propeller system is created, the damage is expected to be minimal. Only this ship may be allowed to pass over time. The necessity of such a ship for the Straits is not against the Montreux and Regulations on Turkish Straits. The ships that will pass through the canals such as the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal have a set of standards. Since the depth of these channels is limited in width, a ship type is formed to pass through the channels. But the İstanbul Strait is a wider throat compared to those channels. The problem here is the ship's length and tonnage. Both the Çanakkale and the İstanbul Straits passage in order to be safe for these maneuvers should be within the limits of a certain size. The vessels included in the class of ‘İstanbulmax’ can be expanded by giving some advantages during the transition from the Straits. With the help of further researches, more appropriate vessels can be produced. 

G.3. Samsun-Ceyhan Pipeline

The Turkish Straits have been one of the busiest straits in the entire world and there have been attempts to decrease this traffic. Perhaps one of the most viable options would take place in the never constructed Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline. In 2006, a contract was approved regarding the construction of a pipeline between Samsun and Ceyhan by the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer (Hürriyet, 2006). Çalık Energy from Turkey and Eni from Italy were to cooperate in the development of 550 km pipeline, estimated to cost around 1.5 billion USD. This pipeline had a remarkable potential as its aim was to transport Russian and Caspian oil directly to the Mediterranean sea.

The project was supported by Turkey with the hopes of decreasing the tanker traffic in the Bosphorus (Turkish Maritime, 2010).  The Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Hakkı Akil would go on to comment that the pipeline provided an essential service in the secure transportation of the oil as the Bosphorus traffic could be hastened or even stopped one day. He also stated that the project would take place as a public-private partnership where each party could come up with practical solutions.

Russia was also included in the deal as a quid pro quo agreement took place (Jamestown, 2009). Turkey was to support the South Stream project an in turn Russia agreed to supply oil for the pipeline. Russia was also enticed by the possibility of increasing its leverage on Kazakhistan since the project would enable an increase in oil exports for Kazakhistan which was to pass through Russian soil. Rosneft and Transneft were included in the project as announced by the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (Reuters, 2009). Furthermore, Sechin stated that other companies including Lukoil were also interested in the pipeline with a potential of 1.5 million barrels a day.

In 2010 suspicions arose about the Russian involvement in the pipeline as Nikolai Tokarev, president of Transneft (which itself was state owned), announced that talks had been stalled they now found the trans-Balkan pipeline more profitable (Epress, 2010).  Regardless, Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, in his response to a Turkish reporter claimed that Russa would follow through with its commitments. The project was finally shelved in 2013 when Turkey blacklisted Eni for working with Cyprus (UPI, 2013). Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish Prime Minister, had announced in 2012 at the UN that Turkey would ban all companies that operated in Cyprus.

H. Views and Studies of Organizations

H.1 Turkish Marine Research Foundation

They examined the existing dangers and environmental damages in Turkish Straits in a study and prepared a report on this. Report covers more detailed information and data on straits from Montreux Convention to fishing in straits. They also worked on oil leaks in straits. Also, their study contains ecological disaster which is created by the pollution caused by ships, and they deduce that ecosystem cannot be recovered after damage easily. Since Turkish Straits, especially İstanbul Strait, is loaded high amounts of energy in terms of vessels, in order to minimize the damage, in case of accident, the oil should be contained. Contamination sources should be reduced by national and international efforts of relevant contracts. For all Turkish Strait costs oil spill response and management plans should be applied. In order to protect marine biodiversity all vessels should be under control of relevant convention and implementations. 

H.2 Nature Fighters Environmental Organization

Also, Nature Fighters Environmental Organization concerns about Turkish Straits and damage from the vessels as well. They support that the İstanbul and Marmara radar system, where 60 thousand ships pass through the year, should be controlled continuously from the air. İstanbul, Marmara and Saroz should be closed for at least 5 years both in hunting and military exercises. Also, they indicate that all of our coasts, territorial waters, sea water (Marmara Sea, İstanbul and Çanakkale Straits), protection of the harbor and gulfs, ensuring the security of the sovereign rights under the rules of national and international law, and the sea of these rights and powers of the use of those outside the general responsibility of the to prevent and monitor the smuggling of the smuggling, to correct the principles and procedures related to the taking of the necessary procedures on the offenders and to cover the duties outside the port specified in Article 4, 7. To prevent and monitor the acts against the Aquaculture Law dated 22.03.1971 and numbered 1380, tasks such as taking the necessary actions, handing over the person and the crime to the competent authorities such as handing over to the law no. and its power has been transformed into a new and small unit under the name of Protection Control. 

