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Marine Oil Pollution Bill Tabled

March 14, 2022

Department of Transport

The Marine Oil Pollution (Preparedness, Response and Cooperation) Bill has been tabled in parliament.

The transport department published the bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 45983 at the end of February 2022.

The bill was published for comment in 2019.

The bill aims to:

• give effect to the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation, 1990; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The proposed legislation focuses on marine pollution preparedness; marine pollution response; marine casualties and powers of intervention and administration, enforcement and miscellaneous provisions.

According to the bill’s memorandum, the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC) was adopted on 30 November 1990 and entered into force on 13 May 1995.

“The OPRC Convention is an international maritime convention establishing measures for dealing with marine oil pollution incidents nationally and in co-operation with other countries.”

The OPRC Convention encourages states to cooperate in areas of spill preparedness including development of contingency plans; equipment stocks; research and development initiatives; training and exercise programmes and appropriate spill notification procedures for shipping.

The bill is designed to incorporate the relevant provisions of the OPRC Convention into South African law.

It also seeks to provide for the safe, effective and efficient management and deployment of resources in, response to, and cooperation in, and control of, spills of oil, or any other pollutant from ships or any other sources within South African waters or which pollute or threaten to pollute South African waters, aquatic resources, coastline or related interests; provide for the effective cooperation with neighbouring countries in matters pertaining to marine pollution preparedness, response and control and reduce and control the pollution of the marine environment by oil from ships, offshore installations, seaports and oil handling facilities.

The portfolio committee on transport will process the bill.