Princess Empress – Information for claimants
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The Philippine-flagged MT Princess Empress (508 GT) sank in rough seas off the coast of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, the Philippines, whilst carrying 800 000 litres of fuel oil as cargo. Subsequently, an oil spill was detected around the location of the ship, which extended to other areas, causing pollution damage. To view the full incident case study please click here. For additional information on the ongoing response operations please visit: www.princessempressinformationcentre.com.
Compensation and Claims Management
The principal role of the IOPC Funds is to pay compensation to those who have suffered oil pollution damage in a Member State who cannot obtain full compensation for the pollution damage from the shipowner. Claimants may be individuals, partnerships, companies, private organisations or public bodies, including States or local authorities. The Princess Empress is insured with the Shipowners’ P&I Club. The limit of liability for the shipowner in this incident, in accordance with the 1992 Civil Liability Convention, is SDR 4.5 million, but the owner of the Princess Empress is a Party to the Small Tanker Oil Pollution Indemnification Agreement (STOPIA) 2006 (as amended 2017) whereby the limitation amount applicable to the tanker is increased, on a voluntary basis, to SDR 20 million. Claims may exceed the shipowner’s insurer limit under the 1992 CLC. It is therefore possible that the 1992 Fund will be called upon to pay compensation in this incident.
Who can claim?
Admissibility of claims for compensation
To be entitled to compensation the pollution damage must have resulted in an actual and quantifiable economic loss. The claimant must be able to show the amount of their loss or damage by producing accounting records or other appropriate evidence.
For this incident, specific claims forms for each of the following types of claim can be downloaded below:
- Economic losses in the fisheries, marine farming and fish processing and trading sectors
- Property damage
- Economic losses in the tourism sector
Claims are assessed according to criteria established by the Governments of Member States. These criteria are set out in the 1992 Fund’s Claims Manual, which is a practical guide on how to present claims for compensation. Sector-specific guidelines for claimants are also available in English, French or Spanish via the publications section.
How to submit a claim
To facilitate the claims process in this incident, the 1992 Fund and the Shipowners’ Club have established a joint local Claims Submission Office (CSO) in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. The office is staffed by a number of experienced claims handlers, a number of whom speak Filipino, who collect claims at the office in Calapan and at collection points along the affected shoreline. The CSO has been set up to ensure that all compensation claims are processed in an efficient and timely manner. A local team of claims experts has been engaged and all relevant documentation will be provided in both English and Tagalog. Claims should be submitted directly to the CSO. Appointments can also be made to discuss individual claims by visiting one of the claims collection points or by contacting staff at the address below.
Princess Empress Claims Submission Office
Barangay Sto. Nino, Calapan City
5200 Oriental Mindoro, Philippines
Claimants should submit their claims to the CSO in writing (including e-mail) using the specific claim forms created for this incident. Claims should be presented clearly and with sufficient information and supporting documentation to enable the amount of the damage to be assessed. Each item of a claim must be substantiated by an invoice or other relevant supporting documentation, such as work sheets, explanatory notes, accounts and photographs. It is the responsibility of claimants to submit sufficient evidence to support their claims. It is important that the documentation is complete and accurate. A brief step by step guide can be found here.
When to submit a claim
Claims should be submitted as soon as possible and, in any event, no later than three years from the date on which the damage occurred.
For further information please contact the Claims Submission Office directly.