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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?
Explore the resources
The International law regarding ship-source pollution liability and compensation: Evolution and current challenges (2017)
This paper looks at the history and evolution of the international law regarding ship-source pollution liability and compensation, established and strengthened over the last 50 years into what is today considered as a comprehensive and uniform regime. The principles that underpin this regime are the result of compromises between States and industry, lessons learned from past incidents and have been adhered to by the vast majority of countries in the world, denoting the success of the regime.
This paper briefly summarises the impact of oil spills on different components of the marine environment, as well as the potential for natural recovery and man-made restoration/re-instatement measures, as envisaged under the international compensation Conventions.
The 1971 and 1992 International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds ("IOPC Funds") provide compensation to the victims of oil spills from tankers in countries which have ratified the 1971 and 1992 Fund Conventions.
Admissibility of claims for compensation for environmental damage under the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions (2001)
The definition of Pollution Damage in the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions provides 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".
The NAKHODKA and ERIKA oil spills in Japan and France, respectively, have once again focused the attention of politicians, regulators, the media and claimants on the potentially high cost of such events and the adequacy of the current international compensation arrangements.
Facilitating the speedy payment of oil spill compensation claims Under the CLC and Fund Convention (2002)
The prompt settlement of claims for compensation following oil spills from tankers is in everyone's interests, especially those who have incurred clean-up costs, had their property contaminated or suffered economic losses.
The NAKHODKA and ERIKA oil spills in Japan and France, respectively, have once again focused attention on the potentially high cost of such events and the adequacy of the current international compensation arrangements. This prompted a study by the International Group of P&I Clubs of the costs of 360 oil spills occurring outside of the USA between 1990 and 1999.
Compensation for clean up costs and damages caused by oil spills from tankers is governed in many maritime nations by two International Conventions, the Civil Liability Convention (CLC) and the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (FC).
Almost one in every five incidents attended by ITOPF in the last five years has involved sunken wrecks and the removal of oil or chemicals from below the sea surface or at least consideration of the feasibility of such operations.