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Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage

THE STATES PARTIES TO THE PRESENT CONVENTION,

BEING PARTIES to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, adopted at Brussels on 29 November 1969

CONSCIOUS of the dangers of pollution posed by the world-wide maritime carriage of oil in bulk,

CONVINCED of the need to ensure that adequate compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by pollution resulting from the escape or discharge of oil from ships,

CONSIDERING that the International Convention of 29 November 1969, on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, by providing a régime for compensation for pollution damage in Contracting States and for the costs of measures, wherever taken, to prevent or minimize such damage, represents a considerable progress towards the achievement of this aim,

CONSIDERING HOWEVER that this régime does not afford full compensation for victims of oil pollution damage in all cases while it imposes an additional financial burden on shipowners,

CONSIDERING FURTHER that the economic consequences of oil pollution damage resulting from the escape or discharge of oil carried in bulk at sea by ships should not exclusively be borne by the shipping industry but should in part be borne by the oil cargo interests,

CONVINCED of the need to elaborate a compensation and indemnification system supplementary to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage with a view to ensuring that full compensation will be available to victims of oil pollution incidents and that the shipowners are at the same time given relief in respect of the additional financial burdens imposed on them by the said Convention,

TAKING NOTE of the Resolution on the Establishment of an International Compensation Fund for Oil Pollution Damage which was adopted on 29 November 1969 by the International Legal Conference on Marine Pollution Damage,

HAVE AGREED as follows:

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

For the purposes of this Convention –

1. “Liability Convention” means the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, adopted at Brussels on 29 November 1969.

2. “Ship”, “Person”, “Owner”, “Oil”, “Pollution Damage”, “Preventive Measures”, “Incident” and “Organization”, have the same meaning as in Article I of the Liability Convention, provided however that, for the purposes of these terms, “oil” shall be confined to persistent hydrocarbon mineral oils.

3. “Contributing Oil” means crude oil and fuel oil as defined in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) below:

(a) “Crude Oil” means any liquid hydrocarbon mixture occurring naturally in the earth whether or not treated to render it suitable for transportation. It also includes crude oils from which certain distillate fractions have been removed (sometimes referred to as “topped crudes”) or to which certain distillate fractions have been added (sometimes referred to as “spiked” or “reconstituted” crudes).

(b) “Fuel Oil” means heavy distillates or residues from crude oil or blends of such materials intended for use as a fuel for the production of heat or power of a quality equivalent to the “American Society for Testing and Materials’ Specification for Number Four Fuel Oil (Designation D 396-69)”, or heavier.

4. “Franc” means the unit referred to in Article V, paragraph 9 of the Liability Convention.

5. “Ship’s tonnage” has the same meaning as in Article V, paragraph 10, of the Liability Convention.

6. “Ton”, in relation to oil, means a metric ton.

7. “Guarantor” means any person providing insurance or other financial security to cover an owner’s liability in pursuant of Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Liability Convention.

8. “Terminal installation” means any site for the storage of oil in bulk which is capable of receiving oil from waterborne transportation, including any facility situated off-shore and linked to such site.

9. Where an incident consists of a series of occurrences, it shall be treated as having occurred on the date of the first such occurrence.

Article 2

1. An International Fund for compensation for pollution damage, to be named “The International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund” and hereinafter referred to as “The Fund”, is hereby established with the following aims:

(a) to provide compensation for pollution damage to the extent that the protection afforded by the Liability Convention is inadequate;

(b) to give relief to shipowners in respect of the additional financial burden imposed on them by the Liability Convention, such relief being subject to conditions designed to ensure compliance with safety at sea and other conventions;

(c) to give effect to the related purposes set out in this Convention.

2. The Fund shall in each Contracting State be recognized as a legal person capable under the laws of that State of assuming rights and obligations and of being a party in legal proceedings before the courts of that State. Each Contracting State shall recognize the Director of the Fund (hereinafter referred to as “The Director”) as the legal representative of the Fund.

Article 3

This Convention shall apply:

1. With regard to compensation according to Article 4, exclusively to pollution damage caused on the territory including the territorial sea of a Contracting State, and to preventive measures taken to prevent or minimize such damage;

2. With regard to indemnification of shipowners and their guarantors according to Article 5, exclusively in respect of pollution damage caused on the territory, including the territorial sea, of a State party to the Liability Convention by a ship registered in or flying the flag of a Contracting State and in respect of preventive measures taken to prevent or minimize such damage.

