Mainly, the discussions arose due to reports of fraudulent use of their flag by a number of IMO Member States.

Amongst others, the discussions will also focus on the growing number of cases of seafarer abandonment and the orchestrated action needed to address this issue.

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The Committee will be informed on updates concerning latest cases and review those that have been successfully resolved, following intervention by the IMO Secretariat, the International Labour Organization (ILO), relevant flag States, port States, seafarers' States and other organizations.

In addition, the Committee will work on the regulatory scoping exercise of conventions emanating from the Legal Committee for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS).

A matter of importance is boosting ratification and implementation the 2010 HNS Convention, which covers liability and compensation in the event of an incident involving hazardous goods.

The number of ships carrying HNS cargoes is steadily increasing, with more than 200 million tonnes of chemicals traded per year.

The Legal committee was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Volker Schöfish (Germany).