Carina will issue the following trading certificates where necessary and appropriate.
The following guidelines should assist owners and their brokers.
CLC BLUE CARD
The International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969 (CLC 1969) came into force in 1975. It introduced a compulsory insurance scheme to determine the liability of tanker owners and provide compensation for victims of oil pollution damage. The CLC Protocol, 1992 (CLC 1992) was introduced in 1996. It updated CLC 1969 and increased the amounts of compensation available.
The registered owner of a ship to which the CLC applies carrying more than 2,000 tonnes of persistent oil as cargo in bulk, has strict liability for any damage caused by the escape or discharge of that oil from his ship. This means that the owner is liable even where there is no fault on his part. The owner is normally able to limit his liability to an amount determined by the size of his ship.
The CLC requires the registered owner of a ship carrying more than 2,000 tonnes of persistent oil as cargo in bulk that is:
- registered in a CLC Contracting State; or
- entering or leaving a port or facility in the territory of a CLC Contracting State;
to maintain insurance to cover his CLC liabilities and to obtain and carry on board a certificate issued by a Contracting State attesting that insurance for pollution has been arranged.
To obtain a certificate the registered owner should request his P&I insurer to issue a CLC Blue Card (in electronic format) to the relevant Flag State to evidence the requisite insurance is in place. The Flag State then issue a CLC Certificate to the registered owner. Effectively, this gives claimants a right of direct action against the insurer.
Where a ship is registered in a state that is not party to the CLC Convention, the registered owner is required to obtain a State-issued Certificate from a State that is party to the Convention. We can advise you on how best to do this.
The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution, 2001 (the Bunker Convention) came into force in 2008. The Convention provides a liability, compensation and compulsory insurance scheme for the victims of damage caused by the escape or discharge of bunker oil.
The Bunkers Convention requires the registered owner of any seagoing ship of more than 1,000 gross tons that is:
- registered in a State Party; or
- entering or leaving a port or facility in the territory of a State Party;
to maintain insurance to cover its Bunker Convention liabilities and to obtain and carry on board a certificate issued by a State Party attesting that insurance for pollution has been arranged. This insurance effectively gives claimants a right of direct action against the insurer.
The procedure for obtaining a Bunker Convention Certificate is similar to that in place for CLC Certificates. The registered owner requests his insurer to issue a Bunker Convention Blue Card (in electronic format) to the relevant Flag State and they, in turn, issue a Bunker Convention Certificate.
Where a ship is registered in a State that is not party to the Bunker Convention, the registered owner is required to obtain a State-issued Certificate from a State that is party to the Convention. We can advise you on how best to do this.
The Bunker Convention does not allow exclusions for liabilities arising from War Risks. Carina will issue a Bunker Convention Blue Card, even though the primary War Risks P&I insurance is specifically excluded from the policy. (NB: Carina only covers Excess P&I War Risks (see Clause 39 of the policy)). For this reason, Carina will only issue Bunkers Blue Cards on condition that the Insured indemnifies the Insurer for any amounts recoverable under the Insured’s primary War Risks P&I insurance – or (in circumstances where the Insured has failed to arrange a primary War Risks P&I policy) would have been recoverable from a standard primary War Risks P&I policy, had the Insured complied with its terms and conditions. By applying for a Blue Card, an Insured will be deemed to have agreed to this indemnity.
WRC BLUE CARD
The Wreck Removal Convention “WRC”, also known as the Nairobi Convention, entered into force on the 14 April 2015. The convention provides a strict liability, compensation and compulsory insurance regime for signatory states affected by a maritime casualty.
The WRC requires the registered owner of any seagoing ship of 300 gross tons or more that is:
- registered in a signatory state; or
- entering or leaving a port or offshore facility in the territory of a signatory state;
to maintain insurance that covers the costs of locating, marking and removing a wreck which constitutes a hazard. Such insurance is evidenced by way of certificate.
The process of obtaining a WRC Certificate is similar to that carried out for the other IMO Liability Conventions. A WRC Blue Card will be issued by the P&I insurer to the Flag State (or other signatory state) who will in turn issue the WRC Certificate. This effectively grants Claimants a right of direct action against the Insurer.
The WRC grants the ship owner the right to limit liability under an applicable national or international limitation regime, but not exceeding an amount calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 as amended.
The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (“the MLC”) entered into force on 20 August 2013, and the MLC Amendments which relate to financial security entered into force on 18 January 2017. The MLC sets out the minimum working and living rights for seafarers as well as certification requirements for ships.
The MLC applies to all ships engaged in commercial activities other than those which are exempt. The exempt ships include fishing ships, traditional ships, ships navigating inland or in sheltered waters subject to port regulations.
The MLC requires that ships which are:
- 500 gross tons or over, engaged in international voyages; or
- 500 gross tons or over, registered in an MLC Member State and operating from a port, or between ports, in another country;
must carry two MLC Certificates to attest that insurance or other financial security covering repatriation, outstanding wages, contractual claims arising from personal injury or death, is maintained in accordance with the MLC.
If the ship is less than 500 gross tons or engaged exclusively in domestic voyages, we may require further information to determine whether certificates are necessary.
PLR BLUE CARD
By Regulation no. 392/2009 on the Liability of Carriers of Passengers by Sea in the Event of Accidents (“the PLR”), the European Union has given effect to the substance of the Athens Convention and the 2002 Protocol and directed that the same shall apply in all EU and EEA member states from 31 December 2012. The PLR provides for strict liability of the carrier for death and personal injury due to a shipping incident up to SDR 250,000 per passenger. This liability limit is increased to SDR 400,000 per passenger unless the carrier can prove he was not at fault. A carrier loses the right to limit his liability if it is proved that the damage resulted from an act or omission done with the intent to cause such damage or recklessly and with knowledge that such damage would probably result.
Similarly to the Athens Convention, the PLR requires the registered owner of any seagoing ship licensed to carry more than 12 passengers that is:
- registered in an EU / EEA member state; or
- entering or leaving a port in the territory of an EU / EEA member state;
to maintain insurance which meets the requirements of the PLR and also obtain a certificate issued by an EU/EEA member state confirming that such insurance is in force. The amount of insurance required is a minimum of SDR 250,000 per passenger.
The state will issue a certificate on receipt of confirmation of cover from an approved insurer. The confirmation of insurance by the insurer will be by way of a “Blue Card” in the same manner as that used for the CLC and the Bunker Convention.
Pursuant to the PLR a claimant has a right of direct action against the insurer providing the financial security. The insurer is able to invoke the same defences that would be available to the carrier in defending the claim. The insurer’s liability is limited to SDR 250,000 per passenger even if the carrier was at fault for the incident or if the carrier is unable to limit his liability.
Carina can issue non-war PLR Blue Cards in respect of the non-war risks under the PLR. An Insured will have to purchase separate insurance for liability for death or injury to passengers arising out of war or terrorism. When applying for a non-war PLR Blue Card, the Insured should supply the necessary information as set out in the guide entitled Applying For Trading Certificates.
The Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage By Sea (“the Athens Convention”) was adopted on 13 December 1974. It established a fault-based regime of liability for loss or damage suffered by passengers on sea-going vessels for international voyages. On 1 November 2002 the Protocol to the Athens Convention was adopted (“the 2002 Protocol”). A feature of the Protocol was to increase the limits of liability for shipowners and to extend the application of the Convention to certain categories of ships carrying out domestic voyages.