ASEAN Member States Adopt Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan

Illustration. Oil spill caused by the collision of tanker with a jetty in Rotterdam. Image Courtesy: Kustwacht Nederland

The Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan, a cooperation mechanism for joint oil spill preparedness and response among member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has been adopted.

The plan was adopted at the 24th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 8, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said.

The Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan provides for a mechanism whereby ASEAN member states can request and provide mutual support in response to any oil spills. It also ensures a common understanding and effective integration between affected and assisting ASEAN member states, in the event of incidents involving oil spills.

Since the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on an ASEAN Cooperation Mechanism for Joint Oil Spill Preparedness and Response in 2014, the IMO has delivered various national and sub-regional activities in the different ASEAN countries to support the concrete implementation of the MoU, including a recent IMO workshop held in Malaysia in July 2018 aimed at familiarizing stakeholders with the content of the final draft of the plan.

This technical assistance has been provided through the Global Initiative project for South East Asia (GI SEA), a joint project with the oil and gas industry (IPIECA). This supports the implementation of IMO’s Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (the OPRC 90 Convention).

The final adoption of the Regional Plan was made pursuant to the recommendation of the ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group (MTWG) during its 36th Session held in August 2018 in Singapore.

The ASEAN association members include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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