OPA 90: Increase in liability limits


  • Date: 25/11/2015
  • Source: Freehill, Hogan & Mahar LLP

 

New Limits of Liability under OPA 90 come into effect on December 21, 2015.

The USCG recently published a final rule establishing increased limits under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The increases are based on increases in the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI).  The new limits embody the act’s ‘polluter pays’ principle while preserving the financial deterrent.  The recent final rule also grants  the USCG a more simplified procedure for future similar increases.

Revised liability limits:

Source Category Previous Limit of Liability    New Limit of Liability   
1) The OPA 90 limits of liability for tank vessels , other than edible oil tank vessels and oil spill response vessels, are   

(i) For a single-hull tank vessel greater than 3,000 gross tons

The greater of $3,200 per gross ton or $23,496,000    The greater of $3,500 per gross ton or $25,845,600   

ii) For a tank vessel greater than 3,000, other than a single-hull tank vessel

The greater of $2,000 per gross ton or $17,088,000 The greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $18,796,800   
iii) For a single-hull tank vessel less than or equal to 3,000 gross tons    The greater or $3,200 per gross ton or $6,408,000    The greater of $3,500 per gross ton of $7,048,800   
iv) For a tank vessel less than or equal to 3,000 gross tons, other than a single-hull tank vessel    The greater of $2,000 per gross ton or $4,272,000    The greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $4,699,200   
(2) The OPA 90 limits of liability for any other vessel, including for any edible oil tank vessel and any oil spill response vessel, are-      The greater of $1,000 per gross ton or $845,400 The greater of $1,100 per gross ton or $939,800   

If you have any questions regarding impact of OPA 90 or your obligations when operating in the US please contact Dr Chao Wu.

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