The Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund, managed by the Ministry of the Environment, is used to compensate for the costs of oil spills and oil spill response on land and at sea when the party that caused the accident is not known or the culpable party is unable to reimburse the costs.
The Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund is a secondary source of compensation for oil spills and the costs of responding to them. The amounts paid as compensation from the fund are recovered from the party that caused the oil spill or from another party with primary responsibility for it.
The Oil Pollution Compensation Fund will cease its operations at the end of 2024. It will be replaced by the Environmental Damages Fund to be launched on 1 January 2025.
Remediation of oil-contaminated soil and groundwater
Earlier the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund could be used on a discretionary basis to compensate for the costs of remediating oil-contaminated soil and groundwater if the party that caused the contamination is not known, cannot be reached, or cannot pay for the costs caused by the contamination.
The Board of the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund has decided that after 24 May 2021 no funding is granted for investigation and clean-up projects concerning oil-contaminated soil or groundwater. The costs of investigation or clean-up projects the applicant has already implemented are also not eligible for compensation.
Grants for investigation and clean-up projects concerning soil or groundwater can be applied for from the ‘Maaperä kuntoon’ soil restoration project of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Pirkanmaa.
Compensations paid from the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund
Those suffering from an oil spill and oil spill response authorities and other parties participating in oil spill response and in the remediation of oil-contaminated sites are eligible for compensation for the costs of response and remediation. A condition for the compensation is that the compensation could not be collected in full from the party liable for the damage or from their liability insurance or the culpable party is not known.
Decisions on compensations by the Board of the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund
The Board of the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund, appointed by the Government for three-year terms, makes decisions concerning compensations paid from the fund. The Board has a representative from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Environment, a nature and environmental conservation organisation, the oil industry, and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. The chair of the board is impartial and does not represent any party that has an interest in oil pollution matters.
Processing of personal data at the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund
The application documents of the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund contain personal data. When processing documents, the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund acts as a controller as referred to in the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union and complies with the principles and requirements laid down for the processing of personal data and for the controller in the said regulation. Read more about the processing of personal data by the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund in the following document.
Income and expenditure of the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund
The Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund is an off-budget entity. Its operations are funded through the oil damage duties and transfers from the Budget.
An oil damage duty was collected on all oil imported to Finland or transported through Finland. If oil is transported by a vessel whose cargo section is not completely double-hulled, a double oil damage duty was collected.
No oil damage duties have been collected since 1 March 2020 when the assets of the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund exceeded the higher capital limit of EUR 10 million. The provisions on the collection of oil damage duties were repealed and the duty was abolished on 1 January 2023 when the Act on the Off-Budget Environmental Damage Fund (1262/2022) was adopted.
Use of funds of the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund
The compensations paid annually from the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund total about EUR 10 million, which roughly corresponds to the oil damage duties collected annually and oil waste duties transferred from the Budget. The higher oil waste duty payable in 2010-2015 increased the income of the fund, and the amount of the compensations paid from it have increased as well.
International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund
Compensations for oil spills caused by oil tankers in the Finnish territorial waters are paid from the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (1992) and its Supplementary Fund if compensations cannot be collected from the party that caused the damage or where the damage exceeds the vessel owner’s limit of liability.