Chapter I General Provisions
Chapter II General Stipulations
Chapter III Documents and Equipment for the Prevention of Vessel-induced
Chapter IV Oil Operations and Discharge of Oil-polluted Water by Vessels
Chapter V Dangerous Goods Carried by Vessels
Chapter VI Other Polluted Water from Vessels
Chapter VII Garbage from Vessels
Chapter VIII Use of Vessels to Dump Waste Materials
Chapter IX Surface and Submerged Projects of Ship Repair, Ship Building,
Chapter X Compensation for Harm from Pollution Accidents Caused by
Chapter XI Penalty and Rewards
Chapter XII Supplementary Provisions
(Promulgated by the State Council on December 29, 1983)
These Regulations are formulated with a view to implementing
the Marine Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China,
preventing sea pollution by ships and maintaining the marine ecological
These Regulations are applicable to all Chinese and foreign
vessels, shipowners and other individuals within the sea areas and harbors
under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China.
The organs in charge of the prevention of vessel-induced
pollution of the marine environment are the harbor superintendency
administration of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as
the “harbor superintendencies”).
Chapter II General Stipulations
All vessels in the sea areas and harbors under the jurisdiction
of the People’s Republic of China shall in no case discharge oils, oil-based
mixtures, waste materials and other toxic substances in violation of the
stipulations of the Marine Environmental Protection Law of the People’s
Republic of China and these Regulations.
No vessel shall discharge oils, oil-based mixtures, waste
materials and other toxic substances into the freshwater of harbors close to
river mouths, special marine reserves and natural marine protection areas.
When accidents of pollution occur in the sea areas caused by
oil, oil based mixtures and other toxic substances from vessels, measures
shall be immediately adopted to control and eliminate the pollution and a
written report shall be made to a nearby harbor superintendency administration
as quickly as possible for investigation and treatment.
In cases where marine accidents have caused, or are likely to
cause, major pollution damage to the marine environment, the harbor
superintendency administration shall have the power to compel the adoption of
measures to avoid or reduce this pollution damage, including measures of
compulsory elimination of pollution or compulsory towing of the vessels. The
vessels causing the problems shall bear all the costs arising therefrom.
When vessels cause or find other vessels cause pollution or
violate the relevant regulations in the sea areas under the jurisdiction of
the People’s Republic of China, the matter shall be handled in accordance with
the stipulations of Articles 36 and 37 of the Marine Environmental Protection
Law of the People’s Republic of China.
Vessels which need to conduct cabin-washing operations in the
harbor must adopt measures for safety and for preventing pollution damage to
the sea areas. Applications shall be submitted in advance to the harbor
superintendency administration, and the operation may proceed only with
To ensure safe pilotage and docking of oil tankers and to
prevent pollution of the sea areas, the ballast water kept in all empty oil
tankers entering the harbor must be no less than one-fourth of the deadweight
capacity of the oil tanker in question. In cases where an oil tanker does not
keep sufficient ballast water as stipulated, the harbor superintendency
administration shall investigate the whereabouts of its ballast water and
handle the matter according to the circumstances therearound.
After oil pollution accidents or discharges of oil in
violation of the regulations have occurred, the vessels involved may not use
oil-eliminating chemicals at their own discretion. If oil-eliminating
chemicals have to be used, applications by telephone or in written form shall
be made to the harbor superintendencies in advance, with the brand names,
amounts and the areas for the application of the oil-eliminating agents
stated, and they may be used only with approval.
In cases pollution accidents or pollutant discharges in
violation of the regulations occur, the owners of the vessels involved or the
persons who have caused the problems and who are found or held economically
liable for the cleaning and compensasion must complete the procedures of the
financial guarantee for or the payment of the relevant sums of money before
the vessels set sail.
Vessels carrying 2,000 tons or more of bulk oil or cargoes
navigating on international navigation lines shall, in addition to
implementing the stipulations of these Regulations, abide by the International
Pact of 1969 on Civil Liability for Harm from Oil Polltition, to which China
Documents and Equipment for the Prevention of Vessel-induced
Documents for the prevention of vessel-induced pollution:
(1) oil tankers of 150 gross tonnage or more, non-oil tankers of 400 gross
tonnage or more and vessels carrying 2,000 tons or more of bulk oil and
cargoes shall be respectively equipped with the corresponding documents for
the prevention of pollution by vessels as stipulated in Article 28 of the
Marine Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China;
(2) vessels shall also be equipped with all the other documents for the
prevention of pollution as demanded by the harbor superintendencies.
