PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION OF MARINE POLLUTION BY DUMPING OF WASTES AND OTHER MATTER, WITH ANNEXES, OF 29 DECEMBER 1972, LONDON, 1996
Done at London 7 November 1996
Entered into force (not in force)
Depositary: International Maritime Organization of the United Nations, England
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the U.S. Department of State
1996 PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION OF MARINE POLLUTION BY DUMPING OF WASTES AND OTHER MATTER, 1972 AND RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE SPECIAL MEETING THE CONTRACTING PARTIES TO THIS PROTOCOL,
STRESSING the need to protect the marine environment and to promote the sustainable use and
conservation of marine resources,
NOTING in this regard the achievements within the framework of the Convention on the Prevention of
Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 and especially the evolution towards approaches
based on precaution and prevention,
NOTING FURTHER the contribution in this regard by complementary regional and national instruments
which aim to protect the marine environment and which take account of specific circumstances and needs of
those regions and States,
REAFFIRMING the value of a global approach to these matters and in particular the importance of
continuing co-operation and collaboration between Contracting Parties in implementing the Convention and the
RECOGNIZING that it may be desirable to adopt, on a national or regional level, more stringent
measures with respect to prevention and elimination of pollution of the marine environment from dumping at sea
than are provided for in international conventions or other types of agreements with a global scope,
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT relevant international agreements and actions, especially the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21,
RECOGNIZING ALSO the interests and capacities of developing States and in particular small island
BEING CONVINCED that further international action to prevent, reduce and where practicable eliminate
pollution of the sea caused by dumping can and must be taken without delay to protect and preserve the marine
environment and to manage human activities in such a manner that the marine ecosystem will continue to sustain
the legitimate uses of the sea and will continue to meet the needs of present and future generations,
HAVE AGREED as follows:
For the purposes of this Protocol:
1 "Convention" means the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other
Matter, 1972, as amended.
2 "Organization" means the International Maritime Organization.
3 "Secretary-General" means the Secretary-General of the Organization.
4 .1 "Dumping" means:
.1 any deliberate disposal into the sea of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, platforms
or other man-made structures at sea;
.2 any deliberate disposal into the sea of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made
structures at sea;
.3 any storage of wastes or other matter in the seabed and the subsoil thereof from vessels,
aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea; and
.4 any abandonment or toppling at site of platforms or other man-made structures at sea, for the
sole purpose of deliberate disposal.
.2 "Dumping" does not include:
.1 the disposal into the sea of wastes or other matter incidental to, or derived from the normal
operations of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea and their
equipment, other than wastes or other matter transported by or to vessels, aircraft, platforms
or other man-made structures at sea, operating for the purpose of disposal of such matter or
derived from the treatment of such wastes or other matter on such vessels, aircraft, platforms
or other man-made structures;
.2 placement of matter for a purpose other than the mere disposal thereof, provided that such
placement is not contrary to the aims of this Protocol; and
.3 notwithstanding paragraph 4.1.4, abandonment in the sea of matter (e.g., cables, pipelines
and marine research devices) placed for a purpose other than the mere disposal thereof.
.3 The disposal or storage of wastes or other matter directly arising from, or related to the exploration,
exploitation and associated off-shore processing of seabed mineral resources is not covered by the
provisions of this Protocol.
5 .1 "Incineration at sea" means the combustion on board a vessel, platform or other man-made structure
at sea of wastes or other matter for the purpose of their deliberate disposal by thermal destruction.
.2 "Incineration at sea" does not include the incineration of wastes or other matter on board a vessel,
platform, or other man-made structure at sea if such wastes or other matter were generated during the
normal operation of that vessel, platform or other man-made structure at sea.
6 "Vessels and aircraft" means waterborne or airborne craft of any type whatsoever. This expression includes
air-cushioned craft and floating craft, whether self-propelled or not.
7 "Sea" means all marine waters other than the internal waters of States, as well as the seabed and the subsoil
thereof; it does not include sub-seabed repositories accessed only from land.
8 "Wastes or other matter" means material and substance of any kind, form or description.
9 "Permit" means permission granted in advance and in accordance with relevant measures adopted pursuant to
article 4.1.2 or 8.2.
10 "Pollution" means the introduction, directly or indirectly, by human activity, of wastes or other matter into the
sea which results or is likely to result in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources and marine
ecosystems, hazards to human health, hindrance to marine activities, including fishing and other legitimate
uses of the sea, impairment of quality for use of sea water and reduction of amenities.
Contracting Parties shall individually and collectively protect and preserve the marine environment from all
sources of pollution and take effective measures, according to their scientific, technical and economic
capabilities, to prevent, reduce and where practicable eliminate pollution caused by dumping or incineration
at sea of wastes or other matter. Where appropriate, they shall harmonize their policies in this regard.
