Amended Law on Liability for Oil Pollution in Japan

9 February 2005 No.518
Please refer to our Special Circulars entitled "Proposed amendment to the 'Law on Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1975'(Part-1)-In relation to The measures for abandoned ships on Japanese coast 1" and "AmendedLaw on Liability for Oil Pollution in Japan2" together with Japan P&I News 3" entitled "AmendedLaw on Liability for Oil Pollution in Japan".

As you may recall, the Amendment of Law will come into effect on 1 March, 2005. From that date, all oceangoing vessels over 100 tons (except vessels carrying CLC oil exceeding 2,000 tons) are obliged to hold a certificate of insurance for oil pollution and/orwreck removal (COI). As reported in the above circulars, the Japan Club has been nominated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Japan (MLIT) as a "designatedinsurer" and thus an original or certified copy of a Certificate of Entry issued by the Club will be recognised as a valid COI.

The Amendment of Law becomes effective shortly after 20 February, the usual renewal date for P&I insurance. Consequently, this led to a concern that there would be insufficient time to ensure that new Certificates of Entry were issued and placed on board allvessels entered with the Japan Club before the effective date. Similar problems were also expected to arise after each subsequent renewal. We, therefore, asked MLIT whether they might grant a grace period to allow sufficient time for new to be issued to eachvessel.In response to our inquiries, the MLIT has advised that it will allow a two month grace period to allow ships to obtain an original or certified copy of the new Certificate of Entry. During this period, a Certificate of Entry for the previous, then expired, policy year issued by the Japan Club will be accepted provided that there is also carried on board an "appropriate copy" of the Certificate of Entry or the Confirmation of Renewal for the new policy year. An "appropriate copy" means a faxed copy, photocopy or electronic copy (in pdf format) of the Certificate of Entry or Confirmation of Renewal issued by the Japan Club for the new policy year. The two month grace period will extend until the 20th April (JST) .     
1.No.03-022 dated 12 March, 2004
2.No.04-013 dated 6 December, 2004
3.No. 509 dated 1 September, 2004

Please note that the MLIT intends to circulate details of the grace period only as an internal guideline to the relevant port authorities and is unwilling to make any public official announcement on this matter.

If you have any queries, please contact the MLIT, the details of which are as follows:-