Article 1 (General
1. Parties undertake, individually or jointly, to take
all appropriate measures in accordance with the provisions of this
Protocol and the Annex thereto to prepare for and respond to a
pollution incident by hazardous and noxious substances.
2. The Annex to this Protocol shall constitute an integral part of this
Protocol and a reference to this Protocol constitutes at the same time
a reference to the Annex.
3. This Protocol shall not apply to any warship, naval auxiliary or
other ship owned or operated by a State and used, for the time being,
only on government non-commercial service. However, each Party shall
ensure by the adoption of appropriate measures not impairing the
operations or operational capabilities of such ships owned or operated
by it, that such ships act in a manner consistent, so far as is
reasonable and practicable, with this Protocol.
For the purposes of this Protocol:
1. Pollution incident by hazardous and noxious substances (hereinafter
referred to as «pollution incident») means any
occurrence or series of occurrences having the same origin, including
fire or explosion, which results or may result in a discharge, release
or emission of hazardous and noxious substances and which poses or may
pose a threat to the marine environment, or to the coastline or related
interests of one or more States, and which requires emergency action or
2. Hazardous and noxious substances means any substance other than oil
which, if introduced into the marine environment is likely to create
hazards to human health, to harm living resources and marine life, to
damage amenities or to interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea.
3. Sea ports and hazardous and noxious substances handling facilities
means those ports or facilities where such substances are loaded into
or unloaded from ships.
4. Organization means the International Maritime Organization.
5. Secretary-General means the Secretary-General of the Organization.
6. OPRC Convention means the International Convention on Oil Pollution
Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, 1990.
3 (Emergency plans and reporting)
1. Each Party shall require that ships entitled to fly
its flag have on-board a pollution incident emergency plan and shall
require masters or other persons having charge of such ships to follow
reporting procedures to the extent required. Both planning requirements
and reporting procedures shall be in accordance with applicable
provisions of the conventions developed within the Organization which
have entered into force for that Party. On-board pollution incident
emergency plans for offshore units, including Floating Production,
Storage and Offloading Facilities and Floating Storage Units, should be
dealt with under national provisions and/or company environmental
management systems, and are excluded from the application of this
2. Each Party shall require that authorities or operators in charge of
sea ports and hazardous and noxious substances handling facilities
under its jurisdiction as it deems appropriate have pollution incident
emergency plans or similar arrangements for hazardous and noxious
substances that it deems appropriate which are co-ordinated with the
national system established in accordance with article 4 and approved
in accordance with procedures established by the competent national
3. When the appropriate authorities of a Party learn of a pollution
incident, they shall notify other States whose interests are likely to
be affected by such incident.
4 (National and regional systems for preparedness and
1. Each Party shall establish a national system for
responding promptly and effectively to pollution incidents. This system
shall include as a minimum:
(a) the designation of:
(i) the competent national authority or authorities with responsibility
for preparedness for and response to pollution incidents;
(ii) the national operational contact point or points; and
(iii) an authority which is entitled to act on behalf of the State to
request assistance or to decide to render the assistance requested;
(b) a national contingency plan for preparedness and response which
includes the organizational relationship of the various bodies
involved, whether public or private, taking into account guidelines
developed by the Organization.
2. In addition, each Party within its capabilities either individually
or through bilateral or multilateral co?operation and, as appropriate,
in co?operation with the shipping industries and industries dealing
with hazardous and noxious substances, port authorities and other
relevant entities, shall establish:
(a) a minimum level of pre?positioned equipment for responding to
pollution incidents commensurate with the risk involved, and programmes
for its use;
(b) a programme of exercises for pollution incident response
organizations and training of relevant personnel;
(c) detailed plans and communication capabilities for responding to a
pollution incident. Such capabilities should be continuously available;
(d) a mechanism or arrangement to co?ordinate the response to a
pollution incident with, if appropriate, the capabilities to mobilize
the necessary resources.
3. Each Party shall ensure that current information is provided to the
Organization, directly or through the relevant regional organization or
(a) the location, telecommunication data and, if applicable, areas of
responsibility of authorities and entities referred to in paragraph
(b) information on pollution response equipment and expertise in
disciplines related to pollution incident response and marine salvage
which may be made available to other States, upon request; and
(c) its national contingency plan.