COMPENSATION AND INDEMNIFICATION

Article 4

1. For the purpose of fulfilling its function under Article 2, paragraph 1(a), the Fund shall pay compensation to any person suffering pollution damage if such person has been unable to obtain full and adequate compensation for the damage under the terms of the Liability Convention,

(a) because no liability for the damage arises under the Liability Convention;

(b) because the owner liable for the damage under the Liability Convention is financially incapable of meeting his obligations in full and any financial security that may be provided under Article VII of that Convention does not cover or is insufficient to satisfy the claims for compensation for the damage; an owner being treated as financially incapable of meeting his obligations and a financial security being treated as insufficient if the person suffering the damage has been unable to obtain full satisfaction of the amount of compensation due under the Liability Convention after having taken all reasonable steps to pursue the legal remedies available to him;

(c) because the damage exceeds the owner’s liability under the Liability Convention as limited pursuant to Article V, paragraph 1, of that Convention or under the terms of any other international Convention in force or open for signature, ratification or accession at the date of this Convention.

Expenses reasonably incurred or sacrifices reasonably made by the owner voluntarily to prevent or minimize pollution damage shall be treated as pollution damage for the purposes of this Article.

2. The Fund shall incur no obligation under the preceding paragraph if:

(a) it proves that the pollution damage resulted from an act of war, hostilities, civil war or insurrection or was caused by oil which has escaped or been discharged from a warship or other ship owned or operated by a State and used, at the time of the incident, only on Government non-commercial service; or

(b) the claimant cannot prove that the damage resulted from an incident involving one or more ships.

3. If the Fund proves that the pollution damage resulted wholly or partially either from an act or omission done with intent to cause damage by the person who suffered the damage or from the negligence of that person, the Fund may be exonerated wholly or partially from its obligation to pay compensation to such person provided, however, that there shall be no such exoneration with regard to such preventive measures which are compensated under paragraph 1. The Fund shall in any event be exonerated to the extent that the shipowner may have been exonerated under Article III, paragraph 3, of the Liability Convention.

4. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (b) of this paragraph, the aggregate amount of compensation payable by the Fund under this Article shall in respect of any one incident be limited, so that the total sum of that amount and the amount of compensation actually paid under the Liability Convention for pollution damage caused in the territory of the Contracting States, including any sums in respect of which the Fund is under an obligation to indemnify the owner pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 1, of this Convention, shall not exceed 450 million francs.

(b) The aggregate amount of compensation payable by the Fund under this Article for pollution damage resulting from a natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character shall not exceed 450 million francs.

5. Where the amount of established claims against the Fund exceeds the aggregate amount of compensation payable under paragraph 4, the amount available shall be distributed in such a manner that the proportion between any established claim and the amount of compensation actually recovered by the claimant under the Liability Convention and this Convention shall be the same for all claimants.

6. The Assembly of the Fund (hereinafter referred to as “the Assembly”) may, having regard to the experience of incidents which have occurred and in particular the amount of damage resulting therefrom and to changes in the monetary values, decide that the amount of 450 million francs referred to in paragraph 4, sub-paragraphs (a) and (b), shall be changed; provided, however, that this amount shall in no case exceed 900 million francs or be lower than 450 million francs. The changed amount shall apply to incidents which occur after the date of the decision effecting the change.

7. The Fund shall, at the request of a Contracting State, use its good offices as necessary to assist that State to secure promptly such personnel, material and services as are necessary to enable the State to take measures to prevent or mitigate pollution damage arising from an incident in respect of which the Fund may be called upon to pay compensation under this Convention.

8. The Fund may on conditions to be laid down in the Internal Regulations provide credit facilities with a view to the taking of preventive measures against pollution damage arising from a particular incident in respect of which the Fund may be called upon to pay compensation under this Convention.

Article 5

1. For the purpose of fulfilling its function under Article 2, paragraph 1(b), the Fund shall indemnify the owner and his guarantor for that portion of the aggregate amount of liability under the Liability Convention which:

(a) is in excess of an amount equivalent to 1,500 francs for each ton of the ship’s tonnage or of an amount of 125 million francs, whichever is the less, and

(b) is not in excess of an amount equivalent to 2,000 francs for each ton of the said tonnage or an amount of 210 million francs, whichever is the less,

provided, however, that the Fund shall incur no obligation under this paragraph where the pollution damage resulted from the wilful misconduct of the owner himself.

2. The Assembly may decide that the Fund shall, on conditions to be laid down in the Internal Regulations, assume the obligations of a guarantor in respect of ships referred to in Article 3, paragraph 2, with regard to the portion of liability referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article. However, the Fund shall assume such obligations only if the owner so requests and if he maintains adequate insurance or other financial security covering the owner’s liability under the Liability Convention up to an amount equivalent to 1,500 francs for each ton of the ship’s tonnage or an amount of 125 million francs, whichever is the less. If the Fund assumes such obligations, the owner shall in each Contracting State be considered to have complied with Article VII of the Liability Convention in respect of the portion of his liability mentioned above.

