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II.7.160 (MARPOL 1973) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE PREVENTION OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS, 1973

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.7.160

(MARPOL 1973) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE PREVENTION OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS, 1973

Note: MARPOL 73/78 incorporates the original text as modified by the following amendments:

  Date of entry
  into force
—1984 amendments adopted by res. MEPC.14(20) 07.01.1986
—1985 (Annex II) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.16(22) 06.04.1987
—1985 (Protocol I) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.21(22) 06.04.1987
—1987 (Annex I) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.29(25) 01.04.1989
—1989 (Annex II) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.34(27) 13.10.1990
—1989 (Annex V) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.36(28) 18.02.1991
—1990 (Annex I and V) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.42(30) 17.03.1992
—1991 (Annex I) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.47(31) 04.04.1993
—1991 (Annex V) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.48(31) 04.04.1993
—1992 (Annex I) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.51(32) 06.07.1993
—1992 (Annex I) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.52(32) 06.07.1993
Note: A communication was received from the United States of America informing the Secretary-General that res. MEPC.52(32) will not enter into force for the United States on 06.07.1993, but only after the express approval of the Government of the United States of America has been conveyed to the Secretary-General of the IMO.
Note: A communication was received from Bulgaria informing the Secretary-General that in respect of existing tankers the new regulations 13F and 13G would only be implemented from the year 2000.
—1992 (Annex II) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.57(33) 01.07.1994
—1992 (Annex III) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.58(33) 28.02.1994
—1994 (Annexes I, II, III, V) amendments 03.03.1996
—1997 Annex VI
—2000 (Annex III) amendments adopted by res. MEPC.84(44) 01.07.2001.
—2001 (Annex I) amendments adopted by res. MEPC(46) 01.09.2002
—2003 amendments adopted by res. MEPC.111(50) 05.04.2005
—2004 amendments adopted by res. MEPC.115(51) 01.08.2005
ADOPTED: Done at London on 2 November 1973
REFERENCE: MARPOL 1973
ENTERED INTO FORCE: Not yet in force
DEPOSITARY: IMO, London
SECRETARY: IMO, London

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, APPROVAL AND ACCESSION

Article XIII

1. The present Convention shall remain open for signature, at the Headquarters of the Organization from 15 January 1974 until 31 December 1974 and shall thereafter remain open for accession. States may become parties to the present Convention by:

  • (a) signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval; or
  • (b) signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed by ratification, acceptance or approval; or
  • (c) accession.

2. Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument to that effect with the Secretary-General of the Organization.

3. The Secretary-General of the Organization shall inform all States which have signed the present Convention or acceded to it of any signature or of the deposit of any new instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession and the date of its deposit.

Article XIV

OPTIONAL ANNEXES

1. A State may at the time of signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to the present Convention declare that it does not accept any one or all of Annexes III, IV and V (hereinafter referred to as “Optional Annexes”) of the present Convention. Subject to the above, Parties to the Convention shall be bound by an Annex in its entirety.

2. A State which has declared that it is not bound by an Optional Annex may at any time accept such Annex by depositing with the Organization an instrument of the kind referred to in Article XIII(2).

3. A State which makes a declaration under paragraph (1) of the present article in respect of an Optional Annex and which has not subsequently accepted that Annex in accordance with paragraph (2) of the present Article shall not be under any obligation nor entitled to claim any privileges under the present Convention in respect of matters related to such Annex and all references to Parties in the present Convention shall not include that State in so far as matters related to such Annex are concerned.

4. The Organization shall inform the States which have signed or acceded to the present Convention of any declaration under the present Article as well as the receipt of any instrument deposited in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2) of the present Article.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XV

1. The present Convention shall enter into force twelve months after the date on which not less than fifteen States, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than fifty per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping, have become parties to it in accordance with Article XIII of the present Convention.

2. An Optional Annex shall enter into force twelve months after the date on which the conditions stipulated in paragraph (1) of the present Article have been satisfied in relation to that Annex.

3. The Organization shall inform the States which have signed the present Convention or acceded to it of the date on which it enters into force in accordance with paragraph (2) of the present Article.

4. For States which have deposited an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession in respect of the present Convention or any Optional Annex after the requirements for entry into force have been met but prior to the date of entry into force, the ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall take effect on the date of entry into force of the Convention or such Annex or three months after the date of deposit of the instrument whichever is the later date.

5. For States which have deposited an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession after the date on which the Convention or an Optional Annex entered into force, the Convention or the Optional Annex shall become effective three months after the date of deposit of the instrument.

6. After the date on which all the conditions required under Article XVI to bring an amendment to the present Convention or an Optional Annex into force have been fulfilled, any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited shall apply to the Convention or Annex as amended.

