November 21, 2008 (New York, NY) The IMO Bunker Convention enters into force today, impacting a great number of vessel owners and operators. The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 establishes shipowner liability for spills of oil when carried as fuel in shipsâ€™ bunkers. All ships over 1,000 gross tonnage for the waters of the signatory nations and for all signatory flag vessels must carry and produce a certificate certifying that the ship has insurance or other financial security to cover the liability of the registered owner for pollution damage in an amount equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime.
This addresses a significant gap in compensating victims of oil spills, as existing international regimes covering oil spills do not include bunker oil spills from vessels other than tankers. To date, 26 IMO Member States have recognized its importance and have ratified the Convention.
Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) has been preparing for this event since 2007 when the last of the required 18 member states adopted the Convention. WQIS is proud to announce that they are authorized by the majority of the flag states to provide the certification of financial guarantee that vessels need to produce. Further, the required certificate is provided without charge to WQIS policyholders.
This is a perfect fit for WQIS who, as the preeminent provider of marine pollution insurance, is passionate about protecting the sea and the owners and operators of marine vessels. â€œWith more than half of the vessel spills resulting from incidents involving ships not carrying oil cargo, this protocol is an important addition to further protect the worldâ€™s waters. Weâ€™re pleased to participate in its actualization,â€ says Richard Hobbie, CEO of WQIS.
About WQIS WQIS is the largest underwriter of pollution liability insurance for marine vessels in the United States. With over 37 years in the industry, no one has more marine pollution insurance and spill response expertise, or offers more innovative coverage to the marine community. WQIS is dedicated to providing the broadest coverage and creating the most responsive organization to serve the needs of their clients.