For the purposes of this Convention:
1 Ship means any seagoing vessel and seaborne craft, of any type whatsoever.
2 Person means any individual or partnership or any public or private body, whether corporate or not, including a State or any of its constituent subdivisions.
3 Shipowner means the owner, including the registered owner, bareboat charterer, manager and operator of the ship.
4 Registered owner means the person or persons registered as the owner of the ship or, in the absence of registration, the person or persons owning the ship. However, in the case of a ship owned by a State and operated by a company which in that State is registered as the ship’s operator, registered owner shall mean such company.
5 Bunker oil means any hydrocarbon mineral oil, including lubricating oil, used or intended to be used for the operation or propulsion of the ship, and any residues of such oil.
6 Civil Liability Convention means the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992, as amended.
7 Preventive measures means any reasonable measures taken by any person after an incident has occurred to prevent or minimize pollution damage.
8 Incident means any occurrence or series of occurrences having the same origin, which causes pollution damage or creates a grave and imminent threat of causing such damage.
9 Pollution damage means:
(a) loss or damage caused outside the ship by contamination resulting from the escape or discharge of bunker oil from the ship, wherever such escape or discharge may occur, provided that compensation for impairment of the environment other than loss of profit from such impairment shall be limited to costs of reasonable measures of reinstatement actually undertaken or to be undertaken; and
(b) the costs of preventive measures and further loss or damage caused by preventive measures.
10 State of the ship’s registry means, in relation to a registered ship, the State of registration of the ship and, in relation to an unregistered ship, the State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly.
11 Gross tonnage means gross tonnage calculated in accordance with the tonnage measurement regulations contained in Annex 1 of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969.
12 Organization means the International Maritime Organization.
13 Secretary-General means the Secretary-General of the Organization.
Scope of Application
This Convention shall apply exclusively:
(a) to pollution damage caused:
(i) in the territory, including the territorial sea, of a State Party, and
(ii) in the exclusive economic zone of a State Party, established in accordance with international law, or, if a State Party has not established such a zone, in an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea of that State determined by that State in accordance with international law and extending not more than 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of its territorial sea is measured;
(b) to preventive measures, wherever taken, to prevent or minimize such damage.
Liability of the Shipowner
1 Except as provided in paragraphs 3 and 4, the shipowner at the time of an incident shall be liable for pollution damage caused by any bunker oil on board or originating from the ship, provided that, if an incident consists of a series of occurrences having the same origin, the liability shall attach to the shipowner at the time of the first of such occurrences.
2 Where more than one person is liable in accordance with paragraph 1, their liability shall be joint and several.
3 No liability for pollution damage shall attach to the shipowner if the shipowner proves that:
(a) the damage resulted from an act of war, hostilities, civil war, insurrection or a natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character; or
(b) the damage was wholly caused by an act or omission done with the intent to cause damage by a third party; or
(c) the damage was wholly caused by the negligence or other wrongful act of any Government or other authority responsible for the maintenance of lights or other navigational aids in the exercise of that function.
4 If the shipowner proves that the pollution damage resulted wholly or partially either from an act or omission done with intent to cause damage by the person who suffered the damage or from the negligence of that person, the shipowner may be exonerated wholly or partially from liability to such person.
5 No claim for compensation for pollution damage shall be made against the shipowner otherwise than in accordance with this Convention.
6 Nothing in this Convention shall prejudice any right of recourse of the shipowner which exists independently of this Convention.
1 This Convention shall not apply to pollution damage as defined in the Civil Liability Convention, whether or not compensation is payable in respect of it under that Convention.
2 Except as provided in paragraph 3, the provisions of this Convention shall not apply to warships, naval auxiliary or other ships owned or operated by a State and used, for the time being, only on Government non-commercial service.
3 A State Party may decide to apply this Convention to its warships or other ships described in paragraph 2, in which case it shall notify the Secretary-General thereof specifying the terms and conditions of such application.
4 With respect to ships owned by a State Party and used for commercial purposes, each State shall be subject to suit in the jurisdictions set forth in article 9 and shall waive all defences based on its status as a sovereign State.
Incidents Involving Two or More Ships
When an incident involving two or more ships occurs and pollution damage results therefrom, the shipowners of all the ships concerned, unless exonerated under article 3, shall be jointly and severally liable for all such damage which is not reasonably separable.
Limitation of Liability
Nothing in this Convention shall affect the right of the shipowner and the person or persons providing insurance or other financial security to limit liability under any applicable national or international regime, such as the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, as amended.