3. The Fund may be exonerated wholly or partially from its obligations under paragraph 1 towards the owner and his guarantor if the Fund proves that as a result of the actual fault or privity of the owner:

(a) the ship from which the oil causing the pollution damage escaped did not comply with the requirements laid down in:

(i) the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, and as amended by Resolutions MEPC.14(20), MEPC.47(31), MEPC.51(32) and MEPC.52(32) adopted by the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization on 7 September 1984, 4 July 1991, 6 March 1992 and 6 March 1992 respectively; or

(ii) the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, and as amended by Resolutions MSC.1(XLV), MSC.6(48), MSC.13(57) and MSC.27(61) adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization on 20 November 1981, 17 June 1983, 11 April 1989 and 11 December 1992, respectively, and as amended by Resolution 1 adopted on 9 November 1988 by the Conference of Contracting Governments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 on the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System; or

(iii) the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966; or

(iv) the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972; or

(v) any amendments to the above-mentioned Conventions which have been determined as being of an important nature in accordance with Article XVI(5) of the Convention mentioned under (i), Article IX(e) of the Convention mentioned under (ii) or Article 29(3)(d) or (4)(d) of the Convention mentioned under (iii), provided, however, that such amendments had been in force for at least twelve months at the time of the incident;

and

(b) the incident or damage was caused wholly or partially by such non-compliance.

The provisions of this paragraph shall apply irrespective of whether the Contracting State in which the ship was registered or whose flag it was flying is a Party to the relevant Instrument.

4. Upon the entry into force of a new Convention designed to replace, in whole or in part, any of the Instruments specified in paragraph 3, the Assembly may decide at least six months in advance a date on which the new Convention will replace such Instrument or part thereof for the purpose of paragraph 3. However, any State Party to this Convention may declare to the Director before that date that it does not accept such replacement; in which case the decision of the Assembly shall have no effect in respect of a ship registered in, or flying the flag of, that State at the time of the incident. Such a declaration may be withdrawn at any later date and shall in any event cease to have effect when the State in question becomes a party to such new Convention.

5. A ship complying with the requirements in an amendment to an Instrument specified in paragraph 3 or with requirements in a new Convention, where the amendment or Convention is designed to replace in whole or in part such Instrument, shall be considered as complying with the requirements in the said Instrument for the purposes of paragraph 3.

6. Where the Fund, acting as a guarantor by virtue of paragraph 2, has paid compensation for pollution damage in accordance with the Liability Convention, it shall have a right of recovery from the owner if and to the extent that the Fund would have been exonerated pursuant to paragraph 3 from its obligations under paragraph 1 to indemnify the owner.

7. Expenses reasonably incurred and sacrifices reasonably made by the owner voluntarily to prevent or minimize pollution damage shall be treated as included in the owner’s liability for the purposes of this Article.

Article 6

1. Rights to compensation under Article 4 or indemnification under Article 5 shall be extinguished unless an action is brought thereunder or a notification has been made pursuant to Article 7, paragraph 6, within three years from the date when the damage occurred. However, in no case shall an action be brought after six years from the date of the incident which caused the damage.

2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, the right of the owner or his guarantor to seek indemnification from the Fund pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 1, shall in no case be extinguished before the expiry of a period of six months as from the date on which the owner or his guarantor acquired knowledge of the bringing of an action against him under the Liability Convention.

Article 7

1. Subject to the subsequent provisions of this Article, any action against the Fund for compensation under Article 4 or indemnification under Article 5 of this Convention shall be brought only before a court competent under Article IX of the Liability Convention in respect of actions against the owner who is or who would, but for the provisions of Article III, paragraph 2, of that Convention, have been liable for pollution damage caused by the relevant incident.

2. Each Contracting State shall ensure that its courts possess the necessary jurisdiction to entertain such actions against the Fund as are referred to in paragraph 1.

3. Where an action for compensation for pollution damage has been brought before a court competent under Article IX of the Liability Convention against the owner of a ship or his guarantor, such court shall have exclusive jurisdictional competence over any action against the Fund for compensation or indemnification under the provisions of Article 4 or 5 of this Convention in respect of the same damage. However, where an action for compensation for pollution damage under the Liability Convention has been brought before a court in a State Party to the Liability Convention but not to this Convention, any action against the Fund under Article 4 or under Article 5, paragraph 1, of this Convention shall at the option of the claimant be brought either before a court of the State where the Fund has its headquarters or before any court of a State Party to this Convention competent under Article IX of the Liability Convention.

4. Each Contracting State shall ensure that the Fund have the right to intervene as a party to any legal proceedings instituted in accordance with Article IX of the Liability Convention before a competent court of that State against the owner of a ship or his guarantor.

5. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph 6, the Fund shall not be bound by any judgment or decision in proceedings to which it has not been a party or by any settlement to which it is not a party.

6. Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 4, where an action under the Liability Convention for compensation for pollution damage has been brought against an owner or his guarantor before a competent court in a Contracting State, each party to the proceedings shall be entitled under the national law of that State to notify the Fund of the proceedings. Where such notification has been made in accordance with the formalities required by the law of the court seized and in such time and in such a manner that the Fund has in fact been in a position effectively to intervene as a party to the proceedings, any judgment rendered by the court in such proceedings shall, after it has become final and enforceable in the State where the judgment was given, become binding upon the Fund in the sense that the facts and findings in that judgment may not be disputed by the Fund even if the Fund has not actually intervened in the proceedings.

