Intervention Convention – Short Notes

Intervention Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969 was adopted on 29 November 1969 and came into force on 6 May 1975.

  • The need for such a convention was felt after the Torrey Canyon Disaster of 1967.

  • This convention affirms the rights of the coastal state to take such measures on the high seas as may be necessary to avoid, mitigate or eliminate any danger to its coast line from pollution by oil or any other threat following a maritime casualty.

Maritime CasualtyMaritime Casualty means collision of a ship, stranding or other incident of navigation or any other occurrence on board or external to it causing a material damage or imminent threat of material damage of the ship or cargo.


  • This convention applies to all sea going vessels except warships or vessel owned/operated by the state and used for government non-commercial service.

Prior exercising its right to take action “necessary to prevent, mitigate or eliminate the grave/imminent danger to its coastline by oil pollution or any threat“, or to save the state’s related interest, a coastal state is obliged to:

  1. Use its best endeavours to avoid any risk to the human life and provide required assistance to those in distress.

  2. Consult other affected states, including flag states, shipowners, cargo owners and IMO experts.

  3. Notify all interested states.

  4. Liabilities to pay compensation for any damage caused by the measures taken beyond those permitted under the convention.

Related InterestFor the purpose of this convention, it means the interest of the coastal state directly affected or threatened by a maritime casualty. For instance;

 

  1. Maritime coasts, ports, extreme activities including fisheries activities constituting an essential part of the livelihood of the concerned person.

  2. Tourist attraction of the area concerned.

  3. Health of the coastal population as the well being of the area concerned.

 

Reference: Various notes on Intervention Convention & IMO website.

Note: This article is intended to help candidates for the Chief mates maritime law examination purpose.

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