2 Mandatory Provisions of
Regulation 37 of Annex I And Regulation 17 of Annex II to the Convention
2.1 This section provides individual guidelines
for each of the four mandatory provisions of regulation 37 of Annex I and regulation 17 of Annex II of the
37 of Annex I and regulation
17 of Annex II of the Convention provide that the Plan shall
consist at least of:
“(a) the procedure to be followed by the
master or other persons having charge of the ship to report an oil
or noxious liquid substance pollution incident, as required in article
8 and Protocol I of the present Conventionfootnote,
based on Guidelines developed by the Organizationfootnote;
(b) the list of authorities or persons to be contacted
in the event of an oil or noxious liquid substance pollution incident;
(c) a detailed description of the action to be
taken immediately by persons on board to reduce or control the discharge
of oil or noxious liquid substance following the incident; and
(d) the procedures and point of contact on the
ship for co-ordinating shipboard activities with national and local
authorities in combating oil or noxious liquid substance pollution."
2.3 The coastal State report: Article 8 and Protocol
I of the Convention require that the nearest coastal State be notified
of actual or probable discharges. The intent of this requirement is
to ensure that coastal States are informed without delay, of any incident
giving rise to pollution, or threat of pollution, of the marine environment,
as well as of assistance and salvage measures, so that appropriate
action may be taken.
2.3.1 When required: The Plan should provide clear,
concise guidance to enable the master to determine when a report to
the coastal State is required.
126.96.36.199 Actual discharge: A report to the nearest
coastal State is required whenever there is:
.1 a discharge above the permitted level of oil
or noxious liquid substance for whatever reason including those for
the purpose of securing the safety of the ship or saving life at sea;
.2 a discharge during the operation of the ship
of oil or noxious liquid substance in excess of the quantity or instantaneous
rate permitted under the present Conventionfootnote.
188.8.131.52 Probable discharge: The Plan should give
the master guidance to evaluate a situation which, though not involving
an actual discharge, would qualify as a probable discharge and thus
require a report. In judging whether there is such a probability and
whether the report should be made, the following factors, as a minimum,
should be taken into account:
.1 the nature of the damage, failure or breakdown
of the ship, machinery or equipment;
.2 ship location and proximity to land or other
.3 weather, tide, current and sea state; and
.4 traffic density.
184.108.40.206 It is impracticable to lay down precise
definitions of all types of situations involving probable discharge
which would warrant an obligation to report. As a general guideline,
the master should make a report in cases of:
.1 damage, failure or breakdown which affects
the safety of ships; examples of such situations are collision, grounding,
fire, explosion, structural failure, flooding, cargo shifting; and
.2 failure or breakdown of machinery or equipment
which results in impairment of the safety of navigation; examples
of such incidents are failure or breakdown of steering gear, propulsion,
electrical generating system, essential shipborne navigational aids.
2.3.2 Information required: The Plan must specify,
in appropriate detail, the procedure for making the initial report
to the coastal State. The Organization's Guidelines in resolution A.851(20) provide necessary detail for
the Plan writer. The Plan should include a prepared message form,
an example of which is included at appendix
II to these Guidelines. Coastal States are encouraged to take
note of table 1 of appendix II
and accept this as sufficient initial information. Supplementary or
follow-up reports should as far as possible use the same format.
2.4 List of persons to be contacted
2.4.1 The ship involved in an oil or noxious liquid
substance pollution incident will have to communicate with both coastal
State or port contacts and ship interest contacts.
2.4.2 When compiling contact lists, due account
must be taken of the need to provide 24-hour contact information and
to provide alternates to the designated contact. These details must
be routinely updated to take account of personnel changes and changes
in telephone, telex, and telefax numbers. Clear guidance should also
be provided regarding the preferred means of communication (telex,
telephone, telefax, etc.).
2.4.3 Coastal State contacts
220.127.116.11 In order to expedite response and minimize
damage from an oil or noxious liquid substance pollution incident,
it is essential that appropriate coastal States should be notified
without delay. This process is begun with the initial report required
by article 8 and Protocol I of the Convention. Guidelines for making
this report are provided in section 2.3.
18.104.22.168 The Plan should include as an appendix
the list of agencies or officials of administrations responsible for
receiving and processing reports as developed and updated by the Organization
in conformance with article 8 of the Convention. In the absence of
a listed focal point, or should any undue delay be experienced in
contacting the responsible authority by direct means, the master should
be advised to contact the nearest coastal radio station, designated
ship movement reporting station or rescue co-ordination centre (RCC)
by the quickest available means.
2.4.4 Port contacts
22.214.171.124 For ships in port, notification of local
agencies will speed response. The variety of trades in which ships
engage makes it impractical to specify in these Guidelines a definitive
approach to listing these agencies in the Plan. Information on regularly
visited ports should be included as an appendix to the Plan. Where
this is not feasible, the Plan should require the master to obtain
details concerning local reporting procedures upon arriving in port.
