International Convention On Civil Liability For Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001

Civil Liability ConventionFollowing the Chernobyl accident, the IAEA initiated function on all aspects of nuclear liability with a view to improving the basic Conventions and establishing a comprehensive liability regime. The limitations of the international regime established by the IMO Conventions on civil liability for oil pollution harm, in particular with respect to compensation for environmental damage per se, have prompted actions ahead of national Courts searching for appropriate reparation from parties (other than the shipowner) involved in the operations of tankers in circumstances of catastrophic oil spills.

An examination of present international maritime practice shows that there are essential gaps in the regulation and implementation of responsibilities relating to pollution by vessels, especially in circumstances of catastrophic accidents such as these of the oil tankers Erika” in 1999 and Prestige” in 2002. When an incident involving two or a lot more ships happens and pollution damage outcomes therefrom, the shipowners of all the ships concerned, unless exonerated below write-up three, shall be jointly and severally liable for all such damage which is not reasonably separable. The CLC was adopted in 1969 but has since been superseded by the 1992 Protocol (CLC 92).

This Convention shall not apply to pollution harm as defined in the Civil Liability Convention, no matter if or not compensation is payable in respect of it under that Convention. The Supplementary Fund Protocol establishes the International Oil Pollution Compensation Supplementary Fund (the Supplementary Fund) to present compensation for victims who do not obtain complete compensation under the Civil Liability and the 1992 Fund Conventions. It aims to ensure sufficient, prompt and successful compensation for damage that may well result from shipping accidents involving hazardous and noxious substances.

Shipowner liability ranges from SDR ten million (about US$ 15 million) for ships up to two,000 GT, rising linearly by way of SDR 82 million (about US$ 126 million) for ships of 50,000 GT, to a maximum of SDR one hundred million (about US$ 154 million) for ships over one hundred,000 GT. It is compulsory for all ships over 200 GT to have insurance to cover the relevant amount.

Nevertheless, the 1992 CLC prohibits claims against the servants or agents of the shipowner, the members of the crew, the pilot, the charterer (including a bareboat charterer), manager or operator of the ship, or any person carrying out salvage operations or taking preventive measures, unless the pollution damage resulted from the personal act or omission of the person concerned, committed with the intent to lead to such damage, or recklessly and with expertise that such damage would probably result.

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