UK Club Correspondent BUDD Group reports on the slight relaxation of SPRO requirements

The UK Club has recieved the following update from our Correspondents Budd Group regarding a slight relaxation of SPRO requirements.


The Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China recently published new Measures of Administration on Agreement for Ship Pollution Response Regime, which became effective on 1 March 2020.

There is no material change to the requirements of Ship Pollution Response Oranisation (SPRO) Agreements, but according to Article 12 of the new Measures, from 1 March 2020, no SPRO Agreements will be needed in any of the following cases:

  • Any ship under 10,000 GT either in ballast or carrying a bulk liquid cargo which is not listed in the Directory of Hazardous Bulk Liquid Cargoes; or
  • Any ship driven only by clean fuels and carrying a non-bulk hazardous liquid cargo; or
  • If the port which the ship is entering, leaving or operating from does not have an SPRO with the required level of response capacity.

One significant change introduced by the new Measures is that although SPROs are no longer obliged to apply for approval by the MSA, but they are obliged to publish their capabilities on the public website of the relevant industry association.  Before 31 Jnauary, SPROs are obliged to publish the list of their interventions in the preceding year.

A new Committee set up by the China Diving & Salvage Contractors Association (CDSA) has begun to play the role of the SPRO industry association.  It recently released its Management Rules on Capability Assessment and Self-regulation of SPROs but the SPRO assessment criteria in these Rules were same as those stipulated in the Requirement for the Capacity of SPROs (JT/T 1081-2016).

Oil booms need to be deployed during cargo operations, or an Agreement with an SPRO needs to be concluded, for all cargoes in the attached Directory of Hazardous Bulk Liquid Cargoes Apt to Cause for Pollution for which as published by China MSA in June 2019.


Should you have any queries about the new Measures, please get in touch with your usual Club contact. 

Information provided by Budd China

Staff Author