Compulsory Insurance or Financial Security
1 The registered owner of a ship having a gross tonnage greater than 1000 registered in a State Party shall be required to maintain insurance or other financial security, such as the guarantee of a bank or similar financial institution, to cover the liability of the registered owner for pollution damage in an amount equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime, but in all cases, not exceeding an amount calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, as amended.
2 A certificate attesting that insurance or other financial security is in force in accordance with the provisions of this Convention shall be issued to each ship after the appropriate authority of a State Party has determined that the requirements of paragraph 1 have been complied with. With respect to a ship registered in a State Party such certificate shall be issued or certified by the appropriate authority of the State of the ship’s registry; with respect to a ship not registered in a State Party it may be issued or certified by the appropriate authority of any State Party. This certificate shall be in the form of the model set out in the annex to this Convention and shall contain the following particulars:
(a) name of ship, distinctive number or letters and port of registry;
(b) name and principal place of business of the registered owner;
(c) IMO ship identification number;
(d) type and duration of security;
(e) name and principal place of business of insurer or other person giving security and, where appropriate, place of business where the insurance or security is established;
(f) period of validity of the certificate which shall not be longer than the period of validity of the insurance or other security.
3 (a) A State Party may authorize either an institution or an organization recognized by it to issue the certificate referred to in paragraph 2. Such institution or organization shall inform that State of the issue of each certificate. In all cases, the State Party shall fully guarantee the completeness and accuracy of the certificate so issued and shall undertake to ensure the necessary arrangements to satisfy this obligation.
(b) A State Party shall notify the Secretary-General of :
(i) the specific responsibilities and conditions of the authority delegated to an institution or organization recognised by it;
(ii) the withdrawal of such authority; and
(iii) the date from which such authority or withdrawal of such authority takes effect.
An authority delegated shall not take effect prior to three months from the date on which notification to that effect was given to the Secretary-General.
(c) The institution or organization authorized to issue certificates in accordance with this paragraph shall, as a minimum, be authorized to withdraw these certificates if the conditions under which they have been issued are not maintained. In all cases the institution or organization shall report such withdrawal to the State on whose behalf the certificate was issued.
4 The certificate shall be in the official language or languages of the issuing State. If the language used is not English, French or Spanish, the text shall include a translation into one of these languages and, where the State so decides, the official language of the State may be omitted.
5 The certificate shall be carried on board the ship and a copy shall be deposited with the authorities who keep the record of the ship’s registry or, if the ship is not registered in a State Party, with the authorities issuing or certifying the certificate.
6 An insurance or other financial security shall not satisfy the requirements of this article if it can cease, for reasons other than the expiry of the period of validity of the insurance or security specified in the certificate under paragraph 2 of this article, before three months have elapsed from the date on which notice of its termination is given to the authorities referred to in paragraph 5 of this article, unless the certificate has been surrendered to these authorities or a new certificate has been issued within the said period. The foregoing provisions shall similarly apply to any modification which results in the insurance or security no longer satisfying the requirements of this article.
7 The State of the ship’s registry shall, subject to the provisions of this article, determine the conditions of issue and validity of the certificate.
8 Nothing in this Convention shall be construed as preventing a State Party from relying on information obtained from other States or the Organization or other international organisations relating to the financial standing of providers of insurance or financial security for the purposes of this Convention. In such cases, the State Party relying on such information is not relieved of its responsibility as a State issuing the certificate required by paragraph 2.
9 Certificates issued or certified under the authority of a State Party shall be accepted by other States Parties for the purposes of this Convention and shall be regarded by other States Parties as having the same force as certificates issued or certified by them even if issued or certified in respect of a ship not registered in a State Party. A State Party may at any time request consultation with the issuing or certifying State should it believe that the insurer or guarantor named in the insurance certificate is not financially capable of meeting the obligations imposed by this Convention.
10 Any claim for compensation for pollution damage may be brought directly against the insurer or other person providing financial security for the registered owner’s liability for pollution damage. In such a case the defendant may invoke the defences (other than bankruptcy or winding up of the shipowner) which the shipowner would have been entitled to invoke, including limitation pursuant to article 6. Furthermore, even if the shipowner is not entitled to limitation of liability according to article 6, the defendant may limit liability to an amount equal to the amount of the insurance or other financial security required to be maintained in accordance with paragraph 1. Moreover, the defendant may invoke the defence that the pollution damage resulted from the wilful misconduct of the shipowner, but the defendant shall not invoke any other defence which the defendant might have been entitled to invoke in proceedings brought by the shipowner against the defendant. The defendant shall in any event have the right to require the shipowner to be joined in the proceedings.
