International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds), an Overview

by OldSailor on March 11, 2008

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Marine oil pollutions are showing a rising trend. Whenever there is an oil spill, various governmental and non governmental agencies rush up to contain the spill and to minimize environmental damage. Lot of time and manpower is spent to fight the oil pollution in addition to the damage that takes place. Legal actions are initiated against the shipowners and compensation is paid by the shipowners.

Recent cases are San Francisco Bay oil spill by Cosco Busan and South Korean oil spill by Hebei Spirit. In both the cases legal actions are going on and compensation is being sought. In most of the cases the compensation actually paid by the shipowners are lesser than the compensation claimed in the court of law. Who pays the deficit amount ?

Here comes the London based International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds). IOPC Funds pay the deficit amount to that affected State who is a member of that fund. IOPC Funds are independent from IMO, though the guidelines are from IMO. Also IOPC Funds are independent from United Nations agencies. IOPC Funds are managed by intergovernmental organisations who are members in that funds.

Types of IOPC Funds

There are three types of funds managed by IOPC Funds.

  • the 1971 Fund (which is wound up)
  • the 1992 Fund
  • the Supplementary Fund

How contribution comes to the IOPC Funds ?

  • Basis for levy of contributions: Any member state who receives more than 150 000 tonnes of crude oil or heavy fuel oil transported through sea in a calender year has to pay.
  • Supplementary Fund: Any member state who receives at least one million tonnes of crude oil or heavy fuel oil transported through sea in a calender year has to pay.

How many Members are there in IOPC Funds ?

Number of Member States as on 2006

members_iopc_fund

How much is the contribution from Member States ?

Contribution by Member States to 1992 Fund as on 2005

iopc_1992

Contribution by Member States to Supplementary Fund as on 2005

iopc_sf

Claims paid by IOPC Funds from 1971 Fund and 1992 Fund up to 2006

iopc_claims

Claims situations as on 2006

iopc_claims2006

Click here to read the full 2006 report of IOPC Funds.

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