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Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the
Mediterranean Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases
of Emergency

Done at Barcelona 2 February 1976

The Contracting Parties to the present Protocol,

BEING Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the
Mediterranean Sea against Pollution,

RECOGNIZING that grave pollution of the sea by oil and other
harmful substances in the Mediterranean Sea Area involves a
danger for the coastal States and the marine eco-system,

CONSIDERING that the co-operation of all the coastal States of
the Mediterranean is called for to combat this pollution,

BEARING IN MIND the International Convention for the Prevention
of Pollution from Ships, 1973, the International Convention
relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil
Pollution Casualties, 1969, as well as the Protocol relating to
Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Marine Pollution by
Substances Other than Oil 1973,

FURTHER taking into account the International Convention on
Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969 --

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Contracting Parties to this Protocol (hereinafter referred
to as "the Parties") shall co-operate in taking the necessary
measures in cases of grave and imminent danger to the marine
environment, the coast or related interests of one or more of
the Parties due to the presence of massive quantities of oil or
other harmful substances resulting from accidental causes or an
accumulation of small discharges which are polluting or
threatening to pollute the sea within the area defined in
Article I of the Convention for the Protection of the
Mediterranean Sea against Pollution, (hereinafter referred to as
"the Convention").

Article 2

For the purpose of this Protocol, the term "related interests"
means the interests of a coastal State directly affected or
threatened and concerning, among others:

(a) activities in coastal waters, in ports or estuaries,
including fishing activities;

(b) the historical and tourist appeal to the area in question,
including water sports and recreation;

(c) the health of the coastal population;

(d) the preservation of living resources.

Article 3

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

Article 4

The Parties shall develop and apply, either individually or
through bilateral or multilateral cooperation, monitoring
activities covering the Mediterranean Sea Area in order to have
as precise information as possible on the situations referred to
in article I of this Protocol.

Article 5

In case of release or loss overboard of harmful substances in
packages, freight containers, portable tanks or road and rail
tank wagons, the Parties shall co-operate as far as practicable
in the salvage and recovery of such substances so as to reduce
the danger of pollution of the marine environment.

Article 6

1. Each Party undertakes to disseminate to the other Parties
information concerning:

(a) The competent national organization or authorities
responsible for combating pollution of the sea by oil and other
harmful substances;

(b) The competent national authorities responsible for receiving
reports of pollution of the sea by oil and other harmful
substances and for dealing with matters concerning measures of
assistance between Parties;

(c) New ways in which pollution of the sea by oil and other
harmful substances may be avoided, new measures of combating
pollution and the development of related research programmes.

2. Parties which have agreed to exchange information directly
between themselves shall nevertheless communicate such
information to the regional centre. The latter shall communicate
this information to the other Parties and, on a basis of
reciprocity, to coastal States of the Mediterranean Sea Area
which are not Parties to this Protocol.

Article 7

The Parties undertake to co-ordinate the utilization of the
means of communication at their disposal in order to ensure,
with the necessary speed and reliability, the reception,
transmission and dissemination of all reports and urgent
information which relate to the occurrences and situations
referred to in article I. The regional centre shall have the
necessary means of communication to enable it to participate in
this co-ordinated effort and, in particular, to fulfill the
functions assigned to it by paragraph 2 of article 10.

Article 8

1. Each Party shall issue instructions to the masters of ships
flying its flag and to the pilots of aircraft registered in its
territory requiring them to report by the most rapid and
adequate channels in the circumstances, and in accordance with
Annex I to this Protocol, either to a Party or to the regional

(a) All accidents causing or likely to cause pollution of the
sea by oil or other harmful substances;

(b) The presence, characteristics and extent of spillages, of
oil or other harmful substances observed at sea which are likely
to present a serious and imminent threat to the marine
environment or to the coast or related interests of one or more
of the Parties.

2. The information collected in accordance with paragraph 1
shall be communicated to the other Parties likely to be affected
by the pollution;

(a) by the Party which has received the information, either
directly or preferably, through the regional centre; or

(b) by the regional centre.

In case of direct communication between Parties, the regional
centre shall be informed of the measures.

3. In consequence of the application of the provisions of
paragraph 2, the Parties are not bound by the obligation laid
down in article 9, paragraph 2, of the Convention.

Article 9

1. Any Party faced with a situation of the kind defined in
article 1 of this Protocol shall:

(a) Make the necessary assessments of the nature and extent of
the casualty or emergency or, as the case may be, of the type
and approximate quantity of oil or other harmful substances and
the direction and speed of drift of the spillage;

(b) Take every practicable measure to avoid or reduce the
effects of pollution:

(c) Immediately inform all other Parties, either directly or
through the regional centre, of these assessments and of any
action which it has taken or which it intends to take to combat
the pollution;

(d) Continue to observe the situation for as long as possible
and report thereon in accordance with article 8.

2. Where action is taken to combat pollution originating from a
ship, all possible measures shall be taken to safeguard the
persons present on board and, to the extent possible, the ship
itself. Any Party which takes such action shall inform the
Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization.

Article 10

1. Any Party requiring assistance for combating pollution by oil
or other harmful substances polluting or threatening to pollute
its coasts may call for assistance from other Parties, either
directly or through the regional centre referred to in article
6, starting with the Parties which appear likely to be affected
by the pollution. This assistance may comprise, in particular,
expert advice and the supply to or placing at the disposal of
the Party concerned of products, equipment and national
facilities. Parties so requested shall use their best endeavours
to render this assistance.

2. Where the Parties engaged in an operation to combat pollution
cannot agree on the organization of the operation, the regional
centre may, with their approval, co-ordinate the activity of the
facilities put into operation by these Parties.

Article 11

The application of the relevant provisions of articles 6, 7, 8,
9 and 10 of this Protocol relating to the regional centre shall
be extended, as appropriate, to sub-regional centres in the
event of their establishment, taking into account their
objectives and functions and their relationship with the said
regional centre.

Article 12

1. Ordinary meetings of the Parties to this Protocol shall be
held in conjunction with ordinary meetings of the Contracting
Parties to the Convention, held pursuant to article 14 of the
Convention. The Parties to this Protocol may also hold
extraordinary meetings as provided in article 14 of the
Convention .

2. It shall be the function of the meetings of the Parties to
this Protocol, in particular:

(a) To keep under review the implementation of this Protocol,
and to consider the efficacy of the measures adopted and the
need for any other measures, in particular in the form of

(b) To review and amend as required any Annex to this Protocol;

(c) To discharge such other functions as may be appropriate for
implementation of this Protocol.

Article 13

1. The provisions of the Convention relating to any Protocol
shall apply with respect to the present Protocol.

2. The rules of procedure and the financial rules adopted
pursuant to article 18 of the Convention shall apply with
respect to this Protocol, unless the Parties to this Protocol
agree otherwise.

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

Done at Barcelona on 16 February 1976 in a single copy in the
Arabic, English, French and Spanish languages, the four texts
being equally authoritative.

Annex I


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

(a) The identification of the source of pollution (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 wind and sea 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 manufacturer.

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 in
packaged form, freight containers, portable tanks, or road and a
rail tank wagons.

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 8 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.