1 In implementing this Protocol, Contracting Parties shall apply a precautionary approach to environmental
protection from dumping of wastes or other matter whereby appropriate preventative measures are taken
when there is reason to believe that wastes or other matter introduced into the marine environment are likely
to cause harm even when there is no conclusive evidence to prove a causal relation between inputs and their
2 Taking into account the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, each
Contracting Party shall endeavour to promote practices whereby those it has authorized to engage in dumping
or incineration at sea bear the cost of meeting the pollution prevention and control requirements for the
authorized activities, having due regard to the public interest.
3 In implementing the provisions of this Protocol, Contracting Parties shall 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.
4 No provision of this Protocol shall be interpreted as preventing Contracting Parties from taking, individually
or jointly, more stringent measures in accordance with international law with respect to the prevention,
reduction and where practicable elimination of pollution.
DUMPING OF WASTES OR OTHER MATTER
1 .1 Contracting Parties shall prohibit the dumping of any wastes or other matter with the exception of
those listed in Annex 1.
.2 The dumping of wastes or other matter listed in Annex 1 shall require a permit. Contracting Parties
shall adopt administrative or legislative measures to ensure that issuance of permits and permit
conditions comply with provisions of Annex 2. Particular attention shall be paid to opportunities to
avoid dumping in favour of environmentally preferable alternatives.
2 No provision of this Protocol shall be interpreted as preventing a Contracting Party from prohibiting, insofar
as that Contracting Party is concerned, the dumping of wastes or other matter mentioned in Annex 1. That
Contracting Party shall notify the Organization of such measures.
INCINERATION AT SEA
Contracting Parties shall prohibit incineration at sea of wastes or other matter.
EXPORT OF WASTES OR OTHER MATTER
Contracting Parties shall not allow the export of wastes or other matter to other countries for dumping or
incineration at sea.
1 Notwithstanding any other provision of this Protocol, this Protocol shall relate to internal waters only to the
extent provided for in paragraphs 2 and 3.
2 Each Contracting Party shall at its discretion either apply the provisions of this Protocol or adopt other
effective permitting and regulatory measures to control the deliberate disposal of wastes or other matter in
marine internal waters where such disposal would be "dumping" or "incineration at sea" within the meaning
of article 1, if conducted at sea.
3 Each Contracting Party should provide the Organization with information on legislation and institutional
mechanisms regarding implementation, compliance and enforcement in marine internal waters. Contracting
Parties should also use their best efforts to provide on a voluntary basis summary reports on the type and
nature of the materials dumped in marine internal waters.
1 The provisions of articles 4.1 and 5 shall not apply when it is necessary to secure the safety of human life or
of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea in cases of force majeure caused by stress
of weather, or in any case which constitutes a danger to human life or a real threat to vessels, aircraft,
platforms or other man-made structures at sea, if dumping or incineration at sea appears to be the only way of
averting the threat and if there is every probability that the damage consequent upon such dumping or
incineration at sea will be less than would otherwise occur. Such dumping or incineration at sea shall be
conducted so as to minimize the likelihood of damage to human or marine life and shall be reported forthwith
to the Organization.
2 A Contracting Party may issue a permit as an exception to articles 4.1 and 5, in emergencies posing an
unacceptable threat to human health, safety, or the marine environment and admitting of no other feasible
solution. Before doing so the Contracting Party shall consult any other country or countries that are likely to
be affected and the Organization which, after consulting other Contracting Parties, and competent
international organizations as appropriate, shall, in accordance with article 18.6 promptly recommend to the
Contracting Party the most appropriate procedures to adopt. The Contracting Party shall follow these
recommendations to the maximum extent feasible consistent with the time within which action must be taken
and with the general obligation to avoid damage to the marine environment and shall inform the Organization
of the action it takes. The Contracting Parties pledge themselves to assist one another in such situations.
3 Any Contracting Party may waive its rights under paragraph 2 at the time of, or subsequent to ratification of,
or accession to this Protocol.
ISSUANCE OF PERMITS AND REPORTING
1 Each Contracting Party shall designate an appropriate authority or authorities to:
.1 issue permits in accordance with this Protocol;
.2 keep records of the nature and quantities of all wastes or other matter for which dumping permits
have been issued and where practicable the quantities actually dumped and the location, time and
method of dumping; and
.3 monitor individually, or in collaboration with other Contracting Parties and competent international
organizations, the condition of the sea for the purposes of this Protocol.
2 The appropriate authority or authorities of a Contracting Party shall issue permits in accordance with this
Protocol in respect of wastes or other matter intended for dumping or, as provided for in article
8.2, incineration at sea:
.1 loaded in its territory; and
.2 loaded onto a vessel or aircraft registered in its territory or flying its flag, when the loading occurs in
the territory of a State not a Contracting Party to this Protocol.
3 In issuing permits, the appropriate authority or authorities shall comply with the requirements of article 4,
together with such additional criteria, measures and requirements as they may consider relevant.