11 A State Party shall not permit a ship under its flag to which this article applies to operate at any time, unless a certificate has been issued under paragraphs 2 or 14.
12 Subject to the provisions of this article, each State Party shall ensure, under its national law, that insurance or other security, to the extent specified in paragraph 1, is in force in respect of any ship having a gross tonnage greater than 1000, wherever registered, entering or leaving a port in its territory, or arriving at or leaving an offshore facility in its territorial sea.
13 Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 5, a State Party may notify the Secretary-General that, for the purposes of paragraph 12, ships are not required to carry on board or to produce the certificate required by paragraph 2, when entering or leaving ports or arriving at or leaving from offshore facilities in its territory, provided that the State Party which issues the certificate required by paragraph 2 has notified the Secretary-General that it maintains records in an electronic format, accessible to all States Parties, attesting the existence of the certificate and enabling States Parties to discharge their obligations under paragraph 12.
14 If insurance or other financial security is not maintained in respect of a ship owned by a State Party, the provisions of this article relating thereto shall not be applicable to such ship, but the ship shall carry a certificate issued by the appropriate authority of the State of the ship’s registry stating that the ship is owned by that State and that the ship’s liability is covered within the limit prescribed in accordance with paragraph 1. Such a certificate shall follow as closely as possible the model prescribed by paragraph 2.
15 A State may, at the time of ratification, acceptance, approval of, or accession to this Convention, or at any time thereafter, declare that this article does not apply to ships operating exclusively within the area of that State referred to in article 2(a)(i).
Rights to compensation under this Convention shall be extinguished unless an action is brought thereunder within three years from the date when the damage occurred. However, in no case shall an action be brought more than six years from the date of the incident which caused the damage. Where the incident consists of a series of occurrences, the six-years’ period shall run from the date of the first such occurrence.
1 Where an incident has caused pollution damage in the territory, including the territorial sea, or in an area referred to in article 2(a)(ii) of one or more States Parties, or preventive measures have been taken to prevent or minimise pollution damage in such territory, including the territorial sea, or in such area, actions for compensation against the shipowner, insurer or other person providing security for the shipowner’s liability may be brought only in the courts of any such States Parties.
2 Reasonable notice of any action taken under paragraph 1 shall be given to each defendant.
3 Each State Party shall ensure that its courts have jurisdiction to entertain actions for compensation under this Convention.
Recognition and Enforcement
1 Any judgement given by a Court with jurisdiction in accordance with article 9 which is enforceable in the State of origin where it is no longer subject to ordinary forms of review, shall be recognised in any State Party, except:
(a) where the judgement was obtained by fraud; or
(b) where the defendant was not given reasonable notice and a fair opportunity to present his or her case.
2 A judgement recognised under paragraph 1 shall be enforceable in each State Party as soon as the formalities required in that State have been complied with. The formalities shall not permit the merits of the case to be re-opened.
Issued in accordance with the provisions of article 7 of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001
Name of Ship
Distinctive number or letters
IMO Ship Identification Number
Port of registry
Name and full address of the principal place of business of the registered owner
This is to certify that there is in force in respect of the above-named ship a policy of insurance or other financial security satisfying the requirements of article 7 of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001.
Type of Security
Duration of Security
Name and address of the insurer(s) and/or guarantor(s)
This certificate is valid until
Issued or certified by the Government of
(Full designation of the State)
The following text should be used when a State Party avails itself of article 7(3)
The present certificate is issued under the authority of the Government of (full designation of the State) by (name of institution or organization)
At (Place)On (Date)
Signature and Title of issuing or certifying official
- 1If desired, the designation of the State may include a reference to the competent public authority of the country where the Certificate is issued.
- 2If the total amount of security has been furnished by more than one source, the amount of each of them should be indicated.
- 3If security is furnished in several forms, these should be enumerated.
- 4The entry “Duration of Security” must stipulate the date on which such security takes effect.
- 5The entry “Address” of the insurer(s) and/or guarantor(s) must indicate the principal place of business of the insurer(s) and/or guarantor(s). If appropriate, the place of business where the insurance or other security is established shall be indicated.
- 2009, c. 21, s. 17
- Date modified: