At the invitation of the government agency, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ), the IOPC Funds organised a three-day online workshop on claims and compensation for oil pollution damage from tanker spills. The workshop took place on 6, 8 and 10 September 2021 and was attended by some 30 participants from various departments within MNZ.
The first day covered an introduction to the international liability and compensation regime and an explanation of the contribution system which finances the IOPC Funds. Over the second and third days, members of the IOPC Funds Claims Department focused on key actions to be taken in the event of a spill and the role of various stakeholders. They outlined the process by which a claim is best compiled and submitted, as well as the claims assessment procedure, whilst discussing the admissibility criteria set out in the 1992 Fund Claims’ Manual. Environmental damages and fisheries claims were illustrated through practical exercises during which the participants were given the opportunity to discuss and present their assessments of the claims.
Renny VanderVelde, Manager, Marine Pollution Response for Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) expressed his appreciation for the hard work and professional approach adopted by the Secretariat in the organisation and delivery of the workshop. “We covered many topics and the split between theory and practical exercises felt exactly right. We had a good number of attendees, almost all of whom are involved in some aspect of response activity, and they were all very engaged throughout,” Mr VanderVelde said.
Max Mifsud, Principal Solicitor and head of delegation to the IOPC Funds, commended the Secretariat, thanking all those involved who made this training possible despite the significant time-zone difference. “We truly appreciate the expertise shared by the Secretariat, which means that we are now better placed to deal with possible claims in the future. The workshop was useful both for the newer members of our team but also as a refresher for those more experienced. New Zealand continues to remain engaged with the IOPC Funds and I would encourage colleagues in other Member States to take the opportunity to organise similar activities.”
New Zealand is Party to both the 1992 Fund Convention and the Supplementary Fund Protocol. See New Zealand’s country profile for further information.