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Cabotage Restriction Rules and the Shipping of Disaster Relief Aid-Navigating the Climate Change Induced Risk for Security in the Pacific

Bordahandy, Pierre-Jean (2021) Cabotage Restriction Rules and the Shipping of Disaster Relief Aid-Navigating the Climate Change Induced Risk for Security in the Pacific. World Maritime University.

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There is no universally accepted definition of Cabotage. The term has been presented by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Council for Trade in Service as: ‘traffic from port to port within a single state’. More interestingly, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) supported a presentation indicating that: ‘Cabotage is commonly defined as the reservation of the transport task within a country’s territory to the surface (land and water) and air transport industries and labour of that country.’ This indicates, firstly, that cabotage restricts the provision of transport services to service providers registered in that specific country. In other words, cabotage restriction rules create a closed market protected from free international completion. Secondly, cabotage restriction rules exist in a majority of states in the world, along a majority of coastlines, in a substantial majority of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) council states, and they have endured for centuries. Indeed, cabotage restriction rules can be found in most states, and perhaps surprisingly, in states that do not have an emerging or even an established domestic shipping industry to protect. This is the case for most Pacific States, which face the difficulty of long-haul distances in providing their countries with the necessary supplies and connections. Any prescription has the potential of raising a number of issues; legal prescriptions are not immune to this. As far as cabotage restriction rules are concerned, the most acute problem certainly arises in relation to the supply of foreign disaster relief aid. In these situations, providers of disaster relief aid face the great difficulty of not being able to use foreign registered vessels and having to rely on either non-existent or insufficient domestic maritime transport capacity to provide help directly to affected areas. There has been an increased occurrence of climate change induced events, such as cyclones Pam, Harold and Winston in the South Pacific as well as hurricanes Katarina, Sandy and Michael in the northern hemisphere. Reports from the Red Cross and, more generally, International Disaster Response Law have discussed the reality of the problem at length. This research came about as a request from the World Food Program (WFP) who had been facing cabotage restriction rules during disaster relief operations, notably during cyclone Pam, confirming the practical relevance of this problem. This topic highlights a large number of theoretical legal questions of pubic international law, humanitarian law, maritime law, health law, taxation laws, and environmental law. This presentation will map these legal issues and present the solutions and strategies developed for the WFP in order to create a regime that could facilitate the delivery of disaster relief aid by sea, whilst at the same time protect the sovereignty, environment and health of the affected state and its citizens.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)
V Naval Science > V Naval Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Law
Depositing User: Pierre-Jean Bordahandy
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2021 03:19
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2021 03:28

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