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Protocol to Amend the International Convention on 
Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage
(London, 25 May 1984)


The States Parties to the present Protocol,

Considering that it is desirable to amend the 
International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil 
Pollution Damage, done at Brussels on 29 November 1969, 
to provide for improved scope and enhanced compensation,

Recognizing that special provisions are necessary in 
connexion with the introduction of corresponding 
amendments to the International Convention on the 
Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation 
for Oil Pollution Damage, 1971,

Have agreed as follows:


Article 1

The Convention which the provisions of this Protocol 
amend is the International Convention on Civil Liability 
for Oil Pollution Damage 1969, hereinafter referred to as 
the "1969 Liability Convention". For States Parties to 
the Protocol of 1976 to the 1969 Liability Convention 
such reference shall be deemed to include the 1969 
Liability Convention as amended by that Protocol.


Article 2

Article 1 of the 1969 Liability Convention is amended as 
follows:

1. Paragraph 1 is replaced by the following text:

1. "Ship" means any sea-going vessel and sea-borne craft 
of any type whatsoever constructed or adapted for the 
carriage of oil in bulk as cargo, provided that a ship 
capable of carrying oil and other cargoes shall be 
regarded as a ship only when it is actually carrying oil 
in bulk as cargo and during any voyage following such 
carriage unless it is proved that it has no residues of 
such carriage of oil in bulk aboard.

2. Paragraph 5 is replaced by the following text:

5. "Oil" means any persistent hydrocarbon mineral oil 
such as crude oil, fuel oil, heavy diesel oil and 
lubricating oil, whether carried on board a ship as cargo 
or in the bunkers of such a ship.

3. Paragraph 6 is replaced by the following text:

6. "Pollution damage" means:

(a) loss or damage caused outside the ship by 
contamination resulting from the escape or discharge of 
oil from the ship, wherever such escape or discharge may 
occur, provided that compensation for impairment of the 
environment other than loss of profit from such 
impairment shall be limited to costs of reasonable 
measures of reinstatement actually undertaken or to be 
undertaken;

(b) the costs of preventive measures and further loss or 
damage caused by preventive measures.

4. Paragraph 8 is replaced by the following text:

8. "Incident" means any occurrence, or series of 
occurrences having the same origin, which causes 
pollution damage or creates a grave and imminent threat 
of causing such damage.

5. Paragraph 9 is replaced by the following text:

9. "Organization" means the International Maritime 
Organization. 6. After paragraph 9 a new paragraph is 
inserted reading as follows:

10. "1969 Liability Convention" means the International 
Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 
1969. For States Parties to the Protocol of 1976 to that 
Convention, the term shall be deemed to include the 1969 
Liability Convention as amended by that Protocol.


Article 3

Article 11 of the 1969 Liability Convention is replaced 
by the following text:

This Convention shall apply exclusively:

(a) to pollution damage caused:
(i) in the territory, including the territorial sea, of a 
Contracting State, and
(ii) in the exclusive economic zone of a Contracting 
State, established in accordance with international law, 
or, if a Contracting State has not established such a 
zone, in an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial 
sea of that State determined by that State in accordance 
with international law and extending not more than 200 
nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth 
of its territorial sea is measured;

(b) to preventive measures, wherever taken, to prevent or 
minimize such damage.


Article 4

Article III of the 1969 Liability Convention is amended 
as follows: 

1. Paragraph 1 is replaced by the following text:

1. Except as provided in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this 
Article, the owner of a ship at the time of an incident, 
or where the incident consists of a series of occurrences 
at the time of the first such occurrence, shall be liable 
for any pollution damage caused by the ship as a result 
of the incident.

2. Paragraph 4 is replaced by the following text:

4. No claim for compensation for pollution damage may be 
made against the owner otherwise than in accordance with 
this Convention. Subject to paragraph 5 of this Article, 
no claim for compensation for pollution damage under this 
Convention or otherwise may be made against:

(a) the servants or agents of the owner or the members of 
the crew;

(b) the pilot or any other person who, without being a 
member of the crew, performs services for the ship;

(c) any charterer (howsoever described, including a 
bareboat charterer), manager or operator of the ship;

(d) any person performing salvage operations with the 
consent of the owner or on the instructions of a 
competent public authority; 

(e) any person taking preventive measures;

(f) all servants or agents of persons mentioned in 
subparagraphs (c), (d) and (e); unless the damage 
resulted from their personal act or omission, committed 
with the intent to cause such damage, or recklessly and 
with knowledge that such damage would probably result.


