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Marpol convention - Essay Example

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The Marpol convention refers to the international convention adopted in order to prevent marine pollution by ships either due to operational or accidental causes. …
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Marpol convention The Marpol convention refers to the international convention adopted in order to prevent marine pollution by ships either due to operational or accidental causes. There were two treaties that were adopted for this cause; one in 1973 and the other in 1978, followed by the Protocol of 1997 (Annex VI) (International Convention, n.d; Marpol 73/78, n.d). This international convention was administered by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) owing to the increasing number of marine accidents such as oil spills and other forms of pollution from ships in to the marine environment. The problem was only aggravated by the increasing industrialization and countries introduced national regulations to control oil spills and other forms of pollutants in to their marine waters. The OILPOL convention, which was organized by the United Kingdom in 1954, was initially introduced to address oil pollution caused b ships. It was later transferred to the IMO. However, this was followed by the biggest oil pollution incident that raised doubts about the effectiveness of the steps taken to prevent oil pollution. Thus a convention held in 1973, which was signed by the United States and several other countries, included regulations to guide the transport of oil tankers and other pollutants such as chemicals, packed harmful substances, sewage and garbage which were incorporated as Annexes. The 1978 convention, which took place after a series of tanker accidents, included measures for tanker safety and prevention of pollution. As the previous 1973 convention was not made effective the protocol of 1978 adopted the parent convention and the combined protocols were referred to as Marpol 73/78 (Marpol 73/78, n.d). The Marpol convention has 6 technical annexes which include regulations that provide guidelines for reducing marine pollution caused by ships either during their routine operations or due to accidents. The Annex I cover the regulations for preventing pollution due to oil spills which came into force in 1983. Amendments to this annex, which mandated the incorporation of double hulls in oil tankers, were introduced in 1992. The Annex II included regulations that controlled the discharge of about 250 noxious liquid substances in bulk after their evaluation. Discharge of such substances within 12 miles from the nearest land is strictly prohibited especially in the Baltic and Black sea regions. This annex came into force in 1983. Annex III, which entered into force in 1992, deals with the transportation of packaged harmful substances and issues requirements for packing, marking, labeling, documentation, storage and quantity limits. Annex IV came into effect in 2003 and deals with the control of sewage pollution in marine waters. Annex V, which has been effective since 1988, details the types of garbage’s, mode of their disposal and distance from land. The most prominent inclusion is the ban on the disposal of all forms of plastic into the sea. Annex VI is the latest addition which came into effect in 2005. It lists the regulations for controlling air pollution from ships which includes the emission of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from ship exhausts and it prohibits the release of ozone depleting substances into the atmosphere. The annexes have been updated over the years by the addition of several amendments as required (International Convention, n.d). It is necessary for the state parties to accept annexes I and II while the other annexes are voluntary (Marpol 73/78, n.d). Thus considering the extensive caused to the marine water and its inhabitants by oil and other pollutants carried by ships the main aim of the Marpol convention was to preserve the marine environment through efforts taken to ensure reduction in operational as well as accidental discharge of pollutants into the sea. With the increasing foreign trade over the years pollutions from shipping operations have also drastically increased. The pollutants have not only affected the marine world but those released into the atmosphere has also contributed to air pollution. Thus it has become impertinent that all the countries worldwide engaged in shipping activities implement strict control measures by which the release of the pollutants is reduced to the minimum. Reference 1. International Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL). (n.d). International Maritime Organization. Retrieved July 6, 2011, from http://www.imo.org/About/Conventions/ListOfConventions/Pages/International-Convention-for-the-Prevention-of-Pollution-from-Ships-(MARPOL).aspx 2. Marpol 73/78. (n.d). eDPA Safety Management Services. Retrieved July 6, 2011, from http://edpashipping.com/marpol.aspx Read More
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