Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Sachgebiet S 43 - Schifffahrtsrecht, Internationale Haftungsübereinkommen, Querschnittsaufgaben
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg

Bereich CLC

Mail: clc@bsh.de

Webcode for this Content: 16457144

Bunker oil

Civil liability certificates for seagoing ships under the Bunkers Convention (CLCBCs)

Shipowners are required to hold an insurance certificate ("Blue Card") or to provide other financial security (e.g. bank guarantee) covering any pollution damage caused by any bunker oil on board or originating from the ship, if the ship

  • has a gross tonnage greater than 1000; and
  • is registered in a State Party to the Bunkers Convention; or
  • is registered in a non-State Party to the Bunkers Convention; and
  • is operating in the area covered by the Oil Pollution Damage Act.

Issuance of CLCBCs

By issuing a civil liability certificate under the 2001 Bunkers Convention (CLCBC) the BSH confirms that such insurance or other financial security is in place. A CLCBC will be obtained on application, if

  • the ship is flying the German flag; or
  • the ship is flying the flag of a non-State Party.

The period of validity of the CLCBC is the same as that of the insurance in place or other financial security provided, does however not exceed one year.

Important note:
The liability certificates issued by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) may not contain handwritten or any other kind of changes by a third party, particularly not by classification societies. Any changes are inadmissible and may be relevant under criminal law.

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Carriage of the CLCBC on board

The Civil liability Certificate is issued electronically and is valid without a written signature or stamp.
On board it must be presented electronically on a screen or as a printed paper copy upon request. the certificates contain a QR Code and a Tracking Identification Number (TID) for verification on this website.

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The BSH issues CLCs only on written or electronic application of the registered owner.  If the registered owner is represented by someone authorised for the application, a written or electronic authorisation has to be attached. In case the language of the application or of any of the documents enclosed with the application is neither German nor English, a translation by an officially certified translator has to be enclosed with the application.

Please complete this application form and submit the application form and the application documents (PDF files) with a simple e-mail to the BSH. Please send the documents via e-mail to the following designated e-mail address: clc@bsh.de. Originals do not have to be submitted anymore.

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The application shall contain the following particulars:

  • name of ship;
  • distinctive number or letters and port of registry of the ship;
  • IMO ship identification number;
  • name of the owner;
  • address of the principal place of business of the owner incl. telephone number and, if available, fax number;
  • type and duration of the insurance or other financial security (e. g. a so called “blue card”).

The following documents have to be enclosed with the application:

  • an insurance certificate (Blue Card) incl. a statement by the provider of security
    • that the security is in compliance with the Bunkers Convention and
    • that it remains effective with regard to third parties for three months after advising the BSH about its modification or early termination, resulting in the security not to meet the requirements anymore;
  • documentation of the ship's tonnage;
  • if the application is not made by the owner: a completed authorisation form for application; and
  • if the ship does not fly the federal German flag and/or te registered owner does not have a permanent place in Germany: a power of attorney (form) naming an authorised recipient whose permanent residence or place of business has to be in Germany.

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Obligation to report changes

The owner must notify the BSH immediately of any changes in the security cover provided, which is indicated in the CLCBC. CLCBCs issued by the BSH must not be modified by hand or in any other way, in particular not by classification societies. Such modifications are illegal and may constitute a punishable administrative offence under German law.

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Legal basis

  • International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (Bunkers Convention)
  • Act on liability and compensation for oil pollution damage caused by seagoing ships (Ölschadengesetz (ÖlSG) - Oil Pollution Damage Act)
  • Ordinance on the issuance of certificates under the Oil Pollution Damage Act (Ölhaftungsbescheinigungs -Verordnung (ÖlHaftBeschV))

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Contact details

In case of questions please contact BSH staff members.

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