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HFW Briefing: Everything that floats – regulations clear?

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HFW OIL and GAS 10102016

Everything that floats – regulations clear?

An international convention authority and courts on both sides of the Atlantic have recently attempted to clarify the question of whether floating offshore units are to be subject to the laws and regulations applying to ‘ships’. However, the issue remains complex and confusing.

In the last Offshore Bulletin, we examined the recommendations of the IOPC Funds Working Group on the definition of a ‘ship’ for the purposes of the 1992 Civil Liability Convention (CLC). The CLC imposes strict liability on shipowners for oil pollution damage caused by their ship. In return, shipowners are entitled to limit their liability for pollution claims. The question is therefore of considerable significance to owners and operators of floating offshore units. The Working Group’s recommendations were recently approved by the IOPC Funds Administrative Council, and a succinct guidance document for member states was subsequently produced in March 2016.
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Our team of transactional and dispute resolution lawyers have expertise at every stage of the energy chain, from exploration and production, storage and transportation, LNG, refining, trading and sale of oil and gas, to electricity generation, energy management, renewables and carbon trading.
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Our shipping lawyers provide a comprehensive service to the global maritime business community. We have over 200 lawyers and 13 Master Mariners worldwide, specialising in maritime law, reflecting our long involvement in this field.
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© 2016 Holman Fenwick Willan LLP. All rights reserved

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of publication, the information is intended as guidance only. It should not be considered as legal advice.

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