371 - 07/04 - Oil Pollution Contingency Plan Requirements - Argentina

Following a recent event where a Member has been required to advise the name of their oil spill response organisation prior to arrival in Argentina the following has been issued by the Club’s local correspondent.

“Since Argentina ratified the OPRC/90 convention, a national contingency plan was adopted in 1998. In this plan it is stated that clean up operations must by carried out by the owner of the vessel responsible for the accident or by an appointee. At the very beginning, the obligation to have an approved contingency plan onboard approved by Argentine Coast Guard Authorities, applied to all Argentine flag vessels, owners or registered owners or charterers trading within Argentine waters.

Since July 2003, this requirement is also applicable to all foreign tankers trading within Argentine waters which means that they will have to have a contingency plan approved by the Environmental Protection Department (hereinafter EPD) of Coast Guard Authorities (hereinafter PNA) according to Annex 18 of ordinance No. 08/98, Book 6 – DPMA (EPD) copy of which is attached hereto for your easy reference.

As you will note from the attached document, this regulation presents three different categories as follows:

1.  Foreign flag vessels trading coastal waters in accordance with permit granted by exemption provided by Cabotage Law (Ley de Cabotaje):

Shall have Contingency Plan approved by EDP according to annex 18 and 21 issued by PNA.

2.  Foreign flag vessels which do not call to Argentine waters in regular basis or occasionally:

Shall have for the time being, updated SOPEP, also stating routes to  be followed and volume of cargo carried or to be carried onboard.

Shall report through the local shipowner´s agent with sufficient timebefore entering  Argentine waters the aforementioned and which oil response company has been appointed to act in case of any oil spill.

These oil response organizations should be locals previously  approved by PNA. A detail of these companies (seven up to date)  is also attached hereto.

The local PNA station with jurisdiction in the port where the vessel will call at, shall evaluate here the vessel is complying with the above requirements reporting these facts to EPD.

3.  Foreign tankers trading in regular basis:

- The ship-owner or their local Agents on their behalf shall file with EPD 30 days prior to the arrival of their vessel a Contingency Plan in Spanish language (two copies) following the guidelines of Annex 18 of  Ordinance No. 98/98.

Foreign vessel owners may have their own response companies but, the OSRO shall be previously registered with PNA to render services 
within Argentine waters.

These regulations are already in force and have been radio by EPD to all Coast Guard Stations so any vessel no complying with above regulations shall not be allowed to enter Argentine Jurisdictional Waters.

In case of any doubt, your members can also contact PNA (Prefectura Naval Argentina) at the following emails:





Attn Mr. Luis Alberto Arroz

Prefecto Mayor

Jefe Departamento Proteccion

Ambiental y Mercancías Peligrosas

Trusting that the aforementioned and the attachments will prove to be self explanatory, we would suggest that all your tanker members are informed accordingly.”


Source of information : 

Alberto Trigub

Pandi Liquidadores S.R.L.

Buenos Aires



If Members need further assistance they should contact the Managers either

Nigel Carden  Nigel.carden@thomasmiller.com

Dr Chao Wu  Chao.wu@thomasmiller.com

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