It must be remembered that a tanker owner is only under a statutory liability to pay for pollution damage caused by oil (under the Merchant Shipping Oil Pollution Act which incorporates CLC – as in the discussion above, if the oil in question is carried as cargo.) In the Esso Bernicia the vessel was in ballast and the oil was bunker oil. ITOPF, which is based in London, is a non-profit making organisation, involved in all aspects of preparing for and responding to oil spills from tankers. ITOPF’s history stretches back to 1968. It was established after the Torrey Canyon incident to administer the voluntary compensation agreement, TOVALOP, which assured the adequate and timely payment of compensation to those affected by oil spills. TOVALOP came to an end on 20th February 1997. As a result the membership and funding arrangementds of the Federation have now changed. ITOPF now devotes considerable effort to a wide range of technical services, of which the most important is responding to oil spills. ITOPF’s small response team is at constant readiness to assist at marine oil spills anywhere in the world. This service is normally undertaken on behalf of our tanker-owner members and their oil pollution insurers (normally one of the P&I Clubs) or at the request of governments or international agencies such as the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund. Other services include damage assessment, contingency planning, training and information. The Federation maintains an extensive library and a number of databases, and produces technical  publications and videos.