Objectives: To protect the marine environment from all sources of pollution and to prevent, reduce and where practicable eliminate pollution caused by dumping or incineration at sea of wastes and other matter.
Summary of provisions: This Protocol supersedes the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 between Contracting Parties to this Protocol which are also Parties to the Convention (art. 23). Parties undertake to apply a precautionary approach to environmental protection from dumping of wastes or other matter. Each Party is to endeavour to promote practices whereby those it has authorised to engage in dumping or incineration at sea bear the responsibility of meeting the pollution prevention and control requirements. Parties are to act so as not to transfer, directly or indirectly, damage or likelihood of damage from one part of the environment to another or transform one type of pollution into another (art.3). The Protocol prohibits the dumping of any wastes or other matter, with the exception of those listed in Annex I which identifies wastes or other matter that may be considered for dumping or in certain circumstances (arts. 4 (1) and 8). A permit is required for the dumping of wastes and other matter listed in Annex I. Parties agree to adopt administrative or legislative measures to ensure that issuance of permits meet certain conditions (art. 4, Annex 2). Parties are to pay particular attention to opportunities to avoid dumping in favour of environmentally preferable alternatives (art. 4). Incineration at sea of wastes or other matter is prohibited (art. 5), with the exception of securing the safety of human life or vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea in emergencies (art.8). Parties undertake not to allow the export of wastes or other matter to other countries for dumping or incineration at sea (art. 6). Each Party is to, at its discretion, either apply the provisions of the protocol or adopt other effective measures to control the deliberate disposal of wastes or other matter in marine international waters where such disposal would be dumping or incineration at sea within the meaning of the definitions of the Protocol, if conducted at sea (art. 7). Finally, each Party undertakes to designate an appropriate authority to issue permits, to keep relevant records and to monitor the condition of the sea for the purpose of the Protocol (art. 9), as well as to provide IMO or other Parties with such records and the findings of the monitoring as well as information on the administrative and legislative measures taken to implement the Protocol (art.9.4).
Institutional mechanisms: No later than two years after the entry into force of the Protocol, the Meeting of Contracting Parties is to establish procedures and mechanisms necessary to assess and promote compliance with the Protocol (art. 11).
(Source: IUCN ELC, 08.2005, based on UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment, 1996)