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MARPOL 73 / 78

At the international level, the issue of prevention of pollution from ships was considered for the first time in 1926 in Washington at the conference of representatives of 13 states. The United States at this conference proposed to introduce a total ban on oil discharges from ships and warships.

It was decided to establish a system of coastal zones in which the discharge of oil mixtures with an oil content exceeding 0,05% would be prohibited. The determination of the width of such zones was left to the discretion of the states, but it should not exceed 50 miles. The installation of separators was encouraged to avoid the discharge of ballast water on board ships. The flag state should have required ships to comply with established exclusion zones. A preliminary draft of the Convention was created, which was never adopted.

The Council of the League of Nations in 1936 decided to convene an international conference to consider the project, but further events in the world made the convening of the conference impossible.

After the Second World War, the question was raised again at the United Nations. Many States emphasized the need to take measures to prevent pollution at the international level. In 1954 year on the initiative of the United Kingdom in London International Conference was convened, which adopted International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by oil OYLPOL-54. It was the first international agreement on the prevention of marine pollution from ships entered into force on July 26 1958 years.

Convention 1954 years trying to solve the problem in two ways: 

1. Establish "exclusion zones" length, usually, 50 miles from the coast, which prohibits the discharge of oil and oil mixture in the ratio of 100 or more parts oil to 1 million parts of the mixture (100 mg / l).;

2. Equipment for each major port reception facilities that can accept from using the courts port non-tankers remaining on board oil slops from oil-contaminated ballast or washing water from tanks provided that such water has passed the separation process using the oil separator, a settling tank or other means.

The Conference provided for the convening of a new conference for the adoption of additional measures, three years after its entry into force. Thus, in the year 1962 IMCO convened an international conference in which the first amendment to the Convention were adopted 1954 years.

The 1962 amendments increased the size of the “exclusion zones to 100 and 150 miles, and also included in the scope of the Convention tankers with a gross tonnage of more than 150 tons (previously the action extended to tankers with a capacity of 500 tons and more).

In 1969, the Convention was substantially amended to regulate the discharge of ballast water from a tanker under the following conditions:

  1. Their total number in the ballast voyage must not exceed 1 / 15000 of the total tonnage of the tanker.
  2. The instantaneous drop rate should not exceed 60 liters per mile.
  3. A reset cannot be made any closer than 50 miles offshore. 

The convention OYLPOL-54 amended and additions. However, it was recognized by the low efficiency of this international agreement on the prevention of marine pollution by oil in the rapidly developing transport oil.

The need for global protection of the world's oceans from pollution became apparent already in 1973. International Maritime Organization - IMO took International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73)

After the adoption MARPOL-73 convention OYLPOL-54 ceased to act.

By the year 1978 participants MARPOL-73 only three states became. By this time, as a result of tanker accidents, new requirements had already been formulated, which had to be included in MARPOL-73. In February 1978, the International Conference on Tanker Safety and Marine Pollution Prevention was held in London, in which 62 countries took part. As a result of the work of the Conference, on February 17, two protocols were adopted, one of which was the 1978 protocol to International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973 (Minutes of MARPOL-78).

MARPOL Protocol-78 has become relative to MARPOL-73 completely self-contained and included all the provisions of the MARPOL-73 (Art. I of the Protocol).

1978 Protocol entered into force in October 2 1983 city and its participants are now more than 90 States, the gross tonnage which is about 90% of the gross tonnage of the world merchant fleet. 

1973 convention, as modified by the Protocol of 1978, now known as International Convention for the Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Ships (MARPOL-73/78).

Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73 / 78) consists of the Convention and its Protocols, which reinforce the general provisions on the obligations of participants on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by specific pollutants: oil, noxious chemicals in bulk, substances carried in packaged form, sewage, garbage and air pollution from ships.

The Convention contains general definitions of such concepts as ship, hazardous substance, discharge and others, supplemented in each of the Annexes. Vessels as defined by this Convention are all vessels, including hovercraft and hydrofoils, submarines, fixed and floating platforms.

Warships and government non-commercial vessels are excluded from the scope of the Convention, but Parties should ensure that they also act in accordance with the Convention wherever possible. The Convention provides that any violation of it, including the Annexes, is prohibited, regardless of the place of its commission, and for such a violation in the legislation of each state party to the Convention, under the flag of which the ship sails, penalties should be established.

The Convention MARPOL-73 / 78 It includes measures to reduce and prevent pollution by harmful substances, which are transported on vessels or formed in the course of their operation.

Regulations covering the various sources of pollution from ships today are contained in the six Annexes to the MARPOL-73 / 78.

  • Annex I Regulations for the prevention of oil pollution. It entered into force of 02.10.83
  • Annex II Regulations for the prevention of pollution by noxious liquid substances in bulk. It entered into force of 06.04.87
  • Annex III Regulations for the prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged, freight containers, portable tanks, road tanks. It entered into force of 01.07.92
  • Annex IV Regulations for the prevention of pollution by sewage from ships. Entered into force on 01.08.05, on the basis of Resolution MEPC 115 (51) was adopted 22.04.04
  • Annex V Regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships. It entered into force of 31.12.89
  • Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships. It entered into force on 01.01.05g.

Currently, MARPOL-73 / 78 Convention consists of three books.

  • Book I reproduces the modern text of articles, protocols and five annexes of the Convention.
  • Book II contains the interpretation of the provisions of MARPOL 73/78, as well as the implementation of its annexes in order to ensure uniformity of actions in international maritime and legal practice.
  • Book III there is given Annex VI and the Technical Code of control of nitrogen oxide emissions during operation of marine engines.