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Marpol Annex 1 -Regulations for preventing oil pollution from ships

To prevent pollution of the sea and the consequent destruction and damage to life in it and along its shores, extensive international legislation exists, and some nations enforce far-reaching and strict laws.

Attention is drawn to national laws in the appropriate volumes of Admiralty Sailing Directions. Actual or probable, discharges of oil or noxious substances or sightings of pollution should be reported to the coastal authorities. Specific instructions on reporting, where known, are given in Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 1. MARPOL Annex I (Oil) entered into force on 2 October 1983. It contains regulations for the prevention of pollution by oil. The United Kingdom domestic legislation to implement this The Annex was the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) Regulations 1983.



containerships operational matters
Oil Tanker Safety Guide
Discharging of Oil: The regulations govern the discharges, except for clean or segregated ballast, from all ships. They require among other things all ships to be fitted with pollution prevention equipment to comply with the stringent discharge regulations. Discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixtures, defined in an Appendix to the Convention, is prohibited by the regulations of Annex I except when all the following conditions are satisfied.

From the machinery space bilges of all ships, except from those of tankers where the discharge is mixed with oil cargo residue: These restrictions do not apply to discharges of oily the mixture which without dilution have an oil content not exceeding 15ppm. From the cargo area of an oil tanker (discharges from cargo tanks, including cargo pump-rooms; and from machinery space bilges mixed with cargo oil residue):
  1. The tanker is not within a Special Area;
  2. The tanker is more than 50nautical miles from the nearest land;
  3. The tanker is proceeding en route;
  4. The instantaneous rate of discharge of oil content does not exceed 30litres per nautical mile;
  5. The total quantity of oil discharged into the sea does not exceed for existing tankers 1/15000 of the the total amount of the particular cargo of which the residue formed a part, and for new tankers (as defined in the Annex) 1/30000 of the total amount of the specific load of which the residue formed a part; and
  6. The tanker has in operation, except where provided for in the Annex, an oil discharge monitoring and control system and a slop tank arrangement. Special and Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas. annex applies to all such areas.
Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plans (SOPEP): Regulation26 of Annex1 to MARPOL 73/78 requires every oil tanker of 150grt and above, and other vessels of 400grt and above, to carry on board a SOPEP manual. It must be approved by the vesselís flag administration. Regulation26 came into force on 4 April 1995 for all existing vessels.

IMO has produced guidelines, as IMO Resolution MEPC 54(32), for the development of SOPEPs. This regulation also applies to offshore installations engaged in gas and oil production, seaports and oil terminals.

Environment Aspects / Causes of Pollution from Ships

The interface of ships with the marine and air environments can lead to their potential pollution in the following ways:
  1. Pollution by Oil (including Oily Bilge Water)
  2. Pollution by other Noxious substances & Packaged Harmful substances
  3. Pollution by Garbage
  4. Pollution by Sewage
  5. Air pollution from Engine
  6. Emission of Ozone-depleting substances
  7. Leaching from Anti-fouling of Hull paint
  8. Pollution by Ballast water (migration of invasive species)
  9. Any sighting of pollutant around or near the vessel should immediately be brought to the notice of ships master, who would initiate an emergency procedure to mitigate pollution as per SOPEP.




Read more on

Burning Of Diesel and Heavy Fuel Oil -Impacts on environment


Preventing environmental pollution more topics :

Oil spillage prevention procedure

Pollution by other harmful substances & harmful packaged goods

Pollution by garbage [ Marpol annex V ]

Pollution by sewage [ Marpol annex IV ]

Pollution of air [ Marpol annex VI ]

Prohibition on use of harmful (TBT) anti-fouling paints

Purpose of the Ballast Water Management System to protect marine environment

Prevention of pollution while carryiung out overboard maintenance

Environment friendly purchasing

Decommissioning / ship recycling

Environmental awareness

Use of bilge oily water separator



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