Decision ID: 002413

In October 1993 the 1971 Fund Assembly considered the question of whether the 1971 Fund was obliged to pay compensation to the Portuguese Government for damage caused by oil pollution of the coast of Portugal in December 1992, the origin of which had not been identified. The Assembly considered that the claimant had to prove that pollution damage had resulted from a particular incident involving a ship or ships as defined in the 1969 Civil Liability and 1971 Fund Conventions and that the claimant could not discharge the burden of proof imposed by the Conventions solely by proving that there was a strong likelihood that the damage was caused by a ship as defined or that the damage could not have been caused other than by such a ship. In the light of the analysis of oil samples carried out on behalf of the 1971 Fund, the Assembly was of the view that it had not been shown in the particular case under consideration that the oil had come from a ship as defined in the Conventions, ie a vessel carrying oil in bulk as cargo. The Assembly therefore decided that in accordance with Article 4.2 (b) of the 1971 Fund Convention the 1971 Fund was not obliged to pay compensation in respect of the oil spill to which the Portuguese Government’s claim related.

Date: 30.09.1993
Category: Application of the Conventions
Subject: Applicability of the 1992 Fund Convention to pollution damage caused by spills from unidentified sources