Article 5

Article IV of the 1969 Liability Convention is replaced 
by the following text:

When an incident involving two or more ships occurs and 
pollution damage results therefrom, the owners of all the 
ships concerned, unless exonerated under Article III, 
shall be jointly and severally liable for all such damage 
which is not reasonably separable.


Article 6

Article V of the 1969 Liability Convention is amended as 
follows: 1. Paragraph 1 is replaced by the following 
text:

1. The owner of a ship shall be entitled to limit his 
liability under this Convention in respect of any one 
incident to an aggregate amount calculated as follows:

(a) 3 million units of account for a ship not exceeding 
5,000 units of tonnage;

(b) for a ship with a tonnage in excess thereof, for each 
additional unit of tonnage, 420 units of account in 
addition to the amount mentioned in subparagraph (a); 
provided, however, that this aggregate amount shall not 
in any event exceed 59.7 million units 
of account.

2. Paragraph 2 is replaced by the following text:

2. The owner shall not be entitled to limit his liability 
under this Convention if it is proved that the pollution 
damage resulted from his personal act or omission, 
committed with the intent to cause such damage or 
recklessly and with knowledge that such damage would 
probably result.

3. Paragraph 3 is replaced by the following text:

3. For the purpose of availing himself of the benefit of 
limitation provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article 
the owner shall constitute a fund for the total sum 
representing the limit of his liability with the Court or 
other competent authority of any one of the Contracting 
States in which action is brought under Article IX or, if 
no action is brought, with any Court or other competent 
authority in any one of the Contracting States in which 
an action can be brought under Article IX. The fund can 
be constituted either by depositing the sum or by 
producing a bank guarantee or other guarantee, acceptable 
under the legislation of the Contracting State where the 
fund is constituted, and considered to be adeguate by 
the Court or other competent authority.

4. Paragraph 9 is replaced by the following text:

9 (a). The "unit of account" referred to in paragraph 1 
of this Article is the Special Drawing Right as defined 
by the International Monetary Fund. The amounts mentioned 
in paragraph 1 shall be converted into national currency 
on the basis of the value of that currency by reference 
to the Special Drawing Right on the date of the 
constitution of the fund referred to in paragraph 3. The 
value of the national currency, in terms of the Special 
Drawing Right, of a Contracting State which is a member 
of the International Monetary Fund, shall be calculated 
in accordance with the method of valuation applied by the 
International Monetary Fund in effect on the date in 
question for its operations and transactions. The value 
of the national currency, in terms of the Special Drawing 
Right, of a Contracting State which is not a member of 
the International Monetary Fund, shall be calculated in a 
manner determined by that State.

9 (b). Nevertheless, a Contracting State which is not a 
member of the International Monetary Fund and whose law 
does not permit the application of the provisions of 
paragraph 9 (a) may, at the time of ratification, 
acceptance, approval of or accession to this Convention 
or at any time thereafter, declare that the unit of 
account referred to in paragraph 9 (a) shall be equal to 
15 gold francs. The gold franc referred to in this 
paragraph corresponds to sixty-five and a half 
milligrammes of gold of millesimal fineness nine hundred. 
The conversion of the gold franc into the national 
currency shall be made according to the law of the State 
concerned.

9 (c). The calculation mentioned in the last sentence of 
paragraph 9 (a) and the conversion mentioned in paragraph 
9 (b) shall be made in such manner as to express in the 
national currency of the Contracting State as far as 
possible the same real value for the amounts in paragraph 
1 as would result from the application of the first three 
sentences of paragraph 9 (a). Contracting States shall 
communicate to the depositary the manner of calculation 
pursuant to paragraph 9 (a), or the result of the 
conversion in paragraph 9 (b) as the case may be, when 
depositing an instrument of ratification, acceptance, 
approval of or accession to this Convention and 
whenever there is a change in either.

5. Paragraph 10 is replaced by the following text:

10. For the purpose of this Article the ship's tonnage 
shall be the gross tonnage calculated in accordance with 
the tonnage measurement regulations contained in Annex I 
of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of 
Ships, 1969.

6. The second sentence of paragraph 11 is replaced by the 
following text:

Such a fund may be constituted even if, under the 
provisions of paragraph 2, the owner is not entitled to 
limit his liability, but its constitution shall in that 
case not prejudice the rights of any claimant against the 
owner.


