The financial responsibilities of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 are overseen by the Coast Guard National Pollution Funds Center. In order to protect U.S. waterways from devastating oil or hazardous material spills such as fuel, and watercraft or vessels over 300 gross tons must carry a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR). This is proof that a ship or company is carrying enough insurance to handle the cleanup and resolution of a waste/material spill while in the water. An abbreviated understanding of the term COFR is that it is a type of pollution insurance.
National Waterway Protection
There is a heavy reliance on barges and tankers to help transport oil and other chemical products across the nation’s waterways, but one mishap and spill could have long-term effects on the surrounding ecosystem. In order to make companies responsible for their products or cargo, Congress has declared that the parties that create water pollution will be required to take care of the cleanup costs.
For those that fail to maintain a guarantee of coverage and apply for a COFR, there can be serious consequences. According to the information at https://www.wqis.com, the vessel may be subject to detainment, or there could be seizure and forfeiture of the ship. A ship may also be denied entry into U.S. ports, and civil penalties may be issued at a rate of up to $44,539 per day.