2.4.5 Ship interest contacts
126.96.36.199 The Plan should provide details of all
parties with an interest in the ship to be advised in the event of
an incident. This information should be provided in the form of a
contact list. When compiling such lists, it should be remembered that
in the event of a serious incident, ship's personnel will be fully
engaged in saving life and taking steps to control and minimize the
effects of the casualty. They should therefore not be hampered by
having onerous communications requirements imposed on them.
188.8.131.52 Procedures will vary between companies
but it is important that the Plan clearly specifies who will be responsible
for informing the various interested parties such as cargo owners,
insurers and salvage interests. It is also essential that both the
ship's Plan and its company's shoreside Plan are co-ordinated to guarantee
that all parties having an interest are advised and that duplication
of reports is avoided.
2.5 Steps to control discharge
2.5.1 Ship personnel will almost always be in
the best position to take quick action to mitigate or control the
discharge of oil or noxious liquid substance from their ship. The
Plan should provide the master with clear guidance on how to accomplish
this mitigation for a variety of situations. The Plan should not only
outline action to be taken, but it should also identify who on board
is responsible so that confusion during the emergency can be avoided.
2.5.2 This section of the Plan will vary widely
from ship to ship. Differences in ship type, construction, cargo,
equipment, manning, and even route may result in shifting emphasis
being placed on various aspects of this section. As a minimum, the
Plan should provide the master with guidance to address the following:
.1 Operational spills: The Plan should outline
the procedures for safe removal of oil or noxious liquid substance
spilled and contained on deck. This may be through the use of on-board
resources or by hiring a clean-up company. In either case the Plan
should provide guidance to ensure proper disposal of removed oil,
noxious liquid substances and clean-up materials.
.1.1 Pipe leakage: The Plan should provide specific
guidance for dealing with pipe leakage.
.1.2 Tank overflow: Procedures for dealing with
tank overflows should be included. Alternatives such as lowering cargo
or bunkers back to empty or slack tanks or readying pumps to transfer
the excess ashore should be outlined.
.1.3 Hull leakage: The Plan should provide guidance
for responding to spillage due to suspected hull leakage. This may
involve guidance on measures to be taken to reduce the head of cargo
in the tank involved either by internal transfer or discharge ashore.
Procedures to handle situations where it is not possible to identify
the specific tank from which leakage is occurring should also be provided.
Procedures for dealing with suspected hull fractures should be included
and they should carry appropriate cautions regarding attention to
the effect corrective actions may have on hull stress and stability.
.2 Spills resulting from casualties: Casualties
should be treated in the Plan as a separate section. The Plan should
include various checklists or other means which will ensure that the
master considers all appropriate factors when addressing the specific
casualtyfootnote. These checklists must be tailored
to the specific ship and to the specific product or product types.
Especially for the ships certified to carry NLSs, the checklists or
other means e.g., "Characteristics of Liquid Chemicals Proposed for
Marine Transport in Bulk" (Data Sheet), should identify physical properties,
special protective equipment or unusual response techniques in a format
consistent with the requirements of section 1.4.4 of these Guidelines.
Reference may be made to Data Sheet or similar documents that identify
characteristics of NLS. A copy of such document should be kept with
the plan, but need not be part of the approved plan. In addition to
the checklists, specific personnel assignments for anticipated tasks
must be identified. Reference to existing fire control plans and muster
lists is sufficient to identify personnel responsibilities. The following
are examples of casualties which should be considered:
.2.3 collision (with fixed or moving object);
.2.4 hull failure;
.2.5 excessive list;
.2.6 containment system failure;
.2.7 dangerous reactions of cargo (for ships certified
to carry NLSs);
.2.8 other hazardous cargo release (for ships
certified to carry NLSs);
.2.9 loss of tank environmental control (for ships
certified to carry NLSs);
.2.12 cargo contamination yielding a hazardous
condition (for ships certified to carry NLSs); and
.2.13 hazardous vapour release.
2.5.3 In addition to the checklists and personnel
duty assignments mentioned in paragraph 2.5.2, the Plan should provide
the master with guidance concerning priority actions, stability and
stress considerations, lightening and mitigating activities.
184.108.40.206 Priority actions: This section provides
some general considerations that apply to a wide range of casualties.
The Plan should provide ship-specific guidance to the master concerning
these broad topics.
.1 In responding to a casualty, the master's priority
will be to ensure the safety of personnel and the ship and to take
action to prevent escalation of the incident. In casualties involving
spills, immediate consideration should be given to measures aimed
at preventing fire, personnel exposure to toxic vapours, and explosion,
such as altering course so that the ship is upwind of the spilled
cargo, shutting down non-essential air intakes, etc. If the ship is
aground, and cannot therefore manoeuvre, all possible sources of ignition
should be eliminated and action should be taken to prevent toxic vapours
or flammable vapours entering accommodation and engine-room spaces.
When it is possible to manoeuvre, the master, in conjunction with
the appropriate shore authorities, may consider moving his ship to
a more suitable location in order, for example, to facilitate emergency
repair work or lightening operations, or to reduce the threat posed
to any particularly sensitive shoreline areas. Such manoeuvring may
be subject to coastal State jurisdiction (see paragraph 1.4.7).