4 Each Contracting Party, directly or through a secretariat established under a regional agreement, shall report
to the Organization and where appropriate to other Contracting Parties:
.1 the information specified in paragraphs 1.2 and 1.3;
.2 the administrative and legislative measures taken to implement the provisions of this Protocol,
including a summary of enforcement measures; and
.3 the effectiveness of the measures referred to in paragraph 4.2 and any problems encountered in their
The information referred to in paragraphs 1.2 and 1.3 shall be submitted on an annual basis. The information
referred to in paragraphs 4.2 and 4.3 shall be submitted on a regular basis.
5 Reports submitted under paragraphs 4.2 and 4.3 shall be evaluated by an appropriate subsidiary body as
determined by the Meeting of Contracting Parties. This body will report its conclusions to an appropriate
Meeting or Special Meeting of Contracting Parties.
APPLICATION AND ENFORCEMENT
1 Each Contracting Party shall apply the measures required to implement this Protocol to all:
.1 vessels and aircraft registered in its territory or flying its flag;
.2 vessels and aircraft loading in its territory the wastes or other matter which are to be dumped or
incinerated at sea; and
.3 vessels, aircraft and platforms or other man-made structures believed to be engaged in dumping or
incineration at sea in areas within which it is entitled to exercise jurisdiction in accordance with
2 Each Contracting Party shall take appropriate measures in accordance with international law to prevent and if
necessary punish acts contrary to the provisions of this Protocol.
3 Contracting Parties agree to co-operate in the development of procedures for the effective application of this
Protocol in areas beyond the jurisdiction of any State, including procedures for the reporting of vessels and
aircraft observed dumping or incinerating at sea in contravention of this Protocol.
4 This Protocol shall not apply to those vessels and aircraft entitled to sovereign immunity under international
law. However, each Contracting Party shall ensure by the adoption of appropriate measures that such vessels
and aircraft owned or operated by it act in a manner consistent with the object and purpose of this Protocol
and shall inform the Organization accordingly.
5 A State may, at the time it expresses its consent to be bound by this Protocol, or at any time thereafter, declare
that it shall apply the provisions of this Protocol to its vessels and aircraft referred to in paragraph 4,
recognising that only that State may enforce those provisions against such vessels and aircraft.
1 No later than two years after the entry into force of this Protocol, the Meeting of Contracting Parties shall
establish those procedures and mechanisms necessary to assess and promote compliance with this Protocol.
Such procedures and mechanisms shall be developed with a view to allowing for the full and open exchange
of information, in a constructive manner.
2 After full consideration of any information submitted pursuant to this Protocol and any recommendations
made through procedures or mechanisms established under paragraph 1, the Meeting of Contracting Parties
may offer advice, assistance or co-operation to Contracting Parties and non-Contracting Parties.
In order to further the objectives of this Protocol, Contracting Parties with common interests to protect the
marine environment in a given geographical area shall endeavour, taking into account characteristic regional
features, to enhance regional co-operation including the conclusion of regional agreements consistent with
this Protocol for the prevention, reduction and where practicable elimination of pollution caused by dumping
or incineration at sea of wastes or other matter. Contracting Parties shall seek to co-operate with the parties
to regional agreements in order to develop harmonized procedures to be followed by Contracting Parties to
the different conventions concerned.
TECHNICAL CO-OPERATION AND ASSISTANCE
1 Contracting Parties shall, through collaboration within the Organization and in co-ordination with other
competent international organizations, promote bilateral and multilateral support for the prevention, reduction
and where practicable elimination of pollution caused by dumping as provided for in this Protocol to those
Contracting Parties that request it for:
.1 training of scientific and technical personnel for research, monitoring and enforcement, including as
appropriate the supply of necessary equipment and facilities, with a view to strengthening national
.2 advice on implementation of this Protocol;
.3 information and technical co-operation relating to waste minimization and clean production
.4 information and technical co-operation relating to the disposal and treatment of waste and other
measures to prevent, reduce and where practicable eliminate pollution caused by dumping; and
.5 access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies and corresponding know-how, in
particular to developing countries and countries in transition to market economies, on favourable
terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, taking into account the
need to protect intellectual property rights as well as the special needs of developing countries and
countries in transition to market economies.
2 The Organization shall perform the following functions:
.1 forward requests from Contracting Parties for technical co-operation to other Contracting Parties,
taking into account such factors as technical capabilities;
.2 co-ordinate requests for assistance with other competent international organizations, as appropriate;
.3 subject to the availability of adequate resources, assist developing countries and those in transition to
market economies, which have declared their intention to become Contracting Parties to this
Protocol, to examine the means necessary to achieve full implementation.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL RESEARCH
1 Contracting Parties shall take appropriate measures to promote and facilitate scientific and technical research
on the prevention, reduction and where practicable elimination of pollution by dumping and other sources of
marine pollution relevant to this Protocol. In particular, such research should include observation,
measurement, evaluation and analysis of pollution by scientific methods.
