NATIONAL CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR MARINE POLLUTION FROM SHIPPING AND OFFSHORE INSTALLATIONS
INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE AND CO-OPERATION
B.1 The UK is party to several international agreements which provide for co-operation in dealing with major marine pollution incidents. This appendix provides a summary of them.
B.2 The OPRC Convention places obligations on States Parties concerning their preparedness for, and response to, oil pollution incidents. It also provides a framework for international co-operation for combating major oil pollution incidents.
B.3 The OPRC–HNS Protocol has been developed to expand the scope of OPRC 1990, to apply, in whole or in part, to pollution incidents by hazardous substances other than oil. Together with the OPRC Convention, the OPRC-HNS Protocol will provide a framework for international co-operation in establishing systems for preparedness and response at the national, regional and global levels. This Protocol is not yet in force in the UK.
The Bonn Agreement
B.4 The parties to the Bonn Agreement for Co-operation in dealing with Pollution of the North Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Substances 1983 are the States bordering the North Sea and English Channel (that is, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the UK), Ireland and the European Community.
B.5 The parties notify each other of any marine pollution or threat of marine pollution likely to pose a threat to the coast or related interests of another Party. They pledge to assist one another to the best of their ability, on request, and on a cost recovery basis.
Anglo-French Joint Maritime Contingency
B.6 Under the Bonn Agreement, the English Channel is a zone of joint responsibility between France and the UK. The Mancheplan covers counter pollution and search and rescue operations. It sets out the division of responsibility between the two parties. For incidents likely to affect both parties simultaneously, it outlines command and control procedures, channels of communication, and the resources available to each party.
B.7 Mancheplan designates the territorial waters of the Channel Islands as a special zone of responsibility. It contains procedures for the provision of assistance, as required, to the Channel Island Authorities.
The Norway-United Kingdom Joint Contingency
Plan (Norbrit Agreement)
B.8 Norway and the UK have developed the Norbrit Agreement for joint counter pollution operations in the zone extending 50 miles either side of the median line separating the UK and Norwegian continental shelf.
B.9 Like Mancheplan, the Norbrit Agreement sets out command and control procedures for pollution incidents likely to affect both parties, channels of communication and resources available. However, it does not cover search and rescue activities.
The UK/Ireland Agreement
B.10 Negotiations with the Government of the Republic of Ireland to produce a UK/Ireland joint contingency plan for counter pollution and search and rescue operations in the Irish Sea are nearly complete.
B.11 The purpose of the plan is to ensure fast and effective co-operation in the event of an incident in the Irish sea which may affect the interests of both or either country. Work to establish a simple median line for operational purposes continues.
The European Union
B.13 The Framework for Co-operation in the Field of Marine Pollution. The European Parliament and the Council established a Community framework for co-operation in the field of accidental or deliberate marine pollution through Decision No. 2850 of 20 December 2000. This framework is established for the period 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2006. The Commission, with the assistance of a Management Committee on Marine Pollution (MCMP) consisting of delegates from Member States, implements the programme. MCMP delegates are high level government experts with the role of exchanging views on response to oil pollution, expressing their opinion regarding actions to be taken and defining the current and future priorities. Implementing the programme includes the following activities:
B.14 The Community Mechanism to Facilitate Reinforced Co-operation in Civil Protection Assistance Interventions The Council Decision of 23 October 2001 established a Community Mechanism to facilitate reinforced co-operation in civil protection assistance interventions. This mechanism covers both civil protection and marine pollution and provides for the following:
Safety Agency (EMSA)
B.15 The European Maritime Safety Agency has been tasked with providing additional means to Member States to assist marine pollution response through Regulation 724/2004. Upon request by the affected Member State, these resources are available through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) of the Community Mechanism to Facilitate Reinforced Co-operation in Civil Protection Assistance Interventions
B.16 The Overseas Territories retain their connection with the UK because it is the express wish of their peoples that they do so. They have a substantial measure of responsibility for the conduct of their own affairs. Local self-government is generally provided by an Executive Council and elected legislature. The Overseas Territories consist of the following territories:
B.17 At the request of an Overseas Territory, the MCA’s CPR team may assist with advice on contingency planning and counter pollution activities.