OBJECTIVES OF OPRC CONVENTION
- To prevent marine pollution incidents by oil.
- Provide immediate response in the event of an oil pollution incident.
- To provide material assistance and cooperation between the states to achieve those aims.
SCOPE OF OPRC CONVENTION
This convention is applicable to:
- A ship of any kind operating in the marine environment.
- Fixed or floating offshore installations or structures engaged in exploitation of oil or gas. Loading/unloading production activities.
- Sea ports or any other oil handling facilities which presents a risk of oil pollution.
- OPRC Convention is not applicable to war ships, a state owned/operated ship and ship always engaged in non-commercial government service.
- A ship has to report any incident of oil pollution to the coastal authorities, the convention lists down the actions to be taken.
- All ships (Oil tankers of >150 GT and all other ships of >400 GT) must carry SOPEP (Shipboard Oil Pollution Prevention Plan). All offshore installations operating within jurisdiction of parties are also required to carry an Oil pollution emergency plan.
- Convention calls for the establishment of stock piles of the oil pollution combating equipment holding oil pollution combating exercises and development of detailed plans for dealing with oil pollution incidents.
- Parties to the convention are required to provide assistance to other parties whenever required in case of oil pollution.
- Provisions are there to reimburse the cost of any assistance provided.
It is the protocol on preparedness, response and cooperation to pollution incidents by Hazardous Noxious Substances.
The principle of this protocol is same as that of OPRC Convention, only difference is that it is applicable for Hazardous Noxious Substances instead of oil.
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Note: This article is to help candidates for the Chief mates maritime law examination purpose.
Reference: Various notes on Maritime Law and International Maritime Organisation website