DEBRIEF OF THE OCTOBER 2022 MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL OIL POLLUTION COMPENSATION FUNDS’ (IOPC FUNDS) GOVERNING BODIES
Anne Legars, our Administrator, recently participated in the Canadian delegation to the IOPC Funds’ governing bodies. The main points relevant to our Fund included:
No new incident involving the IOPC Funds
- We are responsible for paying Canada’s financial contribution. No new incident generally means a smaller contribution for our part.
Closure of the Hebei Spirit file
- The members discussed the claims management post-mortem.
- This incident was the biggest file managed by the IOPC Funds in their four decades of existence. It involved the handling of over 128,000 claims in South To meet this challenge, the IGP&I, IOPC Funds and South Korea developed and implemented strategies, processes, and tools. These are extremely valuable take-aways to raise our capacity to handle a high number of claims in the event of a major ship-source oil spill incident.
- The IOPC Funds will pay back the balance that had been levied for this incident. This means an offset to our financial contribution to the IOPC Funds in 2023.
Ongoing payments and courts cases
- Claims for the 2017 Agia Zoni II file (Greece), and on the 2021 Incident in Israel (mystery spill) are being assessed and paid to claimants.
- Two lawsuits are of immediate interest to our Fund: the 2016 Nathan E. Stewart (Canada), and the 2018 Bow Jubail (Netherlands) incidents. The Bow Jubail court decision will be especially important to clarify the application of the international regime.
Elections of a Canadian Chair
- Francois Marier, head of the Canadian delegation, was elected Chair of the Supplementary Fund.
Impact of trade sanctions on the development of dark shipping
- Some vessels under sanctions due to the Ukraine invasion are “going dark”. For example, to avoid detection, some are turning off their ocean tracking systems. In the event of a tanker oil spill, it may expose financially the IOPC Funds and our Fund as contributors.
Progress towards the entry into force of the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 2010 (2010 HNS Convention) and 2010 Protocol
- Several States plan to ratify the convention in 2023. The 2010 HNS Convention and its related HNS Fund may be in force in 2026.