I. Environmental Pollution

            Air pollution represents the most prominent and targeted source of environmental impacts from marine transportation. Marine vessels and port equipment are a significant source of the air pollutants that affect environmental health and climate change. Most of the ships passing through the straits carry toxic, hazardous and explosive substances (such as crude oil, ammonia, liquefied gas, radioactive substances, hazardous wastes). Since the 1990s following the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), in parallel with the increase in the amount of oil transferred to the ports in the Black Sea for the purpose of referral to buyers, the number of ships carrying dangerous goods and oil passing through the straits has increased significantly (Kutluk, 2018). According to a survey conducted by İstanbul Technical University, a tanker passing through the straits carries out equivalent exhaust emissions to 100 vehicles (2013). As a result of ship emissions, 280 people have lung cancer and 4200 people have cardiovascular diseases and die at an early age. According to the statement made by ITU, Assoc. Dr. Tayfun Kındap and Assoc. Dr. Alper Ünal coordinated the 15-person team in İstanbul and the Çanakkale strains of human health and the environment to measure the damage caused by human health and the environment is carried out in order to take measures to Ship Emissions Control Area for İstanbul was completed work. Within the scope of the project supported by the İstanbul Development Agency and the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications under the Ministry of Development, ITU scientists took the first step to prevent pollution caused by 50,000 ships passing through the straits each year. In this study, the harmful effects of air pollution caused by ship emissions in İstanbul-Marmara Sea and straits on the environment and human health were determined for the first time. Thus, the stage of establishing the scientific infrastructure for the systems to be established by the relevant institutions for the control of this pollution has been completed. The data obtained as a result of the study investigating the effect of the gases emitted from the Turkish straits where 50 thousand ships pass each year, reveal the serious dimensions of the problem. Scientific analyzes revealed that the CO2 emissions from ships are 30 million tons per year (NTV, 2013). The oil layer formed by the wastes from the ships passing through the İstanbul strait was viewed from the air. The oil layer formed on the surface of the bilge wastes left from the ships and boats into the sea created a dirty image in the throat. It was stated that the wastes that make up the environmental pollution disrupt the natural structure of the throat, create an ugly appearance and adversely affect the lives of all living things in the environment. (Gazete İstanbul, 2018)

According to 13th Term Activity Report (2016-2018) of the Chamber of Environmental Engineers, Ethan's name in France is Methania. For Methania, which carries liquefied natural gas, a decision was made to dismantle and recycle in France. However, the dangerous material and dismantling of the tank inside the tanker did not take place and the tanker was taken to Malta. When leaving Malta, the name changed to Ethan. Ethan was bought by an Indian citizen after a while, and the tanker was brought to a ship's dismantling facility in the Aliağa district of İzmir to disintegrate from the Port of Marseille along with a maritime tugboat. Chairman, Baran Bozoğlu:

“There is currently 5 million tons of hazardous waste in Turkey and this, according to ministry data were recorded, only one and a half million tons case. Turkey does not find in their own waste yet to be fully brought to our country that other countries cannot manage their hazardous wastes. The ship decontaminated not waste removal in accordance with international legislation in Turkey; it is unacceptable in terms of worker health and safety. We have such scary images that we see that the waste, oil and oil are sometimes given to the sea.”

Pollutants Causing Marine Pollution

Sources of terrestrial origin pollution:

·         Domestic waste,

·         Industrial wastes,

·         Spread sources.

Marine Origin Pollution Sources:

·         Ship-operated operational wastes,

·         Waste due to marine accidents,

·         Facilities and units associated with other marine operations (harbors, shipyards, barn sites, boat maintenance and repair facilities, oil and other harmful cargo terminals, recycling facilities, etc.)

Other pollution sources:

·         Waste generated by tourism and recreation activities,

·         Wastes on landfill sites,

·         Waste due to atmospheric emissions.

Marine impurities are collected under two main headings in the MARPOL convention issued by IMO:

·         Pollution Caused by Discharge (Sewage, Oily Waste, Garbage, Emission, Toxic Waste, Microorganisms, Anti-fouling Paints, Chemicals).

·         Pollution from accidents (Köseoğlu, Töz, Şakar, 2016).

Ship Emissions

Exhaust Emissions: pollutants such as NOx, CO2, CO, SOx, HC and PM (PS).

Greenhouse Gases Emissions: CO2, H2O vapor, CFC-H, CH4, N2O and O3 pollutants.

These pollutants have a negative impact on the environment due to acid rain, ozone depletion and health problems (Ergin, n.d). The emission value emitted by the top 15 container ships in the world is equivalent to the emissions emitted by 760 million cars worldwide. The emissions emitted from the 90000 cargo ships have been determined to result in 60000 deaths per year in the United States and 330 million dollars in health spending. The US EPA estimates that at a certain distance from the coast, the fuel consumption of ships will be reduced by 98%, PM (PS) by 85% and NOx emissions by 80%, which could prevent the death of more than 8000 people per year in US (Ergin, n.d).

Air Pollution in İstanbul

Air pollution has started to be experienced since 1985 due to the rapid increase in the population of İstanbul and the use of poor quality fuel. The problem of air pollution in İstanbul has reached threatening dimensions especially since 1990, and the pollutant concentrations have exceeded the air quality standards. When air pollution started to be a problem in İstanbul, an air quality measurement system had to be established for İstanbul. Measurements of air pollution in İstanbul have to be done in a healthy, fast and modern way. Measurements started in October 1995 (The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Directorate of Environmental Protection, 2019).

Under standers and Impacts on Health

1-Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

SO2 is a colorless, pungent reactive gas that is produced as a result of metal melting processes and other industrial processes during the combustion of sulfur-containing fuels such as coal, fuel oil. Its main sources are thermal power plants and industrial boilers. In general, the highest concentrations of SO2 are found near large industrial sources.