With regard to oil tankers of 150 gross tonnage or more and
non-oil tankers of 400 gross tonnage or more, the equipment on board for the
prevention of pollution shall meet the following requirements:
(1) separate piping systems are used for the polluted water in the engine
room and the ballast tank water;
(2) foul oil storage tanks are installed;
(3) standard discharge connections are used;
(4) oil and water separation equipment or filtering system is installed
and it is ensured that the discharged oil content of the treated oil-polluted
water does not exceed 15 mg/liter, when discharged within 12 nautical miles of
the nearest land and not exceed 100 mg/liter, when discharged beyond 12
nautical miles from the nearest land;
(5) ships of 10,000 tonnage or more shall, in addition to satisfying the
afore-mentioned requirements as stipulated in this Article, also be equipped
with monitoring and control devices for oil discharge;
(6) other pollution-prevention equipment installed on board the vessels
shall conform to the relevant stipulations of the state for vessels’
pollution-prevention structures and equipment standards.
The existing pollution-prevention equipment that is not up to the above
requirements shall be brought up to the stipulated requirements within 3 years
of the implementation of these Regulations.
Oil tankers of under 150 gloss tonnage and non-oil tankers of
under 400 gross tonnage shall be fitted out with specialized containers for
retrieving residue oil and waste oil. These containers shall be able to
discharge residue oil and waste oil to the receptacles at harbors and shall be
equipped as stipulated in Clauses (3) and (6) of Article 15 of these
Oil Operations and Discharge of Oil-polluted Water by Vessels
When performing oil loading or unloading operations, vessels
must observe the following stipulations:
(1) before the operations, the pipelines and valves must be examined,
preparatory work done, the decks drainage holes closed and the relevant valves
leading to the sea shut;
(2) the relevant equipment for oil operations must be examined and kept in
(3) containers for collecting oil shall be placed where oil overflow and
oil leakage could occur;
(4) both parties, primarily the recipient, shall earnestly act upon the
contracted signals agreed on through consultation by the oil supplier and the
(5) during the operations, there shall be sufficient personnel on duty,
those who are on duty must stand fast at their posts, strictly observe the
operational rules, keep informed on and control over the progress of the
operations and prevent oil escape and leakage;
(6) when operations stop, the relevant valves must be shut;
(7) when brought in or untied, the flexible pipes must be sealed up with
built-in valves in advance, or other effective measures adopted to prevent the
oil remaining in the pipes from flowing backward into the sea;
(8) oil tankers shall make accurate entries of the situation of oil
operations in the “record book for oils”; non-oil tankers shall make entries
in the “engine logbook” or the minute book of those on duty.
In the event of oil escape or oil leakage while performing oil
operations, vessels shall promptly adopt measures to eliminate oil pollution
and prevent its expansion, and at the same time report to the harbor
superintendencies. After the causes have been ascertained, the vessels shall
report in writing and wait for investigation and handling.
In discharging pollutants, vessels must meet the “Standards
for Discharge of Pollutants by Vessels” of the People’s Republic of China.
Such oil-polluted water as that in the ballast tanks, that from washing of
cabins and that in the engine rooms of vessels entering harbors must not be
discharged at will; it shall be received and disposed of with disposal
facilities for oil-polluted water at the harbor. If the harbor is not equipped
for receiving and disposing of oil-polluted water when vessels’ oil-polluted
water have to be discharged, a written report shall be submitted to the harbor
superintendencies in advance. After approval is received, the discharge shall
be conducted conditionally and at designated areas.
The discharge of vessels’ oil-polluted water approved in
accordance with Article 19 of these Regulations must be in accordance with the
(1) general requirements
a. the discharge must be done within the approved areas;
b. in the course of navigating, the instantaneous discharge rate may not
exceed 60 liters/nautical mile;
c. the oil content of the polluted water may not exceed 15 mg/liter;
d. the oil and water separation equipment, the filtering system and the
monitoring and controlling devices of oil discharge must be in normal working
e. the discharge must be done on the ebbtide.