Article 8

Subject to any decision concerning the distribution referred to in Article 4, paragraph 5, any judgment given against the Fund by a court having jurisdiction in accordance with Article 7, paragraphs 1 and 3, shall, when it has become enforceable in the State of origin and is in that State no longer subject to ordinary forms of review, be recognized and enforceable in each Contracting State on the same conditions as are prescribed in Article X of the Liability Convention.

Article 9

1. Subject to the provisions of Article 5, the Fund shall, in respect of any amount of compensation for pollution damage paid by the Fund in accordance with Article 4, paragraph 1, of this Convention, acquire by subrogation the rights that the person so compensated may enjoy under the Liability Convention against the owner or his guarantor.

2. Nothing in this Convention shall prejudice any right of recourse or subrogation of the Fund against persons other than those referred to in the preceding paragraph. In any event the right of the Fund to subrogation against such person shall not be less favourable than that of an insurer of the person to whom compensation or indemnification has been paid.

3. Without prejudice to any other rights of subrogation or recourse against the Fund which may exist, a Contracting State or agency thereof which has paid compensation for pollution damage in accordance with provisions of national law shall acquire by subrogation the rights which the person so compensated would have enjoyed under this Convention.

CONTRIBUTIONS

Article 10

1. Contributions to the Fund shall be made in respect of each Contracting State by any person who, in the calendar year referred to in Article 11, paragraph 1, as regards initial contributions and in Article 12, paragraphs 2(a) or (b), as regards annual contributions, has received in total quantities exceeding 150,000 tons:

(a) in the ports or terminal installations in the territory of that State contributing oil carried by sea to such ports or terminal installations; and

(b) in any installations situated in the territory of that Contracting State contributing oil which has been carried by sea and discharged in a port or terminal installation of a non-Contracting State, provided that contributing oil shall only be taken into account by virtue of this sub-paragraph on first receipt in a Contracting State after its discharge in that non-Contracting State.

2. (a) For the purposes of paragraph 1, where the quantity of contributing oil received in the territory of a Contracting State by any person in a calendar year when aggregated with the quantity of contributing oil received in the same Contracting State in that year by any associated person or persons exceeds 150,000 tons, such person shall pay contributions in respect of the actual quantity received by him notwithstanding that that quantity did not exceed 150,000 tons.

(b) “Associated person” means any subsidiary or commonly controlled entity. The question whether a person comes within this definition shall be determined by the national law of the State concerned.

Article 11

1. In respect of each Contracting State initial contributions shall be made of an amount which shall for each person referred to in Article 10 be calculated on the basis of a fixed sum for each ton of contributing oil received by him during the calendar year preceding that in which this Convention entered into force for that State.

2. The sum referred to in paragraph 1 shall be determined by the Assembly within two months after the entry into force of this Convention. In performing this function the Assembly shall, to the extent possible, fix the sum in such a way that the total amount of initial contributions would, if contributions were to be made in respect of 90 per cent of the quantities of contributing oil carried by sea in the world, equal 75 million francs.

3. The initial contributions shall in respect of each Contracting State be paid within three months following the date at which the Convention entered into force for that State.

Article 12

1. With a view to assessing for each person referred to in Article 10 the amount of annual contributions due, if any, and taking account of the necessity to maintain sufficient liquid funds, the Assembly shall for each calendar year make an estimate in the form of a budget of:

(i) Expenditure

(a) costs and expenses of the administration of the Fund in the relevant year and any deficit from operations in preceding years;

(b) payments to be made by the Fund in the relevant year for the satisfaction of claims against the Fund due under Article 4 or 5, including repayment on loans previously taken by the Fund for the satisfaction of such claims, to the extent that the aggregate amount of such claims in respect of any one incident does not exceed 15 million francs;

(c) payments to be made by the Fund in the relevant year for the satisfaction of claims against the Fund due under Article 4 or 5, including repayments on loans previously taken by the Fund for the satisfaction of such claims, to the extent that the aggregate amount of such claims in respect of any one incident is in excess of 15 million francs;

(ii) Income

(a) surplus funds from operations in preceding years, including any interest;

(b) initial contributions to be paid in the course of the year;

(c) annual contributions, if required to balance the budget;

(d) any other income.

2. For each person referred to in Article 10 the amount of his annual contribution shall be determined by the Assembly and shall be calculated in respect of each Contracting State:

(a) in so far as the contribution is for the satisfaction of payments referred to in paragraph 1(i)(a) and (b) on the basis of a fixed sum for each ton of contributing oil received in the relevant State by such persons during the preceding calendar year; and

(b) in so far as the contribution is for the satisfaction of payments referred to in paragraph 1(i)(c) of this Article on the basis of a fixed sum for each ton of contributing oil received by such person during the calendar year preceding that in which the incident in question occurred, provided that State was a party to this Convention at the date of the incident.

