Automatic membership of ITOPF

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The Club would like to draw Members’ attention to their automatic enrolment in the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF). All tankers are enrolled as members, while non-tankers are enrolled as associate members. Should a pollution incident occur, ITOPF will provide assistance in addition to the support received from the Club.

ITOPF was founded in 1967 as a result of the Torrey Canyon oil spill. An estimated 25-36 million gallons of crude oil was spilt when one of the world’s first super-tankers ran aground on a reef off the southwest coast of the United Kingdom. It was clear that the world was unprepared to deal with a spill of this magnitude and international law was equally underdeveloped to respond. Consequently, ITOPF was established in an effort to combat these issues.

ITOPF is a rich resource to call upon. Throughout the past 45 years, ITOPF has attended over 750 incidents in 100 countries, including landmark oil spill cases, such as Amoco Cadiz, Exxon Valdez, Braer, Sea Empress, Erika, Prestige and Hebei Spirit.

The services provided by ITOPF relate to all forms of ship-source pollution, including crude oil, vegetable oils, cereals, coal and even containerised cargoes.

Among the benefits that the ITOPF membership offers, Members can access the following services:

  • Spill Response: ITOPF has a worldwide 24/7, 365 days-a-year spill response team who work to minimise any pollution damage.
  • Claims Analysis and Damage Assessment: ITOPF offers advice on pollution damage caused by spills and assesses the technical merits of claims for compensation.
  • Information Services: ITOPF is a primary source of information on accidental ship-source pollution.
  • Contingency Planning and Advice: ITOPF regularly advises the industry on the preparation of contingency plans and other matters related to accidental pollution from ships.
  • Training & Education: ITOPF runs training courses and seminars worldwide to share technical knowledge and first-hand experiences.

The premium paid by Members to the Club supports the work of ITOPF, therefore spill response services are often provided without charge, subject to expenses, which are commonly recoverable within the Club’s cover.

ITOPF’s services are not limited to tankers. In the event of a spill, the Club can contact ITOPF for assistance on Member’s behalf within the normal claims handling process, regardless of the spill’s make up or size. The aim is to facilitate an efficient and effective response, enabling subsequent claims to be handled amicably.