MARPOL Annex I (Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil)



Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil


Special Areas: Special area means a sea area where for recognized technical reasons in relation to its oceanographical and ecological condition and to the particular character of its traffic the adoption of special mandatory methods for the prevention of sea pollution by oil is required

  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Baltic Sea
  • Black Sea
  • Red Sea
  • “Gulfs” areas
  • Gulf of Aden
  • Oman area of the Arabian Sea
  • North West European waters
  • Southern South African waters
  • Antarctic Area

Red Font – Special Area requirements for these areas have not yet taken effect because of lack of notifications from MARPOL Parties whose coastlines border the relevant special areas on the existence of adequate reception facilities


  1. Control of Discharge of Oil or Oily Mixture from Machinery Space and from Fuel Tanks of all Ships
  2. Out side “Special Areas” discharge may take place if:
  • “en route” (discharge spread over great area)
  • processed through an oil filtering equipment (15 ppm)
  • oil content without dilution < 15 ppm (parts per million)
  1. In a “ Special Area”
  • oil filtering equipment (15 ppm) should have alarm (oil content meter) and automatic stopping device (3-way valve)
  • Oil residues which cannot be discharged into the sea in compliance with this provisions shall be retained onboard for subsequent discharge to reception facilities
  1. For Ships > 4000GT and oil tankers > 150 GT (delivered after 31st Dec 1979) no ballast water shall be carried in any fuel oil tank
  2. In a ship > 400 GT constructed after 1st July 1982, oil shall not be carried in a forepeak tank or a tank forward of the collusion bulk head


  1. B. Equipment requirements for machinery spaces of all ships :
  • All ships > 400 GT must be fitted with oil filtering equipment (Oily Water Separator) producing and effluent with oil content < 15 ppm
  • Ships > 10000 GT shall be fitted with oil filtering equipment (15 ppm) with alarm and automatic stopping device
  • Oily Water Separators (OWS) and Oil Content Meters (OCM) (bilge alarms) shall be of the type approved by IMO
  • OWS to be tested with a stable emulsion
  • OCM to include a recording function for date, time, alarm and Operating status. All records to be stored for 18 months


  1. Control of Discharge of Oil or Oily Mixtures from Cargo Areas of Oil Tankers:
  1. Outside “Special Area” discharge may take place if:
  • the instantaneous rate of discharge of oil content does not exceed 30 litres per nm
  • proceeding on voyage
  • more than 50 miles from land
  • discharge monitoring and control system is used to discharge residue
  • the total quantity of oil discharged into the sea does not exceed 1/15,000 or 1/30,000 of total quantity of the particular cargo of which residue formed a part
  • the tanker is equipped with Oil Discharge Monitoring and Control System (ODMCS) (ODME – Oil Discharge Monitoring Equipment) and a slop tank arrangement
  1. In “ special Area” only discharge of clean or segregated ballast is allowed (Oil Content in discharge <15 ppm)


These Regulations / Provisions do not apply to the discharge of clean or segregated ballast





  1. Equipment requirements for Cargo Areas of Oil Tanker :
  1. Oil Tanker >  150 GT shall be equipped with Oil discharge Monitoring    Equipment (ODME) / Oil discharge Monitoring & Control System (ODMCS) approved by Administration,

Equipment should include – a recording device to provide   continuous record of discharge in litres per nm (rate of discharge), total quantity discharged and oil content in the discharge

Recorded details should be identifiable (with time and date)  & available for at least last 3 years

Equipment should stop the discharge Automatically when oily mixture exceeds the permitted instantaneous rate of discharge

Oil Tanker >  150 GT  shall be provided with effective Oil/Water Interface Detectors approved by Administration for determination of the Oil/Water interface in the Slop Tanks and in the other tanks where the separation of oil and water is effected and from which it is discharged directly to the sea

  1. Every crude oil tanker > 20,000 dwt delivered after 1st Jun 1982 shall be fitted with a cargo tank cleaning system using crude oil washing (COW) approved by the administration

Every oil tanker operating with crude oil washing systems should be provided with an operations and equipment manual


  1. Oil Record Book requirements

Part I:  For Machinery Space Operations:

For tankers >150 GT

For non tankers > 400 GT

Part II: For Cargo / Ballasting Operations

For Oil Tankers > 150 GT

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