Industry News & Tips

Oil Pollution Act Changes

March 10, 2007

Gene Horton

IMPORTANT CHANGES IN (OPA 1990)

We have been notified by several trade sources about new limits of liability compliance in (OPA 1990). 

We now are able to give more detailed information. The important consideration is that these are minimums. For smaller vessels and even yachts, these limits are a large exposure. Many pleasure boat policies now have some oil spill cleanup coverage. That coverage will not cover "Fines and Penalties". This is getting to be a concern for us with our customers who own fishing boats, work boats and yachts that are now carrying large amounts of diesel oil. We are going to start offering this coverage as a separate policy.

RE: COAST GUARD AND MARITIME TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 2006

On July 11, 2006 the President signed into law the Coast Guard and Marine Transportation Act of 2006 (P. L. 109-241). This bill among other things amends the limits of liability for vessels under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA '90). The limits take effect from July 11, 2006 (immediately) for non-tank vessels and October 9, 2006 for tank vessels. The new limitation amounts will be:.       

For double hulled tank vessels over 3,000 gross tons, the greater of $1,900 per gross ton or $16,040,000;.       

For double hulled tank vessels 3,000 or less gross tons, the greater of $1,900 per gross ton or $4,000,000q  

For single skin hulled tank vessels over 3,000 gross tons, the greater of $3,000 per gross ton or $22,000,000;

For single hulled tank vessels 3,000 or less gross tons, the greater of $3,000 per gross ton or $6,000,000; and.       

For non-tank vessels limits would be increased to the greater of $950 per gross ton or $800,000.Tank vessels with double sides or double bottoms only will be considered single hulled.