Marpol 73/78 is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978. ("Marpol" is short for marine pollution and 73/78 short for the years 1973 and 1978.)
Marpol 73/78 is one of the most important international marine environmental conventions. It was designed to minimize pollution of the seas, including dumping, oil and exhaust pollution. Its stated object is: to preserve the marine environment through the complete elimination of pollution by oil and other harmful substances and the minimization of accidental discharge of such substances.
The Convention includes regulations aimed at preventing and minimizing pollution from ships - both accidental pollution and that from routine operations - and currently includes six technical Annexes:
Annex I Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil
Annex II Regulations for the Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk
Annex III Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form
Annex IV Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships
Annex V Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships
Annex VI Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships (entry into force 19 May 2005)
States Parties must accept Annexes I and II, but the other Annexes are voluntary.
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