(2) the discharge of oil-polluted water from the engine rooms of oil
tankers of 150 gross tonnage or more and non-oil tankers of 400 gross tonnage
or more must, in addition to satisfying a, b, d, and e of the above-listed
general requirements, also meet the following requirements:
a. discharge must be done beyond 12 nautical miles from the nearest land;
b. the oil content of the polluted water may not exceed 100 mg/liter.
(3) the discharge of ballast water and the water from the washing of
cabins of oil tankers of 150 gross tonnage or more must, in addition to
satisfying b and d of the above-listed general requirements, also meet the
a. dumping must be done 50 nautical miles away from the nearest land;
b. the total amount of oil discharged in each ballast voyage may not
exceed 1/15000 of the total amount of oil carried for existing oil tankers,
and not exceed 1/30000 for new oil tankers.
Dangerous Goods Carried by Vessels
Vessels carrying dangerous goods with inflammable, explosive
or corrosive, toxic and radioactive substances shall adopt necessary safety
and anti-pollution measures. They shall raise the stipulated signals, observe
the “Regulations on Supervision and Control of Dangerous Goods Carried by
Vessels” and “Regulations on Transportation of Dangerous Goods through Water
Routes” of the Ministry of Communications of the People’s Republic of China
and the “Rules on Transportation of Dangerous Goods on International Seas” of
the International Maritime Organization, and prevent occurrence of accidents
that will cause the dangerous goods to scatter or leak out to pollute the sea
When vessels are loading dangerous toxic bulk liquids at the
harbor, the various stipulations prescribed in Article 17 of these Regulations
may be referred to for implementation.
When vessels are loading and unloading dangerous goods of a
toxic, corrosive or radioactive nature, both the vessels and the operation
units must adopt precautionary measures to prevent the goods from falling into
the water. Should accidents occur, urgent measures shall be adopted to
retrieve and remove the goods. Reports shall be made immediately to the harbor
superintendencies and the relevant units must be informed in good time, so
that measures will be adopted to prevent major damage.
Other Polluted Water from Vessels
Nuclear powered vessels and vessels carrying radioactive
substances must observe the stipulations in Article 31 of the Marine
Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China.
Vessels from epidemic-affected ports shall apply to the
sanitation and quarantine department for sanitary treatment of the ballast
Vessels carrying toxic goods and goods containing corrosive
substances must, in discharging hold-washings containing such substanccs,
conform to the following requirements:
(1) discharge within the approved areas;
(2) discharge 12 nautical miles away from the nearest land, and the depth
of the water exceed 25 meters;
(3) discharge in the course of navigating, and at a speed of not less than
7 knots and for non-self-navigating vessels, not less than 4 knots;
(4) discharge on the ebbtide;
(5) solid residue materials may not be discharged into the sea areas; they
must be retrieved for disposal;
(6) entries must be made of discharges in the “navigation logbook”.
Garbage from Vessels
Garbage from vessels shall not be dumped at will into harbor waters.
Vessels carrying toxic or dusty bulk goods may not wash the decks and
cabins at will in the harbors, or discharge the residue materials in the
harbors in any other ways. If washing is really necessary, applications must
be submitted to the harbor superintendencies in advance for approval.
Any vessel in the harbor that needs to dump garbage shall
raise on board signals as designated by the harbor, and hire garbage
boats/trucks to dispose of it. At the same time the following requirements
must be met:
(1) the containers for storing and collecting domestic garbage of the
vessel must have covers and may not leak, and dumping must be done at regular
(2) cabin paddings, materials used for sweeping the cabin and various
types of solid garbage shall be dumped by the shipping service departments;
the vessel shall apply to these departments in advance and provide the
information about the types and amounts of the materials to be dumped;
(3) with respect to the garbage containing toxic or other dangerous
substances, the vessel, in applying for dumping, must provide the names,
nature and amounts of these materials which shall be strictly separated from
With respect to the garbage of vessels from epidemic-affected
ports, applications shall be submitted to the sanitation and quarantine
department for sanitary treatment of the vessels.
Vessels disposing of garbage at sea shall conform to the
(1) plastic products may not be cast off into the sea;
(2) granulated domestic garbage and kitchen wastes of less than 25mm in
diameter may, after pulverization treatment, be cast off beyond 3 nautical
miles from the nearest land; those which have not been thus treated shall be
cast of beyond 12 nautical miles from the nearest land.
