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The Bunkers Convention - Selected aspects of the liability and compensation regime for bunkers pollution damage

Jermolajeva, Viktoria LU (2010) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract
The adoption of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001 plugs a gap in the otherwise comprehensive international liability and compensation regime for ship-source pollution. Although liability for bunkers pollution from tankers was partially regulated by other civil liability regimes, bunker spills pollution from other types of vessels was left uncovered by any international compensation system and thus, had to be dealt with under national laws of the States. Therefore, the pursuit of uniformity, in the light of significantly increased bunkers capacity in many modern vessels, prompted the International Maritime Organization to render the issue of adoption of an international instrument devoted... (More)
The adoption of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001 plugs a gap in the otherwise comprehensive international liability and compensation regime for ship-source pollution. Although liability for bunkers pollution from tankers was partially regulated by other civil liability regimes, bunker spills pollution from other types of vessels was left uncovered by any international compensation system and thus, had to be dealt with under national laws of the States. Therefore, the pursuit of uniformity, in the light of significantly increased bunkers capacity in many modern vessels, prompted the International Maritime Organization to render the issue of adoption of an international instrument devoted to bunkers pollution a high priority. As a result, the Bunkers Convention was adopted in March 2001 and subsequently entered into force in November 2008.
The provisions of the Bunkers Convention are largely modelled on their counterparts in the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992, though on several issues the Bunkers Convention follows its own path. The Bunkers Convention establishes strict liability for several persons, who in one way or another are responsible for the operation of the vessel. The strict liability is coupled with right to limitation, though no separate limitation regime is provided by the Convention. Consequently, on the issue of liability limits, the Bunkers Convention is dependent on other national and international limitation regimes, which would be applicable in each incident. The compulsory insurance and certification requirements are other distinguishing features of the Bunkers Convention, which are designated to guarantee that sufficient amount of compensation is available once the bunkers pollution incident occurs.
As in case of any other international regime, the Bunkers Convention is a result of a compromise reached between the drafters of the Convention. Several of the Convention’s prominent provisions that were agreed upon under enormous time pressure during the final Conference, have been criticised for being ineffective in relation to the aim pursued by the Convention. Although uniformity of liability and compensation for bunkers pollution damage was highly preferable, the adoption of the Bunkers Convention raised certain doubts as regards the successfulness of the Convention to provide adequate compensation to the victims of bunker spills. Notwithstanding that certain provisions have received predominantly positive reaction, still some of the central elements of the Convention are claimed to raise as many problems as they solve. (Less)
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author
Jermolajeva, Viktoria LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Maritime Law
language
Swedish
id
1712319
date added to LUP
2010-11-02 17:23:39
date last changed
2010-11-02 17:23:39
@misc{1712319,
  abstract     = {The adoption of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001 plugs a gap in the otherwise comprehensive international liability and compensation regime for ship-source pollution. Although liability for bunkers pollution from tankers was partially regulated by other civil liability regimes, bunker spills pollution from other types of vessels was left uncovered by any international compensation system and thus, had to be dealt with under national laws of the States. Therefore, the pursuit of uniformity, in the light of significantly increased bunkers capacity in many modern vessels, prompted the International Maritime Organization to render the issue of adoption of an international instrument devoted to bunkers pollution a high priority. As a result, the Bunkers Convention was adopted in March 2001 and subsequently entered into force in November 2008.
The provisions of the Bunkers Convention are largely modelled on their counterparts in the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992, though on several issues the Bunkers Convention follows its own path. The Bunkers Convention establishes strict liability for several persons, who in one way or another are responsible for the operation of the vessel. The strict liability is coupled with right to limitation, though no separate limitation regime is provided by the Convention. Consequently, on the issue of liability limits, the Bunkers Convention is dependent on other national and international limitation regimes, which would be applicable in each incident. The compulsory insurance and certification requirements are other distinguishing features of the Bunkers Convention, which are designated to guarantee that sufficient amount of compensation is available once the bunkers pollution incident occurs.
As in case of any other international regime, the Bunkers Convention is a result of a compromise reached between the drafters of the Convention. Several of the Convention’s prominent provisions that were agreed upon under enormous time pressure during the final Conference, have been criticised for being ineffective in relation to the aim pursued by the Convention. Although uniformity of liability and compensation for bunkers pollution damage was highly preferable, the adoption of the Bunkers Convention raised certain doubts as regards the successfulness of the Convention to provide adequate compensation to the victims of bunker spills. Notwithstanding that certain provisions have received predominantly positive reaction, still some of the central elements of the Convention are claimed to raise as many problems as they solve.},
  author       = {Jermolajeva, Viktoria},
  keyword      = {Maritime Law},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Bunkers Convention - Selected aspects of the liability and compensation regime for bunkers pollution damage},
  year         = {2010},
}