On 12 May, as a consequence of the events arising out of the explosion which occurred on the “Deepwater Horizon” oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April 2010, President Obama made a formal request to Congress to amend, inter alia, the provisions of OPA 90 relating to shipowner limits of liability, specifically to introduce unlimited liability in respect of removal costs and a new limit (unspecified) for damages claims and a new limit (unspecified) for Certificates of Financial Responsibility (Cofrs).
The IMO diplomatic conference to consider amendments to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 (HNSC) was held in London from 26 - 30 April 2010.
The arrangements for the renewal of the International Group General Excess of Loss reinsurance contract and Hydra reinsurance programme for 2010/11 have now been finalized.
At the Annual General Meeting of the International Group of P Club managers held in London on 17 November, the managers of the 13 member Clubs unanimously endorsed and welcomed the election of Gard CEO, Claes Isacson, to succeed Peter Spendlove as International Group Chairman.
With effect from noon on 20 February 2010, the individual Club retention will increase from US $7 million to US $8 million.
The autumn meetings of the IMO Legal Committee and the 1992 IOPC Fund Executive Committee and 1992 IOPC Fund Assembly were held in London at the beginning of October 2009.
The Group was represented at the International Marine Claims Conference held in Dublin in October and participated on a panel session and presentation on practical and insurance issues arising out of vessel layup.
The 2009 International Group Conference for P Correspondents was held in Amsterdam on 27-29 September.
The Group participated at the annual IUMI conference held in Bruges in September 2009 and a presentation was made to the Legal and Liability workshop session on the current status of international maritime conventions in force and pending entry into force.
Following further consultation with industry including the International Group and based on experience gained since publication earlier this year of the industry supported Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Coast of Somalia, an updated Version 2 has now been published (click link to view).
To provide general clarification and guidance on a number of issues which have been raised concerning insurance cover issues arising out of piracy incidents and the engagement of on board unarmed/armed security personnel, the Group has produced a FAQs document (click link to access).
The Interspill 2009 conference and exhibition was held in Marseille from 12 - 14 May 2009.
The International Group has continued to closely monitor developments in relation to the prosecutions in Korea of the Master and Chief Officer of the VLCC “Hebei Spirit” arising out of the oil pollution resulting from the collision of the crane barge Samsung No.
The IG attended and took a full and active role in both the 98th session of the IMO Legal Committee that was held in London from 4-8 April and the meetings of the 1992 IOPC Fund governing bodies and 6th Intersessional working group that was held in Marrakech from 29 March – 1 April.
IUMI has just released its updated Casualty and World Fleet statistics as at 31/12/2008 which can be accessed via the link below:.
Hugo Wynn-Williams, CEO of Thomas Miller P and a long serving member of the IG Reinsurance Subcommittee, has been appointed with immediate effect as successor to Just Arne Storvik.
The arrangements for the renewal of the International Group general excess loss contract and Hydra programme for 2009/10 have now been finalized.
The Group has been closely monitoring developments in relation to the prosecutions in Korea of the Master and Chief Officer of the VLCC “Hebei Spirit” arising out of the oil pollution resulting from the collision of the crane barge Samsung No.
The International Group of P Clubs has issued a Press Release expressing concern and disappointment at the decision of the Daejeon Appeal Court, Korea on 10 December and the guilty verdicts and jail sentences handed down to the Master and Chief Officer of the Hebei Spirit who have been detained in Korea since December 2007 and who were exonerated from all blame for the incident by a Korean court on 24th June this year.
The annual autumn meeting of the IMO Legal Committee was held in London from 20-24 October.
A presentation entitled “IG/ITOPF Perspective on the Handling of Claims under CLC/Fund” was made to delegates attending the IOPC Fund meetings on 15 October at the IMO headquarters followed by a reception.
The 2008 conference of the Comite Maritime International was held in Athens from 13 to 17 October.
The Group were represented at the IUMI annual conference held in Vancouver between 14 and 17 September.
Andrew Bardot, Jonathan Hare and David Baker met on August 26th with MEP Giles Savary (rapporteur on the draft Directive on the Civil Liability and Financial Securities of Shipowners (CLD)) in Brussels to discuss the European Parliament (EP) Transport and Tourism Committee's proposed second reading amendments to the CLD.
The International Group of P Clubs has joined with other industry associations to issue a vigorous joint protest at the continuing unjust and unreasonable detention of two merchant ships' officers from the tanker Hebei Spirit.
The Group was invited by the Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs to participate in their second International Forum, the theme of which was "How to efficiently assist compensation for oil pollution damages".
There has been recent speculation in the press about the status of the International Group Agreement ("IGA") after 2009.