3. The sums referred to in paragraph 2 above shall be arrived at by dividing the relevant total amount of contributions required by the total amount of contributing oil received in all Contracting States in the relevant year.

4. The Assembly shall decide the portion of the annual contribution which shall be immediately paid in cash and decide on the date of payment. The remaining part of each annual contribution shall be paid upon notification by the Director.

5. The Director may, in cases and in accordance with conditions to be laid down in the Internal Regulations of the Fund, require a contributor to provide financial security for the sums due from him.

6. Any demand for payments made under paragraph 4 shall be called rateably from all individual contributors.

Article 13

1. The amount of any contribution due under Article 12 and which is in arrear shall bear interest at a rate which shall be determined by the Assembly for each calendar year provided that different rates may be fixed for different circumstances.

2. Each Contracting State shall ensure that any obligation to contribute to the Fund arising under this Convention in respect of oil received within the territory of that State is fulfilled and shall take any appropriate measures under its law, including the imposing of such sanctions as it may deem necessary, with a view to the effective execution of any such obligation; provided, however, that such measures shall only be directed against those persons who are under an obligation to contribute to the Fund.

3. Where a person who is liable in accordance with the provisions of Articles 10 and 11 to make contributions to the Fund does not fulfil his obligations in respect of any such contribution or any part thereof and is in arrear for a period exceeding three months, the Director shall take all appropriate action against such person on behalf of the Fund with a view to the recovery of the amount due. However, where the defaulting contributor is manifestly insolvent or the circumstances otherwise so warrant, the Assembly may, upon recommendation of the Director, decide that no action shall be taken or continued against the contributor.

Article 14

1. Each Contracting State may at the time when it deposits its instrument of ratification or accession or at any time thereafter declare that it assumes itself obligations that are incumbent under this Convention on any person who is liable to contribute to the Fund in accordance with Article 10, paragraph 1, in respect of oil received within the territory of that State. Such declaration shall be made in writing and shall specify which obligations are assumed.

2. Where a declaration under paragraph 1 is made prior to the entry into force of this Convention in accordance with Article 40, it shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the Organization who shall after the entry into force of the Convention communicate the declaration to the Director.

3. A declaration under paragraph 1 which is made after the entry into force of this Convention shall be deposited with the Director.

4. A declaration made in accordance with this Article may be withdrawn by the relevant State giving notice thereof in writing to the Director. Such notification shall take effect three months after the Director’s receipt thereof.

5. Any State which is bound by a declaration made under this Article shall, in any proceedings brought against it before a competent court in respect of any obligation specified in the declaration, waive any immunity that it would otherwise be entitled to invoke.

Article 15

1. Each Contracting State shall ensure that any person who receives contributing oil within its territory in such quantities that he is liable to contribute to the Fund appears on a list to be established and kept up to date by the Director in accordance with the subsequent provisions of this Article.

2. For the purposes set out in paragraph 1, each Contracting State shall communicate, at a time and in the manner to be prescribed in the Internal Regulations, to the Director the name and address of any person who in respect of that State is liable to contribute to the Fund pursuant to Article 10, as well as data on the relevant quantities of contributing oil received by any such person during the preceding calendar year.

3. For the purposes of ascertaining who are, at any given time, the persons liable to contribute to the Fund in accordance with Article 10, paragraph 1, and of establishing, where applicable, the quantities of oil to be taken into account for any such person when determining the amount of his contribution, the list shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION

Article 16

The Fund shall have an Assembly, a Secretariat headed by a Director and, in accordance with the provisions of Article 21, an Executive Committee.

ASSEMBLY

Article 17

The Assembly shall consist of all Contracting States to this Convention.

Article 18

The functions of the Assembly shall, subject to the provisions of Article 26, be:

1. to elect at each regular session its Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen who shall hold office until the next regular session;

2. to determine its own rules of procedure, subject to the provisions of this Convention;

3. to adopt Internal Regulations necessary for the proper functioning of the Fund;

4. to appoint the Director and make provisions for the appointment of such other personnel as may be necessary and determine the terms and conditions of service of the Director and other personnel;

5. to adopt the annual budget and fix the annual contributions;

6. to appoint auditors and approve the accounts of the Fund;

7. to approve settlements of claims against the Fund, to take decisions in respect of the distribution among claimants of the available amount of compensation in accordance with Article 4, paragraph 5, and to determine the terms and conditions according to which provisional payments in respect of claims shall be made with a view to ensuring that victims of pollution damage are compensated as promptly as possible;

8. to elect the members of the Assembly to be represented on the Executive Committee, as provided in Articles 21, 22 and 23;

9. to establish any temporary or permanent subsidiary body it may consider to be necessary;

10. to determine which non-Contracting States and which inter-governmental and international non-governmental organizations shall be admitted to take part, without voting rights, in meetings of the Assembly, the Executive Committee, and subsidiary bodies;

11. to give instructions concerning the administration of the Fund to the Director, the Executive Committee and subsidiary bodies;

12. to review and approve the reports and activities of the Executive Committee;

13. to supervise the proper execution of the Convention and of its own decisions;

14. to perform such other functions as are allocated to it under the Convention or are otherwise necessary for the proper operation of the Fund.

