Responsible employees and executives working in the marine sector must consider the consequences of unintended pollution. Fortunately, protection is available through marine pollution insurance coverage. However, to understand the benefits of investing in insurance, professionals working in the marine industry should review the Certificate of Financial Responsibility.
Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR) Overview
Controlled by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Certificate of Financial Responsibility, or the COFR, is a marine-conscious governmental program developed due to environmental statutes such as the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The COFR intends to ensure that any marine vessel transporting products that contain pollutants take financial responsibility for cleanup costs in the case of a spill or leak.
The Coast Guard’s Vessel Certification Division oversees any COFR issued and verifies that all parties responsible for polluting incidents are identified and pay their dues.
Compliance and Failure to Comply
If a COFR is issued and the responsible party fails to comply, participants will face serious legal penalties and financial burdens. For example, parties may confront daily fines that total tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, parties that do not comply may face detainment or denial of entry into United States ports.
COFR compliance and the possibility of spills or leaks while on the job may seem frightening. However, drawing from general COFR knowledge may help you handle situations that involve pollutants.