Article 7

Article VII of the 1969 Liability Convention is amended 
as follows: 

1. The first two sentences of paragraph 2 are 
replaced by the following text:

A certificate attesting that insurance or other financial 
security is in force in accordance with the provisions of 
this Convention shall be issued to each ship after the 
appropriate authority of a Contracting State has 
determined that the requirements of paragraph I have been 
complied with. With respect to a ship registered in a 
Contracting State such certificate shall be issued or 
certified by the appropriate authority of the State of 
the ship's registry; with respect to a ship not 
registered in a Contracting State it may be issued or 
certified by the appropriate authority of any Contracting 
State.

2. Paragraph 4 is replaced by the following text:

4. The certificate shall be carried on board the ship and 
a copy shall be deposited with the authorities who keep 
the record of the ship's registry or, if the ship is not 
registered in a Contracting State, with the authorities 
of the State issuing or certifying the certificate.

3. The first sentence of paragraph 7 is replaced by the 
following text:

Certificates issued or certified under the authority of a 
Contracting State in accordance with paragraph 7 shall be 
accepted by other Contracting States for the purposes of 
this Convention and shall be regarded by other 
Contracting States as having the same force as 
certificates issued or certified by them even if issued 
or certified in respect of a ship not registered in a 
Contracting State.

4. In the second sentence of paragraph 7 the words "with 
the State of a ship's registry" are replaced by the words 
"with the issuing or certifying State".

5. The second sentence of paragraph 8 is replaced by the 
following text:

In such case the defendant may, even if the owner is not 
entitled to limit his liability according to Article V, 
paragraph 2, avail himself of the limits of liability 
prescribed in Article V, paragraph 1.


Article 8

Article IX of the 1969 Liability Convention is amended as 
follows: Paragraph 1 is replaced by the following text:

1. Where an incident has caused pollution damage in the 
territory including the territorial sea or an area 
referred to in Article II, of one or more Contracting 
States or preventive measures have been taken to prevent 
or minimize pollution damage in such territory including 
the territorial sea or area, actions for compensation may 
only be brought in the Courts of any such Contracting 
State or States. Reasonable notice of any such action 
shall be given to the defendant.


Article 9

After Article XII of the 1969 Liability Convention two 
new Articles are inserted as follows: Article XII bis 
Transitional provisions The following transitional 
provisions shall apply in the case of a State which at 
the time of an incident is a Party both to this 
Convention and to the 1969 Liability Convention:

(a) where an incident has caused pollution damage within 
the scope of this Convention, liability under this 
Convention shall be deemed to be discharged if, and to 
the extent that, it also arises under the 1969 Liability 
Convention;

(b) where an incident has caused pollution damage within 
the scope of this Convention, and the State is a Party 
both to this Convention and to the International 
Convention on the establishment of an International Fund 
for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1971, 
liability remaining to be discharged after the applica-
tion of subparagraph (a) of this Article shall arise 
under this Convention only to the extent that pollution 
damage remains uncompensated after application of the 
said 1971 Convention;

(c) in the application of Article III, paragraph 4, of 
this Convention the expression "this Convention" shall be 
interpreted as referring to this Convention or the 1969 
Liability Convention, as appropriate; (d) in the 
application of Article V, paragraph 3, of this Convention 
the total sum of the fund to be constituted shall be 
reduced by the amount by which liability has been deemed 
to be discharged in accordance with subparagraph (a) of 
this Article. Article XII ter 
Final clauses. The final clauses of this Convention shall 
be Articles 12 to 18 of the Protocol of 1984 to amend the 
1969 Liability Convention. References in this Convention 
to Contracting States shall be taken to mean references 
to the Contracting States of that Protocol.


Article 10

The model of a certificate annexed to the 1969 Liability 
Convention is replaced by the model annexed to this 
Protocol.


Article 11

1. The 1969 Liability Convention and this Protocol shall, 
as between the Parties to this Protocol, be read and 
interpreted together as one single instrument.

2. Articles I to XII ter, including the model 
certificate, of the 1969 Liability Convention as amended 
by this Protocol shall be known as the International 
Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 
1984 (1984 Liability Convention).

FINAL CLAUSES


Article 12

Signature, ratification, etc.

1. This Protocol shall be open for signature at London 
from 1 December 1984 to 30 November 1985 by all States.

2. Subject to paragraph 4, any State may become a Party 
to this Protocol by:

(a) signature subject to ratification, acceptance or 
approval followed by ratification, acceptance or 
approval; or

(b) accession.

3. Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall 
be effected by the deposit of a formal instrument to that 
effect with the Secretary-General of the Organization.

4. Any Contracting State to the International Convention 
on the Establishment of an International Fund for 
Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1971, hereinafter 
referred to as the 1971 Fund Convention, may ratify, 
accept, approve or accede to this Protocol only if it 
ratifies, accepts, approves or accedes to the Protocol of 
1984 to amend that Convention at the same time, unless it 
denounces the 1971 Fund Convention to take effect on the 
date when this Protocol enters into force for that State.

5. A State which is a Party to this Protocol but not a 
Party to the 1969 Liability Convention shall be bound by 
the provisions of the 1969 Liability Convention as 
amended by this Protocol in relation to other States 
Parties hereto, but shall not be bound by the provisions 
of the 1969 Liability Convention in relation to States 
Parties thereto.

6. Any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval 
or accession deposited after the entry into force of an 
amendment to the 1969 Liability Convention as amended by 
this Protocol shall be deemed to apply to the Convention 
so amended, as modified by such amendment.


Article 13

Entry into force

1. This Protocol shall enter into force twelve months 
following the date on which ten States including six 
States each with not less than one million units of gross 
tanker tonnage have deposited instruments of 
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the 
Secretary-General of the Organization.

2. However, any Contracting State to the 1971 Fund 
Convention may, at the time of the deposit of its 
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or 
accession in respect of this Protocol, declare that such 
instrument shall be deemed not to be effective for the 
purposes of this Article until the end of the six-month 
period in Article 31 of the Protocol of 1984 to amend the 
1971 Fund Convention. A State which is not a Contracting 
State to the 1971 Fund Convention but which deposits an 
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or 
accession in respect of the Protocol of 1984 to amend the 
1971 Fund Convention may also make a declaration in 
accordance with this paragraph at the same time.

3. Any State which has made a declaration in accordance 
with the preceding paragraph may withdraw it at any time 
by means of notification addressed to the Secretary-
General of the Organization. Any such withdrawal shall 
take effect on the date the notification is received, 
provided that such State shall be deemed to have 
deposited its instrument of ratification, acceptance, 
approval or accession in respect of this Protocol on that 
date.

4. For any State which ratifies, accepts, approves or 
accedes to it after the conditions in paragraph 1 for 
entry into force have been met, this Protocol shall enter 
into force twelve months following the date of deposit by 
such State of the appropriate instrument.


Article 14

Revision and amendment

1. A Conference for the purpose of revising or amending 
the 1984 Liability Convention may be convened by the 
Organization.

2. The Organization shall convene a Conference of 
Contracting States for the purpose of revising or 
amending the 1984 Liability Convention at the request of 
not less than one-third of the Contracting States.


Article 15

Amendments of limitation amounts

1. Upon the request of at least one-quarter of the 
Contracting States any proposal to amend the limits of 
liability laid down in Article V, paragraph 1, of the 
Convention as amended by this Protocol shall be 
circulated by the Secretary-General to all Members of the 
Organization and to all Contracting States.

2. Any amendment proposed and circulated as above shall 
be submitted to the Legal Committee of the Organization 
for consideration at a date at least six months after the 
date of its circulation.

3. All Contracting States to the Convention as amended by 
this Protocol, whether or not Members of the 
Organization, shall be entitled to participate in the 
proceedings of the Legal Committee for the consideration 
and adoption of amendments.

4. Amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority 
of the Contracting States present and voting in the Legal 
Committee, expanded as provided for in paragraph 3, on 
condition that at least one-half of the Contracting 
States shall be present at the time of voting.

5. When acting on a proposal to amend the limits, the 
Committee shall take into account the experience of 
incidents and in particular the amount of damage 
resulting therefrom, changes in the monetary values and 
the effect of the proposed amendment on the cost of 
insurance. It shall also take into account the 
relationship between the limits in Article V, paragraph 
1, of the Convention as amended by this Protocol and 
those in paragraph 4 of Article 4 of the International 
Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund 
for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1984. 

6 (a). No amendment of the limits of liability under this 
Article may be considered less than five years from the 
date of entry into force of a previous amendment under 
this Article. No amendment under this Article shall be 
considered before this Protocol has entered into force.