5 (International co-operation in pollution response)
1. Parties agree that, subject to their capabilities
and the availability of relevant resources, they will co-operate and
provide advisory services, technical support and equipment for the
purpose of responding to a pollution incident, when the severity of the
incident so justifies, upon the request of any Party affected or likely
to be affected. The financing of the costs for such assistance shall be
based on the provisions set out in the Annex to this Protocol.
2. A Party which has requested assistance may ask the Organization to
assist in identifying sources of provisional financing of the costs
referred to in paragraph (1).
3. In accordance with applicable international agreements, each Party
shall take necessary legal or administrative measures to facilitate:
(a) the arrival and utilization in and departure from its territory of
ships, aircraft and other modes of transport engaged in responding to a
pollution incident or transporting personnel, cargoes, materials and
equipment required to deal with such an incident; and
(b) the expeditious movement into, through, and out of its territory of
personnel, cargoes, materials and equipment referred to in subparagraph
6 (Research and development)
1. Parties agree to co-operate directly or, as
appropriate, through the Organization or relevant regional
organizations or arrangements in the promotion and exchange of results
of research and development programmes relating to the enhancement of
the state?of-the?art of preparedness for and response to pollution
incidents, including technologies and techniques for surveillance,
containment, recovery, dispersion, clean?up and otherwise minimizing or
mitigating the effects of pollution incidents, and for
2. To this end, Parties undertake to establish directly or, as
appropriate, through the Organization or relevant regional
organizations or arrangements, the necessary links between Parties'
3. Parties agree to co?operate directly or through the Organization or
relevant regional organizations or arrangements to promote, as
appropriate, the holding on a regular basis of international symposia
on relevant subjects, including technological advances in techniques
and equipment for responding to pollution incidents.
4. Parties agree to encourage, through the Organization or other
competent international organizations, the development of standards for
compatible hazardous and noxious substances pollution combating
techniques and equipment.
7 (Technical co-operation)
1. Parties undertake directly or through the
Organization and other international bodies, as appropriate, in respect
of preparedness for and response to pollution incidents, to provide
support for those Parties which request technical assistance:
(a) to train personnel;
(b) to ensure the availability of relevant technology, equipment and
(c) to facilitate other measures and arrangements to prepare for and
respond to pollution incidents; and
(d) to initiate joint research and development programmes.
2. Parties undertake to co-operate actively, subject to their national
laws, regulations and policies, in the transfer of technology in
respect of preparedness for and response to pollution
8 (Promotion of bilateral and multilateral
co-operation in preparedness and response)
Parties shall endeavour to conclude bilateral or
multilateral agreements for preparedness for and response to pollution
incidents. Copies of such agreements shall be communicated to the
Organization which should make them available on request to the
9 (Relation to other conventions and other agreements)
Nothing in this Protocol shall be construed as
altering the rights or obligations of any Party under any other
convention or international agreement.
10 (Institutional arrangements)
1. Parties designate the Organization, subject to its
agreement and the availability of adequate resources to sustain the
activity, to perform the following functions and activities:
(a) information services:
(i) to receive, collate and disseminate on request the information
provided by Parties and relevant information provided by other sources;
(ii) to provide assistance in identifying sources of provisional
financing of costs;
(b) education and training:
(i) to promote training in the field of preparedness for and response
to pollution incidents; and
(ii) to promote the holding of international symposia;
(c) technical services:
(i) to facilitate co-operation in research and development;
(ii) to provide advice to States establishing national or regional
response capabilities; and
(iii) to analyse the information provided by Parties and relevant
information provided by other sources and provide advice or information
(d) technical assistance:
(i) to facilitate the provision of technical assistance to States
establishing national or regional response capabilities; and
(ii) to facilitate the provision of technical assistance and advice,
upon the request of States faced with major pollution
2. In carrying out the activities specified in this article, the
Organization shall endeavour to strengthen the ability of States
individually or through regional arrangements to prepare for and combat
pollution incidents, drawing upon the experience of States, regional
agreements and industry arrangements and paying particular attention to
the needs of developing countries.