.2 Prior to considering remedial action, the master
will need to obtain detailed information on the damage sustained by
his ship. A visual inspection should be carried out and all cargo
tanks, bunker tanks, and other compartments should be sounded. Due
regard should be paid to the indiscriminate opening of ullage plugs
or sighting ports, especially when the ship is aground, as loss of
buoyancy could result.
.3 Having assessed the damage sustained by the
ship, the master will be in a position to decide what action should
be taken to prevent or minimize further discharge. When bottom damage
is sustained, hydrostatic balance will be achieved (depending on physical
properties) fairly rapidly, especially if the damage is severe, in
which case the time available for preventive action will often be
limited. When significant side damage is sustained in the way of fuel/lubrication
and/or cargo tanks, bunkers or cargo will be released fairly rapidly
until hydrostatic balance is achieved and the rate of release will
then reduce and be governed by the rate at which bunkers or cargo
is displaced by water flowing in under the bunkers or cargo. When
the damage is fairly limited and restricted, for example, to one or
two compartments, consideration may be given to transferring the substance
involved internally from damaged to intact tanks. When considering
the transfer of oil or noxious liquid substances from a damaged tank
to an intact tank, the master should consider (see paragraph 1.4.7):
.3.1 the extent of the damage;
.3.2 hydrostatic balance;
.3.3 the ship's ability to transfer cargo; and
.3.4 the physical properties of the substance(s)
(for ships certified to carry NLSs) involved such as:
.3 water reactivity;
.4 solidification; and
220.127.116.11 Stability and strength considerations:
Great care in casualty response must be taken to consider stability
and strength when taking actions to mitigate the spillage of oil or
noxious liquid substance or to free the ship if aground. The Plan
should provide the master with detailed guidance to ensure that these
aspects are properly considered. Nothing in this section shall be
construed as creating a requirement for damage stability plans or
calculations beyond those required by relevant international conventions.
.1 Internal transfers should be undertaken only
with a full appreciation of the likely impact on the ship's overall
longitudinal strength and stability. When the damage sustained is
extensive, the impact of internal transfers on stress and stability
may be impossible for the ship to assess. Contact may have to be made
with the owner or operator or other entity in order that information
can be provided so that damage stability and damage longitudinal strength
assessments may be made. These could be made within the head office
technical departments. In other cases, classification societies or
independent organizations may need to be contacted. The Plan should
clearly indicate who the master should contact in order to gain access
to these facilities. Additionally, in the case of ships certified
to carry NLSs, consideration as to the compatibility of all substances
involved such as cargoes, bunkers, tanks, coatings, piping, etc.,
must also be considered before such an operation is undertaken.
.2 Where appropriate, the Plan should provide
a list of information required for making damage stability and damage
longitudinal strength assessments.
18.104.22.168 Lightening: Should the ship sustain extensive
structural damage, it may be necessary to transfer all or part of
the cargo to another ship. The Plan should provide guidance on procedures
to be followed for ship-to-ship transfer of cargo. Reference may be
made in the Plan to existing company guides. A copy of such company
procedures for ship-to-ship transfer operations should be kept with
the Plan. The Plan should address the need for co-ordinating this
activity with the coastal State, as such operation may be subject
to its jurisdiction.
22.214.171.124 Mitigating activities: When the safety
of both the ship and personnel has been addressed, the master can
initiate mitigating activities according to the guidance given by
the plan. The plan should address such aspects as:
.1 assessment and monitoring requirements;
.2 personnel protection issues:
.3 physical properties of the substance (for ships
certified to carry NLSs) involved such as:
.3 water reactivity;
.4 solidification; and
.4 containment and other response techniques (e.g.
dispersing, absorbing, neutralization);
.5 isolation procedures;
.6 decontamination of personnel; and
.7 disposal of removed oil, noxious liquid substances
and clean-up materials.
2.5.4 In order to have the necessary information
available to respond to the situations referred to in paragraph 2.5.2,
certain plans, drawings, and ship-specific details such as, a layout
of a general arrangement plan, a tank plan, etc., should be appended.
The Plan should show where current cargo, bunker and ballast information,
including quantities and specifications, are available.
2.6 National and local co-ordination: Quick, efficient
co-ordination between the ship and coastal State or other involved
parties becomes vital in mitigating the effects of an oil or noxious
liquid substances pollution incident. The Plan should address the
need to contact the coastal State for authorization prior to undertaking
mitigating actions (see paragraph 1.4.7).
2.6.1 The identities and roles of various national
and local authorities involved vary widely from State to State and
even from port to port. Approaches to responsibility for discharge
response also vary. Some coastal States have agencies that take charge
of response immediately and subsequently bill the owner for the cost.
In other coastal States, responsibility for initiating response is
placed on the shipowner. In the case of the latter the Plan will require
greater detail and guidance to assist the master in organizing this