ITOPF was established in the wake of the TORREY CANYON incident to administer the TOVALOP voluntary oil spill compensation agreement. This Agreement ended on 20th February 1997, some 27 years after it was first devised by the tanker industry as an interim arrangement pending the widespread application of the Civil Liability and Fund Conventions.
Membership of ITOPF was originally dependent on tanker owners and bareboat charterers first becoming a party to TOVALOP. This link was severed, however, when ITOPF's Articles of Association were amended with effect from 20th February 1996 to permit membership of the Federation independently of participation in TOVALOP. This was done in preparation for the expiry of TOVALOP in 1997, since ITOPF's Directors were anxious to ensure the continued availability of the organisation's extensive technical experience and expertise accumulated over more than 25 years.
The vast majority of ITOPF's tanker owner and bareboat charterer Members chose to remain Members after 20th February 1997, and these were joined by many more owners who had previously not been eligible to become a party to TOVALOP. As at September 2012, ITOPF has over 6,300 Members who own or operate about 11,000 tankers, combination carriers and barges, with a total tonnage of 338 million gross tons. This represents virtually all the world's oil and chemical tank vessel tonnage engaged in international trade.
Membership of ITOPF is normally arranged by the P&I Clubs and other oil pollution insurers. These bodies also pay the annual ITOPF dues on their Members' behalf (for 2013/2014 these dues are calculated at the rate of 0.57 of a UK penny per gross ton). The rights and obligations of ITOPF Members are set out in Terms and Conditions of Membership (Adobe Acrobat document, 54 KB).
Since February 1999 the organisation has also benefited from the participation of other types of shipowner within ITOPF as Associates. This reflects ITOPF's increasingly important role in responding to bunker spills from non-tankers. As at August 2012, the total gross tonnage owned or operated by ITOPF's Associates stands at 658 million GT.
The rights and obligations of Associates are set out in Terms and Conditions of Associate Status (Adobe Acrobat document, 54 KB). As is the case with tanker owner Members, the P&I Clubs and other third party liability insurers look after the administrative procedures of Associate Status and pay the appropriate dues to ITOPF on their shipowner members' behalf (for 2013/2014 these dues are calculated at the rate of 0.41 of a UK penny per gross ton).
ITOPF's activities are overseen by an international Board of Directors representing the organisation's independent and oil company tanker owner Members, its Associates and P&I insurers.