DENUNCIATION

Article XVIII

1. The present Convention or any Optional Annex may be denounced by any Parties to the Convention at any time after the expiry of five years from the date on which the Convention or such Annex enters into force for that Party.

2. Denunciation shall be effected by notification in writing to the Secretary-General of the Organization who shall inform all the other Parties of any such notification received and of the date of its receipt as well as the date on which such denunciation takes effect.

3. A denunciation shall take effect twelve months after receipt of the notification of denunciation by the Secretary-General of the Organization or after the expiry of any other longer period which may be indicated in the notification.

AMENDMENTS

Article XVI

1. The present Convention may be amended by any of the procedures specified in the following paragraphs.,

2. Amendments after consideration by the Organization:

  • (a) any amendment proposed by a Party to the Convention shall be submitted to the Organization and circulated by its Secretary-General to all Members of the Organization and all Parties at least six months prior to its considerations;
  • (b) any amendment proposed and circulated as above shall be submitted to an appropriate body by the Organization for consideration.
  • (c) Parties to the Convention, whether or not Members of the Organization, shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings of the appropriate body;
  • (d) amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of only the Parties to the Convention present and voting;
  • (e) if adopted in accordance with subparagraph (d) above, amendments shall be communicated by the Secretary-General of the Organization to all the Parties to the Convention for acceptance.
  • (f) an amendment shall be deemed to have been accepted in the following circumstances:
    • (i) an amendment to an article of the Convention shall be deemed to have been accepted on the date on which it is accepted by two-thirds of the Parties, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than fifty per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant fleet;
    • (ii) an amendment to an Annex to the Convention shall be deemed to have been accepted in accordance with the procedure specified in subparagraph (f)(iii) unless the appropriate body, at the time of its adoption, determines that the amendment shall be deemed to have been accepted on the date on which it is accepted by two-thirds of the Parties, the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than fifty per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant fleet. Nevertheless, at any time before the entry into force of an amendment to an Annex to the Convention, a Party may notify the Secretary-General of the Organization that its express approval will be necessary before the amendment enters into force for it. The latter shall bring such notification and the date of its receipt to the notice of parties;
    • (iii) an amendment to an appendix to an Annex to the Convention shall be deemed to have been accepted at the end of a period to be determined by the appropriate body at the time of its adoption, which period shall be not less than ten months, unless within that period an objection is communicated to the Organization by not less than one-third of the Parties or by the Parties the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than fifty per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant fleet whichever condition is fulfilled;
    • (iv) an amendment to Protocol I to the Convention shall be subject to the same procedures as for the amendments to the Annexes to the Convention, as provided for in subparagraphs (f)(ii) or (f)(iii) above;
    • (v) an amendment to Protocol II to the Convention shall be subject to the same procedures as for the amendments to an article of the Convention, as provided for in subparagraph (f)(i) above;
  • (g) the amendments shall enter into force under the following conditions:
    • (i) in the case of an amendment to an article of the Convention, to Protocol II, or to Protocol I or to an Annex to the Convention not under the procedure specified in subparagraph (f)(iii), the amendment accepted in conformity with the foregoing provisions shall enter into force six months after the date of its acceptance with respect to the Parties which have declared that they have accepted it;
    • (ii) in the case of an amendment to Protocol I, to an appendix to an Annex or to an Annex to the Convention under the procedure specified in subparagraph (f)(iii), the amendment deemed to have been accepted in accordance with the foregoing conditions shall enter into force six months after its acceptance for all the Parties with the exception of those which, before that date, have made a declaration that they do not accept it or a declaration under subparagraph (f)(ii), that their express approval is necessary.

3. Amendment by a Conference

  • (a) Upon the request of a party, concurred in by at least one-third of the Parties, the Organization shall convene a Conference of parties to the Convention to consider amendments to the present Convention.
  • (b) Every amendment adopted by such a Conference by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting of the Parties shall be communicated by the Secretary-General of the Organization to all Contracting Parties for their acceptance.
  • (c) Unless the Conference decides otherwise, the amendment shall be deemed to have been accepted and to have entered into force in accordance with the procedures specified for that purpose in paragraph (2)(f) and (g) above.
  • 4. (a) In the case of an amendment to an Optional Annex, a reference in the present Article to a “Party to the Convention” shall be deemed to mean a reference to a party bound by that Annex.
  • (b) Any Party which has declined to accept an amendment to an Annex shall be treated as a non-Party only for the purpose of application of that Amendment.

5. The adoption and entry into force of a new Annex shall be subject to the same procedures as for the adoption and entry into force of an amendment to an Article of the Convention.

6. Unless expressly provided otherwise, any amendment to the present Convention made under this Article, which relates to the structure of a ship, shall apply only to ships for which the building contract is placed, or in the absence of a building contract, the keel of which is laid, on or after the date on which the amendment comes into force.