Health Effects and Most Risky Groups

The most vulnerable group to the health effects of SO2 are children with asthma who are active with children and outside. As SO2 concentration and breathing rate increase, discomfort findings increase. When exposure is stopped, lung function returns to normal within one hour. SO2 at very high concentrations; wheezing can cause symptoms such as chest tightness, cut breathe breathing in people without asthma. Prolonged exposure to SO2 and fine particles can lead to respiratory diseases, changes in the defense mechanism of the lungs, and worsening of existing heart disease. The most vulnerable group to these effects are children, the elderly and people with chronic lung disease or heart disease (The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Directorate of Environmental Protection, 2019).

It is better to note that as Prof. Dr. Füsun Yıldız said that “We found that the number of asthma attacks in the Marmara region, where the industry is intense, is too high. Industrial cities, pollution, air pollution, pollution as well as the pollution of the exhaust gases from the very high rate of pollution due to all of the tables are created.” (Hürriyet, 2016).

2-Particulate Substance (PS)

The term particulate substance (PS) refers to solid particles and fluid droplets in the air. From human activities and natural resources, it directly enters the atmosphere. They react with other pollutants in the atmosphere to form PS and are introduced into the atmosphere. The dimensions of solid and liquid particles are spread over a wide range. The particles subject to health are particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 micrometers (µm). Particles within this size range can accumulate by entering into the respiratory tract. Particles smaller than 2.5 are called fine particles. Fine particle sources include all combustion processes and some industrial processes. 2.5-10 µm. The particles in the range are called coarse particles. The coarse particulate sources are crushing, milling, dusting.

Health Effects and Most Risky Groups

Both fine and coarse particles can accumulate in the respiratory tract and cause various health effects. Coarse particles can worsen respiratory disorders such as asthma. Exposure to fine particles is caused by various serious health effects, including premature death. Adverse health effects are combined with exposure to PS both short periods (such as a day) and longer periods (one year or longer). When people with heart or lung disease such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart disease are exposed to PS, there is an increased risk of premature death or an increase in the rate of emergency services. The elderly is vulnerable to exposure to PS. This group is open to risks such as referral to hospitals or emergency services and premature death from heart and lung disease. When exposed to PS, people with existing lung disease and children may not be able to breathe deeply or strongly, although they can under normal conditions, and symptoms such as coughing and intermittent breathing may occur. PS may increase susceptibility to respiratory infections, and may worsen existing respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis (The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Directorate of Environmental Protection, 2019).

3-Carbon monoxide (CO)

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas. It occurs as a result of the fact that the carbon in the structure of the fuels is not fully burned. Natural resources such as fires and other sources such as combustion of fuels in industrial processes are also available. CO concentrations typically reach the highest value in the cold season. Because low temperatures cause incomplete combustion and cause pollutants to collapse at ground level.

Health Effects and Most Risky Groups

CO enters the bloodstream through the lungs and is chemically bound with hemoglobin. This substance in the blood carries oxygen to the cells. In this way, CO reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the organs and tissues. People with heart disease are the riskiest group against CO. These people experience chest pain and more heart problems when exposed to CO, especially when exercising. People with mild and more severe heart and respiratory disease (e.g. heart failure, brain blood vessels, anemia, and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and unborn and newborn babies constitute the riskiest group against CO contamination. In healthy individuals, exposure to higher levels of CO may affect perception and vision (The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Directorate of Environmental Protection, 2019).

4-Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

NO2 is reddish brown in color. Nitrogen monoxide (NO) is combined with oxygen in the atmosphere to form NO2in the form of a highly reactive gas. Once formed, NO2 reacts with other contaminants such as VOC (Volatile Organic Vapor and Compounds). As a result of these reactions, it causes the formation of ground level ozone. The main sources are motor vehicles and thermal power plants.

Health Effects and Most Risky Groups

NO2, in adults and children with respiratory disease such as asthma; Cough, wheezing and cut breathing may cause respiratory symptoms. Even short-term exposure to NO2 affects lung function. In children, short-term exposure may increase the risk of respiratory disease. Animal experimentation studies have shown that prolonged exposure to NO2 increases susceptibility to respiratory infections and may cause permanent structural changes in the lungs (The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Directorate of Environmental Protection, 2019).

5-Ozone (O3)

Ozone is odorless, colorless gas consisting of three oxygen atoms. Ozone occurs at both ground level and upper atmosphere. Ozone can be useful or harmful according to its location.

Useful Ozone: Ozone naturally occurs on the upper layer of the atmosphere in 10-30 miles of the sphere and protects the atmosphere from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun as a protective layer. This ozone, which is useful, is slowly being destroyed by people with chemicals.

Harmful Ozone: close to earth; motor vehicles, thermal power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, pollutants from chemical plants to the atmosphere, reacts chemically in the presence of sun rays and form ozone. Ground level ozone is a harmful pollutant. Ozone pollution, especially in summer and sunny weather in high temperatures occurs (The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Directorate of Environmental Protection, 2019).

Health effects and most risky groups

Children, adults active in the outdoor environment, people with respiratory diseases such as asthma and those who are very sensitive to ozone; creates the most sensitive group for ozone exposure. During physical activity, ozone penetrates deep into the lungs, showing its harmful effects. In people with respiratory disease, exposure to ozone is easier to affect the lungs. Ozone may irritate the respiratory tract (such as cough, throat irritation, and chest discomfort). Ozone can reduce lung function, making deep and strong breathing difficult. Respiration accelerates and becomes more superficial than normal. This decrease in lung function may limit the activity of the person in the external environment. Ozone can make asthma worse. When the level of ozone is high, the number of patients with asthma increases. Ozone makes people more sensitive to allergens. It is the trigger of asthma attacks. Ozone may increase susceptibility to respiratory infections.