2 Contracting Parties shall, to achieve the objectives of this Protocol, promote the availability of relevant
information to other Contracting Parties who request it on:
.1 scientific and technical activities and measures undertaken in accordance with this Protocol;
.2 marine scientific and technological programmes and their objectives; and
.3 the impacts observed from the monitoring and assessment conducted pursuant to article 9.1.3.
RESPONSIBILITY AND LIABILITY
In accordance with the principles of international law regarding State responsibility for damage to the
environment of other States or to any other area of the environment, the Contracting Parties undertake to
develop procedures regarding liability arising from the dumping or incineration at sea of wastes or other
SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
1 Any disputes regarding the interpretation or application of this Protocol shall be resolved in the first instance
through negotiation, mediation or conciliation, or other peaceful means chosen by parties to the dispute.
2 If no resolution is possible within twelve months after one Contracting Party has notified another that a
dispute exists between them, the dispute shall be settled, at the request of a party to the dispute, by means of
the Arbitral Procedure set forth in Annex 3, unless the parties to the dispute agree to use one of the
procedures listed in paragraph 1 of Article 287 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The parties to the dispute may so agree, whether or not they are also States Parties to the 1982 United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
3 In the event an agreement to use one of the procedures listed in paragraph 1 of Article 287 of the 1982 United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is reached, the provisions set forth in Part XV of that Convention
that are related to the chosen procedure would also apply,mutatis mutandis.
4 The twelve month period referred to in paragraph 2 may be extended for another twelve months by mutual
consent of the parties concerned.
5 Notwithstanding paragraph 2, any State may, at the time it expresses its consent to be bound by this Protocol,
notify the Secretary-General that, when it is a party to a dispute about the interpretation or application of
article 3.1 or 3.2, its consent will be required before the dispute may be settled by means of the Arbitral
Procedure set forth in Annex 3.
Contracting Parties shall promote the objectives of this Protocol within the competent international
MEETINGS OF CONTRACTING PARTIES
1 Meetings of Contracting Parties or Special Meetings of Contracting Parties shall keep under continuing
review the implementation of this Protocol and evaluate its effectiveness with a view to identifying means of
strengthening action, where necessary, to prevent, reduce and where practicable eliminate pollution caused by
dumping and incineration at sea of wastes or other matter. To these ends, Meetings of Contracting Parties or
Special Meetings of Contracting Parties may:
.1 review and adopt amendments to this Protocol in accordance with articles 21 and 22;
.2 establish subsidiary bodies, as required, to consider any matter with a view to facilitating the effective
implementation of this Protocol;
.3 invite appropriate expert bodies to advise the Contracting Parties or the Organization on matters
relevant to this Protocol;
.4 promote co-operation with competent international organizations concerned with the prevention and
control of pollution;
.5 consider the information made available pursuant to article 9.4;
.6 develop or adopt, in consultation with competent international organizations, procedures referred to
in article 8.2, including basic criteria for determining exceptional and emergency situations, and
procedures for consultative advice and the safe disposal of matter at sea in such circumstances;
.7 consider and adopt resolutions; and
.8 consider any additional action that may be required.
2 The Contracting Parties at their first Meeting shall establish rules of procedure as necessary.
DUTIES OF THE ORGANIZATION
1 The Organization shall be responsible for Secretariat duties in relation to this Protocol. Any Contracting
Party to this Protocol not being a member of this Organization shall make an appropriate contribution to the
expenses incurred by the Organization in performing these duties.
2 Secretariat duties necessary for the administration of this Protocol include:
.1 convening Meetings of Contracting Parties once per year, unless otherwise decided by Contracting
Parties, and Special Meetings of Contracting Parties at any time on the request of two-thirds of the
.2 providing advice on request on the implementation of this Protocol and on guidance and procedures
.3 considering enquiries by, and information from Contracting Parties, consulting with them and with
the competent international organizations, and providing recommendations to Contracting Parties on
questions related to, but not specifically covered by, this Protocol;
.4 preparing and assisting, in consultation with Contracting Parties and the competent international
organizations, in the development and implementation of procedures referred to in article 18.6.;
.5 conveying to the Contracting Parties concerned all notifications received by the Organization in
accordance with this Protocol; and
.6 preparing, every two years, a budget and a financial account for the administration of this Protocol
which shall be distributed to all Contracting Parties.
3 The Organization shall, subject to the availability of adequate resources, in addition to the requirements set
out in article 13.2.3.
.1 collaborate in assessments of the state of the marine environment; and
.2 co-operate with competent international organizations concerned with the prevention and control of
Annexes to this Protocol form an integral part of this Protocol.
AMENDMENT OF THE PROTOCOL
1 Any Contracting Party may propose amendments to the articles of this Protocol. The text of a proposed
amendment shall be communicated to Contracting Parties by the Organization at least six months prior to its
consideration at a Meeting of Contracting Parties or a Special Meeting of Contracting Parties.
