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Summary of the "Protocol Concerning Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency" is available from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment.

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PROTOCOL CONCERNING REGIONAL CO-OPERATION IN COMBATING POLLUTION 
BY OIL AND OTHER HARMFUL SUBSTANCES IN CASES OF EMERGENCY

Kuwait, 24 April 1978

    The Contracting States

    Being parties to the Kuwait Regional Convention for Co-operation on the 
Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution (hereinafter referred to 
as "the Convention");

    Conscious of the particular urgency to realize the ever present potential 
emergencies which may result in substantial pollution by oil and other harmful 
substances and to provide co-operative and effective measures to deal with 
them;

    Being aware that existing measures for responding to pollution emergencies 
need to be enhanced on a national and regional basis to deal with this problem 
in a comprehensive manner for the benetit of the Region;

    Have agreed as follows:


Article I

    For the purposes of this Protocol:

l. "Appropriate Authority" means either the National Authority defined in 
Article I of the Convention, or the authority or authorities within the 
Government of a Contracting State, designated by the National Authority and 
responsible for:

a) combating and otherwise operationally responsible to marine emergencies;

b) receiving and co-ordinating information of particular marine emergencies;

c) co-ordinating available national capabilities, for dealing with marine 
emergencies in general within its own Government and with other Contracting 
States.

2. "Marine Emergency" means any casualty, incident, occurrence or situation, 
however caused, resulting in substantial pollution or imminent threat of 
substantial pollution to the marine environment by oil or other harmful 
substances and includes, inter alia, collisions, strandings and other 
incidents involving ships, including tankers blow-outs arising from petroleum 
drilling and production activities, and the presence of oil or other harmful 
substances arising from the failure of industrial installations;

3. "Marine Emergency Contingency Plan" means a plan or plans, prepared on a 
national, bilateral or multilateral basis, designed to co-ordinate the 
deployment, allocation and use of personnel material and equipment for the 
purpose of responding to marine emergencies;

4. "Marine Emergency Response" means any activity intended to prevent, 
mitigate or eliminate pollution by oil or other harmful substances or threat 
of such pollution resulting from marine emergencies;

5. "Related Interests" means the interests of a
 Contracting State directly or indirectly affected or threatened by a marine 
emergency, such as:

a) Maritime, coastal, port or estuary activities including fisheries 
activities, constituting an essential means of livelihood of the persons 
concerned;

b) historic and tourist attractions of the area concerned;

c) the health of the coastal population and the well-being of the area 
concerned, including conservation of living marine resources and of wildlife;

d) industrial activities which rely upon intake of water, including 
distillation plants, and industrial plants using circulation water;

6. "Convention" means the Kuwait Regional Convention for Co-operation on the 
Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution;

7. "Sea Area" means the area specified in paragraph (a) of Article II of the 
Convention;

8. "Council" means the organ of the Regional Organization for the Protection 
of the Marine Environment established under Article XVI of the Convention;

9. "Centre" means the Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre established under 
Article III, paragraph I of the present Protocol.


Article II

1. The Contracting States shall co-operate in taking the necessary and 
effective measures to protect the coastline and related interests of one or 
more of the States from the threat and effects of pollution due to the 
presence of oil or other harmful substances in the marine environment 
resulting from marine emergencies.

2. The Contracting States shall endeavour to maintain and promote, either 
individually or through bilateral or multilateral co-operation, their 
contingency plans and means for combating pollution in the Sea Area by oil and 
other harmful substances. These means shall include, in particular, available 
equipment, ships, aircraft and manpower prepared for operations in cases of 
emergency


Article III

1. The Contracting States hereby establish the Marine Emergency Mutual Aid 
Centre. 

2. The objectives of the Centre shall be:

a) to strengthen the capacities of the Contracting States and to facilitate 
co-operation among them in order to combat pollution by oil and other harmful 
substances in cases of marine emergencies;

b) to assist Contracting States, which so request, in the development of their 
own national capabilities to combat pollution by oil and other harmful 
substances and to co-ordinate and facilitate information exchange, 
technological co-operation and training.

c) a later objective, namely the possibility of initiating operations to 
combat pollution by oil and other harmful substances at the regional level, 
may be considered. This possibility should be submitted for approval by the 
Council after evaluating the results achieved in the fulfilment of the 
previous objectives and in the light of financial resources which could be 
made available for this purpose.

