The 1971 Fund

Established in 1978 when the 1971 Fund Convention entered into force, the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund, 1971 (1971 Fund) was the first of its kind. Combined with the 1969 Civil Liability Convention (1969 CLC), which had entered into force some years before, the 1971 Fund Convention, offered an international liability and compensation regime.

Within its first five years, the 1971 Fund, financed by receivers of oil in its Member States, had already been involved in 20 incidents and after ten years had paid almost £40 million in compensation. The value of the existence of this Fund was recognised internationally and more and more States signed the Treaty to join the Fund. However, within a fairly brief amount of time it became apparent that the levels of compensation available were often unfortunately insufficient to cover the full extent of the damages incurred. The IMO decided to relook at the Conventions to address that issue and so, using the 1969 CLC and 1971 Fund Convention as the basis it developed the new 1992 Conventions which form today’s international liability and compensation regime, covering well in excess of 100 States worldwide.

The 1971 Fund Convention ceased to be in force on 24 May 2002 and consequently did not apply to incidents occurring after that date. At the October 2014 session of the 1971 Fund Administrative Council, 1971 Fund Member States voted to wind up the 1971 Fund with effect from 31 December 2014. Consequently the 1971 Fund ceased to exist as of that date. Further details relating to the dissolution of the 1971 Fund can be found here.

At its peak the 1971 Fund had 77 Member States (see below). It dealt with more than 100 incidents and paid some £331 million in compensation over its 36 year life-span. Details of the incidents dealt with by the 1971 Fund can be found under the Incidents section.