Civil Liability Insurance for Marine Pollution

Overview

The Marine Liability Act (MLA) is the principal legislation dealing with the liability of shipowners and ship operators in relation to passengers, cargo, pollution and property damage. Its intent is to set limits of liability and establish uniformity by balancing the interests of shipowners and other parties.

The International Maritime Organization's (IMO) International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969 (1969 CLC), which was replaced by its 1992 Protocol and the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (Bunkers Convention) were created to ensure that adequate compensation is available to cover oil pollution damage resulting from maritime casualties involving oil-carrying ships.

Liability Review

IMO conventions and protocols that have been put in place since Canada ratified the 1992 CLC and Fund Convention to cover liability and compensation issues relating to maritime transport of pollutants were the subject of a 2005 discussion paper by Transport Canada with a view to their possible ratification by Canada.

Following this consultation period, Canada ratified the International Convention on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (1976), as amended by its 1996 Protocol, which came into force in Canada on August 7, 2008.

Bill C-7, legislation to make amendments to the Marine Liability Act was introduced in Parliament on January 29, 2009 and received Royal Assent on June 23, 2009. Following the passage of Bill C-7, on October 2, 2009, Canada ratified the:

  • Supplementary Fund Protocol of 2003 to the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (1992);
  • International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001.

These Conventions and the sections of the amendments to the Marine Liability Act that implement them came into force in Canada on January 2, 2010.

Regulations Amending Schedule 1 to the Marine Liability Act came into effect June 8, 2015 amending the limits of liability for marine claims.

Compensation for Oil Pollution

Compensation for damage resulting from oil pollution from ships is currently addressed by a variety of mechanisms. Visit this page for further information on Compensating for Response Costs.

Application Process

Please refer to the Application Process page for details on how to apply for Civil Liability Convention and Bunker Convention certificates.

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