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Limits of Liability


The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) establishes certain dollar amounts above which a responsible party is not liable for paying for the costs of an oil spill. These limits are based the type and tonnage of a vessel, and certain types of vessels must have a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR) for these limits before they can enter U.S. waters.

If an RP pays or incurs removal costs or damages in excess of an applicable liability limit, the RP may present a claim to the NPFC for compensation of the excess amount.

 Comparison of Previous OPA 90 Limits of Liability and New OPA 90 Limits of Liability Effective December 21, 2015 (33 CFR 138.230, as Amended by 80 FR 72342)


Source Category Previous OPA 90
Limit of Liability
New OPA
Limit of Liability
(Effective December 21, 2015)
(a) Vessels

 

 

(1) The OPA 90 limits of liability for tank vessels, other than edible oil tank vessels and oil spill response vessels are -

 

 

   (i) For a single-hull tank vessel greater than 3,000 gross tons, 

the greater of $3,200 per gross ton or $23,496,000

the greater of $3,500 per gross ton or $25,845,000

   (ii) For a tank vessel greater than 3,000 gross tons, other than a single-hull tank vessel 

the greater of $2,000 per gross ton or $17,088,000

the greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $18,796,800

   (iii) For a single-hull tank vessel less than or equal to 3,000 gross tons, 

the greater of $3,200 per gross ton or $6,408,000

the greater of $3,500 per gross ton or $7,048,800

   (iv) For a tank vessel less than or equal to 3,000 gross tons, other than a single-hull tank vessel, 

the greater of $2,000 per gross ton or $4,272,000

the greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $4,699,200

(2) The OPA 90 limits of liability for any vessel other than a vessel listed in subparagraph (a)(1) of 33 CFR 138.230, including any edible oil tank vessel and any oil spill response vessel, are -

 the greater of $1,000 per gross ton or $854,400

the greater of $1,100 per gross ton or $939,800

(b) Deepwater Ports
(1) The OPA 90 limit of liability for any deepwater port, including for any component pipelines, other than a deepwater port listed in subparagraph (b)(2) of this 33 CFR 138.230, is - $373,800,000 $633,850,000
(2) The OPA 90 limits of liability for deepwater ports with limits of liability established by regulation under OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(2)), including for any component pipelines are -    
   (i) For the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP),  $87,606,000 $96,366,000
   (ii) [Reserved].  N/A N/A
(c) Onshore Facilities
The OPA 90 limit of liability for onshore facilities, including, but not limited to, any motor vehicle, rolling stock or onshore pipeline, is $350,000,000 $633,850,000

 

 

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Last Modified 1/12/2016