Petroleum Shipping Insurance Requirements

Marine Pollution Liability

Many kinds of risks and hazards accompany maritime traffic. Shipowners and operators transport cargo of all kinds through international waters to destinations all over the world. Ships entering the marine waters of the United States are obliged to maintain specific types of insurance coverage to legally operate their vessels.

What Is COFR insurance?

Shipping vessels that carry petroleum products in coastal waters of the United States are subject to specific laws and insurance requirements. These requirements include obtaining a Certificate of Financial Responsibility from the appropriate authority.

Legislative Basis for Requirements

The 101st Congress of the United States passed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 in response to the costs associated with cleaning up oil spills. Under provisions of this law, the United States Coast Guard National Pollution Funds Centre was tasked with issuing Certificates of Financial Responsibility. This certificate establishes that a maritime operator carrying petroleum products has satisfied the legal requirements for insurance coverage.

Responses to Requirements

The shipping of petroleum products in U.S. waters is subject to specific liability requirements. Complex regulations and large liabilities in the shipping industry have resulted in changes in operations and insurance coverage. Some petroleum shipping companies have responded by implementing new safety measures to reduce risks. Insurance industry experts have responded by creating marine pollution policies specifically suited to these needs, as seen at Working together these two giant industries are helping to keep waterways clean and safe for all.