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COFR provider sees a paper free future

Marching towards a paperless goal is the theme at Shoreline this year, with its fully interactive website playing a role in the process.

Rajesh Joshi   |   15 October 2008

Marching towards a paperless goal is the theme at Shoreline this year, with its fully interactive website playing a role in the process.

In the aftermath of the US Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the certificates of financial responsibility provider says ~ has used 70% less paper this year.

The other significant factor that will affect buyers of COFR Guarantees is the impending increases in the limits of liability under the OPA 1990, Shoreline chairman Ed Ross of Zodiac Maritime points out.

"In anticipation of these increased limits, the Shoreline team and its brokers are working with our insurers to maintain reasonable costs and COFR provider sees a paper-free future rates that our members can rely on," Mr Ross says.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us in preparing for these increased limits and will be working dilligently with our reinsurers and the US Coast Guard to ensure optimum coverage and regulatory approval to go forward with a product that continues to meet our members' needs.

"Unbelievably, there are still a significant number of single-hull tankers, Including very large crude canrriers, entered in Shoreline. The new limits will be 250% of the current single largest COFR Guaranty limits, with double-hull tankers and non-tanker limits rising to just under 160% of the current limits.

"Looming over the horizon, we can expect further adjustments to the limits of liability to account for increases inflation. COFR legislation has always reflected the need to adjust the limits for inflation. This has not happened, however, since OPA 90 was enacted.

"The USCG now plans to adjust the liability limits based on significant increases (greater than 3%) to the consumer price index.

"The USCG recently announced a plan to implement the recent inflation increases and adjust the limits accordingly and requests comments on the plan by November 24, 2008. So our strategy will continue to be focused, attentive and responsive."

Meanwhile, the economic crisis, coupled with the focus on Bermuda and offshore domiciles during the US presidential election, gives 'cause for concern' but is not a serious worry."

"We are hopeful that reason will prevail as it has in the past and the industry as a whole will ride out the storm," Mr Ross says.

"However, none of us can ignore a more far-reaching concern than the avarice of Wall Street."

The company highlights the worth of going paperless.

''Well documented increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have occurred over the last 200 years," Mr Ross says.

"These greenhouse gases absorb the heat radiated out from the earth, gradually heating up the earth's air and surface temperatures. The international scientific community has concluded that human activity - particularly energy use and deforestation - is accelerating the concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

"Most scientists agree that global warming presents the greatest threat to the environment. Since a tree is half carbon, trees represent one of the best ways to extract carbon from the air.

"Americans use 50m tonnes of paper annually, consuming more than 850m trees. During 2007, we used 2 tonnes of paper. So far this year, we have used 70% less paper.

"We are hopeful that with recent amendments that eliminate the requirement that the original of the COFRs be carried onboard the vessels, we will also be able lo eliminate paper transactions with them and file all guaranty submissions electronically."