3. The functions of the Centre shall be:

a) to collect and disseminate to the Contracting States information concerning 
matters covered by this Protocol, including:

(i) laws, regulations and information concerning appropriate authorities of 
the Contracting States and marine emergency contingency plans referred to in 
Article V of this Protocol;

(ii) information concerning methods, techniques and research relating to 
marine emergency response referred to in Article II of this Protocol; and

(iii) list of experts, equipment and materials available for marine emergency 
responses by the Contracting States; 

b) to assist the Contracting States, as requested:

(i) in the preparation of laws and regulations concerning matters covered by 
this Protocol and in the establishment of appropriate authorities;

(ii) in the preparation of marine emergency contingency plans;

(iii) in the establishment of procedures under which personnel, equipment and 
materials involved in marine emergency responses may be expeditiously 
transported into, out of, and through their respective countries;

(iv) in the transmission of reports concerning marine emergencies; and

(v) in promoting and developing training programmes for combating pollution.

c) to co-ordinate training programmes for combating pollution and prepare 
comprehensive anti-pollution manuals;

d) to develop and maintain a communication/ information system appropriate to 
the needs of the Contracting States and the Centre for the prompt exchange of 
information concerning marine emergencies required by this Protocol;

e) to prepare inventories of the available personnel, material, vessels, 
aircraft, and other specialized equipment for marine emergency responses;

f) to establish and maintain liaison with competent regional and international 
organizations, particularly the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative 
Organization, for the purposes of obtaining and exchanging scientific and 
technological information and data, particularly in regard of any new 
innovation which may assist the Centre in the performance of its functions;

g) to prepare periodic reports on marine emergencies for submission to the 
Council; and

h) to perform any other functions assigned to it either by this Protocol or by 
the Council.

4. The Centre may fulfill additional functions necessary for initiating 
operations to combat pollution by oil and other harmful substances on a 
regional level, when authorized by the Council, in accordance with paragraph 2 
(c) above.


Article IV

1. The present Protocol shall apply to the Sea Area specified in paragraph (a) 
of Article II of the Convention.

2. For the purposes of dealing with a marine emergency, ports, harbours, 
estuaries, bays and lagoons may be treated as part of the Sea Area if the 
concerned Contracting State so decides.


Article V

    Each Contracting State shall provide the Centre and the other Contracting 
States with information concerning: 

a) its appropriate authority;

b) its laws, regulations, and other legal instruments relating generally to 
matters addressed in this Protocol, including those concerning the structure 
and operation of the authority referred to in paragraph (a) above;

c) its national marine emergency contingency plans .


Article VI

    Each Contracting State shall provide to other Contracting States and the 
Centre information concerning:

a) existing and new methods, techniques, materials, and procedures relating to 
marine emergency response;

b) existing and planned research and developments in the areas referred to in 
Paragraph (a) above; and

c) results of research and developments referred to in Paragraph (b) above.


Article VII

1. Each Contracting State shall direct its appropriate officials to require 
masters of ships pilots of aircraft and persons in charge of offshore 
platforms and other similar structures operating in the marine environment and 
under its jurisdiction to report the existence of any marine emergency in the 
Sea Area to the appropriate national authority and to the Centre.

2. Any Contracting State receiving a report pursuant to paragraph I above 
shall promptly inform the following of the marine emergency;

a) the Centre;

b) all other Contracting States;

c) the flag State of any foreign ship involved in the marine emergency 
concerned.

3. The content of the reports, including supplementary reports where 
appropriate, referred to in paragraph 1 above should conform to Appendix A of 
this Protocol.

4. Any Contracting State which submits a report pursuant to paragraph 2 (a) 
and (b) above, shall be exempted from the obligations specified in paragraph 
(b) of Article IX of the Convention.



Article VIII

    The Centre shall promptly transmit information and reports which it 
receives from a Contracting State pursuant to Article V, VI and paragraph 2 of 
Article VII of this Protocol to all other Contracting States.


Article IX

    Any Contracting State which transmits information pursuant to this 
Protocol may specifically restrict its dissemination. In such a case, any 
Contracting State or the Centre to whom this information has been transmitted 
shall not divulge it to any other person, government, or to any public or 
private organization without the specific authorization of the former 
Contracting State.


