Ship operations pose risks for people and cargo on board as well as for others, including coastal communities. Insurance schemes have long played a role in mitigating risks and insurance companies have long exerted pressure on their clients to take measures aimed at reducing the risk of disasters at sea. In recent decades, States have begun to utilize the small and highly specialized maritime insurance industry to enhance maritime safety. A number of international treaties oblige states, in their function as flag states, to require ships flying their respective flags to take out particular forms of insurance that benefit others in case of damages caused by ship operations. Flag states certify the presence of the required insurance, usually once a year, following the traditional working methods of the maritime insurance industry. During port state controls, port state authorities can then rely on the certificates issued by the flag state rather than having to verify every insurance separately. Initially aimed at targeting oil tankers, the method has now been employed with regard to a number of different risks, ranging from oil spills to damages suffered by passengers on board cruise ships. In this text, the readers will be introduced to international treaties that form the basis for these obligations. Particular emphasis will be placed on the interests of local coastal communities that are most likely to be affected by major disasters, such as near-coastal oil spills. The insurance requirements will be introduced and placed into the wider context of efforts to protect the marine environment, especially in connection with the risk of oil pollution from ships. It will be shown that this mixed regulatory approach can be successful, also because it allows for specific expertise to be introduced into the practical operation of ships.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Jan 2023|
|MoEC publication type||B1 Article in a scientific magazine|
- oil pollution