The aforementioned gases occur as a result of the movement of the ships. With the implementation of IMO 2020 Plan, designed to reduce regional and global emissions of particulate matter and sulfur oxide, the standards are evolving but have served as key drivers. In conjunction with the designation of emission control areas, the standards have reduced emissions of sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter, largely through the combustion of light marine gas oils with low sulfur content—however, the costs are higher.  Biofuels are compatible with current fleet operations and can reduce sulfur oxide, particulate matter, and greenhouse gases, although the limited availability of these fuels and the uncertainties about powertrain maintenance and cost continue to hamper adoption (Kruse; DeSantis; Eaton; Billings, 2018). LNG continues to gain attention because of competitive energy pricing, the potential for rapid global implementation, and a low rate of combustion emissions in comparison with conventional marine fuels but they are not allowed in Turkish Straits.              

J. The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Limitations on Straits

The current UNCLOS was signed after the third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea. The Straits debate which took place between 1973 and 1982 defined different categories for straits where the Turkish straits would be subjected to Article 35 (c) where it is stated that “The regime of Straits under Part III (Innocent Passage) if the 1982 LOSC does not alter the rights and obligations of Parties in Straits that are governed in whole or in part by long-standing international conventions” (Oral, 2019). The “Innocent Passage” referred hereafter refers to a situation where “laws cannot have the practical effect of denying, or impairing innocent passage rights”. The information given hereafter under this title (J) is a mere compilation of the second section of “The Legal Regime of Straits: Contemporary Challenges and Solutions” written by Caminos, H., and Cogliati-Bantz, V. (2014) arranged in a convenient manner for the benefit of the reader.

“Article 35(c) limits the scope of Part III (Innocent Passage) by preserving international conventions in force. However, the limitation applies to ‘passage’ which is regulated by these conventions; for other purposes of the UNCLOS and for rights and duties in relation to the territorial sea in matters other than passage, straits to which Article 35(c) applies remain subject to the provisions of the UNCLOS. This includes Article 311(2), which covers pre-existing compatible agreements. Turkey suggested an amendment to the RSNT in 1976 to the effect that ‘[t]he provisions of the present Convention shall not apply to the straits in which passage is regulated in whole or in part by long-standing international conventions in force specifically relating to such straits’. This was not adopted.” (Caminos, & Cogliati-Bantz, 2014).

“The provision under consideration refers to ‘international conventions in force’. It is evident that a unilateral act cannot except a strait from the applicability of Part III; only conventions may do so.”

“Article 35(c) refers to ‘long-standing’ conventions in force. Agreements concluded shortly before the entry into force of the UNCLOS and new agreements are not within the scope of Article 35. ‘Long-standing’ implies that only those conventional regimes that have been recognized for a long period of time will be considered as such. What this means is that such regimes must have been obvious to everybody while the UNCLOS was being negotiated. The straits thought to qualify under Article 35 are the Turkish Straits, the Danish Straits, the Strait of Magellan and the Åland Strait. Doubts were expressed concerning the Strait of Gibraltar. But passage in the Strait of Gibraltar today is regulated by section 2 of Part III of the UNCLOS. Neither Spain nor Morocco declared otherwise when it signed or ratified the UNCLOS.”

“Although Article 35(c) only applies to long-standing international conventions in force, the UNCLOS itself recognizes in Article 311(2) that ‘this Convention shall not alter the rights and obligations of States Parties which arise from other agreements compatible with this Convention and which do not affect the enjoyment by other States Parties of their rights or the performance of their obligations under this Convention’. It is therefore possible for an international agreement that is not long-standing to seek to regulate passage in a given strait. The 1979 Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel falls into that category.

J.1. The Turkish Straits

“The Turkish Straits are the showcase example of regulation under Article 35(c), and this was never contested by anybody. The Straits are composed of the İstanbul Strait Strait or Istanbul Strait, which joins the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, and the Çanakkale Straitles Strait or Strait of Çanakkale, which links the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea. The İstanbul Strait, the Çanakkale Straitles and the Sea of Marmara together form the ‘Straits’.”

 “The legal regime of the Straits is governed by the Montreux Convention.158 It is still in force today and has only nine Parties but has been recognized as creating rights and duties that have been accepted erga omnes. With Law No. 476 of 15 May 1964 on Territorial Waters, Turkey established a system of straight baselines ‘in indented coasts or in areas with islands located close to the shore’ (Article 4).”

 “The Montreux Convention does not address the coastal State’s jurisdiction in relation to the protection of the environment and safety of navigation. In March 1994, the Greek Cypriot vessels M/T Nassia and M/V Shipbroker collided in the İstanbul Strait, and 20,000 tonnes of crude oil burned for five days, suspending traffic for a week; 29 crew members perished. This galvanised the Turkish government to adopt, unilaterally, its 1994 Maritime Traffic Regulations for the Turkish Straits and the Marmara Region. This sparked a flurry of criticism and, at times, vituperative objections from certain members of the international maritime community, particularly from Black Sea riparian States.”

