Photo Credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
As part of the Global Initiative for South East Asia (GI-SEA) Project, the IOPC Funds participated in a regional workshop, hosted by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), from 9 to 11 November 2022. The event, which was also supported by IMO and saw the participation of the International Group of P&I Associations and ITOPF, focused on incident response and the recovery of costs following an oil spill and was attended by government representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam and Singapore.
In his opening address, IOPC Funds Director, Gaute Sivertsen, stressed that the availability of compensation following an oil spill depended upon a Member State’s national legislation and highlighted the importance of ensuring a State is Party to the latest international legal instruments. The Director stated “this workshop is very important to enable the IOPC Funds to engage with both Member States and non-Member States in the region and to promote the liability and compensation regime provided by the 1992 Civil Liability Convention, the 1992 Fund Convention and the 2003 Supplementary Fund Protocol.”
The Deputy Director, Liliana Monsalve, and Claims Manager, Ana Cuesta, presented on the international legal framework relating to compensation for pollution damage arising from spills of persistent oil from tankers. They also presented on the types of claims commonly received by the IOPC Funds, the admissibility criteria, and the claim process, in order to facilitate the understanding of the principles of costs recovery in an incident response.
On the last day, the participants were tasked with a discussion-based exercise that enabled them to put theory into practice and discuss key elements to be considered when submitting a claim for response operations.
To mark the occasion, the IOPC Funds hosted a dinner for the participants, to take advantage of the opportunity of having together representatives of nine countries who form part of the GI-SEA project. GI SEA is a joint project between IMO and the oil industry, through IPIECA, aimed at improving the level of oil spill preparedness and response capability in Southeast Asia (GISEA – Home).
Both the workshop and the dinner facilitated the promotion of a regional collaborative approach for building capacity and capability in preparedness for oil spill incidents and for improving the effectiveness of a coordinated regional response to a spill.
Mr Tan Hoe Soon, Assistant Chief Executive (Corporate & Strategy) of MPA stated “MPA was delighted to partner the IOPC Funds and the IMO to conduct the joint workshop, in Singapore. The workshop has benefited the participating countries, including Singapore, for a better understanding of the need for an international regime to compensate victims of tanker oil pollution and also the liability and compensation procedures for Member States who have suffered oil pollution damage”.
In addition to the workshop, the Director held fruitful meetings at the Singapore Ministry of Transport, MPA, with the Executive Director of the Singapore Shipping Association and with representatives of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP).