New Zealand's maritime safety authority has greatly increased the insurance cover or other financial security that owners must have to cover marine oil spills from their offshore installations.
Under recent amendments to the Marine Protection Rules Part 102, owners of offshore installations are now required to have insurance or another form of financial security from a third party of up to $1.2 billion ($773.3 million US)—an increase from approximately $28 million ($18 million US), Maritime NZ said.
The insurance or other form of financial security is in addition to the unlimited liability imposed by the Maritime Transport Act for spill response costs and compensation for pollution damage to property, said Maritime NZ Director, Keith Manch.
The certificate of insurance provides assurance that the money that would be needed is available to meet the costs of clean up and compensation for damage to property in case of an oil spill.
Marine Protection Rules Parts 131 and 102 regulate offshore installations. They require an oil spill contingency plan and insurance or another form of financial security to cover the costs of clean up and damage to property.
Part 131 requires an offshore installation operating in New Zealand continental waters and in the internal waters of New Zealand have an oil spill contingency plan approved by the Director that will support an efficient and effective response to an oil spill at sea. The amendments to Part 131 require the Director to be satisfied the operator will have the ability to implement the oil spill contingency plan when approving it.