What is MARPOL?

MARPOL is also known as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollutions from Ships.  It is one of the main pillars of IMO (International Maritime Organization) and this convention covers about prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships in many different possible ways.

History of MARPOL

When IMO was formed their first task and the only responsibility was to improve safety protocols and they did that successfully by improving SOLAS. But later pollution began to rise up as a new problem.

Pollution became the main concern in the shipping industry after the disaster of Torrey Canyon in 1967.

During the next few years IMO provided measures for tanker accidents and for threats caused by routine operations, DE-ballasting, noise pollutions, and for collisions of whales by ships, etc.

Finally, in 1973 they establish the main and most important measure of all the International Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships. Then they modified it in 1978.

History of MARPOL

Before IMO was entered into force in 1958, there was a convention already existed called the International Convention for the prevention of pollution of the sea by the oil of 1954.

Now the MARPOL 1978 convention covers not only oil pollution but also air pollution, harmful substances carried in packaged form, noxious liquid carried in bulk, sewage, and garbage.

In the MARPOL convention IMO has categorized the main sources of marine pollution as follows.

  • Oil
  • Dangerous/Harmful and Noxious Substances.
  • Sewage
  • Garbage
  • Air

Also, they have mentioned three main ways of polluting the marine environment that may cause by the discharge of the above-mentioned sources.

  • Accidental pollution
  • Operational pollution
  • Intentional pollution

By considering all these details IMO has provided procedures and guidelines in the form of 6 Annexes.

ANNEX I –  Regulation for the prevention of pollution by oil (entered into force 2nd October 1983)

ANNEX II – Prevention of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in bulk form (entered into force 2nd October 1983)

ANNEX III – Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances carried by Sea in packaged form (entered into force 1st July 1992)

ANNEX IV – Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships (entered into force 27th September 2003)

ANNEX V – Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships (entered into force 31st December 1988)

ANNEX VI – Prevention of Air pollution from ships (entered into force 19th May 2005)

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