Insurance & Liability
Overview of major issues
As a result of pollution incidents from shipping, IMO has adopted a number of conventions dealing with the liability of the ship or cargo owner for damage suffered as a result of a pollution casualty and to ensure that adequate compensation is paid to victims affected by a shipping pollution incident. These include the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC), the 1971 convention establishing the International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (Fund) and the protocol establishing an International Oil Pollution Compensation Supplementary Fund. Under the CLC, the liability onus is on the shipowner, but the Fund is made up of contributions from oil importers. The idea is that if an accident at sea results in pollution damage which exceeds the compensation available under the CLC, the Fund will be available to pay an additional amount, while the burden of compensation will be spread more evenly between shipowner and cargo interest. The Supplementary Fund provides an additional, third tier of compensation for oil pollution damage, but participation in the Supplementary Fund is optional. It is open to all Contracting States to the 1992 Fund Convention. However, those States that do not join will continue to enjoy their present cover under the current CLC/Fund regime. In addition, there is the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS Convention) and the HNS Protocol to address the liability and compensation requirements pertaining to pollution incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances, such as chemicals. The Secretariat provides advice and guidance to Members on the requirements of these conventions and will play an active role in in ensuring that any future requirements are practicable and reasonable.
See “Compensation” above.
Marine insurance is necessary to provide a tanker owner with financial protection in case of damage or loss of the ship or its cargo. Marine insurance is split between the vessel and the cargo. Insurance of the vessel is generally known as "Hull and Machinery." Insurance of the cargo is Cargo Insurance. In addition, there may be a need for a tanker owner to obtain additional insurance in special circumstances for such things as sailing in a war zone or when new regulations or trading patterns dictate the need for additional insurance over and above hull and machinery or cargo insurance. The Secretariat provides advice and guidance to Members on the coverage necessary for their particular voyage(s), any major changes in coverage by insurers and trends in claim payouts to ensure that Members have the latest insurance information for their tankers.
General Counsel & Company Secretary
t: +44 20 7977 7038
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