(b). No limit may be increased so as to exceed an amount 
which corresponds to the limit laid down in the 
Convention as amended by this Protocol increased by 6 per 
cent per year calculated on a compound basis from the 
date on which this Protocol was opened for signature.

(c) No limit may be increased so as to exceed an amount 
which corresponds to the limit laid down in the 
Convention as amended by this Protocol multiplied by 3.

7. Any amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 4 
shall be notified by the Organization to all Contracting 
States. The amendment shall be deemed to have been 
accepted at the end of a period of eighteen months after 
the date of notification, unless within that period not 
less than one-quarter of the States that were Contracting 
States at the time of the adoption of the amendment by 
the Committee have communicated to the Organization that 
they do not accept the amendment in which case the 
amendment is rejected and shall have no effect.

8. An amendment deemed to have been accepted in 
accordance with paragraph 7 shall enter into force 
eighteen months after its acceptance.

9. All Contracting States shall be bound by the 
amendment, unless they denounce this Protocol in 
accordance with Article 16, paragraphs 1 and 2, at least 
six months before the amendment enters into force. Such 
denunciation shall take effect when the amendment enters 
into force.

10. When an amendment has been adopted by the Committee 
but the eighteen-month period for its acceptance has not 
yet expired, a State which becomes a Contracting State 
during that period shall be bound by the amendment if it 
enters into force. A State which becomes a Contracting 
State after that period shall be bound by an amendment 
which has been accepted in accordance with paragraph 
7. In the cases referred to in this paragraph, a State 
becomes bound by an amendment when that amendment enters 
into force, or when this Protocol enters into force for 
that State, if later.


Article 16

Denunciation

1. This Protocol may be denounced by any Party at any 
time after the date on which it enters into force for 
that Party.

2. Denunciation shall be effected by the deposit of an 
instrument with the Secretary-General of the 
Organization.

3. A denunciation shall take effect twelve months, or 
such longer period as may be specified in the instrument 
of denunciation, after its deposit with the Secretary-
General of the Organization.

4. As between the Parties to this Protocol, denunciation 
by any of them of the 1969 Liability Convention in 
accordance with Article XVI thereof shall not be 
construed in any way as a denunciation of the 1969 
Liability Convention as amended by this Protocol.

5. Denunciation of the Protocol of 1984 to amend the 1971 
Fund Convention by a State which remains a Party to the 
1971 Fund Convention shall be deemed to be a denunciation 
of this Protocol. Such denunciation shall take effect on 
the date on which denunciation of the Protocol of 1984 to 
amend the 1971 Fund Convention takes effect according to 
Article 34 of that Protocol.


Article 17

Depositary

1. This Protocol and any amendments accepted under 
Article 15 shall be deposited with the Secretary-General 
of the Organization.

2. The Secretary-General of the Organization shall:

(a) inform all States which have signed or acceded to 
this Protocol of:
(i) each new signature or deposit of an instrument 
together with the date thereof;
(ii) each declaration and notification under Article 13 
and each declaration and communication under Article V, 
paragraph 9, of the 1984 Liability Convention;
(iii) the date of entry into force of this Protocol;
(iv) any proposal to amend limits of liability which has 
been made in accordance with Article 15, paragraph 1;
(v) any amendment which has been adopted in accordance 
with Article 15, paragraph 4;
(vi) any amendment deemed to have been accepted under 
Article 15, paragraph 7, together with the date on which 
that amendment shall enter into force in accordance with 
paragraphs 8 and 9 of that Article;
(vii) the deposit of any instrument of denunciation of 
this Protocol together with the date of the deposit and 
the date on which it takes effect;
(viii) any denunciation deemed to have been made under 
Article 16, paragraph 5;
(ix) any communication called for by any Article of this 
Protocol.                                              

(b) transmit certified true copies of this Protocol to 
all Signatory States and to all States which accede to 
this Protocol.                                          

3. As soon as this Protocol enters into force, the text 
shall be transmitted by the Secretary-General of the 
Organization to the Secretariat of the United Nations for 
registration and publication in accordance with Article 
102 of the Charter of the United Nations.


Article 18

Languages

This Protocol is established in a single original in the 
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish 
languages, each text being equally authentic.


Done at London, this twenty-fifth day of May one thousand 
nine hundred and eighty-four.

In Witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized 
by their respective Governments for that purpose, have 
signed this Protocol.


Annex - Certificate of Insurance or Other Financial 
Security in Respect of Civil Liability for Oil Pollution 
Damage
omissis.