New compensation limits for oil pollution disasters enter into force
Amendments which raise by 50 percent the limits of compensation payable to victims of pollution by oil from oil tankers enter into force on 1 November 2003.
The amendments to the 1992 Protocol of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC Convention) and to the 1992 Protocol of the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (IOPC Fund) were adopted in October 2000.
The CLC Convention makes the shipowner strictly liable for damage suffered as a result of a pollution incident and the amendments raise the limits payable to 89.77 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (approximately US$127 million) for a ship over 140,000 gross tonnage, up from 59.7 million SDR (US$85 million) established in the 1992 Protocol.
The IOPC Fund amendments raise the maximum amount of compensation payable from the IOPC Fund for a single incident, including the limit established under the CLC amendments, to 203 million SDR (US$289 million), up from 135 million SDR (US$192 million). However, if three States contributing to the Fund receive more than 600 million tonnes of oil per annum, the maximum amount is raised to 300,740,000 SDR (US$428 million), up from 200 million SDR (US$285million).While the Civil Liability Convention regulates the shipowner's liability, the Fund is made up of contributions from oil importers. The principle is that if an accident at sea results in pollution damage which exceeds the compensation available under the Civil Liability Convention, the Fund will be available to pay an additional amount. In this way, the regime established by the two treaties ensures that the burden of compensation is spread more evenly between shipowner and cargo interests.
tier of compensation
The total amount of compensation payable for any one incident will be limited to a combined total of 750 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (US$1,067 million) including the amount of compensation paid under the existing CLC and Fund Conventions.
The new Fund will come into existence three months after at least eight States have ratified the Protocol, who have received a combined total of 450 million tons of contributing oil.
Status of Conventions
The IOPC funds
Unlike IMO, the
IOPC Funds are not United Nations agencies and are not part of the UN system.
They are intergovernmental organisations outside the United Nations, but follow
procedures which are similar to those of the United Nations.
Further information can be found on the IOPC Funds website at www.iopcfund.org
Web site: www.imo.org