Use of Vessels to Dump Waste Materials
Any unit that needs to use vessels to dump waste materials
shall submit the document of approval by the State Ocean-ography Bureau or by
its agency to the harbor superintendency of the harbor where shipment starts,
and may go through the visa precedures for the vessels to make their entry and
exit only after verification. If the actual cargoes are found to be not in
conformity with the contents approved, the visa application shall be rejected.
When performing operations of dumping waste materials, the
vessel shall make accurate records of the dumping. After coming back to the
harbor, the vessel shall report in written form to the harbor superintendency.
Foreign vessels may not, in the sea areas under the
jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China, perform operations of dumping
waste materials including discarding vessels and other means of floatation.
Surface and Submerged Projects of Ship Repair, Ship Building,
Ship Salvage and Ship Scrapping
Ship repairing, scrapping and salvaging units shall all be
equipped with sufficient anti-pollution equipment and facilities. While
engineering projects are under way with a ship, either above or under water,
precautionary measures shall be adopted to prevent oils, oil mixtures and
other waste materials from polluting the sea areas. The oil-polluted water
from the project on ship above water shall be treated in accordance with the
stipulations of Articles 19 and 20 of these Regulations.
In areas where there are concentrated surface operations of
ship repairs and ship building, enclosures shall be set up to prevent the
floating of oil and paint from spreading and to facilitate the prompt
cleaning. Industrial garbage and other waste materials from the process of
repairing and construction shall not be cast off into the sea, but rather,
they shall be retrieved and treated by the construction units.
In surface ship scrapping, the scraps may not be cast off into
the sea. The bottom of the ship and the oil tank may not be dismantled in the
sea; they must be dragged to the shore for dismantling operations and the
residue oil must be retrieved and disposed of.
In case of marine damage by vessels, or when vessels might
sink, the crew shall, before leaving the vessels, as far as possible shut the
valves of all the piping systems in and stop up the air vents of the oil
cabins (tanks), so as to prevent oil spill. The amount of the oil in stock and
the positions of the air vents shall be clearly stated in the maritime reports.
In conducting ship salvaging project under water, measures
shall be adopted to prevent the spread of oil pollution and emergence of new
Compensation for Harm from Pollution Accidents Caused by
In case of violation by vessels of the Marine Environmental
Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China and these Regulations that
has caused pollution damage to the marine environment, the harbor
superintendencies may order the payment of a fee for eliminating the
pollution, and compensation for the state’s losses. If the party concerned
does not accept the order, he may bring a suit before the people’s court in
accordance with the stipulation of Article 41 of the Marine Environmental
Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China.
In the event that units or individuals that have suffered
pollution damage as a result of the marine environmental pollution by vessels
demand civil liability compensation, the matter shall be handled in accordance
with the handling procedures stipulated in Article 42 of the Marine
Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China. Disputes over
liability for and the amount of compensation may be handled by the harbor
superintendencies through conciliation. If a party does not agree, a suit may
be brought before the people’s court; a suit may also be brought directly in
the people’s court. Cases involving foreign vessels may also be solved in
accordance with arbitration procedures.
Any units or individuals that have suffered pollution damage
by vessels and demand compensation, if they wish to have it handled by the
harbor superintendencies, shall as quickly as possible submit a report for
demanding compensation for pollution damage to a nearby harbor
superintendency. This report shall include the following contents:
(1) the time, location, scope and objects of the pollution damage caused
by vessels, and the meteorological and hydrological circumstances therearound;
(2) a detailed list of losses caused by the pollution damage (including
aquatic resources and various implements), including the names, quantity, unit
price, method of calculation, and the aquacultural and natural circumstances;
(3) an appraisal by the relevant scientific research department or
signature by the notary organ in confirmation of the situation of the harm;
(4) the original evidences of the pollution damage, the photographs of the
circumstances therearound, and other supporting documents and materials
relevant to demanding compensation.
Units and individuals that have participated in eliminating
the pollution damage by vessels and those who demand payment of fees for
eliminating the pollution shall, after completion of eliminating the
pollution, submit as quickly as possible a report for demanding payment of
fees for eliminating the pollution to the relevant harbor superintendency;
this report shall include:
(1) the time, place and the recorded schedule or the extracts from the
“navigation logbook” relevant to the elimination of pollution;
(2) the quantity of manpower, machines and tools, vessels and eliminating
materials put in, and the unit price and the method of calculating;
(3) the management, travel and other relevant expenses in organizing the
(4) a report on the results and the situation of the elimination; and
(5) other relevant evidence and supporting materials.
