Liability issues verified by agreement
Liability issues related to a possible accident in Alaska have been limited through conventional agreements between the parties involved.
- We have a fairly standard limited liability agreement between companies, and liability limitations are set in accordance with this. When a company enters into a contract, its liabilities are limited, prima face, by the company's load capacity and insurances. We have standard hull insurances, states CEO Tero Vauraste.
On 18 April 2012, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA) published a preparatory study on Finnish navigation for the Ministry of Finance. This report, written by research director Hannu Hernesniemi, claims that "in the case of an oil spill accident, the Finnish State may have to bear the costs of any damage sustained, based on the entire property of the state-owned Arctia Shipping, and ultimately with taxpayers' money".
Arctia Shipping has unsuccessfully requested ETLA for information on which opinions by specialised bodies form the basis for the arguments set forth in Hernesniemi's report.
Vauraste disputes the possibility of massive compensation, since the company's liabilities are covered by agreements. The 'polluter pays' principle is emphasized in international chartering and also in oil spills.
- If you consider a hypothetical major oil spill, in principle the culprit would be held responsible. We are not the party engaged in drilling, says Vauraste.
In Alaskan waters, the Fennica and Nordica's duty is to engage in ice management. Multi-purpose icebreakers ensure that no icebergs or drifting ice enter the working area of rigs engaged in drilling.
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