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Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators (ENTRI) -- Full Text File

Summary of the "Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Marine Pollution in cases of Emergency in the Eastern African Region" is available from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment.

See the ENTRI query system for information about the status of this treaty.

See the ENTRI thematic guide for more information about the relationships between environmental treaties, national resource indicators, and remotely sensed data.
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Nairobi, 21 June 1985

    The Contracting Parties to the present Protocol,

    Being Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection, Management 
and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African 
region, done at Nairobi on 21 June 1985,

    Conscious that the use of the Eastern African region and adjacent areas 
for vessel traffic, oil production and refining activities poses the risk of 
major spillages of oil and other harmful substances and the subsequent serious 
threat to the marine and coastal environment and related interests of the 
States of the region,

    Noting the International Maritime Organization's Assembly Resolution 
A.448(XI) which recognizes that regional anti-pollution arrangements are a 
valuable and economical way of supplementing national arrangements for the 
effective combating of major spillages of oil and other harmful substances in 
cases of emergency,

    Recognizing that in the event of major spillages of oil and other harmful 
substances or threat thereof, prompt and effective action should be taken, 
initially at the local level, to mitigate the effects or eliminate the threat,

    Further recognizing that for major spillages mutual assistance, and in 
some cases, assistance from the international community at large will be 
required, and that such assistance should be organized in advance so as to be 
timely and effective.

    Aware of existing agreements and arrangements which have already been 
concluded in other regions for co-operation in dealing with spillages of oil 
and other harmful substances,

    Have agreed as follows:

Article 1


    For the purposes of this Protocol,

(a) "Eastern African region" means the Convention area as defined in paragraph 
(a) of article 2 of the Convention. It shall also include the coastal areas of 
the Contracting Parties and their internal waters related to the marine and 
coastal environment;

(b) "Convention" means the Convention for the Protection, Management and 
Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African 

(c) "Organization" means the body referred to in paragraph (c) of article 2 of 
the Convention;

(d) "marine pollution incident" means a discharge or spillage of oil or other 
harmful substance into the marine environment, or a significant threat of such 
a discharge or spillage, however caused, of a magnitude that requires 
emergency action or other immediate response for the purpose of minimizing its 
effects or eliminating the threat;

(e) "oil" means petroleum in any form including crude oil, fuel oil, sludge, 
oil refuse and refined products;

(f) "harmful substance" means any substance other than oil which, if 
introduced into the sea, creates hazards to human health, harms living 
resources and marine life, damages amenities or interferes with other 
legitimate uses of the sea;

(g) "related interests" means the interests of a Contracting Party directly 
affected or threatened by oil or other harmful substances and concerning, 
among others:

   (i) the health of the coastal population,

   (ii) maritime, coastal, port or estuarine activities

   (iii) fishing activities and the conservation of natural resources,

   (iv) the historical and tourist appeal of the area in question, including 
water sports and recreation.

Article 2


    This Protocol applies to marine pollution incidents which have resulted in 
or which pose a significant threat of, pollution to the marine and coastal 
environment of the Eastern African region or which adversely affect the 
related interests of one or more of the Contracting Parties.

Article 3


1. The Contracting Parties shall, within their capabilities, co-operate in 
taking all necessary measures, both preventive and remedial, for the 
protection of the marine and coastal environment of the Eastern African region 
from marine pollution incidents .

2. The Contracting Parties shall, within their capabilities, establish and 
maintain the means of responding to marine pollution incidents and shall 
endeavour to reduce the risk thereof. Such means shall include the enactment, 
as necessary, of relevant legislation, the preparation of contingency plans, 
the identification and development of the capability to respond to marine 
pollution incidents and the designation of a national authority with overall 
responsibility for the implementation of this Protocol.

Article 4


    Each Contracting Party shall periodically exchange with the other 
Contracting Parties up-to-date information relating to the implementation of 
this Protocol, including the identity of the authorities responsible for such 
implementation, and information on their laws, regulations, institutions and 
operational procedures relating to the prevention of a marine pollution 
incident and to the means of reducing and combating the harmful effects of 
such incidents.

Article 5


1. Each Contracting Party shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure 
that information regarding marine pollution incidents is reported as rapidly 
as possible, and shall, inter alia,

(a) require its appropriate officials, masters of ships flying its flag and 
persons in charge of offshore facilities operating under its jurisdiction to 
report to it any marine pollution incident involving their ships or 

(b) request masters of all ships and pilots of all aircraft operating in the 
vicinity of its coasts to report to it any marine pollution incident of which 
they are aware .

2. Guidelines to be followed in preparing this report to be made pursuant to 
paragraph 1 are given in the annex to this Protocol.

3. In the event of receiving a report regarding a marine pollution incident, a 
Contracting Party shall immediately notify all other Contracting Parties whose 
interests are likely to be affected by such an incident, as well as the flag 
State of any ship involved in it. The Contracting Party shall also inform the 
Organization and the competent international organizations. Furthermore. as 
soon as feasible, it shall inform such Contracting Parties, the Organization 
and competent international organizations of measures it has taken to minimize 
or reduce marine pollution or the threat thereof.