Article X

    Any Contracting State faced with a marine emergency situation as defined 
in Paragraph 2 of Article I of this Protocol shall:

a) take every appropriate measure to combat pollution and/or to rectify the 
situation;

b) immediately inform all other Contracting States, either directly or through 
the Centre, or any action which it has taken or intends to take to combat the 
pollution. The Centre shall promptly transmit any such information to all 
other Contracting-States;

c) make assessment of the nature and extent of the marine emergency, either 
directly or with the asslstance of the Centre;

d) determine the necessary and appropriate action to be taken with respect to 
the marine emergency, in consultation, where appropriate, with other 
Contracting States, affected States and the Centre.


Article XI

1. Any Contracting State requiring assistance in a marine emergency response 
may call for assistance directly from any other Contracting State or through 
the Centre. Where the services of the Centre are utilized, the Centre shall 
promptly transmit requests received to all other Contracting States. The 
Contracting States to whom a request is made pursuant to this paragraph shall 
use their best endeavours within their capabilities to render the assistance 
requested.

2. The assistance referred to in paragraph 1 above may include:

a) personnel, material, and equipment, including facilities or methods for the 
disposal of recovered pollutant;

b) surveillance and monitoring capacity;

c) facilitation of the transfer of personnel, material, and equipment into, 
out of, and through the territories of the Contracting States.

3. The services of the Centre may be utilized by the Contracting States to co-
ordinate any marine emergency response in which assistance is called for 
pursuant to paragraph 1 above.

4. Any Contracting State calling for assistance pursuant to paragraph 1 above 
shall report the activities undertaken with this assistance and its results to 
the Centre. The Centre shall promptly transmit any such report to all other 
Contracting States.

5. In cases of special emergencies, the Centre may call for the mobilization 
of resources made available by the Contracting States to combat pollution by 
oil and other harmful substances.


Article XII

1. Having due regard to the functions assigned to the Centre under this 
Protocol, each Contracting State shall establish and maintain an appropriate 
authority to carry out fully its obligations under this Protocol. With the 
assistance of the Centre, where appropriate, the appropriate authority of each 
Contracting State shall co-operate and co-ordinate its activities with 
counterparts in the other Contracting States.

2. Among other matters with respect to which cooperation and co-ordination 
efforts shall be directed under paragraph 1 above are the following:

a) distribution and allocation of stocks of material and equipment;

b) training of personnel for marine emergency response;

c) marine pollution surveillance and monitoring activities;

d) methods of communication in respect of marine emergencies;

e) facilitation of the transfer of personnel equipment and materials involved 
in marine emergency responses into, out of, and through the territories of the 
Contracting States; 

f) other matters to which this Protocol applies.


Article XIII

    The Council shall:

a) review periodically the activities of the Centre performed under this 
Protocol;

b) decide on the degree to which, and stages by which, the functions of the 
Centre set out in Article III will be implemented; and

c) determine the financial, administrative and other support to be provided by 
the Contracting States to the Centre for the performance of its functions .

    In witness whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being duly 
authorized by their respective Governments, have signed thls Protocol:

    Done at Kuwait this twenty-fourth day of April, in the year one thousand 
nine hundred and seventy-eight in the Arabic, English and Persian languages, 
the three texts being equally authentic. In case of a dispute as to the 
interpretation or application of this Protocol, the English text shall be 
dispositively authoritative.



APPENDIX A

GUIDELINES FOR THE REPORT TO BE MADE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE VII OF THE PROTOCOL

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

a) the identification of the source of pollution (e.g. identity of the ship), 
where appropriate;

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

c) the marine meteorological conditions prevailing in the area;

d) where the pollution originates from a ship, relevant details respecting the 
conditions of the ship.

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

a) a clear indication or description of the harmful substances involved, 
including the correct technical names of such substances (trade names should 
not be used in place of the correct technical names);

b) a statement or estimate of the quantities, concentrations and likely 
conditions of harmful substances discharged or likely to be discharged into 
the sea;

c) where relevant, a description of the packaging and identifying marks; and

d) the name of the consignor, consignee or producer.

3. Each report shall clearly indicate, whenever possible, whether the harmful 
substance discharged or likely to be discharged is oil or a noxious liquid, 
solid or gaseous substance, and whether such substance was or is carried in 
bulk or contained packaged form, freight containers, portable tanks, or 
submarine pipelines.

4. 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.

5. Any of the persons referred to in Article VII paragraph 1 of this Protocol 
shall:

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.