3. The provisions of this article shall be implemented in accordance
with a programme developed and kept under review by the Organization.
11 (Evaluation of the Protocol)
Parties shall evaluate within the
Organization the effectiveness of the Protocol in the light of its
objectives, particularly with respect to the principles underlying
co-operation and assistance.
1. This Protocol may be amended by one of
the procedures specified in the following paragraphs.
2. Amendment after consideration by the Organization:
(a) Any amendment proposed by a Party to the Protocol shall be
submitted to the Organization and circulated by the Secretary-General
to all Members of the Organization and all Parties at least six months
prior to its consideration.
(b) Any amendment proposed and circulated as above shall be submitted
to the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the Organization for
(c) Parties to the Protocol, whether or not Members of the
Organization, shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings of
the Marine Environment Protection Committee.
(d) Amendments shall be adopted by a two thirds majority of only the
Parties to the Protocol present and voting.
(e) If adopted in accordance with subparagraph (d), amendments shall be
communicated by the Secretary-General to all Parties to the Protocol
(f) (i) An amendment to an article or the Annex of the Protocol shall
be deemed to have been accepted on the date on which two thirds of the
Parties have notified the Secretary-General that they have accepted it.
(ii) An amendment to an appendix shall be deemed to have been accepted
at the end of a period to be determined by the Marine Environment
Protection Committee at the time of its adoption, in accordance with
subparagraph (d), which period shall not be less than ten months,
unless within that period an objection is communicated to the
Secretary-General by not less than one third of the Parties.
(g) (i) An amendment to an article or the Annex of the Protocol
accepted in conformity with subparagraph (f)(i) shall enter into force
six months after the date on which it is deemed to have been accepted
with respect to the Parties which have notified the Secretary-General
that they have accepted it.
(ii) An amendment to an appendix accepted in conformity with
subparagraph (f)(ii) shall enter into force six months after the date
on which it is deemed to have been accepted with respect to all Parties
with the exception of those which, before that date, have objected to
it. A Party may at any time withdraw a previously communicated
objection by submitting a notification to that effect to the
3. Amendment by a Conference:
(a) Upon the request of a Party, concurred with by at least one third
of the Parties, the Secretary-General shall convene a Conference of
Parties to the Protocol to consider amendments to the Protocol.
(b) An amendment adopted by such a Conference by a two thirds majority
of those Parties present and voting shall be communicated by the
Secretary-General to all Parties for their acceptance.
(c) Unless the Conference decides otherwise, the amendment shall be
deemed to have been accepted and shall enter into force in accordance
with the procedures specified in paragraph (2)(f) and (g).
4. The adoption and entry into force of an amendment constituting an
addition of an Annex or an appendix shall be subject to the procedure
applicable to an amendment to the Annex.
5. Any Party which:
(a) has not accepted an amendment to an article or the Annex under
paragraph (2)(f)(i); or
(b) has not accepted an amendment constituting an addition of an Annex
or an appendix under paragraph (4); or
(c) has communicated an objection to an amendment to an appendix under
shall be treated as a non-Party only for the purpose of the application
of such amendment. Such treatment shall terminate upon the submission
of a notification of acceptance under paragraph (2)(f)(i) or withdrawal
of the objection under paragraph (2)(g)(ii).
6. The Secretary-General shall inform all Parties of any amendment
which enters into force under this article, together with the date on
which the amendment enters into force.
7. Any notification of acceptance of, objection to, or withdrawal of
objection to, an amendment under this article shall be communicated in
writing to the Secretary-General who shall inform Parties of such
notification and the date of its receipt.
8. An appendix to the Protocol shall contain only provisions of a
13 (Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and
1. This Protocol shall remain open for signature at
the Headquarters of the Organization from 15 March 2000 until 14 March
2001 and shall thereafter remain open for accession. Any State party to
the OPRC Convention may become Party to this Protocol by:
(a) signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or
(b) signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed
by ratification, acceptance or approval; or
2. Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be effected by
the deposit of an instrument to that effect with the Secretary-General.