Article 6


1. Each Contracting Party shall render assistance, within its available 
capabilities, to other Contracting Parties which request assistance of it in 
the event of a marine pollution incident, as appropriate, within the framework 
of joint response action agreed between or among the requesting and assisting 
Contracting Parties and taking into account, in the event of a marine 
pollution incident involving harmful substances other than oil, the available 

2. Each Contracting Party shall, subject to its laws and regulations, 
facilitate the movement into, through and out of its territory of technical 
personnel, equipment and material necessary for responding to a marine 
pollution incident.

Article 7


    Each Contracting Party shall, within its capabilities, take all necessary 
steps, including those outlined below, to respond to a marine pollution 

(a) make a preliminary assessment of the incident, including the type and 
extent of existing or likely pollution effects,

(b) promptly communicate notification of the incident pursuant to article 5,

(c) promptly determine its ability to take effective measures to respond to 
the incident and the assistance that might be required,

(d) consult, as appropriate, with other Contracting Parties concerned in the 
process of determining the necessary response to the incident,

(e) take the measures necessary to prevent, reduce or eliminate the effects of 
the incident, including monitoring of the situation.

Article 8


1. With a view to facilitating the implementation of the provisions of this 
Protocol, and in particular articles 6 and 7, the Contracting Parties shall 
conclude appropriate bilateral or multilateral subregional arrangements.

2. Contracting Parties to this Protocol which enter into such subregional 
arrangements shall notify the other Contracting Parties, as well as the 
Organization, of the conclusion and the content of the arrangements.

Article 9


    The Contracting Parties designate the Organization to carry out, in co-
operation with the International Maritime Organization, the following 

(a) assisting Contracting Parties, upon request, in the following areas:

  (i) the preparation, periodic review and updating of the contingency plans 
referred to in paragraph 2 of article 3, with a view, inter alia, to promoting 
the compatibility of the plans of the Contracting Parties, and

  (ii) publicizing training courses, programmes and material.

(b) assisting the Contracting Parties, upon request, on a regional basis, in 
the following areas:

  (i) the co-ordination of regional emergency response activities, and

  (ii) the provision of a forum for discussion of such activities and related 

(c) establishing and maintaining liaison with:

  (i) competent regional and international organizations, and

  (ii) appropriate entities conducting activities in the Eastern African 
region including major oil producers, refiners, clean-up contractors and 
cooperatives for marine pollution incidents, and transporters of oil and other 
harmful substances.

(d) maintaining a current inventory of equipment, materials and expertise 
readily available in the Eastern African region to deal with a marine 
pollution incident;

(e) disseminating information on the prevention and combating of marine 
pollution incidents;

(f) identifying or maintaining means for marine emergency response 

(g) encouraging research by the Contracting Parties, competent international 
organizations and appropriate entities on marine pollution-related matters, 
including the environmental impacts of spillages of oil and other harmful 
substances and materials and techniques used for combating such spillages;

(h) assisting the Contracting Parties in the exchange of information pursuant 
to article 4; and

(i) preparing reports and carrying out other duties assigned to it by the 
Contracting Parties.

Article 10


1. Ordinary meetings of the Contracting Parties to this Protocol shall be held 
in conjunction with ordinary meetings of the Contracting Parties to the 
Convention held pursuant to article 17 of the Convention. The Contracting 
Parties to this Protocol may hold extraordinary meetings as provided for in 
article 17 of the Convention.

2. It shall be the function of the meetings of the Contracting Parties:

(a) to review the operation of this Protocol and to consider special technical 
arrangements and other measures to improve its effectiveness; and

(b) to consider measures to improve co-operation under this Protocol 
including, in accordance with article l9 of the Convention, possible 
amendments to this Protocol.

Article 11


1. The provisions of the Convention relating to its protocols shall apply to 
this Protocol.

2. The rules of procedure and the financial rules adopted pursuant to article 
21 of the Convention shall apply to this Protocol, unless the Contracting 
Parties to this Protocol agree otherwise.

    In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized by their 
respective Governments, have signed this Protocol.

    Done at Nairobi this twenty-first day of June one thousand nine hundred 
and eighty-five in a single copy in the English and French languages, the two 
texts being equally authentic.



1. Each report shall, as far as possible, contain:

(a) the identification of the source of pollution (e.g. identity of the ship, 
fixed or floating platform or any other structure), where appropriate;

(b) the geographic position, time and date of the observation or of the 
occurrence of the incident; and

(c) the marine meteorological conditions prevailing in the sea.

2. Each report shall contain, whenever possible, in particular,

(a) a clear indication or description of oil or other harmful substances 
involved; and

(b) a statement or estimate of the quantities, concentrations, nature (oil or 
a noxious liquid, solid or gaseous substance) and likely conditions of oil or 
other harmful substances discharged or likely to be discharged into the sea.

3. Each report shall be supplemented, as necessary, by any relevant 
information requested by a recipient of the report or deemed appropriate by 
the person sending the report.

4. Any of the persons referred to in article 5 paragraph 1. of this Protocol 

(a) supplement as far as possible the initial report, as necessary, with 
information concerning further developments; and

(b) comply as fully as possible with requests from affected States for 
additional information.