Article 19

1. Regular sessions of the Assembly shall take place once every calendar year upon convocation by the Director; provided, however, that if the Assembly allocates to the Executive Committee the functions specified in Article 18, paragraph 5, regular sessions of the Assembly shall be held once every two years.

2. Extraordinary sessions of the Assembly shall be convened by the Director at the request of the Executive Committee or of at least one-third of the members of the Assembly and may be convened on the Director’s own initiative after consultation with the Chairman of the Assembly. The Director shall give members at least thirty days’ notice of such sessions.

Article 20

A majority of the members of the Assembly shall constitute a quorum for its meetings.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Article 21

The Executive Committee shall be established at the first regular session of the Assembly after the date on which the number of Contracting States reaches fifteen.

Article 22

1. The Executive Committee shall consist of one-third of the members of the Assembly but of not less than seven or more than fifteen members. Where the number of members of the Assembly is not divisible by three, the one-third referred to shall be calculated on the next higher number which is divisible by three.

2. When electing the members of the Executive Committee the Assembly shall:

(a) secure an equitable geographical distribution of the seats on the Committee on the basis of an adequate representation of Contracting States particularly exposed to the risks of oil pollution and of Contracting States having large tanker fleets; and

(b) elect one half of the members of the Committee, or in case the total number of members to be elected is uneven, such number of the members as is equivalent to one half of the total number less one, among those Contracting States in the territory of which the largest quantities of oil to be taken into account under Article 10 were received during the preceding calendar year, provided that the number of States eligible under this sub-paragraph shall be limited as shown in the table below:

Total number of Members on the Committee Number of States eligible under sub-paragraph (b) Number of States to be elected under sub-paragraph (b)
7 5 3
8 6 4
9 6 4
10 8 5
11 8 5
12 9 6
13 9 6
14 11 7
15 11 7

3. A member of the Assembly which was eligible but was not elected under sub-paragraph (b) shall not be eligible to be elected for any remaining seat on the Executive Committee.

Article 23

1. Members of the Executive Committee shall hold office until the end of the next regular session of the Assembly.

2. Except to the extent that may be necessary for complying with the requirements of Article 22, no State Member of the Assembly may serve on the Executive Committee for more than two consecutive terms.

Article 24

The Executive Committee shall meet at least once every calendar year at thirty days’ notice upon convocation by the Director, either on his own initiative or at the request of its Chairman or of at least one-third of its members. It shall meet at such places as may be convenient.

Article 25

At least two-thirds of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for its meetings.

Article 26

1. The functions of the Executive Committee shall be:

(a) to elect its Chairman and adopt its own rules of procedure, except as otherwise provided in this Convention;

(b) to assume and exercise in place of the Assembly the following functions:

(i) making provision for the appointment of such personnel, other than the Director, as may be necessary and determining the terms and conditions of service of such personnel;

(ii) approving settlements of claims against the Fund and taking all other steps envisaged in relation to such claims in Article 18, paragraph 7;

(iii) giving instructions to the Director concerning the administration of the Fund and supervising the proper execution, by him of the Convention, of the decisions of the Assembly and of the Committee’s own decisions; and

(c) to perform such other functions as are allocated to it by the Assembly.

2. The Executive Committee shall each year prepare and publish a report of the activities of the Fund during the previous calendar year.

Article 27

Members of the Assembly who are not members of the Executive Committee shall have the right to attend its meetings as observers.

SECRETARIAT

Article 28

1. The Secretariat shall comprise the Director and such staff as the administration of the Fund may require.

2. The Director shall be the legal representative of the Fund.

Article 29

1. The Director shall be the chief administrative officer of the Fund and shall, subject to the instructions given to him by the Assembly and by the Executive Committee, perform those functions which are assigned to him by this Convention, the Internal Regulations, the Assembly and the Executive Committee.

2. The Director shall in particular:

(a) appoint the personnel required for the administration of the Fund;

(b) take all appropriate measures with a view to the proper administration of the Fund’s assets;

(c) collect the contributions due under this Convention while observing in particular the provisions of Article 13, paragraph 3;

(d) to the extent necessary to deal with claims against the Fund and carry out the other functions of the Fund, employ the services of legal, financial and other experts;

(e) take all appropriate measures for dealing with claims against the Fund within the limits and on conditions to be laid down in the Internal Regulations, including the final settlement of claims without the prior approval of the Assembly or the Executive Committee where these Regulations so provide;

(f) prepare and submit to the Assembly or to the Executive Committee, as the case may be, the financial statements and budget estimates for each calendar year;

(g) assist the Executive Committee in the preparation of the report referred to in Article 26, paragraph 2;

(h) prepare, collect and circulate the papers, documents, agenda, minutes and information that may be required for the work of the Assembly, the Executive Committee and subsidiary bodies.