14 (States with more than one system of law)
1. If a State party to the OPRC Convention comprises
two or more territorial units in which different systems of law are
applicable in relation to matters dealt with in this Protocol, it may
at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or
accession declare that this Protocol shall extend to all its
territorial units or only to one or more of them to which the
application of the OPRC Convention has been extended, and may modify
this declaration by submitting another declaration at any time.
2. Any such declarations shall be notified to the depositary in writing
and shall state expressly the territorial unit or units to which the
Protocol applies. In the case of modification the declaration shall
state expressly the territorial unit or units to which the application
of the Protocol shall be further extended and the date on which such
extension takes effect.
15 (Entry into force)
1. This Protocol shall enter into force
twelve months after the date on which not less than fifteen States have
either signed it without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or
approval or have deposited the requisite instruments of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession in accordance with article 13.
2. For States which have deposited an instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession in respect of this Protocol after the
requirements for entry into force thereof have been met but prior to
the date of entry into force, the ratification, acceptance, approval or
accession shall take effect on the date of entry into force of this
Protocol or three months after the date of deposit of the instrument,
whichever is the later date.
3. For States which have deposited an instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession after the date on which this Protocol
entered into force, this Protocol shall become effective three months
after the date of deposit of the instrument.
4. After the date on which an amendment to this Protocol is deemed to
have been accepted under article 12, any instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession deposited shall apply to this
Protocol as amended.
1. This Protocol may be denounced by any Party at any
time after the expiry of five years from the date on which this
Protocol enters into force for that Party.
2. Denunciation shall be effected by notification in writing to the
3. A denunciation shall take effect twelve months after receipt of the
notification of denunciation by the Secretary-General or after the
expiry of any longer period which may be indicated in the notification.
4. A Party denouncing the OPRC Convention also automatically denounces
1. This Protocol shall be deposited with the
2. The Secretary-General shall:
(a) inform all States which have signed this Protocol or acceded
(i) each new signature or deposit of an instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession, together with the date thereof;
(ii) any declaration made under article 14;
(iii) the date of entry into force of this Protocol; and
(iv) the deposit of any instrument of denunciation of this Protocol
together with the date on which it was received and the date on which
the denunciation takes effect;
(b) transmit certified true copies of this Protocol to the Governments
of all States which have signed this Protocol or acceded thereto.
3. As soon as this Protocol enters into force, a certified true copy
thereof shall be transmitted by the depositary to the Secretary-General
of the United Nations for registration and publication in accordance
with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
This Protocol is established in a single original in
the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish languages,
each text being equally authentic.
— Reimbursement of costs of assistance
1. (a) Unless an agreement concerning the financial
arrangements governing actions of Parties to deal with pollution
incidents has been concluded on a bilateral or multilateral basis prior
to the pollution incident, Parties shall bear the costs of their
respective actions in dealing with pollution in accordance with
subparagraph (i) or subparagraph (ii).
(i) If the action was taken by one Party at the express request of
another Party, the requesting Party shall reimburse to the assisting
Party the costs of its action. The requesting Party may cancel its
request at any time, but in that case it shall bear the costs already
incurred or committed by the assisting Party.
(ii) If the action was taken by a Party on its own initiative, this
Party shall bear the costs of its action.
(b) The principles laid down in subparagraph (a) shall apply unless the
Parties concerned otherwise agree in any individual case.
2. Unless otherwise agreed, the costs of action taken by a Party at the
request of another Party shall be fairly calculated according to the
law and current practice of the assisting Party concerning the
reimbursement of such costs.
3. The Party requesting assistance and the assisting Party shall, where
appropriate, co-operate in concluding any action in response to a
compensation claim. To that end, they shall give due consideration to
existing legal regimes. Where the action thus concluded does not permit
full compensation for expenses incurred in the assistance operation,
the Party requesting assistance may ask the assisting Party to waive
reimbursement of the expenses exceeding the sums compensated or to
reduce the costs which have been calculated in accordance with
paragraph (2). It may also request a postponement of the reimbursement
of such costs. In considering such a request, assisting Parties shall
give due consideration to the needs of the developing countries.
4. The provisions of this Protocol shall not be interpreted as in any
way prejudicing the rights of Parties to recover from third parties the
costs of actions to deal with pollution or the threat of pollution
under other applicable provisions and rules of national and