Documents & Guides

Explore a variety of topics about marine spills, response and compensation matters in the pages below.

Each topic and area of interest provides access to more detailed documentation that is freely downloadable.

This includes our 17 Technical Information Papers which are fully illustrated with photos and diagrams and are available in several languages. 


What happens to oil in the marine environment over time when spilled at sea? How do different factors such as volume and physical and chemical properties affect the fate of oil spills? 


How does oil impact seabirds, plankton, sea mammals and the shoreline?  


Which industries might suffer temporary economic losses and loss of market confidence?


What are the specific chemical response strategies for responding to a Hazardous and Noxious Substance spill, and what are the potential effects on human and marine life? 


What information is needed for an effective oil spill contingency plan? How can aerial observation and protective strategies assist with response operations? 


What techniques are available for cleaning up oil at sea and on the shoreline?


What planning and waste management systems need to be put in place to reduce the volume of oily waste for treatment or disposal?


What legal arrangements and sources of compensation are available for a spill from a ship?

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Oil Spill Compensation - A Guide to the International Conventions on Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (2007)

A joint ITOPF / IPIECA briefing guide to the International Conventions on Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, applicable to spills of persistent oil from tankers.

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Oil Tanker Spill Statistics 2016

An annual publication providing data on accidental oil spills from tankers, combined carriers and barges since 1970, derived from ITOPF's database.

Categories: Company literature , Publications , Information Services

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ITOPF Handbook

First produced in 1997, the ITOPF Handbook contains a wealth of valuable information and guidance for those likely to be involved in spills of oil and chemicals from ships

Categories: Company literature

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Annual Review

A review of the Federation's activities during the past twelve months, including the Directors' Report and Accounts.

Categories: Company literature

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Ocean Orbit

An occasional newsletter launched in 1992, which reports on ITOPF activities and spill related issues.

Categories: Company literature

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TIP 17: Response to Marine Chemical Incidents

This paper provides an introduction to the issues involved in responding to chemical spills and addresses the range of hazards present, the behaviour of chemicals when spilt at sea and briefly reviews available response options.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , HNS

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TIP 16: Contingency planning for marine oil spills

This paper outlines the typical format and content of contingency plans for response to ship-source spills and highlights the key steps required for an effective plan.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Planning & operations

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TIP 15: Preparation and submission of claims from oil pollution

This paper provides guidance on the information to be recorded and the documentation or other evidence required to support a claim. The process by which a claim should be compiled and submitted is also outlined. This paper is applicable primarily to spills of oil from ships although many of the points raised will be relevant to spills of oil from other sources

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Compensation

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TIP 14: Sampling and monitoring of marine oil spills

This paper provides a broad overview of the monitoring and sampling procedures that can be used for qualitative and quantitative monitoring of oil contamination. While qualitative analyses can confirm the source of oil contamination, monitoring programmes are often concerned with the quantitative changes in hydrocarbon levels over time. Guidance on analytical best practice is given and common terminology is explained. However, the techniques and observations required to monitor specific ecological or biological effects and to monitor contaminants in the air are beyond the scope of this paper.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Environmental effects, Planning & operations

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TIP 13: Effects of oil pollution on the marine environment

This paper describes the effects of ship-source oil spills and resultant clean-up activities on marine flora and fauna, and their habitats. Particular attention is devoted to discussing the complex interactions between oil and biological systems, which have been the subject of diverse studies over many years. Separate ITOPF papers consider the specific effects of oil on fisheries and mariculture and on wider human activity.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Environmental effects

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