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

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 30/08/1975

Category

Environment and products

Sub category

Maritime and Law of the Sea

Groups

IMO

What is it about?

Under this Convention, State parties agree to individually and collectively promote the effective control of all sources of pollution of the marine environment and pledge to take all practicable steps to prevent the pollution of the sea by the dumping of waste and other matter that is liable 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. The Convention establishes a list of waste for which dumping is prohibited, (including mercury, crude oil, radioactive waste, etc.) and requires a specific permit for some materials (arsenic, lead, copper, zinc, pesticides). All other wastes can be dumped under a general permit. Each Contracting Party designates an appropriate authority or authorities to issue general permits. The present Convention does not cover ship waste or waste resulting from the exploitation of the seabed, nor does it cover waste dumped in internal waters of State parties. State parties are required to incorporate the provisions of the 1972 Convention into their national laws. This instrument has been amended on five occasions: - The two Amendments of 12 October 1978 prohibit the incineration of trash in the sea and institute new procedures for dispute settlement under the 1972 Convention; - The Amendment of 24 September 1980 lists the substances that require a special permit; - The Amendment of 3 November 1989 address rules related to the issuance of a dumping permit; - The Amendment of 12 November 1993 prohibits the dumping of radioactive waste; - The London Protocol adopted on 8 November 1996 is a re-write of the original text and may substitute itself for the 1972 Convention.

Why is it relevant?

By becoming party to this Convention, States protect their coasts and marine environment from pollution resulting from the dumping of dangerous products and sea incinerations. The Convention provides for the preservation of important economic sectors such as fishing and tourism. State parties may also benefit from technical assistance.

Additional Information

State parties are required to incorporate the provisions of the 1972 Convention into their internal law and to apply them to all violations that occur up to 200 miles of their coast. Flag states are required to pursue ships that commit illegal dumping ininternational waters (after 200 nautical miles). The International Maritime Organization assures the Secretariat of the London Convention of 1972. In 2003, 81 States representing 85% of the world fleet had ratified the Convention of 1972.

  • Protocol of the International Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London, 7 November 1996)

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Country ratifications
CountryRatification date
Afghanistan02/04/1975
Antigua and Barbuda06/01/1989
Argentina11/09/1979
Australia21/08/1985
Azerbaijan01/07/1997
Barbados04/05/1994
Belarus29/01/1976
Belgium12/06/1985
Benin28/04/2011
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)10/06/1999
Brazil26/07/1982
Bulgaria25/01/2006
Canada13/11/1975
Cape Verde26/05/1977
Chile04/08/1977
China14/11/1985
Costa Rica16/06/1986
Cote d'Ivoire09/10/1987
Croatia08/10/1991
Cuba01/12/1975
Cyprus07/06/1990
Democratic Republic of the Congo16/09/1975
Denmark23/10/1974
Dominican Republic07/12/1973
Egypt30/07/1992
Equatorial Guinea21/01/2004
Finland03/05/1979
France05/02/1982
Gabon05/02/1982
Germany08/11/1977
Greece10/08/1981
Guatemala14/07/1975
Haiti28/08/1975
Honduras02/05/1980
Hungary05/02/1976
Iceland24/05/1973
Iran13/01/1997
Ireland17/02/1982
Italy30/04/1984
Jamaica22/03/1981
Japan15/10/1980
Jordan11/11/1974
Kenya07/01/1976
Kiribati12/07/1979
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya22/11/1976
Luxembourg22/02/1991
Malta28/12/1989
Mexico07/04/1975
Monaco16/05/1977
Montenegro03/06/2006
Morocco18/02/1977
Nauru26/07/1982
Netherlands02/12/1977
New Zealand30/04/1975
Nigeria19/03/1976
Norway04/04/1974
Oman13/03/1984
Pakistan09/03/1995
Panama31/07/1975
Papua New Guinea10/12/1980
Peru07/05/2003
Philippines10/08/1973
Poland23/01/1979
Portugal14/04/1978
Republic of Korea21/12/1993
Russian Federation30/12/1975
Saint Lucia23/08/1985
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines24/10/2001
Serbia25/06/1976
Seychelles29/10/1984
Sierra Leone12/03/2008
Slovenia25/06/1991
Solomon Islands07/07/1978
South Africa07/08/1978
Spain31/07/1974
Suriname21/10/1980
Sweden21/02/1974
Switzerland31/07/1979
Syrian Arab Republic06/05/2009
Tonga08/11/1995
Tunisia13/04/1976
Ukraine05/02/1976
United Arab Emirates09/08/1974
United Kingdom17/11/1975
United Republic of Tanzania23/07/2008
United States of America29/04/1974
Vanuatu22/09/1992
Treaties analysis
YearRatifications
19733
19748
197511
19768
19776
19783
19795
19804
19812
19825
19843
19856
19861
19871
19892
19901
19913
19922
19931
19941
19952
19972
19991
20011
20031
20041
20062
20082
20091
20111
Total90
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