STOPIA and TOPIA
STOPIA and TOPIA are two voluntary agreements which were set up in 2006 to indemnify the 1992 Fund and Supplementary Fund, respectively, for compensation paid above the shipowner’s limit of liability under the 1992 CLC, up to certain amounts. The 1992 Fund and Supplementary Fund are not parties to these agreements, which nevertheless confer legally enforceable rights on the Funds to indemnification from the shipowner in States for which the 1992 Fund Convention or Supplementary Fund Protocol is in force.
The Small Tanker Oil Pollution Indemnification Agreement (STOPIA) is a voluntary agreement between owners of small tankers (i.e. 29 548 GT or less) and their insurers, under which the maximum amount of compensation payable by owners of small tankers is increased to 20 million SDR. It applies to all small tankers entered in a P&I Club that is a member of the International Group, and reinsured through the pooling arrangements of the Group. The first incident involving a vessel entered in STOPIA 2006 was the Solar 1 spill that occurred in the Philippines in 2006. In that incident compensation payments made by the 1992 Fund, in excess of the Solar 1’s limitation amount under the 1992 CLC, have been reimbursed to the 1992 Fund within two weeks of being invoiced by the 1992 Fund. The second incident involving a vessel entered in STOPIA 2006 is the Haekup Pacific which occurred off the southern coast of Republic of Korea in 2010, but at present, no claims have been submitted to the 1992 Fund in respect of this incident.
The Tanker Oil Pollution Indemnification Agreement (TOPIA) is another voluntary agreement, which applies to all tankers entered in P&I Clubs that are members of the International Group and reinsured through the pooling arrangements of the Group. Under TOPIA, the Supplementary Fund is indemnified for 50% of any amounts paid in compensation in respect of incidents involving tankers entered in the agreement.
In 2016, the agreements were reviewed and amended based on the 10 years’ experience of claims since the entry into force of the agreements. The new versions, STOPIA 2006 (as amended 2017) and TOPIA 2006 (as amended 2017), became effective on 20 February 2017.