Article 30

In the performance of their duties the Director and the staff and experts appointed by him shall not seek or receive instructions from any Government or from any authority external to the Fund. They shall refrain from an action which might reflect on their position as international officials. Each Contracting State on its part undertakes to respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Director and the staff and experts appointed by him, and not to seek to influence them in the discharge of their duties.

FINANCES

Article 31

1. Each Contracting State shall bear the salary, travel and other expenses of its own delegation to the Assembly and of its representatives on the Executive Committee and on subsidiary bodies.

2. Any other expenses incurred in the operation of the Fund shall be borne by the Fund.

VOTING

Article 32

The following provisions shall apply to voting in the Assembly and the Executive Committee:

(a) each member shall have one vote;

(b) except as otherwise provided in Article 33, decisions of the Assembly and the Executive Committee shall be by a majority vote of the members present and voting;

(c) decisions where a three-fourths or a two-thirds majority is required shall be by a three-fourths or two-thirds majority vote, as the case may be, of those present;

(d) for the purpose of this Article the phrase “members present” means “members present at the meeting at the time of the vote”, and the phrase “members present and voting” means “members present and casting an affirmative or negative vote”. Members who abstain from voting shall be considered as not voting.

Article 33

1. The following decisions of the Assembly shall require a three-fourths majority:

(a) an increase in accordance with Article 4, paragraph 6, in the maximum amount of compensation payable by the Fund;

(b) a determination, under Article 5, paragraph 4, relating to the replacement of the Instruments referred to in that paragraph;

(c) the allocation to the Executive Committee of the functions specified in Article 18, paragraph 5.

2. The following decisions of the Assembly shall require a two-thirds majority:

(a) a decision under Article 13, paragraph 3, not to take or continue action against a contributor;

(b) the appointment of the Director under Article 18, paragraph 4;

(c) the establishment of subsidiary bodies, under Article 18, paragraph 9.

Article 34

1. The Fund, its assets, income, including contributions, and other property shall enjoy in all Contracting States exemption from all direct taxation.

2. When the Fund makes substantial purchases of movable or immovable property, or has important work carried out which is necessary for the exercise of its official activities and the cost of which includes indirect taxes or sales taxes, the Governments of Member States shall take, whenever possible, appropriate measures for the remission or refund of the amount of such duties and taxes.

3. No exemption shall be accorded in the case of duties, taxes or dues which merely constitute payment for public utility services.

4. The Fund shall enjoy exemption from all customs duties, taxes and other related taxes on articles imported or exported by it or on its behalf for its official use. Articles thus imported shall not be transferred either for consideration or gratis on the territory of the country into which they have been imported except on conditions agreed by the government of that country.

5. Persons contributing to the Fund and victims and owners of ships receiving compensation from the Fund shall be subject to the fiscal legislation of the State where they are taxable, no special exemption or other benefit being conferred on them in this respect.

6. Information relating to individual contributors supplied for the purpose of this Convention shall not be divulged outside the Fund except in so far as it may be strictly necessary to enable the Fund to carry out its functions including the bringing and defending of legal proceedings.

7. Independently of existing or future regulations concerning currency or transfers, Contracting States shall authorize the transfer and payment of any contribution to the Fund and of any compensation paid by the Fund without any restriction.

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Article 35

1. The Fund shall incur no obligation whatsoever under Article 4 or 5 in respect of incidents occurring within a period of one hundred and twenty days after the entry into force of this Convention.

2. Claims for compensation under Article 4 and claims for indemnification under Article 5, arising from incidents occurring later than one hundred and twenty days but not later than two hundred and forty days after the entry into force of this Convention may not be brought against the Fund prior to the elapse of the two hundred and fortieth day after the entry into force of this Convention.

Article 36

The Secretary-General of the Organization shall convene the first session of the Assembly. This session shall take place as soon as possible after entry into force of this Convention and, in any case, not more than thirty days after such entry into force.

FINAL CLAUSES

Article 37

1. This Convention shall be open for signature by the States which have signed or which accede to the Liability Convention, and by any State represented at the Conference on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1971. The Convention shall remain open for signature until 31 December 1972.

2. Subject to paragraph 4, this Convention shall be ratified, accepted or approved by the States which have signed it.

3. Subject to paragraph 4, this Convention is open for accession by States which did not sign it.

4. This Convention may be ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to, only by States which have ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the Liability Convention.

