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

Summary of the "Agreement on Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the South-East Pacific by Hydrocarbons or 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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Lima, 12 November 1981

The High Contracting Parties,

Recognizing that pollution of the sea by hydrocarbons or other 
harmful substances in the South-East Pacific constitutes a danger 
to the coastal States and the marine ecosystem,

Considering that the co-operation of all coastal States is 
necessary in order to combat such pollution,

Have agreed on the following:

Article I

The High Contracting Parties hereby agree to cooperate in taking 
the necessary measures to neutralize or control harmful effects in 
cases which they consider constitute a serious and imminent danger 
to the marine environment, the coast or related interests of one 
or more of them caused by the presence of massive quantities of 
hydrocarbons or other harmful substances resulting from emergency 
situations and polluting or threatening to pollute the maritime 
area specified in the following article.

Article II

The sphere of application of this Agreement shall be the area of 
the South-East Pacific within the 200-mile maritime area of 
sovereignty and jurisdiction of the High Contracting Parties and, 
beyond that area, in the high seas up to a distance within which 
discharged pollutants constitute a danger, as referred to in 
article I, to the waters of the aforesaid area.

Article III

For the purposes of this Agreement, the term "related interests" 
shall mean the interests of a coastal State directly affected or 
threatened and, in particular, the following:

(a) The quality of life and health of coastal populations;

(b) The conservation of living resources;

(c) Activities in coastal waters, islands, ports and estuaries, 
including fishing activities; and

(d) The historical and touristic heritage of the area concerned, 
including sporting and recreational activities.

Article IV

The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to promote and 
establish contingency plans and programmes aimed at combating 
marine pollution by hydrocarbons or other harmful substances, and 
to maintain and increase the resources necessary for those 
purposes, through bilateral or multilateral co-operation and the 
individual actions of each State. Such resources shall include, 
inter alia, equipment, ships, aircraft and trained manpower for 
emergency operations.

Article V

The High Contracting Parties shall carry out, either individually 
or through bilateral or multilateral co-operation, monitoring 
activities covering the South-East Pacific with the aim of 
obtaining accurate and timely information in emergency situations 
referred to in article I of this agreement.

Article VI

If harmful substances in containers, portable tanks or tank-
vehicles, such as trucks or railway wagons, are thrown or lost 
overboard, the High Contracting Parties shall co-operate, to the 
extent of their capabilities, in salvaging and recovering such 
substances, with the aim of reducing the danger of pollution of 
the marine environment.

Article VII

The High Contracting Parties undertake to exchange information on 
the following:

(a) The competent national organization or authorities responsible 
for combating marine pollution;

(b) The competent national authorities and bodies responsible for 
receiving information on marine pollution and for carrying out 
assistance programmes or measures for the benefit of the parties; 

(c) Research programmes which they are conducting in order to 
develop new methods and techniques for preventing marine pollution 
as well as the results of such programmes.

Article VIII

The High Contracting Parties undertake to coordinate the use of 
the available communication media in order to ensure the timely 
reception, transmission and dissemination of all information on 
emergency situations referred to in article 1.

Article IX

The High Contracting Parties shall issue instructions to the 
masters of ships flying their flag and the commanders or pilots of 
aircraft registered in their territory to report the following by 
the most expeditious means and in accordance with the guidelines 
contained in the annex to this Agreement:

(a) The presence, characteristics and extent of oil slicks and 
other harmful substances observed in the sea which may constitute 
an imminent threat to the marine environment or related interests 
of one or more of the Contracting Parties; and

(b) Any other emergency which causes or threatens to cause 
pollution of the marine environment.

Information collected in accordance with the first paragraph of 
this article shall immediately be communicated to the Contracting 
Parties which may be affected by the danger of pollution.

Article X

High Contracting Parties faced with an emergency situation as 
defined in article I of this Agreement shall take the following 

(a) They shall assess the nature and extent of the emergency and, 
as the case may be, the type and approximate quantity of 
hydrocarbons or other pollutants, including the direction and the 
speed of drift of the spillage;

(b) They shall adopt all appropriate measures to avoid or reduce 
the effects of the pollution;

(c) They shall immediately report upon the activities referred to 
in the preceding sub-paragraphs and any other action which they 
are undertaking or intend to undertake in order to combat the 
pollution; and

(d) They shall observe the emergency situation for as long as it 
lasts, any changes that may occur and, in general, the development 
of the pollution. The information obtained from such observation 
shall be communicated to the High Contracting Parties in the 
manner provided for in the preceding article.