“Despite claims that the regime of passage established in the Turkish Straits by the Montreux Convention is innocent passage, the Convention does not contain a requirement of innocence, and the 1994 Regulations underline a gap between the law of innocent passage and the Convention. Such requirements as prior authorization for the passage of certain merchant ships go beyond the powers of the coastal State under the regime of innocent passage, whether customary or conventional. It has been suggested that Turkey’s unilateral action could be justified under Article 24 of the Montreux Convention, which says that ‘the functions of the International Commission set up under the [1923 Lausanne Convention] are hereby transferred to the Turkish Government’. The argument is that Turkey has, therefore, the power to discipline vessel traffic without discrimination. However, it is Turkey itself which resisted the Allied Powers’ plan in 1923 to give to the Commission broader control powers over passage.”

J.2. The Danish Straits

“The Danish Straits comprise the Sound, the Little Belt and the Great Belt, and they connect the North Sea with the Baltic Sea. The Sound (2.5 nautical miles at its narrowest) separates the Danish island of Zealand from the Swedish mainland; the Great Belt is the widest strait (4 nautical miles at its narrowest) and the one with the greatest depth, and it serves, therefore, as the main channel for navigation between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and lies between Zealand and the Danish island of Funen; the Little Belt is the narrowest strait (800 metres at its narrowest) and separates Funen from the Danish mainland (Jutland). The Little Belt is enclosed within Danish Strait baselines and is therefore within Danish internal waters. The other two straits lie within Danish and Swedish territorial seas. Upon signature on 10 December 1982 and confirmed upon ratification on 25 June 1996, Sweden declared that ‘it is the understanding of the Government of Sweden that the exception from the transit passage regime in straits, provided for in Article 35(c) of the Convention is applicable to the strait between Sweden and Denmark (Oresund)’. Denmark, upon ratification on 16 November 2004, declared that:

[I]t is the position of the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark that the exception from the transit passage regime provided for in Article 35(c) of the Convention applies to the specific regime in the Danish straits (the Great Belt, the Little Belt and the Danish part of the Sound), which has developed on the basis of the Copenhagen Treaty of 1857. The present legal regime of the Danish straits will therefore remain unchanged.”

“When the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century started its worldwide campaign for the removal of all barriers to the free expansion of its rapidly growing commerce and shipping, a protest was also directed against the Sound dues. The United States expressly based its demand for the abolition of the Sound dues on its ‘right of using the ocean as the highway of commerce’. It further pointed out that according to the law of nations, ‘the navigation of the two seas connected by this strait is free to all nations, therefore, the navigation of the channel by which they are connected ought also to be free’. It then gave notice that, as of 14 April 1856, the Danish-American Treaty of 1826, which set forth the tariff of the Sound dues payable by the United States, would be terminated, and it further declared that from that date onwards, its vessels would not submit to the dues. The American unilateral action brought about the 1856 Conference, which led to the Treaty of March 1857.”

“In Article 1(1), ‘no vessel shall henceforth, under any pretext whatsoever, be subjected during its passage in the Sound or the Belts, to any detention or hindrance’. This commitment was expressly confirmed by Denmark to have been made erga omnes. The Treaty also required Denmark to maintain navigational aids and to make pilots available on a voluntary basis, and these requirements also extended to the Kattegat, the sea area between Jutland and Sweden, although the Treaty was not more specific. In a parallel Treaty of 11 April 1857 with the United States, the King of Denmark declared ‘entire freedom of the navigation’ of the Sound and the Belts in favour of American vessels and their cargoes.”

“A good example of the supplementing of the 1857 regime by national laws is the fact that all ships have to follow the various navigation directions of the Danish State, which are generally implementations of IMO regulations. The principal route for maritime traffic through the Straits is the Route T, which passes through the Great Belt. Its development started in the 1960s. In parts of Route T, TSS and deep-water routes have been established through the procedures involving the IMO, as has also been the case for the Sound. In 1991, Denmark, having established the Great Belt VTS, made it mandatory for the West Channel in order to be able to stop ships of more than 1,000 GRT or with an air draught of less than 18 metres from attempting to pass under the new, low West Bridge. In the main (East) Channel, it had been left voluntary.”

“Because Denmark has followed IMO rules in these matters, it is not entirely clear if, and to what extent, it believes that it may unilaterally depart from them. In that respect, it has been suggested that ‘Denmark approaches these issues with caution’.”

J.3. The Strait of Magellan

“Passage in the Strait of Magellan is regulated by the Treaty between the Argentine Republic and Chile, Establishing the Neutrality of Straits of Magellan, of which Article V says: ‘Magellan’s Straits are neutralized forever, and free navigation is guaranteed to the flags of all nations. To insure this liberty and neutrality no fortifications or military defences shall be erected that could interfere with this object’.”

“In modern times, however, Chile has yet to suspend passage through the Strait for any purpose or any party. Nevertheless, with Decrees No. 397 and 846 of 1985 (‘Rules of Pilotage’), the Chilean authorities introduced, in the Strait of Magellan and the Fuegian channels, compulsory pilotage for all vessels, Chilean and foreign alike. This apparently applies to warships, as well. An exception (in Article 50 of Decree No. 397) to the use of a pilot in the Strait in the section between Felix and Punta Arenas, for ships crossing the waterway from ocean to ocean and for those that have not navigated or are not going to navigate through internal waters, is generally accepted. There are also special financial obligations borne by the ship-owner or the ship-owner requiring pilotage service, seeing as they must take out life and accident insurance for the pilots who perform their service (Article 14); the captain of the ship has the obligation to provide his full co-operation (Article 13). The pilotage service is provided at a cost determined by gross tonnage; ships have to pay double that amount in the event of failure to use the pilotage service. Warships, Chilean and foreign alike, are exempt from the fee.”

