Regulation 37 of MARPOL Annex I requires that oil tankers of 150 gross tonnage and above and all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above carry an approved Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP). Article 3 of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, 1990, also requires such a plan for certain ships.
Regulation 17 of MARPOL Annex II makes similar stipulations that all ships of 150 gross tonnage and above carrying noxious liquid substances in bulk carry an approved shipboard marine pollution emergency plan for noxious liquid substances.
The latter may be combined with a SOPEP, since most of their contents are the same and one combined plan on board is more practical than two separate ones in case of an emergency. To make it clear that the plan is a combined one, it should be referred to as a Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SMPEP).
To help Administrations and shipowners meet these requirements, IMO has produced the Guidelines for the Development of Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plans, 2010 Edition which includes Guidelines for the development of Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plans (SOPEP) (resolution MEPC.54(32)
, as amended by resolution MEPC.86(44)
and Guidelines for the development of Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plans of Oil and/or Noxious Liquid Substances (Resolution MEPC.85(44)
, as amended by resolution MEPC.137(53)
The two sets of guidelines provide that the shipboard emergency plans should include, as an appendix, the list of agencies or officials of administrations responsible for receiving and processing reports on incidents involving oil and/or harmful substances (List of National Operation Contact Points