The Contribution System and How it Works
Canada is a contracting state to both the 1992 Civil Liability Convention and the 1992 Fund Convention. In addition, Canada is a contracting state to the Supplementary Fund Protocol and therefore is a member of both the 1992 Fund and the Supplementary Fund.
These international funds are financed by levies on certain types of oil carried by sea. In most States the levies are paid by entities which receive oil after sea transport. Annual contributions are levied by the 1992 Fund to meet the anticipated payments of compensation and administrative expenses during the coming year. In Canada, the Administrator of the SOPF is responsible for reporting to the IOPC Funds annually the amount of contributing oil received in Canada by sea. Contributing oil means crude oil and fuel oil. Under the Act, it is mandatory for a person who receives oil, if the total quantity of oil received by the person or associated persons during the calendar year exceeds 150,000 metric tons, to report quantities of “contributing oil” imported by sea into Canada in each calendar year. The Administrator consolidates the national figure and reports it to the IOPC Secretariat. It is on this basis that the amount of the Canadian contribution is determined. The obligation to pay contributions to the IOPC Funds on behalf of the Canadian oil receivers is fulfilled by the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund. The amount of the levy varies from year to year.
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.