On March 27th in Curacao, a workshop on ‘International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund’ took place. The Workshop was organized by the Dutch Ministries of Infrastructure and Environment (I&M) and of Economic Affairs (EZ), in cooperation with the Secretariat of the IOPC (International Oil Pollution Compensation) Fund and the Maritime Authority of Curacao (MAC). The workshop takes place in the context of IOPC’s " Year of the Caribbean ".
The Workshop was designed for the private (oil-related) sector, government sector as well as for NGO’s of all six Dutch Caribbean islands. More than 40 people attended, including representatives from the oil-related industry in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom: Valero, Curoil, Isla, Bopec and Nustar.
An oil spill can cause financial losses for a large number of organisations and individuals. Despite best efforts of all involved, clean-up can be difficult and costly. Oil may cause damage to property and economic loss, particularly affecting local fishing or tourism industries. Those that are victims as a result of an oil spill may be eligible for compensation.
The International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC) is the international treaty organization that provides financial compensation in cases of oil spills by tankers. Contributions to the Fund are paid by the companies in the oil industry. The Netherlands are, as a contracting party to the treaty, responsible for the fact that the companies in the oil industry in all parts of the Kingdom, provide information to the IOPC Fund about oil volumes. On the basis of this oil volumes, the Fund shall determine the financial contributions and collect these itself at the oil companies.
The workshop on Curaçao
In this workshop staff of the IOPC secretariat in London, Mrs. Katrin Park and Mr. Mark Homan, explain the functioning of the IOPC Fund, specifically the regime relating to oil tankers. The way governments and the oil industry can handle with the IOPC obligations in case of unforeseen damage in the region is discussed . During the workshop in Curaçao information was provided on the legal framework, finance, claims and practical ways of dealing with Fund Obligations. The emphasis was on the specific situation of the Dutch Caribbean within the international regime.