HL Deb 27 June 1979 vol 400 cc1601-2WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have signed the 1976 North Sea Civil Liability Convention, concerning pollution from offshore operations; if so, whether the Convention is yet in operation, and for which States; and if not, when they are likely to sign it, when is it likely to come into operation, and what provisions meanwhile govern civil liability for pollution from off-shore operations in the North Sea.

The Earl of GOWRIE

The 1976 London Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage from Offshore Operations has been signed by the Governments of the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Irish Republic, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. It will enter into force 90 days after four signatory countries have ratified or acceded to it. None has yet done so.

Her Majesty's Government have not yet decided whether to ratify the Convention. Meanwhile, in the event of oil Pollution from offshore operations in the North Sea, those affected can claim under the Offshore Pollution Liability Agreement, a voluntary scheme established by the oil industry.