China sets marine pollution compliance deadline (Editorial: 26 May)

Detailed rules for implementation of the recent legislation on marine pollution prevention and response have now been issued by China's maritime safety administration (MSA). The rules that require ship operators to engage an approved clean-up contractor will be enforced from 1 January 2012.

However, the Club recommends Members await the formal publication of a list of approved contractors by MSA before entering into any contracts. As the requirement to contract with an approved clean up contractor will be enforced from 1 January 2012, there will be a "grace" period until that date.

Club circular 7/11 has been issued detailing this latest development and including a model mandatory contract as an annex.

Please note:

The translation of that table originally supplied was incorrect and we are awaiting clarification of the true copy. The International Group is currently reviewing the model contract to determine whether it conforms to Group guidelines concerning spill response contracts. A further update to Members giving detailed guidance on the contract will be provided upon completion of the review.

Members need to be aware that these spill response contract requirements are different to the measures in relation to the discharge of ship's garbage, residue water waste, oil waste and sludge. This is explained in Circular 7/11.

Operators will need to contract with an approved clean up contractor in accordance with the size and type of vessel. An initial list of approved clean up contractors, categorised by the MSA in accordance with their qualifications and response capabilities, will be issued by 31 August 2011.

The cleanup contract must be kept on board the ship since it may be necessary to present the agreement to local MSA officials upon entry into port. From 1st January 2012, ships entering a Chinese port without an approved, relevant clean up contractor may be subject to administrative penalties and other possible measures.

All clubs in the International Group have issued similar circulars. Members who have any queries regarding this issue or the circular should contact Dr Chao Wu (

) Tel: +44 20 7204 2157

Staff Author