New Special Area proposed off South Africa

A proposal to designate an area off the southern tip of South Africa as a Special Area received the Marine Environment Protection Committee’s (MEPC) support this week at the IMO. This designation will see the area, known as the Southern South African Sea Area, join the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Red Sea, the “Gulfs” area, the Gulf of Aden area, the Antarctic area, the North West European Waters and the Oman Sea area of the Arabian Seas (from 1 January 2007) as MARPOL Special Areas, and so fall under the discharge requirements stipulated in Annex I of the Convention. 

While the Committee approved the proposal, there is now a period of time between this meeting and the next when comments and views are invited, before it is finally adopted at MEPC55 in October 2006.  

One particular area which provoked discussion during the meeting was the provision of adequate reception facilities in the area. South Africa gave evidence that there were  indeed adequate facilities in the region. However, INTERTANKO invites its members to comment on this aspect of the Special Area designation and raise any concerns that may need to be drawn to the attention of the IMO before it adopts this area in October. 

A full description and illustration of the area will be provided in next week’s Weekly NEWS. 

Contact: Tim Wilkins