Regulation 16 of Annex II of MARPOL 73/78 Consolidated edition 2002 states that every ship of 150 GT and above certified to carry Noxious Liquid Substances (NLS) in bulk, shall carry on board a "Shipboard Marine Pollution plan for Noxious Liquid Substances" approved by the Administration. This will apply to all such ships no later than 1 January 2003.

Regulation 26 of Annex 1 of MARPOL 73/78 requires that every Oil Tanker 150GT and above carry a Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) approved by the administration.

However in the case of such ships which are certified for both Oil and NLS such plans may be combined, since most of the contents are the same and one combined plan onboard is more practical than two separate documents.

In this case the combined plan shall have the title "Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan" (SMPEP).

IMO have now published a document called “Guidelines for the development of Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plans, resolution MEPC 54(32) as amended by resolution MEPC.86(44) and Guidelines for the development of Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plans for Oil and/or Noxious Liquid Substances, resolution MEPC.85(44)”. This booklet is available from the IMO or nautical bookshops.

Also of interest to members is that the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is in the final stages of producing a model plan for SMPEPs and this will be available directly from ICS very soon.

Contact: howard.snaith@intertanko.comv