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Entry into Force of the Bunkers Convention:

The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (Bunkers Convention) entered into force on 21 November 2008, to cover liability and compensation for pollution damage caused by bunker spills from ships not covered by the Civil Liability Convention (CLC). Under the 1992 protocol the CLC applies to spills from sea-going vessels constructed or adapted to carry oil in bulk as cargo, meaning that it covers oil tankers, including spills of bunker oil, but not oil spills from other types of vessel. The Bunkers Convention requires the owners of vessels over 1000 GT registered in a state party to the Convention to maintain compulsory insurance to cover liability for pollution damage (including the costs of preventative measures) caused in the territorial sea of a State Party, as well as in its exclusive economic zone, or equivalent area. Like the CLC, it embodies the principle of strict liability, which obviates the need to prove negligence, and the right of direct action, which would allow a claim for compensation for pollution damage to be brought directly against an insurer. Ships flagged in States Parties to the Convention have to have a certificate issued under the Convention. Certificates are issued by States Parties to the Convention against a Blue Card issued by the vessel's P and I Club. In order to obtain certification vessels need to obtain a Blue Card from their P and I Club stating that they have the necessary insurance in place. This Blue Card must be addressed to the Flag State that will be issuing the certificate, and so where vessels are flagged with states that are not party to the Convention, it will be necessary to ascertain in advance which State Party will be issuing the certificate. Recognition of the problems that can be caused by spills of heavy bunker fuel from non-tankers led to the adoption of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage at a Diplomatic Conference in March 2001. This IMO Convention seeks to ensure that adequate compensation is promptly available to persons who are required to clean up or who suffer damage as a result of spills of ships' bunker oil, who would not otherwise be compensated under the 1992 CLC. Although strict liability under the Bunker Spills Convention extends beyond the registered owner to the bareboat charterer, manager and operator of the ship, the Convention only requires the registered owner of ships greater than 1,000 GT to maintain insurance or other financial security. The level of cover must be equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime, but in no case

exceeding the amount calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, as amended. The Bunker Spills Convention entered into force on 21 November 2008.