Article XI

High Contracting Parties requiring assistance in combating 
pollution in cases of emergency as referred to in article I may 
request the co-operation of the other Parties, especially those 
which may be affected by the pollution.

Such co-operation may include expert advice and the provision of 
equipment and materials necessary to combat the pollution.

The High Contracting Parties to which a request has been 
addressed shall, as soon as possible, consider the request in the 
light of their capabilities and shall immediately inform the 
requesting Party of the form, extent and conditions of the co-
operation they are able to provide.

Article Xll

The High Contracting Parties shall hold ordinary sessions at 
least every two years and extraordinary sessions at any time 
whenever two or more of them so request.

The ordinary sessions shall be held at the same time as those of 
the Co-ordinating Commission for Scientific Research of the 
Permanent Commission of the South Pacific, or its Legal 

At ordinary sessions, the High Contracting Parties shall examine, 
inter alia, the following points:

(a) The extent to which this Agreement is being implemented, the 
effectiveness of the measures taken and the need to develop other 
kinds of activities;

(b) The advisability of amending or revising the annex to this 
Agreement, and of modifying or expanding any resolutions adopted 
in pursuance thereof; and

(c) The performance of any other function which may assist in 
achieving the purposes of this Agreement.

Article XIII

For the purposes of the administration and application of this 
Agreement, the High Contracting Parties hereby designate the 
Permanent Commission of the South Pacific as Executive Secretariat 
of the Agreement. At their first meeting the Parties shall 
establish the procedure and financing for the performance of this 

Article XIV

This Agreement shall enter into force sixty days after the third 
instrument of ratification has been deposited with the General 
Secretariat of the Permanent Commission of the South Pacific.

Article XV

This Agreement may be denounced by any of the High Contracting 
Parties after it has been in force for two years for the High 
Contracting Party denouncing it.

Such denunciation shall be effected by means of written 
notification to the Executive Secretariat, which shall communicate 
it forthwith to the High Contracting Parties.

The denunciation shall take effect one hundred and eighty days 
after the date of such notification.

Article XVI

This Agreement may be amended only with the unanimous agreement 
of the High Contracting Parties. Amendments shall be subject to 
ratification and shall enter into force once the third instrument 
of ratification has been deposited with the Executive Secretariat.

Article XVII

This Agreement shall be open for accession by any State bordering 
the South-East Pacific.

Accession shall be effected by the deposit of the relevant 
instrument with the Executive Secretariat, which shall communicate 
it to the High Contracting Parties.

This Agreement shall enter into force for the State acceding to 
it sixty days after the deposit of the relevant instrument.

Article XVIII

No reservations concerning this Agreement may be entered.

Done in six identical copies, one of which shall be deposited 
with the General Secretariat of the Permanent Commission of the 
South Pacific, all being equally authentic for the purposes of 
implementation and interpretation.

In witness whereof the Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized 
by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement in the 
city of Lima, on the twelfth day of November, one thousand nine 
hundred and eighty-one.



Article I

Each report shall, if possible, contain the following:

(a) Identification of the source of pollution, identity of the 
ship, where appropriate;

(b) The geographical position, time and date of the incident or 

(c) The wind and sea conditions prevailing in the area;

(d) If the pollution has been caused by a ship, relevant details 
concerning the state of that ship;

(e) A clear indication or description of the harmful substances 
involved, including their correct technical names. Trade names 
shall not be used in place of such technical names;

(f) An accurate or estimated indication of the quantities, 
concentration and likely condition of the harmful substances 
discharged or likely to be discharged into the sea;

(g) A description of the packaging and identification marks;

(h) The name of the consignor, consignee or manufacturer; and

(i) Such other information as the reporting officer may consider 

Article II

Each report shall, as far as possible, indicate clearly whether 
the harmful substance discharged or likely to be discharged is a 
hydrocarbon or a harmful liquid, solid or gaseous substance and 
whether the substance was or is carried in bulk or contained in 
packaging, portable tanks, tank-vehicles or tank-wagons.

Article III

Any person referred to in article IX of this Agreement shall, as 
far as possible:

(a) Include in the initial report data concerning the development 
of the situation; and

(b) Comply with such requests for additional information as may be 
made by the States affected.