The IOPC Funds
The International oil prevention compensation fund came into being following Torrey Canyon disaster on 18th March 1967, a super tanker which ran aground on the rocks off the south- west coast of the United Kingdom spilling crude oil estimated at 25-36 million gallons.
International Maritime Organization IMO which is primarily concerned with the safety of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution, introduced regulations covering liability and compensation for damage, such as pollution, caused by ships. This led to 1969 Civil Liability Convention for ensuring the payment of compensation for oil pollution damage, but it did not deal satisfactorily with all the legal, financial and other questions raised during the Conference adopting the CLC Convention.
The 1969 Brussels Conference considered a compromise proposal to establish an international fund, to be subscribed to by the cargo interests, which would be available for the dual purpose of, on the one hand, relieving the shipowner of the burden by the requirements of the new convention and, on the other hand, providing additional compensation to the victims of pollution damage in cases where compensation under the 1969 Civil Liability Convention was either inadequate or unobtainable.
Although the Funds were established under Conventions adopted under the auspices of IMO, they are completely independent legal entities.
Unlike IMO, the IOPC Funds are not United Nations (UN) agencies and are not part of the UN system. They are intergovernmental organisations outside the UN but follow procedures which are like those of the UN.
The purposes of the Fund Convention are:
To provide compensation for pollution damage to the extent that the protection afforded by the 1969 Civil Liability Convention is inadequate.
To give relief to shipowners in respect of the additional financial burden imposed on them by the 1969 Civil Liability Convention, such relief being subject to conditions designed to ensure compliance with safety at sea and other conventions.
To give effect to the related purposes set out in the Convention.
Source of fund
The IOPC Funds are financed by contributions levied on any entity that has received in the relevant calendar year more than 150 000 tonnes of contributing oil (i.e. crude and/or heavy fuel oil) in ports or terminal installations in a Member State, after carriage by sea. Contributions are paid by the individual contributors directly to the Funds.
The Fund is not obliged to indemnify the owner if damage is caused by his wilful misconduct or if the accident was caused, even partially, because the ship did not comply with certain international conventions.
Following several amendments to the convention, Nigeria through its agency (NIMASA) become a member state and domesticated the convention in 1992.
With the recent determination and drive of the Agency through its director to ensure stakeholders participation in utilizing Nigerian instrument for marine pollution and control and ensuring that reports are in line with international standard.
Though it is primarily concerning tanker operations engaged in crude oil lifting and storage however for companies engaged in marine logistics using vessel above 400gross like ours
Therefore, we at Caracal group / Hellespont Ship management is committed to ensuring preventive actions through the following strategies below:
Reassessing the legal arrangement for prevention of marine pollution.
Taken measures to control its operational activities relating to oil spill during transportation.
Taken measure to train our employees on the management and prevention of marine pollution.
Ensuring our employees follow Company Contingency Plans for Oil Spill Drills / Training
Ensuring functional equipment and SOPEP anti-pollution gear for oil spill prevention.
Ensuring that required Oil Water Separator that controls/limits overboard discharge to containing not more than 15 ppm of oil in residual discharge
Ensuring required Statutory Surveys and Calibrations of Oil Content Meter are kept.
Endeavour to land ashore where possible to avoid and reduce Environmental Footprint.