Documents & Guides

Explore a variety of topics about marine spills, response and compensation matters in the pages below.

Each topic and area of interest provides access to more detailed documentation that is freely downloadable.

This includes our 18 Technical Information Papers which are fully illustrated with photos and diagrams and are available in several languages. 


Compensation for Ship-source Marine Oil Spills

What legal arrangements and sources of compensation are available for a spill from a ship?

Disposal

What planning and waste management systems need to be put in place to reduce the volume of oily waste for treatment or disposal?

Environmental Effects

How does oil impact seabirds, plankton, sea mammals and the shoreline?  

HNS

What are the specific chemical response strategies for responding to a Hazardous and Noxious Substance spill, and what are the potential effects on human and marine life? 

Contingency & Response Planning

What information is needed for an effective oil spill contingency plan? How can aerial observation and protective strategies assist with response operations? 

Economic Effects

Which industries might suffer temporary economic losses and loss of market confidence?

Fate of Oil Spills

What happens to oil in the marine environment over time when spilled at sea? How do different factors such as volume and physical and chemical properties affect the fate of oil spills? 

Response Techniques

What techniques are available for cleaning up oil at sea and on the shoreline?


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Overview: Fate, Behaviour and Potential Damage & Liabilities Arising from Spills of Alternative Fuels into the Marine Environment

Overview: Fate, Behaviour and Potential Damage & Liabilities Arising from Spills of Alternative Fuels into the Marine Environment

ITOPF, as part of the International Group of P&I Clubs Alternative Fuels Working Group, has been requested to provide a series of brief summary documents to describe the expected fate and behaviours of emerging alternative fuels and to outline the possible damage and liabilities that may arise from incidents involving vessels carrying these fuels as bunkers.

Categories: Alternative Fuels, Papers

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International Assistance: Sharing the Load or Muddying the Waters?

International Assistance: Sharing the Load or Muddying the Waters?

Despite a significant decline in major ship-sourced oil spills worldwide, these incidents continue to pose significant challenges for affected countries, impacting livelihoods and coastal ecosystems. Effective spill response is crucial to mitigate environmental and economic impacts, but this can be difficult to achieve during large-scale incidents, particularly where there is limited preparedness. International collaboration and assistance from governments and intergovernmental organisations can be critical to support response efforts, particularly in the early stages.

Categories: Planning & operations, Papers

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Understanding culture in the context of emergencies: A step towards a more effective international spill response

Understanding culture in the context of emergencies: A step towards a more effective international spill response

Following an incident, the spill response community is subject to intense pressure where uncertainty is prevalent, yet strong work relationships are often expected to be built on an ad- hoc basis amid intense time pressure. Building trust and adaptability are therefore essential to create an environment of open communication and effective cooperation between stakeholders, leading to an effective response.

Categories: Planning & operations, Papers

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The Financial Cost of Oil Spills - a review of international cost data and the factors affecting the costs of oil spills from ships

The Financial Cost of Oil Spills - a review of international cost data and the factors affecting the costs of oil spills from ships

Oil spills pose significant ecological, social, and economic consequences. The response to a spill and the effects of pollution damage can give rise potentially to high costs. The financial risk of an oil spill is consequently of immense interest to policy makers and the organisations involved in funding and providing compensation and in determining risk and liability.

Categories: Economic effects, Papers

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A case for incorporating Environmental Social & Governance (ESG) into spill response

A case for incorporating Environmental Social & Governance (ESG) into spill response

Over recent years the shipping industry has begun to discuss issues relating to sustainability, often within the framework of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). In the context of ship-source pollution response, there is debate over how ESG can be practically incorporated into this emergency response sector, and concerns that it’s inclusion may lead to increased bureaucracy and higher workloads at moments when time is already at a premium. This paper therefore examines the feasibility and usefulness of monitoring sustainability during maritime pollution response, and provides practical recommendations on how ESG considerations can be tailored to the spill response sector.

Categories: Environmental effects, Economic effects, Planning & operations, Papers

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Balancing the plastic see-saw

Balancing the plastic see-saw

Globally, plastics are a widespread consumer product and, due to inappropriate disposal and accidental losses, are now found ubiquitously in the marine environment. Recently, however, there has been a growing interest in plastic pellets, or nurdles, following a spate of losses from shipping vessels during transshipment. Over the last five years, ITOPF has been heavily involved in five spills of plastic pellets, including incidents in Sri Lanka, South Africa and Spain.

Categories: Other, HNS, Papers

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Alternative fuels: a shift in the response paradigm?

Alternative fuels: a shift in the response paradigm?

The decarbonisation of shipping has become an increasingly prominent topic, and this is due to growing regulatory pressure, a changing climate of public opinion and investors demanding a faster energy transition as well as the industry’s increased focus on sustainability.

Categories: HNS, Papers

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Oil Tanker Spill Statistics

Oil Tanker Spill Statistics

An annual publication providing data on accidental oil spills from tankers, combined carriers and barges since 1970, derived from ITOPF's database. Published each January.

Categories: Information Services, Company literature, Publications

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Marine HNS Response Manual

Marine HNS Response Manual

The Project to create the Marine HNS Response Manual was implemented through an inter-regional effort, including the participation of the Western Mediterranean Region Marine Oil and HNS Pollution Cooperation (West MOPoCo), the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), the Bonn Agreement for the Greater North Sea and its approaches and the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) for the Baltic Sea. The project benefits from the technical support and expertise of expert partner institutions such as Cedre, ISPRA and ITOPF.

Categories: HNS, Papers

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Technical Services Brochure 2023

ITOPF Technical Services Brochure

An introduction to ITOPF and the services we provide, published in 2023.

Category: Company literature

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