Contributors to the regime
The contributors to the regime are the oil shippers and receivers in Canada. Contributors have not paid contributions since 1976 as the Fund is fully capitalized.
Contributors who are oil receivers must however file an information return no later than February 28 if the volume of contributing cargo for the preceding calendar year exceeded:
• 150,000 metric tonnes of persistent oil, or
• 17,000 metric tonnes of non-persistent oil
(refer to Marine Liability and Information Return Regulations: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2016-307/index.html)
This information return allows to determine Canada’s annual contribution to the International Fund and Supplementary Fund (this contribution is then paid directly by the Fund’s Administrator). It also allows Canada to collect the data needed in order to ratify the Convention on Hazardous and Noxious Substances.
Information returns should be filed via the portal https://stats.tc.gc.ca/HNS/Login.aspx, which is managed by Transport Canada.
Before filing their return, contributors must request the creation of an account by contacting the following address: TC.HNS-SNPD.TC@tc.gc.ca.
The Canadian Compensation Regime for ship-source oil pollution damage is based on the polluter-pays principle as well as on many international conventions. It covers damage caused by oil pollution (or anticipated pollution) in Canadian waters (including the exclusive economic zone), as long as the pollution emanates from an identified or unidentified ship or vessel.
The Fund may be used as a fund of last resort or of first resort; the choice is that of the claimant.
Fund of Last Resort. The claimant may file a claim against the owner of the ship responsible for oil pollution damage (up to the owner’s limit of liability) and can then submit to the Fund a claim for compensation for damages or for a portion of damages that haven’t been reimbursed to him (this could be due to the fact that the limit exceeded the owner’s liability limit, or because the owner was not financially solvent to compensate the claimant).
Fund of First Resort. The claimant may submit his claim directly to the Fund. The Administrator has the obligation of investigating and assessing the claim. If the claim is established, the Administrator will offer a settlement to the claimant, who will then have 60 days to accept the offer.
During the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, the Fund managed a portfolio of 69 cases, which included 42 claims files (26 carried over from 2015-2016, and 16 new claims), and 27 incident files (13 carried over from 2015-2016 and 14 new incidents). More information...
Most importantly, claims must be filed within the prescribed time limitations. The claim must be received by the Office of the Administrator within the time limits prescribed. The time limits are two (2) years after the incident, if the incident did in fact cause oil pollution.