Recognition of the problems that can be caused by spills of heavy bunker fuel from non-tankers led to the adoption of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage at a Diplomatic Conference in March 2001.
This IMO Convention seeks to ensure that adequate compensation is promptly available to persons who are required to clean up or who suffer damage as a result of spills of ships' bunker oil, who would not otherwise be compensated under the 1992 CLC. Although strict liability under the Bunker Spills Convention extends beyond the registered owner to the bareboat charterer, manager and operator of the ship, the Convention only requires the registered owner of ships greater than 1,000 GT to maintain insurance or other financial security. The level of cover must be equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime, but in no case exceeding the amount calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, as amended.
The Bunker Spills Convention entered into force on 21 November 2008.