“The unilateral competence sought by Chile did not remain unprotested. When Chile was studying the establishment of a traffic separation scheme in the eastern part of the Strait, ‘in accordance with the sovereign rights of Chile over this seaway’, Argentina understood that the decision by the government of Chile to regulate the passage through the Magellan Strait by means of internal legislation affects the freedom of navigation in the Strait. Furthermore, the delegation of France, supported by some other delegations, expressed the view that any traffic separation scheme covering an area used by international shipping should be submitted to the IMO for consideration. They also argued that the use of pilotage services in such areas should not be compulsory and that control of ships should be enforced only in ports or, for the purposes of the MARPOL Convention, in offshore terminals.”

J.4. The Åland Strait

“When Finland signed the UNCLOS on 10 December 1982, it made the following declaration:

It is the understanding of the Government of Finland that the exception from the transit passage regime in straits provided for in Article 35(c) of the Convention is applicable to the strait between Finland (the Åland Islands) and Sweden. Since in that strait the passage is regulated in part by a long-standing international convention in force, the present legal regime in that strait will remain unchanged after the entry into force of the Convention.”

“Sweden made a similar declaration. The long-standing convention mentioned is the Convention of 20 October 1921, respecting the non-fortification and neutralization of the Åland Islands. The Åland Islands, a Finnish autonomous region, lie between Finland and Sweden at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia. The geographical strait constituted by the Swedish coast and the western part of the archipelago in the Sea of Åland (Ahvenanrauma Strait) and the geographical strait constituted by the Finnish coast and the Åland Islands in the Archipelago Sea link the Baltic Sea to the Gulf of Bothnia. The 1921 Convention says that the territorial waters of the Islands extend for a distance of three marine miles from the low-water mark (Article 2(II)).”

“In their declarations made upon signature of the UNCLOS, Finland and Sweden arguably believed that the entire strait falls under the Article 35(c) exception. This cannot be so, at least for the Swedish territorial sea, which is not covered by the 1921 Convention, unless the phrase ‘in whole or in part’ in Article 35(c) is applied spatially; this is not how that provision is generally interpreted, but it seems to be the position of the two riparian States.”

“An additional argument could be made that, because the 1921 Convention does not ‘specifically’ relate to the Ahvenanrauma Strait (but only to a portion of the Strait by virtue of the regulation of the Åland Islands), it may not fall under Article 35(c). Perhaps surprisingly, that argument does not seem to have attracted much attention.”

K. Possible Adjustments under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

“The UNCLOS does not, and indeed cannot, contain an exhaustive list of all rights and duties of States in relation to straits; it does not definitively settle the allocation of all possible rights and duties of States bordering straits or third States either. The UNCLOS was negotiated as a constitution for the oceans and, as such, supplies an overarching frame of reference. It was negotiated with the intent of being capable of addressing issues that are not expressly spelled out.” (Caminos, & Cogliati-Bantz, 2014)

“The contemporary body of State practice raises the fundamental question of the overall purpose and consistency of the UNCLOS, as the claim has been made that the legal regime applicable to straits and agreed upon in 1982 had been overly generous to navigational interests, but that since then, considerations of equal importance, notably the protection of the environment, call for increased powers of coastal States. The suggestion here is not that coastal States’ unilateral action should be made outside of the UNCLOS but that the UNCLOS allows for an interpretation justifying enhanced riparian control over straits.”

            A broad range of suggestions voiced out in order to make the Turkish Straits safe or at least tolerably risky waters drawn from other straits sadly cannot be applied due to the Montreux Convention’s uniquely limiting statutes. Any new adjustments should be proposed with the anticipation of considerable support or outright opposition by the Montreux Convention’s signatory parties. Furthermore, new adjustments are also open to the interpretation of the other members of the IMO or members of the UN Security Council. Nevertheless, as mentioned above certain reasons are accepted and in here Turkey might have a chance to add in new regulations and/or beneficial complications.

            The frequency of accidents occurring in the straits should be regarded as Turkey’s best bargaining chip since the reduction of these incidents can potentially benefit all parties included. The current state of affairs has already enabled the local authorities to add in new regulations such as increasing the possible waiting time but a possibly invaluable alternative route is still non-existent.

L. Proposed Solutions

L.1. Adjusted P&I

“In recent years, almost all continents have suffered severe damage as a result of oil spills. The most known ones probably occurred in Europe. The names Torrey Canyon, Amoco Cadiz, etc. still come to mind as major incidents that occurred in the 1960s and 70s. The international legislator reacted soon after the Torrey Canyon incident with an International Convention on the Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1969 and with an additional Fund Convention. The goals of these legal arrangements were to guarantee some compensation to victims of oil pollution incidents. A strict liability rule was imposed on the tanker owner and the liability was channeled to him, but strict limits on the liability applied. The new incident with Amoco Cadiz made clear that the then existing limits did not suffice to compensate the victims and additional institutional arrangements were proposed (in the form of amendments and protocols).” (Faure & Hui, 2006)

Turkey being a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has signed the Civil Liability Convention (CLC) and Bunker Convention (BUNKER) to adequately take care of environmental damages where P&I  insurances are mandated for all ships so that the member state can receive the necessary compensation from the P&I insurer. Risks that are protected by P&I include personal injury, death, illness, conflict in the sea, wreck removal, given the damage to fixed or floating objects, pollution, damage or lack of cargo, fines, stowaways, quarantine, lawsuit expenses, etc. In case of injury, sickness or death of the crew, passengers, guests and other third parties on board the hospital, treatment and funeral expenses, material and non-pecuniary damages, salaries paid to the seafarers during the period they are ill and treated are covered by the guarantee of this insurance.

