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The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution) (Virgin Islands) Order 1997

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Liability
Meaning of “the Liability Convention” and related expressions.

153.  (1)  Where, as a result of any occurrence, any oil is discharged or escapes from a ship to which this section applies, then (except as otherwise provided by this Chapter) the owner of the ship shall be liable—

(a)for any damage caused outside the ship in the territory of the Virgin Islands by contamination resulting from the discharge or escape; and

(b)for the cost of any measures reasonably taken after the discharge or escape for the purpose of preventing or minimising any damage so caused in the territory of the Virgin Islands by contamination resulting from the discharge or escape; and

(c)for any damage caused in the territory of the Virgin Islands by any measures so taken.

(2) Where, as a result of any occurrence, there arises a grave and imminent threat of damage being caused outside a ship to which this section applies by the contamination that might result if there were a discharge or escape of oil from the ship, then (except as otherwise provided by this Chapter) the owner of the ship shall be liable –

(a)for the cost of any measures reasonably taken for the purpose of preventing or minimising any such damage in the territory of the Virgin Islands, and

(b)for any damage caused outside the ship in the territory of the Virgin Islands by any measures so taken;

and in this Chapter any such threat is referred to as a relevant threat of contamination.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) below, this section applies to any ship constructed or adapted for carrying oil in bulk as cargo.

(4) Where any ship so constructed or adapted is capable of carrying other cargoes besides oil, this section shall apply to any such ship –

(a)while it is carrying oil in bulk as cargo; and

(b)unless it is proved that no residues from the carriage of any such oil remain in the ship, while it is on any voyage following the carriage of any such oil,

but not otherwise.

(5) Where a person incurs a liability under subsection (1) or (2) above he shall also be liable for any damage or cost for which he would be liable under that subsection if the references in it to the territory of the Virgin Islands included the territory of any other Liability Convention country.

(6) Where –

(a)as a result of any occurrence, a liability is incurred under this section by the owner of each of two or more ships, but

(b)the damage or cost for which each of the owners would be liable cannot reasonably be separated from that for which the other or others would be liable,

each of the owners shall be liable, jointly with the other or others, for the whole of the damage or cost for which the owners together would be liable under this section.

(7) For the purposes of this Chapter –

(a)references to a discharge or escape of oil from a ship are references to such a discharge or escape wherever it may occur, and whether it is of oil carried in a cargo tank or of oil carried in a bunker fuel tank;

(b)where more than one discharge or escape results from the same occurrence or from a series of occurrences having the same origin, they shall be treated as one, but any measures taken after the first of them shall be deemed to have been taken after the discharge or escape; and

(c)where a relevant threat of contamination results from a series of occurrences having the same origin, they shall be treated as a single occurrence.

(8) If the owner proves that the pollution damage resulted to any extent from an act or omission done with intent to cause damage by the person who suffered the damage or from the negligence of that person, the owner shall be exonerated to that extent from his liability to such person.

154.  (1)  Where, as a result of any occurrence, any oil is discharged or escapes from a ship other than a ship to which section 153 applies, then (except as otherwise provided by this Chapter) the owner of the ship shall be liable –

(a)for any damage caused outside the ship in the territory of the Virgin Islands by contamination resulting from the discharge or escape; and

(b)for the cost of any measures reasonably taken after the discharge or escape for the purpose of preventing or minimising any damage so caused in the territory of the Virgin Islands by contamination resulting from the discharge or escape; and

(c)for any damage so caused in the territory of the Virgin Islands by any measures so taken.

(2) Where, as a result of any occurrence, there arises a grave and imminent threat of damage being caused outside a ship other than a ship to which section 153 applies by the contamination which might result if there were a discharge or escape of oil from the ship, then (except as otherwise provided by this Chapter) the owner of the ship shall be liable –

(a)for the cost of any measures reasonably taken for the purpose of preventing or minimising any such damage in the territory of the Virgin Islands; and

(b)for any damage caused outside the ship in the territory of the Virgin Islands by any measures so taken;

and in the subsequent provisions of this Chapter any such threat is referred to as a relevant threat of contamination.

(3) Where –

(a)as a result of any occurrence, a liability is incurred under this section by the owner of each of two or more ships, but

(b)the damage or cost for which each of the owners would be liable cannot reasonably be separated from that for which the other or others would be liable,

each of the owners shall be liable, jointly with the other or others, for the whole of the damage or cost for which the owners together would be liable under this section.

(4) If the owner proves that the pollution damage resulted to any extent from an act or omission done with intent to cause damage by the person who suffered the damage or from the negligence of that person, the owner shall be exonerated to that extent from his liability to such person.

(5) In this section “ship” includes a vessel which is not seagoing.

Exceptions from liability under sections 153 and 154.

155.  –No liability shall be incurred by the owner of a ship under section 153 or 154 by reason of any discharge or escape of oil from the ship, or by reason of any relevant threat of contamination, if he proves that the discharge or escape, or (as the case may be) the threat of contamination –

(a)resulted from an act of war, hostilities, civil war, insurrection or an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible natural phenomenon; or

(b)was due wholly to anything done or omitted to be done by another person, not being a servant or agent of the owner, with intent to do damage; or

(c)was due wholly to the negligence or wrongful act of a government or other authority in exercising its function of maintaining lights or other navigational aids for the maintenance of which it was responsible.

Restriction of liability for oil pollution.

156.  (1)  Where, as a result of any occurrence –

(a)any oil is discharged or escapes from a ship (whether one to which section 153 or one to which section 154 applies), or

(b)there arises a relevant threat of contamination,

then, whether or not the owner of the ship in question incurs a liability under section 153 or 154 –

(i)he shall not be liable otherwise than under that section for any such damage or cost as is mentioned in it, and

(ii)no person to whom this paragraph applies shall be liable for any such damage or cost unless it resulted from anything done or omitted to be done by him either with intent to cause any such damage or cost or recklessly and in the knowledge that any such damage or cost would probably result.

(2) Subsection (1) (ii) above applies to –

(a)any servant or agent of the owner of the ship;

(b)any person not falling within paragraph (a) above but employed or engaged in any capacity on board the ship or to perform any service for the ship;

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

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

(e)any person taking any such measures as are mentioned in subsection (1)(b) or (2) (a) of section 153 or 154;

(f)any servant or agent of a person falling within paragraph (c),(d) or (e) above.

(3) The liability of the owner of a ship under section 153 or 154 for any impairment of the environment shall be taken to be a liability only in respect of –

(a)any resulting loss of profits, and

(b)the cost of any reasonable measures of reinstatement actually taken or to be taken.

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