Article 38

1. Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be effected by the deposit of a formal instrument to that effect with the Secretary-General of the Organization.

2. Any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited after the entry into force of an amendment to this Convention with respect to all existing Contracting States or after the completion of all measures required for the entry into force of the amendment with respect to those Parties shall be deemed to apply to the Convention as modified by the amendment.

Article 39

Before this Convention comes into force a State shall, when depositing an instrument referred to in Article 38, paragraph 1, and annually thereafter at a date to be determined by the Secretary-General of the Organization, communicate to him the name and address of any person who in respect of that State would be liable to contribute to the Fund pursuant to Article 10 as well as data on the relevant quantities of contributing oil received by any such person in the territory of that State during the preceding calendar year.

Article 40

1. This Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day following the date on which the following requirements are fulfilled:

(a) at least eight States have deposited instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Secretary-General of the Organization, and

(b) the Secretary-General of the Organization has received information in accordance with Article 39 that those persons in such States who would be liable to contribute pursuant to Article 10 have received during the preceding calendar year a total quantity of at least 750 million tons of contributing oil.

2. However, this Convention shall not enter into force before the Liability Convention has entered into force.

3. For each State which subsequently ratifies, accepts, approved or accedes to it, this Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after deposit by such State of the appropriate instrument.

Article 41

1. This Convention may be denounced by any Contracting State at any time after the date on which the Convention comes into force for that State.

2. Denunciation shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument with the Secretary-General of the Organization.

3. A denunciation shall take effect one year, or such longer period as may be specified in the instrument of denunciation, after its deposit with the Secretary-General of the Organization.

4. Denunciation of the Liability Convention shall be deemed to be a denunciation of this Convention. Such denunciation shall take effect on the same date as the denunciation of the Liability Convention takes effect according to paragraph 3 of Article XVI of that Convention.

5. Notwithstanding a denunciation by a Contracting State pursuant to this Article, any provisions of this Convention relating to the obligations to make contributions under Article 10 with respect to an incident referred to in Article 12, paragraph 2(b), and occurring before the denunciation takes effect shall continue to apply.

Article 42

1. Any Contracting State may, within ninety days after the deposit of an instrument of denunciation the result of which it considers will significantly increase the level of contributions for remaining Contracting States, request the Director to convene an extraordinary session of the Assembly. The Director shall convene the Assembly to meet not later than sixty days after receipt of the request.

2. The Director may convene, on his own initiative, an extraordinary session of the Assembly to meet within sixty days after the deposit of any instrument of denunciation, if he considers that such denunciation will result in a significant increase in the level of contributions for the remaining Contracting States.

3. If the Assembly at an extraordinary session convened in accordance with paragraph 1 or 2 decides that the denunciation will result in a significant increase in the level of contributions for the remaining Contracting States, any such State may, not later than one hundred and twenty days before the date on which that denunciation takes effect, denounce this Convention with effect from the same date.

Article 43

1. This Convention shall cease to be in force on the date when the number of Contracting States falls below three.

2. Contracting States which are bound by this Convention on the date before the day it ceases to be in force shall enable the Fund to exercise its functions as described under Article 44 and shall, for that purpose only, remain bound by this Convention.

Article 44

1. If this Convention ceases to be in force, the Fund shall nevertheless

(a) meet its obligations in respect of any incident occurring before the Convention ceased to be in force;

(b) be entitled to exercise its rights to contributions to the extent that these contributions are necessary to meet the obligations under sub-paragraph (a), including expenses for the administration of the Fund necessary for this purpose.

2. The Assembly shall take all appropriate measures to complete the winding up of the Fund, including the distribution in an equitable manner of any remaining assets among those persons who have contributed to the Fund.

3. For the purposes of this Article the Fund shall remain a legal person.

Article 45

1. A Conference for the purpose of revising or amending this Convention may be convened by the Organization.

2. The Organization shall convene a Conference of the Contracting States for the purpose of revising or amending this Convention at the request of not less than one-third of all Contracting States.

Article 46

1. This Convention shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the Organization.

2. The Secretary-General of the Organization shall:

(a) inform all States which have signed or acceded to this Convention of:

(i) each new signature or deposit of instrument and the date thereof;

(ii) the date of entry into force of the Convention;

(iii) any denunciation of the Convention and the date on which it takes effect;

(b) transmit certified true copies of this Convention to all Signatory States and to all States which accede to the Convention.

Article 47

As soon as this Convention enters into force, a certified true copy thereof shall be transmitted by the Secretary-General of the Organization to the Secretariat of the United Nations for registration and publication in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 48

This Convention is established in a single original in the English and French languages, both texts being equally authentic. Official translations in the Russian and Spanish languages shall be prepared by the Secretariat of the Organization and deposited with the signed original.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned plenipotentiaries being duly authorized for that purpose have signed the present Convention.

DONE at Brussels this eighteenth day of December one thousand nine hundred and seventy-one.

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