Liability for pollution is a relatively modern concern. Most laws in this field have come into being since the late 1960s following the first major tanker spill, the Torrey Canyon incident off the south coast of England. It prompted the growth of major environmental pressure groups and governments represented at the United Nations undertook a whole range of new environmental commitments. Subsequent oil pollution disasters such as the Amoco Cadiz off Brittany in 1978, the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989 and, more recently, the Erika and Prestige incidents off Western Europe resulted in further legal changes and greater financial liability for pollution from ships.
Today even minor pollution incidents commonly produce very significant financial losses for ship owners and their insurers, both in the form of compensation claims and by way of criminal fines. A serious oil spill is a crisis which shipping executives commonly fear more than any other casualty, not least because of the considerable publicity that is often generated by them.
Pollution liability regimes were the first to introduce compulsory insurance in the maritime sector along with rights of direct action against liability insurers.
Insurance against pollution liability risks is therefore a very important feature of Club cover, not only to enable shipowners to comply with compulsory insurance requirements but also to protect them against some of their biggest potential exposures.
We have focused on key topics on this page:
Telephone +30 210 429 1853
Mobile +30 6941 583 682
Web alerts on this topic:
Telephone +44 20 7680 5620
Mobile +44 78 2410 3362
- General information on ballast water management: here
- Text of the Ballast Water Management Convention: here
- USCG’s latest memo regarding extensions for BWMS: here
- EPA’s 2013 VGP: here
Chinese Oil Pollution
Senior Claims Executive
Telephone +65 6506 2880
Mobile +65 9298 8387
- Handout on Chinese oil pollution: here
- List of Approved SPROs/Consortia/Agents: here
- Circulars and web alerts on this topic: here
- Revised IG Sample SPRO contract: here
Telephone +1 646 753 9022
Mobile +1 646 321 2146
Telephone +44 20 3320 8876
Mobile +44 7827 850 655