IUMI Submission to EU consultation on the Offshore Safety Directive

By Hendrike Kühl, IUMI Policy Director

Late last year, the European Commission offered a public consultation on the evaluation of the EU Offshore Safety Directive (OSD). The consultation sought to gather views on the implementation of the Directive, its effectiveness, relevance and potential need for adjustments.

The OSD was adopted in July 2013 with the aim of reducing the occurrence of major accidents related to offshore oil and gas operations and to limit their consequences. With specific reference to financial security, the Directive requires the EU Commission to consider measures to ensure a robust liability regime for damages relating to offshore oil and gas operations, requirements on financial capacity, including availability of appropriate financial security instruments or other arrangements. Throughout the legislative process IUMI spoke for a voluntary financial security system which is likely to be most effective, emphasising that a legislative compensation system over and above the existing provisions is not needed.

The key message in IUMI’s submission was the early stage of the consultation. Since the Directive has not yet been tested due to its very recent implementation, it is difficult for insurers (and other stakeholders) to assess its efficiency. For this reason, IUMI emphasised that more time was needed to assess whether the Directive meets its objectives. At the same time, IUMI noted the importance of uniform implementation of the Directive across the various EU Member States.