L.2. PSSA Recognition

“The concept of PSSAs has attracted special international scrutiny in light of the compulsory pilotage requirement adopted by Australia for the Torres Strait. PSSAs are created outside the architecture of a binding treaty. The background to the development of the concept of PSSAs is that, in 1978, the IMO was called on to commence studies to produce an inventory of sea areas in special need of protection from vessel-source pollution and dumping.” (Caminos, & Cogliati-Bantz, 2014)

PSSAs were “established in IMO Assembly resolution A.720 (17) (1991), later amended by resolutions A.885 (21) (1999), A.927 (22) (2001) and A.982 (24) (2005), on the basis of its general mandate under Article 15(j) of the IMO Constitution. As such, neither the Guidelines nor a particular designation is binding unless subsequently incorporated into a binding instrument. This could also happen if the Guidelines or a particular designation were to become ‘generally accepted’ and, therefore, binding under the UNCLOS for its Parties.”

“Under resolution A.982(24) (2005), a PSSA is an area that needs special protection through action by the IMO because of its significance for recognized ecological, socio-economic or scientific attributes, where such attributes may be vulnerable to damage by international shipping activities. Environmental hazards associated with shipping include operational discharge, pollution and physical damage to habitats. In order to be identified as a PSSA, the area should meet at least 1 of the 17 criteria that are listed in the resolution and are grouped into ecological criteria; social, cultural and economic criteria; and scientific and educational criteria.” “A designation of an area as a PSSA as such does not create a legal regime for the area concerned; only associated protected measures (APMs) do. Indeed, a proposing government, 58 in its application to the IMO, should identify the existing and/or proposed APMs and describe how they provide the needed protection from the threats of damage posed by international maritime activities occurring in and around the area.”

“In 2003, Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom submitted a proposal for the designation as PSSA of the western coasts of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal, from the Shetland Islands in the north to Cape Vicente in the south, as well as the English Channel and its approaches.” However, the fact that these coasts were part of their territorial waters and not economically exclusive zones (EEZ) prevented their recognition. Furthermore, attempts like these were probably taken into consideration when in 2005, with an amendment that both the US and Russia supported, compulsory pilotage was no longer a de facto result of a PSSA recognition, but only a recommendation.”

“In 2010, France and Italy proposed the designation of the Strait of Bonifacio (between Corsica and Sardinia, 11 kilometers wide) as a PSSA in light of the criteria in the 2005 Guidelines. Its status as strait used for international navigation under the UNCLOS was not questioned.”

“They suggested as APMs the establishment of a TSS, a VTS, areas to be avoided near reefs and compulsory pilotage for ships carrying dangerous goods. SOLAS was expressly identified as the appropriate legal basis for the first two measures.120 The majority of delegations agreed in principle to the designation of the Strait as a PSSA, and the two countries later decided ‘to focus on a measure consisting in recommending pilotage for relevant vessels’.121 The suggested APM on pilotage reads: ‘Masters of vessels passing through the Strait are strongly recommended to avail themselves of the services of a qualified pilot in order to comply with the requirements of safe navigation’.”

“The IMO Secretariat, in 2001, noted that measures currently available through IMO to protect environmentally sensitive areas include, e.g., measures to route ships safely, to improve vessel monitoring and reporting and to control vessel discharges. The Secretariat then indicated, quite enthusiastically, that some of the measures that could be developed either as measures that should be available as generally applicable measures or could be adopted in the territorial sea or, pursuant to Article 211(6) in the EEZ, include: designated anchorage areas and methods; no anchorage zones; the closure of routes to certain types of vessels or cargoes; speed restrictions; compulsory pilotage or tug escort to ensure safe navigation in or near PSSAs; prohibitions/restrictions on cargo transfer; required submission of pre-filed passage plans and adherence to time schedules; special under-keel clearance restrictions; regulation of offshore bunkering; prohibition of intentional discharges, including ballast water; and seasonal closures to protect migrating marine mammals.”

In conclusion, we suggest a proposal made by Turkey with active cooperation from some if not all Montreux Convention party states. Especially Russia, who can be convinced with the ease of transportation and added profits of the new regime, and the UK, who can be relied upon if Turkey can guarantee the new procedures' inspection is to be made by prominent UK based insurers, who are both instrumental in any changes proposed for the Turkish Straits. The fact that mandatory pilotage cannot be brought does not affect Turkey as it would be in direct violation of the Montreux Convention. Furthermore, even if Turkey were to acquire a status similar to the PSSA, this would surely be an incredible achievement as it would give Turkey direct legitimacy overall future environmentally motivated arrangements. For example, a simple recommendation like France and Italy now mandate top the ship-owners could still give Turkey leverage in international courts.

