Argentina - National Contingency Plan and response to Oil Pollution and Other Hazards and Noxious substances

We have been advised of the following oil spill contingency plan issued by Argentina. While this seems to have been in effect since 2003, it appears that this has not been enforced until very recently. The plan relates to three different categories as follows:

1.  Foreign flag vessels trading coastal waters in accordance with permit granted by exemption provided by Cabotage Law (Ley de Cabotaje):
* Shall have Contingency Plan approved by EPD (Environmental Protection Department) according to annex 18 and 21 issued by PNA (Prefectura Naval Argentina).

2.  Foreign flag vessels which do not call to Argentine waters on a regular basis or occasionally:
* Shall have, for the time being, an updated SOPEP, also stating routes to be followed and volume of cargo carried or to be carried onboard.
* Shall report through the local shipowner´s agent with sufficient time before entering Argentine waters the aforementioned routing and cargo information as well as which oil response company has been appointed to act in case of any oil spill.
* These oil response organisations should be local operations previously approved by PNA. A detail of these companies (seven up to date) is also attached hereto.
* The local PNA station with jurisdiction in the port where the vessel will call at, shall evaluate where the vessel is complying with the above requirements reporting these facts to EPD.

3.  Foreign tankers trading in regular basis:
* The ship-owner or their local Agents on their behalf shall file with EPD 30 days prior to the arrival of their vessel a Contingency Plan in Spanish language (two copies) following the guidelines of Annex 18 of Ordinance No. 98/98.

4.  Foreign vessel owners may have their own response companies but, the OSRO shall be previously registered with PNA to render services within Argentine waters.

Click here to download the accompanying Circular (07 04) issued by PANDI LIQUIDADORES S.R.L.

Of particular interest to members and of concern to INTERTANKO are that this plan

  • applies to vessel carrying vegtable oils or fats and such vessels still need to file a plan under section 4.2
  • the response plans need to be in Spanish 
  • the QI must also speak Spanish and be resident in Argentina.
  • special requirements pertain to training both sea staff and shore staff
  • an additional burden of an annual inspection is required section 10
  • Article 12 of the requirements require each owner to contract for a vast array of equipment and ensure its standard and availability

An initial overview indicates that Argentina is not prepared to accept any responsibility regarding responsible care for their own waters and the intent is to pass the burden onto the tanker owner. 

Click here for the full overview of the requirements (Argentina Coast Guard)

INTERTANKO will of course be strongly responding to these requirements and coordinating an industry response - members will be kept advised accordingly

Contact: Howard Snaith