Special Areas under MARPOL

In Annexes I Prevention of pollution by oil, II Control of pollution by noxious liquid substances and V Prevention of pollution by garbage from ships, MARPOL defines certain sea areas as "special areas" in which, for technical reasons relating to their oceanographical and ecological condition and to their sea traffic, the adoption of special mandatory methods for the prevention of sea pollution is required. Under the Convention, these special areas are provided with a higher level of protection than other areas of the sea.

Annex VI Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships establishes certain sulphur oxide (SOx) Emission Control Areas with more stringent controls on sulphur emissions.

Special areas under MARPOL are as follows:

 

Adoption, entry into force & date of taking effect of Special Areas
Special Areas Adopted # Date of Entry into Force In Effect From
Annex I: Oil
Mediterranean Sea 2 Nov 1973 2 Oct 1983 2 Oct 1983
Baltic Sea 2 Nov 1973 2 Oct 1983 2 Oct 1983
Black Sea 2 Nov 1973 2 Oct 1983 2 Oct 1983
Red Sea 2 Nov 1973 2 Oct 1983 *
"Gulfs" area 2 Nov 1973 2 Oct 1983 1 Aug 2008
Gulf of Aden 1 Dec 1987 1 Apr 1989 *
Antarctic area 16 Nov 1990 17 Mar 1992 17 Mar 1992
North West European Waters 25 Sept 1997 1 Feb 1999 1 Aug 1999
Oman area of the Arabian Sea 15 Oct 2004 1 Jan 2007 *
Southern South African waters 13 Oct 2006 1 Mar 2008 1 Aug 2008
Annex II: Noxious Liquid Substances
Antarctic area 30 Oct 1992 1 Jul 1994 1 Jul 1994
Annex V: Garbage
Mediterranean Sea 2 Nov 1973 31 Dec 1988 1 May 2009
Baltic Sea 2 Nov 1973 31 Dec 1988 1 Oct 1989
Black Sea 2 Nov 1973 31 Dec 1988 *
Red Sea 2 Nov 1973 31 Dec 1988 *
"Gulfs" area 2 Nov 1973 31 Dec 1988 1 Aug 2008
North Sea 17 Oct 1989 18 Feb 1991 18 Feb 1991
Antarctic area (south of latitude 60 degrees south) 16 Nov 1990 17 Mar 1992 17 Mar 1992
Wider Caribbean region including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea 4 July 1991 4 Apr 1993 1 May 2011
Annex VI: Prevention of air pollution by ships (SOx Emission Control Areas)
Baltic Sea 26 Sept 1997 19 May 2005 19 May 2006
North Sea 22 July 2005 22 Nov 2006 22 Nov 2007

# Status of multilateral conventions and instruments in respect of which the international maritime organization or its secretary general perform depositary or other functions as at 31 December 2002

* The Special Area requirements for these areas have not taken effect because of lack of notifications from MARPOL Parties whose coastlines border the relevant special areas on the existence of adequate reception facilities (regulations 38.6 of MARPOL Annex I and 5(4) of MARPOL Annex V).