7. Any amendment to a Protocol or to an Annex shall relate to the substance of that Protocol or Annex and shall be consistent with the Articles of the present Convention.

8. The Secretary-General of the Organization shall inform all parties of any amendments which enters into force under the present Article, together with the date on which each such amendment enters into force.

9. Any declaration of acceptance or of objection to an amendment under the present Article shall be notified in writing to the Secretary-General of the Organization. The latter shall bring such notification and the date of its receipt to the notice of the parties to the Convention.

DECLARATIONS, RESERVATIONS AND STATEMENTS

Australia

The following declaration was made (in the English language) at the time of signature of the Convention:

“In accordance with article IX(e) of the Convention the term ‘jurisdiction’ shall be construed in the light of international law in force at the time of application or interpretation of the present Convention’.

It is the view of the Australian Government that the term ‘jurisdiction’ is not confined to the territorial sea but that it extends to all areas over which a State exercises jurisdiction under international law including the continental shelf.”

Belgium

The instrument of accession of the Kingdom of Belgium was accompanied by the following declarations (in the French language):

[translation] “With reference to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, and the Annexes, done at London on 2 November 1973, I hereby declare that Belgium does not yet accept Annexes III, IV and V of the Convention.

This declaration is made in accordance with the provisions of article XIV.1 of the Convention.

Furthermore, I declare that the provisions of Annex I will be applied in accordance with the recommendations in the circulars issued by the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization under references MEPC/Circ.97 and MEPC/Circ.99.”

Brunei Darussalam

The instrument of accession of Brunei Darussalam contained the following declaration:

“In accordance with article XIV the Government of Brunei Darussalam hereby DECLARES that it does not accept Annexes III, IV and V to the Convention.”

Bulgaria

The instrument of accession of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria to the 1973 MARPOL Convention contained the following reservations:

[translation] “1. The People’s Republic of Bulgaria does not consider itself bound by the Annexes III, IV and V to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.

2. The People’s Republic of Bulgaria does not consider itself bound by the provision of article X of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships under which any dispute between two or more Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention, which is not settled by negotiation or by any other means shall, at the request of one of the Contracting Parties concerned, be submitted to international arbitration. The Government of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria states that, in each individual case, the consent of all parties to such a dispute is necessary for submission of the dispute to international arbitration.”

A communication was received from Bulgaria on 8 February 1993 stating that the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria, by a decision dated 13 January 1993, accepted the amendments to Annex I of MARPOL 73/78 referred to in resolution MEPC.52(32). The decision further indicates that in respect of existing tankers the new regulations 13F and 13G shall be implemented from the year 2000.

Federal Republic of Germany

The instrument of ratification of the Federal Republic of Germany was accompanied by the following declaration (in the German language):

[translation] “That the said Convention shall also apply to Berlin (West) with effect from the date on which [it enters] into force for the Federal Republic of Germany.”

German Democratic Republic

The following statement was made (in the German language) at the time of signature of the Convention:

[translation] “For the purposes of this Convention, the German Democratic Republic interprets the term ‘within the jurisdiction’ in such a way, that in accordance with international law it designates the territorial waters of a state as the area, the width of which is to be measured from the basic line and does not exceed twelve nautical miles.”

Spain

The signature of the Convention by the Representative of the Spanish State was accompanied by a declaration under article XIV(1) of the Convention to the effect that the Government of the Spanish State “does not accept Annexes III, IV and V (Optional Annexes) and considers itself bound solely by Annexes I and II”.

USSR

The following statement was made (in the Russian language) at the time of signature of the Convention:

  • [translation] “In accordance with the current international law for the purposes of this Convention the term ‘within the jurisdiction’ shall be interpreted as meaning territorial waters the breadth of which must not exceed 12 miles.”

United Kingdom

The instrument of ratification of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland contained a statement to the effect that the United Kingdom “ . . . [reserves] the right not to apply the said Convention in respect of any territory for whose international relations the Government of the United Kingdom is responsible until three months after the date on which the Government of the United Kingdom notify the Secretary-General of the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization that the said Convention shall apply in respect of any such territory.

The instrument of ratification was also accompanied by a declaration under article XIV of the Convention that “the United Kingdom does not accept any one or all of Annexes III, IV and V (referred to as ‘Optional Annexes’) of the Convention.”

The instrument of acceptance of Optional Annexes III and V contained a statement to the effect that the Government of the United Kingdom “ . . . [reserves] the right not to apply the said Annexes II and V in respect of any territory for whose international relations the Government of the United Kingdom are responsible until three months after the date on which the Government of the United Kingdom notify the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization that the said Annexes shall apply in respect of any such territory.”

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