2 Amendments to the articles of this Protocol shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the Contracting
Parties which are present and voting at the Meeting of Contracting Parties or Special Meeting of Contracting
Parties designated for this purpose.
3 An amendment shall enter into force for the Contracting Parties which have accepted it on the sixtieth day
after two-thirds of the Contracting Parties shall have deposited an instrument of acceptance of the amendment
with the Organization. Thereafter the amendment shall enter into force for any other Contracting Party on the
sixtieth day after the date on which that Contracting Party has deposited its instrument of acceptance of the
4 The Secretary-General shall inform Contracting Parties of any amendments adopted at Meetings of
Contracting Parties and of the date on which such amendments enter into force generally and for each
5 After entry into force of an amendment to this Protocol, any State that becomes a Contracting Party to this
Protocol shall become a Contracting Party to this Protocol as amended, unless two-thirds of the Contracting
Parties present and voting at the Meeting or Special Meeting of Contracting Parties adopting the amendment
AMENDMENT OF THE ANNEXES
1 Any Contracting Party may propose amendments to the Annexes to this Protocol. The text of a proposed
amendment shall be communicated to Contracting Parties by the Organization at least six months prior to its
consideration by a Meeting of Contracting Parties or Special Meeting of Contracting Parties.
2 Amendments to the Annexes other than Annex 3 will be based on scientific or technical considerations and
may take into account legal, social and economic factors as appropriate. Such amendments shall be adopted
by a two-thirds majority vote of the Contracting Parties present and voting at a Meeting of Contracting Parties
or Special Meeting of Contracting Parties designated for this purpose.
3 The Organization shall without delay communicate to Contracting Parties amendments to the Annexes that
have been adopted at a Meeting of Contracting Parties or Special Meeting of Contracting Parties.
4 Except as provided in paragraph 7, amendments to the Annexes shall enter into force for each Contracting
Party immediately on notification of its acceptance to the Organization or 100 days after the date of their
adoption at a Meeting of Contracting Parties, if that is later, except for those Contracting Parties which before
the end of the 100 days make a declaration that they are not able to accept the amendment at that time. A
Contracting Party may at any time substitute an acceptance for a previous declaration of objection and the
amendment previously objected to shall thereupon enter into force for that Contracting Party.
5 The Secretary-General shall without delay notify Contracting Parties of instruments of acceptance or
objection deposited with the Organization.
6 A new Annex or an amendment to an Annex which is related to an amendment to the articles of this Protocol
shall not enter into force until such time as the amendment to the articles of this Protocol enters into force.
7 With regard to amendments to Annex 3 concerning the Arbitral Procedure and with regard to the adoption
and entry into force of new Annexes the procedures on amendments to the articles of this Protocol shall
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PROTOCOL AND THE CONVENTION
This Protocol will supersede the Convention as between Contracting Parties to this Protocol which are also
Parties to the Convention.
SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE,
APPROVAL AND ACCESSION
1 This Protocol shall be open for signature by any State at the Headquarters of the Organization from
1 April 1997 to 31 March 1998 and shall thereafter remain open for accession by any State.
2 States may become Contracting Parties to this Protocol by:
.1 signature not subject to ratification, acceptance or approval; or
.2 signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed by ratification, acceptance or
3 Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument to that effect
with the Secretary-General.
ENTRY INTO FORCE
1 This Protocol shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date on which:
.1 at least 26 States have expressed their consent to be bound by this Protocol in accordance with article
.2 at least 15 Contracting Parties to the Convention are included in the number of States referred to in
2 For each State that has expressed its consent to be bound by this Protocol in accordance with article 24
following the date referred to in paragraph 1, this Protocol shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the
date on which such State expressed its consent.
1 Any State that was not a Contracting Party to the Convention before 31 December 1996 and that expresses its
consent to be bound by this Protocol prior to its entry into force or within five years after its entry into force
may, at the time it expresses its consent, notify the Secretary-General that, for reasons described in the
notification, it will not be able to comply with specific provisions of this Protocol other than those provided in
paragraph 2, for a transitional period that shall not exceed that described in paragraph 4.
2 No notification made under paragraph 1 shall affect the obligations of a Contracting Party to this Protocol
with respect to incineration at sea or the dumping of radioactive wastes or other radioactive matter.
3 Any Contracting Party to this Protocol that has notified the Secretary-General under paragraph 1 that, for the
specified transitional period, it will not be able to comply, in part or in whole, with article 4.1 or article 9
shall nonetheless during that period prohibit the dumping of wastes or other matter for which it has not issued
a permit, use its best efforts to adopt administrative or legislative measures to ensure that issuance of permits
and permit conditions comply with the provisions of Annex 2, and notify the Secretary-General of any
4 Any transitional period specified in a notification made under paragraph 1 shall not extend beyond five years
after such notification is submitted.
