Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 24/03/2006

Category

Environment and products

Sub category

Maritime and Law of the Sea

Groups

IMO

What is it about?

This Protocol is intended to replace the International Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London, 29 December 1972). It represents a major change of approach to the usage of the sea for the dumping of waste materials. It adds a sustainable development perspective, forbidding all dumping of hazardous materials as well as all sea incinerations. The export of wastes to non-party States for incinerations is also prohibited. Exceptionally, if provided with a proper permit, a State can dump certain items, including dredged material, sewage sludge, fish waste, or material resulting from industrial fish processing operations, vessels and platforms or other man-made structures at sea, inert, inorganic geological material and organic material of natural origin. Contrary to the London Convention of 29 December 1972, the 1996 Protocol addresses the dumping of wastes in the internal waters of State parties. The Protocol of 1996 also adds the principle of “polluter payer”, ensuring that individuals or entities authorized to dump wastes and other noxious substances are required to assume the costs linked to pollution created by their actions.

Why is it relevant?

By becoming a Party to this Convention, a State commits itself to protect its coasts and its marine environment from pollution resulting from the dumping of dangerous products and sea incinerations. It also preserves fishing and tourism – important sectors of the economy. The provisions of the instrument are more stringent than those of the London Convention of 1972.

Additional Information

The 1996 Protocol establishes a procedure to settle disputes related to the application of its provisions.

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