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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

IOPC FUND DISCUSSIONS ON CLC AND FUND CONVENTION 3-6 APRIL – NEW INPUT FROM EU AND FRANCE - INTERTANKO INTERVENTION REGARDING FPSO’S AND FSU’S

Some of the main points for discussion were: * Increase of limits of CLC and Fund 1992 * EU White Paper on Environmental Liability * French paper on fundamental review of the conventions * Working Group discussions on definition of ship – INTERTANKO intervention

It was reported that an increase in the limits of 1992 CLC and Fund Conventions will be discussed at the Legal Committee of the IMO in October. It was recognised that the Fund could not take any decisions with regard to increase of the limits, but it was reported that there were more than a sufficient number of co-sponsors to meet the requirement in the Conventions.

No delegation was opposed to the issue being discussed in the Legal Committee although some delegations expressed concerns about the level of increase. There are two restrictions on the maximum increase which can be set by means of the tacit acceptance procedure (a simplified procedure allowing changes to be made without convening a Diplomatic Conference). Firstly the amendment limits cannot be more than the original limits increased by 6% per annum calculated on a compound basis from 15 January 1993. Secondly the amended limits cannot be higher than three times the original limits.

This would mean that the highest limit possible to adopt in year 2000 would be SDR 4 510 800 for a tanker up to 5000 GRT (as opposed to 3 000 000 SDR at present). For a ship over 140 000 GRT the highest year 2000 limit would be SDR 202 986 000 (as opposed to SDR 135 000 000 at present). For ships between 5000 GRT and 140 000 GRT an addition of SDR 632 per gross ton over GRT 5000 could be levied in addition to the SDR 4 510 800 floor (as opposed to the current SDR 420 added to the floor of SDR 3 000 000).

The proposal, which was limited to increasing the limits and not addressing any other changes to the Conventions, will now go to the IMO.

Specific points raised during the discussions were that there was a need:

- for balance between CLC and Fund limits

- for extensive consultations involving industry

- for recognition that prevention of spills was vital

- for objective analysis and not panic in response to a single incident

- for wide consensus that increases need to be explainable and justifiable

EU PAPER ON ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITY

The EU paper had raised the possibility of complementing the international regime by EU measures. The IOPC Assembly noted that the Commission had invited comments on the paper by 1 July  2000. The IOPC Director was instructed to present comments on behalf of the 1992 Fund drawing the Commission’s attention to the international compensation regime (CLC/FC) and emphasising the importance that any action by the Commission should not prejudice or undermine the operation of this regime.

FRENCH PAPER ON FUNDAMENTAL REVIEW OF THE CONVENTIONS

The French delegation proposed that a working group be established to examine the adequacy of the 1992 CLC/FC regime. That delegation stated that although on numerous occasions this regime had been able to live up to the expectations of the international community, experience had in some recent years shown that there were inadequacies in the system. This delegation therefore proposed that a working group should review whether the CLC/FC system still met the expectations of the international community.

This was supported by several delegations, which, however, emphasised that any review of the international regime should be carried out from within the system in order to ensure that any future solutions were global in nature and not regional.

The first step would be to prepare a list of al