International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Bruxelles, Belgium
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 06/05/1975

Category

Environment and products

Sub category

Maritime and Law of the Sea

Groups

IMO

What is it about?

Parties to the present Convention take measures on the high seas to prevent, mitigate or eliminate grave and imminent danger to their coastline or related interests from pollution or threat of pollution of the sea by oil, following a maritime casualty or acts related to such a casualty. A "maritime casualty" means a collision of ships, stranding or other incident of navigation, or other occurrence on board a ship or external to it resulting in material damage or imminent threat of material damage to a ship or cargo. The Convention of 1969 recognizes the right of all State parties to take necessary measures to prevent, mitigate or eliminate maritime pollution. This right of intervention is nevertheless subject to established procedures to ensure that coastal States does not compromise the interests of individuals or corporate entities, or other States. Before taking any measures, a coastal State must proceed with consultations with other States affected by the maritime casualty, particularly with the flag State or States. The coastal State must also notify without delay the proposed measures to any persons physical or corporate known to the coastal State to have interests which can reasonably be expected to be affected by those measures. Additionally, the coastal State shall take into account any views they may submit. The coastal State may also proceed to a consultation with independent experts, whose names shall be chosen from a list maintained by the International Maritime Organization. Measures taken by the coastal State shall be proportionate to the damage actual or threatened to it. The provisions of the Convention of 1969 do not apply to warships or to ships used in non-commercial government service. The 1973 Protocol extends the provisions of the 1969 Convention to substances other than oil (such as chemical products, liquefied gas and radioactive materials). The list of substances and materials was enlarged by the amendments of 4 July 1991 and 10 July 1996.

Why is it relevant?

The Convention of 1969 provides State parties with tools to protect their coastlines against pollution by oil threatening their fishing, tourism and public health interests. It also establishes guidelines for State parties concerned by a ship in distress (flag state, ship owners).

Additional Information

An arbitration procedure is established for dispute settlement. In 2003, 78 States representing more than 60% of world tonnage had ratified the present Convention.

  • Protocol to the International Convention relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties (London, 2 November 1973)
  • International Convention on Pollution Preparedness, Response, and Cooperation, with Annex (London, 30 November 1990)

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Country ratifications
CountryRatification date
Algeria21/11/2011
Angola04/10/2001
Argentina21/04/1987
Australia07/11/1983
Bahamas22/07/1976
Bangladesh06/11/1981
Barbados06/05/1994
Belgium21/10/1971
Benin01/11/1985
Brazil18/01/2008
Bulgaria02/11/1983
Cameroon14/05/1984
Chile28/02/1995
China23/02/1990
Congo19/05/2014
Cote d'Ivoire08/01/1988
Croatia08/10/1991
Cuba05/05/1976
Denmark18/12/1970
Djibouti01/03/1990
Dominican Republic05/02/1975
Ecuador23/12/1976
Egypt03/02/1989
Equatorial Guinea24/04/1996
Estonia16/05/2008
Fiji15/08/1972
Finland06/09/1976
France10/05/1972
Gabon21/01/1982
Georgia25/08/1995
Germany07/05/1975
Ghana20/04/1978
Guyana10/12/1997
Iceland17/07/1980
India16/06/2000
Iran25/07/1997
Ireland21/08/1980
Italy27/02/1979
Jamaica13/03/1991
Japan06/04/1971
Kuwait02/04/1981
Latvia09/08/2001
Lebanon05/06/1975
Liberia25/09/1972
Marshall Islands16/10/1995
Mauritania24/11/1997
Mauritius17/12/2002
Mexico08/04/1976
Monaco24/02/1975
Montenegro03/06/2006
Morocco11/04/1974
Namibia12/03/2004
Netherlands19/09/1975
New Zealand26/03/1975
Nicaragua15/11/1994
Nigeria24/02/2004
Norway12/07/1972
Oman24/01/1985
Pakistan13/01/1995
Panama07/01/1976
Papua New Guinea12/03/1980
Poland01/06/1976
Portugal15/02/1980
Qatar02/06/1988
Russian Federation30/12/1974
Saint Kitts and Nevis07/10/2004
Saint Lucia20/05/2004
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines12/05/1999
Senegal27/03/1972
Serbia03/02/1976
Slovenia25/06/1991
South Africa01/07/1986
Spain08/11/1973
Sri Lanka12/04/1983
Suriname25/11/1975
Sweden08/02/1973
Switzerland15/12/1987
Syrian Arab Republic06/02/1975
Tonga01/02/1996
Trinidad and Tobago06/03/2000
Tunisia04/05/1976
Ukraine17/12/1993
United Arab Emirates15/12/1983
United Kingdom12/01/1971
United Republic of Tanzania16/05/2006
United States of America21/02/1974
Vanuatu14/09/1992
Yemen06/03/1979
Treaties analysis
YearRatifications
19702
19713
19725
19732
19743
19758
19769
19781
19792
19804
19812
19821
19834
19841
19852
19861
19872
19882
19891
19904
19913
19921
19931
19942
19954
19962
19973
19991
20002
20012
20021
20044
20062
20082
20111
20141
Total91
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