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Saturday, September 22, 2018


We have previously reported to members on the discussions at the IOPC Fund concerning the definition of “ship” under the conventions and the applicability of the conventions to off-shore craft such as FSUs and FPSOs. The conventions only apply to such craft in very narrow circumstances, this is due to the definitions of “ship” and “oil” under the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions, which define these terms as:

“Ship means any sea-going vessel and seaborne craft of any type whatsoever constructed or adapted for the carriage of oil in bulk as cargo, provided that a ship capable of carrying oil and other cargoes shall be regarded as a ship only when it is actually carrying oil in bulk as cargo and during any voyage following such carriage unless it is proved that it has no residues of such carriage of oil in bulk aboard.”

“Oil means any persistent hydrocarbon mineral oil such as crude oil, fuel oil, heavy diesel oil and lubricating oil, whether carried on board a ship as cargo or in the bunkers of such a ship”.

The Conventions which apply to pollution damage caused by the escape or discharge of oil from a ship were not drafted with the possibility that oil would be stored on board ships without any element of transportation.

We would like to emphasise that in the majority of cases where conventional tankers are used for storage of oil with an element of transportation involved the CLC and Fund Conventions will apply, but in those cases where a transportation element is absent the CLC/FC 1992 may not apply.

For further information please contact: John Fawcett-Ellis