5 Contracting Parties that have made a notification under paragraph 1 shall submit to the first Meeting of
Contracting Parties occurring after deposit of their instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or
accession a programme and timetable to achieve full compliance with this Protocol, together with any
requests for relevant technical co-operation and assistance in accordance with article 13 of this Protocol.
6 Contracting Parties that have made a notification under paragraph 1 shall establish procedures and
mechanisms for the transitional period to implement and monitor submitted programmes designed to achieve
full compliance with this Protocol. A report on progress toward compliance shall be submitted by such
Contracting Parties to each Meeting of Contracting Parties held during their transitional period for
1 Any Contracting Party may withdraw from this Protocol at any time after the expiry of two years from the
date on which this Protocol enters into force for that Contracting Party.
2 Withdrawal shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of withdrawal with the Secretary-General.
3 A withdrawal shall take effect one year after receipt by the Secretary-General of the instrument of withdrawal
or such longer period as may be specified in that instrument.
1 This Protocol shall be deposited with the Secretary-General.
2 In addition to the functions specified in articles 10.5, 16.5, 21.4, 22.5 and 26.5, the Secretary-General shall:
.1 inform all States which have signed this Protocol or acceded thereto of:
.1 each new signature or deposit of an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or
accession, together with the date thereof;
.2 the date of entry into force of this Protocol; and
.3 the deposit of any instrument of withdrawal from this Protocol together with the date on
which it was received and the date on which the withdrawal takes effect.
.2 transmit certified copies of this Protocol to all States which have signed this Protocol or acceded
3 As soon as this Protocol enters into force, a certified true copy thereof shall be transmitted by the Secretary-
General to the Secretariat of the United Nations for registration and publication in accordance with Article
102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
This Protocol is established in a single original in the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
languages, each text being equally authentic.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned being duly authorized by their respective Governments for that
purpose have signed this Protocol.
DONE AT LONDON, this seventh day of November, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-six.
WASTES OR OTHER MATTER THAT
MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR DUMPING
1 The following wastes or other matter are those that may be considered for dumping being mindful of the
Objectives and General Obligations of this Protocol set out in articles 2 and 3:
.1 dredged material;
.2 sewage sludge;
.3 fish waste, or material resulting from industrial fish processing operations;
.4 vessels and platforms or other man-made structures at sea;
.5 inert, inorganic geological material;
.6 organic material of natural origin; and
.7 bulky items primarily comprising iron, steel, concrete and similarly unharmful materials for which
the concern is physical impact, and limited to those circumstances where such wastes are generated at
locations, such as small islands with isolated communities, having no practicable access to disposal
options other than dumping.
2 The wastes or other matter listed in paragraphs 1.4 and 1.7 may be considered for dumping, provided that
material capable of creating floating debris or otherwise contributing to pollution of the marine environment
has been removed to the maximum extent and provided that the material dumped poses no serious obstacle to
fishing or navigation.
3 Notwithstanding the above, materials listed in paragraphs 1.1 to 1.7 containing levels of radioactivity greater
thande minimis (exempt) concentrations as defined by the IAEA and adopted by Contracting Parties, shall
not be considered eligible for dumping; provided further that within 25 years of 20 February 1994, and at
each 25 year interval thereafter, Contracting Parties shall complete a scientific study relating to all radioactive
wastes and other radioactive matter other than high level wastes or matter, taking into account such other
factors as Contracting Parties consider appropriate and shall review the prohibition on dumping of such
substances in accordance with the procedures set forth in article 22.
ASSESSMENT OF WASTES OR OTHER MATTER
THAT MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR DUMPING
1 The acceptance of dumping under certain circumstances shall not remove the obligations under this Annex to
make further attempts to reduce the necessity for dumping.
WASTE PREVENTION AUDIT
2 The initial stages in assessing alternatives to dumping should, as appropriate, include an evaluation of:
.1 types, amounts and relative hazard of wastes generated;
.2 details of the production process and the sources of wastes within that process; and
.3 feasibility of the following waste reduction/prevention techniques:
.1 product reformulation;
.2 clean production technologies;
.3 process modification;
.4 input substitution; and
.5 on-site, closed-loop recycling.
3 In general terms, if the required audit reveals that opportunities exist for waste prevention at source, an
applicant is expected to formulate and implement a waste prevention strategy, in collaboration with relevant
local and national agencies, which includes specific waste reduction targets and provision for further waste
prevention audits to ensure that these targets are being met. Permit issuance or renewal decisions shall assure
compliance with any resulting waste reduction and prevention requirements.
4 For dredged material and sewage sludge, the goal of waste management should be to identify and control the
sources of contamination. This should be achieved through implementation of waste prevention strategies
and requires collaboration between the relevant local and national agencies involved with the control of point
and non-point sources of pollution. Until this objective is met, the problems of contaminated dredged
material may be addressed by using disposal management techniques at sea or on land.