"Any PSSA is unique, and what is unique in the protective measures adopted is perhaps the combination of APMs, but the legal basis for each APM must be clearly identifiable". Australia itself argued that "The Torres Strait is unique, and the system of pilotage is a sui generis response to the challenges posed by the Strait" which means that Turkey too can potentially ask for a unique PSSA of its own as long as it can  justify it legally and can make it acceptable to the international community. After all, "Refusal by the international community to adopt effective standards of environmental protection for a given area creates a risk of unilateral coastal State action. Refusal by coastal States to receive the unambiguous international endorsement of a given measure leads to a risk of fragmentation of the law of the sea regime. Such risk is what prompted the negotiations of the UNCLOS in the first place."

L.3. Seizing Ships

One might argue that the two most urgent issues related to a safe passage from the straits are the removal of ghost ships and the recovery of crashing or malfunctioning ships. Both issues bring with them many legal consequences but while the former is doable under the right circumstances, the latter might be incredibly hard to implement.

Ghost ships which refer to ships without a crew on board are a significant problem for Turkey as more than 80 ghost ships may still be on its shores. Most shockingly, there is even a case where a ghost ship hit the shores twice in İstanbul which makes the matter all the more critical. Although technically Turkey shouldn’t have a problem with these the fact that there weren’t any capable shipyards and the murky legal situation prolonging the whole process, these ships couldn’t be removed quickly till 2017. Although the problem persists, Turkey may have the chance to ask for a legal leeway to dispose of these ships faster as all interested parties have much to gain from their removal from Turkish waters. It is recommended that Turkey use this obviously reasonable suggestion in the wider, more ambitious, proposal explained beforehand both to make it more down to earth and increase its urgency.

The seizure of ships that have crashed or malfunctioned however is a relatively much harder problem to solve. Since Turkey only regulates the straits within the limits of the Montreux Convention and the additions approved by the international community as well as states that are a party to the Montreux Convention, any immediate seizure might present an immediate political retaliation. Understandably, that situation forces Turkey to be more cautious which then delays any rescue, recovery or assistance services.


Türk Boğazları Deniz Trafik Düzeni Tüzüğü Uygulama Talimatı

Madde 18- Arıza, Karaya Oturma ve Diğer Kaza Durumları:

(1) Gemilerin Türk Boğazlarından geçişi esnasında meydana gelebilecek karaya oturma, kaza ve arıza durumlarında Tüzüğün 15'inci maddesi aşağıdaki şekilde uygulanır.

(2) İstanbul ve Çanakkale Boğaz sınırları içinde kaza (çatma, çatışma, karaya oturma, yangın v.s.) yapan gemiler; geçişlerinin tamamlatılması veya yeniden geçiş planı yapılabilmesi amacıyla acenteleri vasıtasıyla Çanakkale Boğazı için Çanakkale Liman Başkanlığına, İstanbul veya her iki Boğaz için İstanbul Liman Başkanlığına, seyir ve teknik hususlar ile ilgili tüm bilgileri havi yazılı müracaatlarını yaparlar. Uzman/Uzmanlar tarafından yapılacak inceleme/sürvey sonrasında düzenlenecek raporda; ilave geçiş şartları olmadan geminin geçişine müsaade edilmediği durumlarda, seyir, can, mal ve çevre emniyeti gözetilerek, söz konusu gemilerin Boğazlardan emniyetli geçişine ilişkin ilave geçiş şartları Komisyon tarafından tespit edilir ve Liman Başkanlığı tarafından acentesine bildirilir. Komisyon tarafından belirlenen geçiş şartları çerçevesinde Boğazdan geçişi sağlanır. 

Türk Boğazları Deniz Trafik Düzeni Tüzüğü

Geçiş sırasında kaza ve arıza

Madde 15 – İstanbul ve Çanakkale Boğazları'ndan geçerken kaza, arıza, zorunlu demirleme gibi bir nedenle uğraksız geçişi bozulan gemi, TrafikKontrol İstasyonuna hemen bilgi vererek tavsiye ve talimat isteyeceklerdir.İlgili Trafik Kontrol İstasyonunca kendilerinin ve çevrenin güvenliğini sağlayacak önlemler tamamlandıktan sonra kılavuz kaptan alacaklar ve geçişintamamlanması için öngörülenleri yerine getireceklerdir.

L.4. IMO 2020 Implementation

The IMO 2020 is essentially a plan adopted after the 70th Meeting of the Committee for the Protection of the Marine Environment (MEPC) to enact a global sulfur cap of 0.5% m/m. This will inevitably increase costs for ship-owners who might turn to states for an eased shift. If the necessary regulations, where Turkey will have the legal basis to fully enforce IMO 2020 but can leave room for jurisdiction without any clear disregard towards international maritime principle of non-discrimination. Then again, the entire process might also be advantageous if Turkish facilities can adapt to the new regulations faster than the facilities from neighboring countries. This transition could be drastically beneficial as most of the Turkish Foreign trade is conducted through maritime trade whereas the ship-owners are heavily dependent on fossil fuels whose cost just increased. Hereafter, Turkey might utilize the potential to provide cheaper and sufficiently clean oil to an industry that direly needs it to become an energy hub.




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[1] Unlike Montreux Convention, with this treaty (1841), the closure of the Straits to warships in peace time is under international obligation. The concept of closure of the straits is limited to peace time alone. If the Ottoman Empire entered the war, the Straits can be used as desired. In other words, the Ottoman Empire can open warships of the state of his choice.