Pollution of the Sea by Hazardous and Noxious Substances – Is a Workable International Convention on Compensation an Impossible

1 As at 1 February 2012 127 states has ratified or acceded to the 1992 CLC Convention, and 109 states had ratified or acceded to the 1992 Fund Convention. 27 States have also ratified or acceded to the 2003 Supplementary Fund Protocol, which provides a total compensation of 750 million SDR (approximately USD 1,102.7 million) to victims of pollution from tanker accidents.

2 The CLC Convention on 19 June 1975 and the 1971 Fund Convention on 16 October 1978.

3 Known as ‘the Seven Sisters’.

4 Contract Regarding a Supplement to Tanker Liability of Oil Pollution – an oil industry scheme to supplement the interim arrangements provided by the P&I Clubs pending the entry into force of the 1971 Fund Convention. This provided a clear demonstration of the ability of the oil industry to act in concert when necessary.

5 For a detailed description of the debates during the period between 1978 and 1994 see the article by Nicholas Gaskell, then Professor of Maritime Law at the University of Southampton, in H Tiberg, P Wetterstein and A Beijer, Book of Essays in Honour of Hugo Tiberg (Stockholm, Juristforlaget, 1996) and the sources there cited.

6 The International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection With the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances By Sea (‘the HNS Convention’).

7 Liquified natural gas – principally methane.

8 Liquified petroleum gas – principally propane and butane.

9 Above n 4, at p 245.

10 It is interesting that in 2011 this debate has extended to liability for pollution by ship’s bunkers. The government of Australia has raised it in the light of the claims arising from bunker pollution from the container ship ‘Pacific Adventurer’ which caused significant pollution off the coast of Queensland in March 2009. Claims for bunker pollution damage, unlike those caused by persistent oil cargoes, do not benefit from a ‘stand-alone’ fund, and are limited to the limits in the LLMC Conventions.


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