The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) assists the Mediterranean coastal States in ratifying, transposing, implementing and enforcing international maritime conventions.

REMPEC carries out numerous activities, from technical activities such as workshops, training courses, experts' assessments, studies and proposals, to aiding the development of regional instruments and guidelines, as well as assisting the Mediterranean coastal States to implement in a coherent way  relevant international maritime rules and regulations.

Most of the current activities derive from the provisions of the 2002 Prevention and Emergency Protocol, which aims to support the implementation of the Regional Strategy for Prevention of the Marine Pollution from ships (2016-2021), and which constitutes a 5-year roadmap for the implementation of the 2002 Prevention and Emergency Protocol.  REMPEC activities are focused around four main topics.


By introducing the Prevention of Marine Pollution from ships in its mandate, in 1993, Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention endorsed the extended role of the Centre to address pollution from chemicals, other harmful substances, garbage, sewage, air pollution and emissions from ships as laid down in the MARPOL Convention. Since then, the Centre has also assisted the Mediterranean coastal States in ratifying, transposing, implementing and enforcing other international maritime conventions addressing amongst other things the reinforcement of maritime administrations, prevention of illicit discharges from ships and prosecution of offenders, promotion of port reception facilities, control of pleasure craft activities, prevention and control of air emission from ships, designation of places of refuge, prevention of introduction of invasive species and ballast water management, promotion of anti-fouling systems used on ships, etc.

Preparedness and response

The existence of reliable national systems for preparedness and response, including administrative organisation, trained personnel, basic equipment and in particular contingency plans for combating marine pollution incidents, is considered to be the single most important factor which determines the effectiveness and the success of response to marine pollution incidents. 

Now that REMPEC's objectives and functions include assisting the Mediterranean coastal States during each of the phases of the development of their national systems, one of the most important activities of REMPEC, since its establishment in December 1976, has been in providing this type of assistance to the individual coastal States.

Developing and consolidating an effective national system for preparedness for and response to marine pollution incidents is a complex and continuous process.  It involves setting up the organizational framework for dealing with marine pollution incidents, based on a political decision to do so, preparing a national contingency plan and related local contingency plans, training personnel designated to respond to pollution incidents, and acquiring the necessary pollution response equipment and products. 

One of the main tasks of the Centre, deriving from its mandate, has been defined as “assistance to the coastal States of the Mediterranean region, which in cases of emergency so request, in obtaining assistance of the other Parties to the Prevention and Emergency Protocol or, when the possibilities for assistance do not exist within the region, in obtaining assistance from outside the region”. 

The assistance provided by the Centre can take the form of remote assistance, on-site assistance and regional assistance. In this regard, the Centre put into place a 24/7 system which is reachable at any time. The Centre also established a team of experts, pooled under the Mediterranean Assistance Unit (MAU), who can be mobilized on request by any Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention in case of an emergency.

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published on 2020/04/07 15:48:00 GMT+0 last modified 2020-05-11T09:02:38+00:00