EC- Polluter Pays Principle and Channeling of Liability

Friday, March 14, 2008

The European Commission (EC) summarized the opinion of the Advocate General in litigation involving the damages arising from the discharge of heavy fuel oil from the tanker ERIKA.  A complaint seeking damages was filed by a French commune against the Total Group on the basis that it was involved in producing, selling, or carrying the heavy fuel oil without actually carrying it.  The advocate general, in an advisory opinion to the European Court of Justice, stated that, in accordance with the Waste Framework Directive, the financial burden of the disposal operations should be on the persons who cause the waste, whether they are holders or producers of the waste.  The opinion then points out that, under the Civil Liability Convention (CLC), a claim for compensation in against anyone other than the ship owner is precluded unless the damage was caused intentionally or recklessly.

Source: HK Law

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