CONSIDERATION OF WASTE MANAGEMENT OPTIONS
5 Applications to dump wastes or other matter shall demonstrate that appropriate consideration has been given
to the following hierarchy of waste management options, which implies an order of increasing environmental
.2 off-site recycling;
.3 destruction of hazardous constituents;
.4 treatment to reduce or remove the hazardous constituents; and
.5 disposal on land, into air and in water.
6 A permit to dump wastes or other matter shall be refused if the permitting authority determines that
appropriate opportunities exist to re-use, recycle or treat the waste without undue risks to human health or the
environment or disproportionate costs. The practical availability of other means of disposal should be
considered in the light of a comparative risk assessment involving both dumping and the alternatives.
CHEMICAL, PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES
7 A detailed description and characterization of the waste is an essential precondition for the consideration of
alternatives and the basis for a decision as to whether a waste may be dumped. If a waste is so poorly
characterized that proper assessment cannot be made of its potential impacts on human health and the
environment, that waste shall not be dumped.
8 Characterization of the wastes and their constituents shall take into account:
.1 origin, total amount, form and average composition;
.2 properties: physical, chemical, biochemical and biological;
.4 persistence: physical, chemical and biological; and
.5 accumulation and biotransformation in biological materials or sediments.
9 Each Contracting Party shall develop a national Action List to provide a mechanism for screening candidate
wastes and their constituents on the basis of their potential effects on human health and the marine
environment. In selecting substances for consideration in an Action List, priority shall be given to toxic,
persistent and bioaccumulative substances from anthropogenic sources (e.g., cadmium, mercury,
organohalogens, petroleum hydrocarbons, and, whenever relevant, arsenic, lead, copper, zinc, beryllium,
chromium, nickel and vanadium, organosilicon compounds, cyanides, fluorides and pesticides or their byproducts
other than organohalogens). An Action List can also be used as a trigger mechanism for further
waste prevention considerations.
10 An Action List shall specify an upper level and may also specify a lower level. The upper level should be set
so as to avoid acute or chronic effects on human health or on sensitive marine organisms representative of the
marine ecosystem. Application of an Action List will result in three possible categories of waste:
.1 wastes which contain specified substances, or which cause biological responses, exceeding the
relevant upper level shall not be dumped, unless made acceptable for dumping through the use of
management techniques or processes;
.2 wastes which contain specified substances, or which cause biological responses, below the relevant
lower levels should be considered to be of little environmental concern in relation to dumping; and
.3 wastes which contain specified substances, or which cause biological responses, below the upper
level but above the lower level require more detailed assessment before their suitability for dumping
can be determined.
11 Information required to select a dump-site shall include:
.1 physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the water-column and the seabed;
.2 location of amenities, values and other uses of the sea in the area under consideration;
.3 assessment of the constituent fluxes associated with dumping in relation to existing fluxes of
substances in the marine environment; and
.4 economic and operational feasibility.
ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL EFFECTS
12 Assessment of potential effects should lead to a concise statement of the expected consequences of the sea or
land disposal options, i.e., the "Impact Hypothesis". It provides a basis for deciding whether to approve or
reject the proposed disposal option and for defining environmental monitoring requirements.
13 The assessment for dumping should integrate information on waste characteristics, conditions at the proposed
dump-site(s), fluxes, and proposed disposal techniques and specify the potential effects on human health,
living resources, amenities and other legitimate uses of the sea. It should define the nature, temporal and
spatial scales and duration of expected impacts based on reasonably conservative assumptions.
14 An analysis of each disposal option should be considered in the light of a comparative assessment of the
following concerns: human health risks, environmental costs, hazards, (including accidents), economics and
exclusion of future uses. If this assessment reveals that adequate information is not available to determine the
likely effects of the proposed disposal option then this option should not be considered further. In addition, if
the interpretation of the comparative assessment shows the dumping option to be less preferable, a permit for
dumping should not be given.
15 Each assessment should conclude with a statement supporting a decision to issue or refuse a permit for
16 Monitoring is used to verify that permit conditions are met - compliance monitoring - and that the
assumptions made during the permit review and site selection process were correct and sufficient to protect
the environment and human health - field monitoring. It is essential that such monitoring programmes have
clearly defined objectives.
PERMIT AND PERMIT CONDITIONS
17 A decision to issue a permit should only be made if all impact evaluations are completed and the monitoring
requirements are determined. The provisions of the permit shall ensure, as far as practicable, that
environmental disturbance and detriment are minimized and the benefits maximized. Any permit issued shall
contain data and information specifying:
.1 the types and sources of materials to be dumped;
.2 the location of the dump-site(s);
.3 the method of dumping; and
.4 monitoring and reporting requirements.
18 Permits should be reviewed at regular intervals, taking into account the results of monitoring and the
objectives of monitoring programmes. Review of monitoring results will indicate whether field programmes
need to be continued, revised or terminated and will contribute to informed decisions regarding the
continuance, modification or revocation of permits. This provides an important feedback mechanism for the
protection of human health and the marine environment.
