820 - 04/12 - SAMSA pollution policy - South Africa

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has, through a recent marine notice, updated the reporting requirements that currently exist as adopted through the MARPOL convention.

The marine notice reinforces the application of the existing provisions of the MARPOL convention and outlines the relevant reporting obligations to enhance South Africa’s anti pollution measures. A brief summary of the notice is given below.



  • Name of the person reporting the incident;
  • Telephone number (work/home) or other means of contact;
  • Date and time of observation;
  • Details of observation;
  • Location (e.g. latitude and longitude or the position relative to the coastline);
  • Source and cause of pollution (e.g. name and type of vessel, collision or grounding);
  • Type and estimated quantity of oil spilled and the potential and probability of further pollution;
  • Weather and sea conditions;
  • Action taken or intended to respond to the incident.


Organizations to be informed as soon as possible whenever there is an oil spill or a threat of an oil spill:

1.  SAMSA, DEA (Department of Environmental Affairs)

2.  Smit Amandla Marine (the managers of the standby tug "Smit Amandla")


Oil spills and threatened spills should be reported immediately to the nearest SAMSA Principal Officer, failing whom, in the following order, to:

1.  SAMSA's Regional Managers

2.  SAMSA's Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

3.  Any of the other listed SAMSA officials

4.  The listed DEA officials

5.  The listed managers of Smit Amandla Marine.

For vessels at sea:

For ships at sea, the South African coastal maritime radio stations will connect the responsible ship's officer to the South African Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), which will alert the appropriate Principal Officer.

For vessels in port:

  • A report should be made to the duty officer in the control tower of the National Ports Authority, who will forward the communication to the Principal Officer of the port.
  • Alternatively, the ship, or the ship's agent, can communicate directly with the Principal Officer.

The Club advises any Members whose vessels regularly call South African ports to familiarise themselves with these changes and to seek the full text of the marine notice which can be found at the following address:


Questions relating to details of the marine notice should be made direct to SAMSA at: services@samsa.org.za

Source of Information: 

Michael Tucker


Cape Town, South Africa


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