China: Up-date on Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Marine Pollution from Ships


Published: 15 February 2010

Requirement to contract with an approved local clean up contractor

Previous Circulars issued on this subject on 25 January 2010, 4 November 2009 and 16 October 2009 have referred to the requirement on operators of any ship carrying polluting and hazardous cargoes in bulk or of any other vessel above 10,000 gt to conclude a pollution clean up contract with a pollution response company which has been approved by the Maritime Safety Agency (MSA).  This requirement is due to come into effect on 1 March 2010, but shipowners have been unable to take steps to comply with the Regulation since the authorities have not yet published a list of approved contractors.

There have been reports that a list is in the course of preparation and that the 1 March deadline will be postponed. However official clarification is still awaited. Owners whose vessels are due to call at PRC ports after 1 March therefore face the prospect of being unable to comply with the Regulation, but it is to be hoped that the authorities will, whether officially or unofficially, hold back on enforcement.