When a vessel-induced pollution accident occurs in the sea
areas under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China, it shall be
reported as quickly as possible to the nearby harbor superintendency. A report
shall immediately be submitted to the superintendency upon the vessel’s entry
into the first harbor. The matter is then subject to investigation and
handling. Included in the report shall be the time, the location, the scope,
the meteorological and hydrological circumstances, the process, the measures
of rescue and elimination, and the causes and damages of the pollution; other
relevant materials shall be appended.
In case of vessel-induced pollution, the shipowners who
request exemption from liability compensation shall submit to the harbor
superintendency a report, which shall be able to prove that the pollution
damage has been caused entirely by one of the circumstances as listed in
Article 43 of the Marine Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic
of China, and that the pollution damage to the marine environment still can
not be avoided despite all prompt and reasonable measures.
The harbor superintendencies may, on the basis of
investigation and study, conduct mediation or, in accordance with the results
of the investigation, handle cases of disputes that concern compensatory
liabilities and the amount of payment due to vessel-induced pollution.
Penalty and Rewards
With respect to vessels in violation of the Marine
Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China and these
Regulations that have caused or may cause pollution damage to the sea areas
and harbor areas under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China,
the harbor superintendencies may give a warning or impose a fine on the
shipowner according to the seriousness of the liabilities thereof and the
graveness of the pollution damage.
The maximum amount of a fine on a shipowner is 100,000 RMB
yuan. However, in any of the following cases, the maximum amount of a fine to
be imposed is 1,000 RMB yuan:
(1) unauthorized use of oil-eliminating agents;
(2) having no “oils record book” as stipulated;
(3) making entries that are not up to standard or even false entries in
the “oils record book”;
(4) obstructing inspection by the harbor superintendencies.
Crew and other individuals directly responsible shall be given
inculcation, and in serious cases fines may also be imposed, but the maximum
amount of a fine may not exceed 20% of the basic salary of the person in
Cases of vessel-induced pollution, or of pollutant discharge
by vessels in violation of relevant regulations shall, after investigation and
with conclusive evidence, be handled in accordance with stipulations
regardless of whether the party concerned confess or not.
If a party concerned does not accept the decision on the
administrative sanction, the matter shall be handled in accordance with the
stipulation of Article 41 of the Marine Environmental Protection Law of the
People’s Republic of China.
Individuals who, on their own initiative, report and expose
pollution accidents by vessels, actively provide evidence, or adopt effective
measures to reduce pollution damage with outstanding results, shall be
commended and rewarded.
The fines paid by the vessels that caused the pollution damage
or the directly responsible personnel shall all be turned over to the state
treasury as special funds. The money rewards for the relevant personnel
prescribed in Article 50 of these Regulations shall be allocated from state
finance after verification.
The terms as used in these Regulations are defined as
(1) “Harbors” refers to the coastal ports and the ports in the vicinity of
the river outlet to the sea, whose main function is for the seagoing vessels
to dock, and which include the water areas and the sea lanes within the limits
of these port zones.
(2) “Vessels” refers to motor-driven and non-motor-driven vessels of all
types, but not including stationary and mobile platforms used in the
operations of exploration and development for offshore petroleum.
(3) “Oils” refers to all kinds of oils and their refined products.
(4) “Garbage from the vessels” refers to the domestic garbage of the crew,
the slag, pads and materials used to partition cabins and the materials swept
out of the cabins normally generated by the vessels themselves in the course
of their shipping business and production, and such materials as the scrapped
tools, rigging and spare parts of machines on the vessels.
(5) “Existing vessels” refers to the vessels available before March 1,
With regard to the control of foreign vessels, in addition to
implementing these Regulations, the principle of reciprocity with the
countries that the vessels belongs to may be applied.
The State fishing administrations and organs of supervision
and control of fishing ports shall exercise the functions and powers of the
organs in charge as stipulated in these Regulations in the fishing harbor
With respect to the prevention of pollution in areas under
military control and on board military vessels, the military environmental
protection departments shall formulate separate specific stipulations in
accordance with the Marine Environmental Protection Law of the People’s
Republic of China and these Regulations.
These Regulations shall be effective as of the date of