H.E. Tamar Beruchashvili, Ambassador of Georgia and Permanent Representative of Georgia to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London, on 28 March, to deposit the instrument of accession.

The first International Convention on Load Lines, adopted in 1930, was based on the principle of reserve buoyancy, although it was recognized then that the freeboard should also ensure adequate stability and avoid excessive stress on the ship's hull as a result of overloading.

The limits, defined under the treaty, are given in the form of freeboards. The treaty takes into account the potential hazards present in different ocean zones and different seasons.

The 1988 Protocol updates and revises the earlier treaty. The technical annex contains several additional safety measures concerning doors, freeing ports, hatchways and other items. These measures help to ensure the watertight and weathertight integrity of ships' hulls below the freeboard deck.

All assigned load lines must be marked amidships on each side of the ship, together with the deck line.

Last month, the Government of Hong Kong proposed to amend regulations under the Merchant Shipping (Safety) Ordinance, to incorporate the latest requirements set out in the Load Lines Convention into local legislation.