1 An Arbitral Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as the "Tribunal") shall be established upon the request of a
Contracting Party addressed to another Contracting Party in application of article 16 of this Protocol. The
request for arbitration shall consist of a statement of the case together with any supporting documents.
2 The requesting Contracting Party shall inform the Secretary-General of:
.1 its request for arbitration; and
.2 the provisions of this Protocol the interpretation or application of which is, in its opinion, the subject
3 The Secretary-General shall transmit this information to all Contracting States.
1 The Tribunal shall consist of a single arbitrator if so agreed between the parties to the dispute within 30 days
from the date of receipt of the request for arbitration.
2 In the case of the death, disability or default of the arbitrator, the parties to a dispute may agree upon a
replacement within 30 days of such death, disability or default.
1 Where the parties to a dispute do not agree upon a Tribunal in accordance with article 2 of this Annex, the
Tribunal shall consist of three members:
.1 one arbitrator nominated by each party to the dispute; and
.2 a third arbitrator who shall be nominated by agreement between the two first named and who shall act
as its Chairman.
2 If the Chairman of a Tribunal is not nominated within 30 days of nomination of the second arbitrator, the
parties to a dispute shall, upon the request of one party, submit to the Secretary-General within a further
period of 30 days an agreed list of qualified persons. The Secretary-General shall select the Chairman from
such list as soon as possible. He shall not select a Chairman who is or has been a national of one party to the
dispute except with the consent of the other party to the dispute.
3 If one party to a dispute fails to nominate an arbitrator as provided in paragraph 1.1 within 60 days from the
date of receipt of the request for arbitration, the other party may request the submission to the
Secretary-General within a period of 30 days of an agreed list of qualified persons. The Secretary-General
shall select the Chairman of the Tribunal from such list as soon as possible. The Chairman shall then request
the party which has not nominated an arbitrator to do so. If this party does not nominate an arbitrator within
15 days of such request, the Secretary-General shall, upon request of the Chairman, nominate the arbitrator
from the agreed list of qualified persons.
4 In the case of the death, disability or default of an arbitrator, the party to the dispute who nominated him shall
nominate a replacement within 30 days of such death, disability or default. If the party does not nominate a
replacement, the arbitration shall proceed with the remaining arbitrators. In the case of the death, disability or
default of the Chairman, a replacement shall be nominated in accordance with the provision of paragraphs 1.2
and 2 within 90 days of such death, disability or default.
5 A list of arbitrators shall be maintained by the Secretary-General and composed of qualified persons
nominated by the Contracting Parties. Each Contracting Party may designate for inclusion in the list four
persons who shall not necessarily be its nationals. If the parties to the dispute have failed within the specified
time limits to submit to the Secretary-General an agreed list of qualified persons as provided for in paragraphs
2, 3 and 4, the Secretary-General shall select from the list maintained by him the arbitrator or arbitrators not
The Tribunal may hear and determine counter-claims arising directly out of the subject matter of the dispute.
Each party to the dispute shall be responsible for the costs entailed by the preparation of its own case. The
remuneration of the members of the Tribunal and of all general expenses incurred by the arbitration shall be
borne equally by the parties to the dispute. The Tribunal shall keep a record of all its expenses and shall
furnish a final statement thereof to the parties.
Any Contracting Party which has an interest of a legal nature which may be affected by the decision in the
case may, after giving written notice to the parties to the dispute which have originally initiated the
procedure, intervene in the arbitration procedure with the consent of the Tribunal and at its own expense.
Any such intervenor shall have the right to present evidence, briefs and oral argument on the matters giving
rise to its intervention, in accordance with procedures established pursuant to article 7 of this Annex, but shall
have no rights with respect to the composition of the Tribunal.
A Tribunal established under the provisions of this Annex shall decide its own rules of procedure.
1 Unless a Tribunal consists of a single arbitrator, decisions of the Tribunal as to its procedure, its place of
meeting, and any question related to the dispute laid before it, shall be taken by majority vote of its members.
However, the absence or abstention of any member of the Tribunal who was nominated by a party to the
dispute shall not constitute an impediment to the Tribunal reaching a decision. In case of equal voting, the
vote of the Chairman shall be decisive.
2 The parties to the dispute shall facilitate the work of the Tribunal and in particular shall, in accordance with
their legislation and using all means at their disposal:
.1 provide the Tribunal with all necessary documents and information; and
.2 enable the Tribunal to enter their territory, to hear witnesses or experts, and to visit the scene.
3 The failure of a party to the dispute to comply with the provisions of paragraph 2 shall not preclude the
Tribunal from reaching a decision and rendering an award.
The Tribunal shall render its award within five months from the time it is established unless it finds it
necessary to extend that time limit for a period not to exceed five months. The award of the Tribunal shall be
accompanied by a statement of reasons for the decision. It shall be final and without appeal and shall be
communicated to the Secretary-General who shall inform the Contracting Parties. The parties to the dispute
shall immediately comply with the award.