18th Inter-Secretariat meeting between Regional Agreement Secretariats, DG ECHO and EMSA, 15-16 February 2022 – Feb 16, 2022


The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre jointly administered with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), explores the establishment of synergies and cooperation in the field of prevention of, preparedness, and response to marine pollution from ships, with other Regional Agreement Secretariats (Black Sea Commission, Bonn Agreement, Copenhagen Agreement, Lisbon Agreement, HELCOM, and OSPAR), the European Commission (DG ECHO, DG ENV, DG MOVE), and EMSA, during the 18th Inter-Secretariat meeting held remotely on 15-16 February 2022.


REMPEC introduced its Programme of Work for the biennium 2022-2023 and announced the organisation of the First Meeting on the implementation of the Mediterranean Strategy for the Prevention of, Preparedness, and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships (2022-2031) on 29 November – 1 December 2022. Relevant stakeholders, including institutions attending the 18th Inter-Secretariat meeting, will be invited to contribute to the preparation of this meeting, by sharing information on on-going and future actions as well as projects relevant to the Strategy and its action plan. The objective of this meeting will be to build sustainable partnerships, channel international cooperation, and maximise synergies.


Specific joint discussions and exchange among participants were held on: the proposal for the Designation of the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides (Med SOx ECA) pursuant to MARPOL Annex VI, to be examined by the upcoming 78th Session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 78, London, UK, 6-10 June 2022); the possible designation of the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Nitrogen Oxides (Med NOx ECA); and activities related to the ratification and effective implementation of MARPOL Annex VI.


Following the successful completion of the Marine HNS Response Manual – Multi-regional Bonn Agreement, HELCOM, REMPEC - developed within the framework of the EU-funded WestMOPoCo Project, as a result of the agreement for the inter-regional drafting of this manual made at earlier Inter-Secretariat meetings - discussions were held on the submission of the Manual at the upcoming  9th Session of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 9, London, UK, 4-8 April 2022). The dialogue on this subject addressed notably the need to exchange on lessons learnt from HNS incidents, which are rare events, and the upcoming proposal at PPR 9 to consider exchanging HNS incident lessons learnt reports, at global level, through the Maritime Integrated Decision Support Information System Transport of Chemical Substances (MIDSIS-TROCS).