Statutory Instrument 1987 No. 551
The Regulations apply to ships carrying noxious liquid substances in bulk. They apply to United Kingdom ships wherever they may be and to other ships when they are in United Kingdom waters.
Noxious liquid substances are divided into four categories, A, B, C and D, in accordance with the severity of the hazard which they present to human health and the marine environment, Category A presenting the worst hazard and Category D the least.
Discharges into the sea of noxious liquid substances or mixtures containing them are prohibited; and discharges into the sea of liquid wastes containing residues of such substances are strictly controlled (Regulations 3, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13).
The worse the hazard, which the category of substances presents, the stricter are the controls. Controls are also more stringent in two special areas, namely the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea.
The Regulations also prohibit (regulation 14) the discharge of liquid substances, which, though not identified as noxious, have not been evaluated and found to be harmless to the marine environment, except with written permission from the government of the state or states concerned.
The Regulations require ships to follow specified procedures when washing cargo tanks (regulations 4 and 8 to 10). The procedures depend on the category of substance carried and on whether or not unloading takes place in a special area. Certain oil-like substances are allowed to be carried and their residues discharged in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) Regulations 1983 instead of in accordance with these Regulations, provided
- (a) that the ship meets extra stability requirements and
- (b) that its International Prevention of Oil Pollution Certificate is endorsed to indicate the ship’s conformity with relevant requirements of these Regulations (regulation 18).
All ships are required to carry Procedures and Arrangements Manual complying with the Standards for Procedures and Arrangements adopted by the MEPC (regulation 19), and to be provided with the equipment and arrangements specified in that manual (regulation 22). They are also required to carry a Cargo
Record Book in which operations involving cargoes of noxious liquid substances have to be recorded (regulation 20).
Every tank designated to carry a Category B or C substance is required to have a pumping system capable of emptying the tank so that the residues remaining after unloading is complete do not exceed, in the case of a new ship, 0.1m3 for a Category B and 0.3m3 for a Category C substance and, in the case of an existing ship, 0.3m3 for a Category B and 0.9m3 for a Category C substance (regulation 21).
Ships are required to be surveyed for the purposes of the regulations, to carry an International Pollution Prevention Certificate for the Carriage of Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk and to be maintained in accordance with that certificate (regulations 23—25).
Carriage of noxious or unassessed liquid substances in bulk is prohibited except where the ship has the appropriate certificate (regulation 28).
Penalties are prescribed for breaches of the regulations and provision is made for ships to be detained where a breach occurs (regulations 29 and 30).