International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974 (The most important convention) 
The SOLAS Convention in its successive forms is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships. The first version was adopted in 1914, in response to the Titanic disaster, the second in 1929, the third in 1948, and the fourth in 1960. The 1974 version includes the tacit acceptance procedure - which provides that an amendment shall enter into force on a specified date unless, before that date, objections to the amendment are received from an agreed number of Parties. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

United Nation Convention on the law of the sea (UNCLOS) 
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place between 1973 and 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced four 1958 treaties. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, a year after Guyana became the 60th nation to sign the treaty.[1] As of January 2015, 166 countries and the European Union have joined in the Convention. However, it is uncertain as to what extent the Convention codifies customary international law. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969 
The Convention affirms the right of a coastal State to take such measures on the high seas as may be necessary to prevent, mitigate or eliminate danger to its coastline or related interests from pollution by oil or the threat thereof, following upon a maritime casualty. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) 
In July 1989, a conference of leading industrial nations in Paris called upon IMO to develop further measures to prevent pollution from ships. This call was endorsed by the IMO Assembly in November of the same year and work began on a draft convention aimed at providing a global framework for international co-operation in combating major incidents or threats of marine pollution. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

UN conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) 
The Summit’s message - that nothing less than a transformation of our attitudes and behaviour would bring about the necessary changes - was transmitted by almost 10,000 on-site journalists and heard by millions around the world. The message reflected the complexity of the problems facing us: that poverty as well as excessive consumption by affluent populations place damaging stress on the environment. Governments recognized the need to redirect international and national plans and policies to ensure that all economic decisions fully took into account any environmental impact. And the message has produced results, making eco-efficiency a guiding principle for business and governments alike. Patterns of production - particularly the production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste - are being scrutinized in a systematic manner by the UN and Governments alike; Alternative sources of energy are being sought to replace the use of fossil fuels which are linked to global climate change; New reliance on public transportation systems is being emphasized in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog; There is much greater awareness of and concern over the growing scarcity of water. Read more at: 

Basel convention on the control of the transboundary movements of wastes and their disposal 1993 
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous wastebetween nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs). It does not, however, address the movement of radioactive waste. The Convention is also intended to minimize the amount and toxicity of wastes generated, to ensure their environmentally sound management as closely as possible to the source of generation, and to assist LDCs in environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015)

Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 
The Inter-Governmental Conference on the Convention on the Dumping of Wastes at Sea, which met in London in November 1972 at the invitation of the United Kingdom, adopted this instrument, generally known as the London Convention. The London Convention, one of the first international conventions for the protection of the marine environment from human activities, came into force on 30 August 1975. Since 1977, it has been administered by IMO. The London Convention contributes to the international control and prevention of marine pollution by prohibiting the dumping of certain hazardous materials. In addition, a special permit is required prior to dumping of a number of other identified materials and a general permit for other wastes or matter. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC) 
The Convention replaced the International Convention Relating to the Limitation of the Liability of Owners of Seagoing Ships, which was signed in Brussels in 1957, and came into force in 1968. Under the 1976 Convention, the limit of liability for claims covered is raised considerably, in some cases up to 250- 300 per cent. Limits are specified for two types of claims - claims for loss of life or personal injury, and property claims (such as damage to other ships, property or harbour works). Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC) 
The Civil Liability Convention was adopted to ensure that adequate compensation is available to persons who suffer oil pollution damage resulting from maritime casualties involving oil-carrying ships. The Convention places the liability for such damage on the owner of the ship from which the polluting oil escaped or was discharged. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (FUND) 
Although the 1969 Civil Liability Convention provided a useful mechanism for ensuring the payment of compensation for oil pollution damage, it did not deal satisfactorily with all the legal, financial and other questions raised during the Conference adopting the CLC Convention. The 1969 Brussels Conference considered a compromise proposal to establish an international fund, to be subscribed to by the cargo interests, which would be available for the dual purpose of, on the one hand, relieving the shipowner of the burden by the requirements of the new convention and, on the other hand, providing additional compensation to the victims of pollution damage in cases where compensation under the 1969 Civil Liability Convention was either inadequate or unobtainable. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 
The MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973 at IMO. The Protocol of 1978 was adopted in response to a spate of tanker accidents in 1976-1977. As the 1973 MARPOL Convention had not yet entered into force, the 1978 MARPOL Protocol absorbed the parent Convention. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

International Convention on Salvage 
The Convention replaced a convention on the law of salvage adopted in Brussels in 1910 which incorporated the "’no cure, no pay" principle under which a salvor is only rewarded for services if the operation is successful. Although this basic philosophy worked well in most cases, it did not take pollution into account. A salvor who prevented a major pollution incident (for example, by towing a damaged tanker away from an environmentally sensitive area) but did not manage to save the ship or the cargo got nothing. There was therefore little incentive to a salvor to undertake an operation which has only a slim chance of success. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015)

 International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (BUNKER) ?
The Convention was adopted to ensure that adequate, prompt, and effective compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships’ bunkers. The Convention applies to damage caused on the territory, including the territorial sea, and in exclusive economic zones of States Parties. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) 
Invasive aquatic species present a major threat to the marine ecosystems, and shipping has been identified as a major pathway for introducing species to new environments. The problem increased as trade and traffic volume expanded over the last few decades, and in particular with the introduction of steel hulls, allowing vessels to use water instead of solid materials as ballast. The effects of the introduction of new species have in many areas of the world been devastating. Quantitative data show the rate of bio-invasions is continuing to increase at an alarming rate. As the volumes of seaborne trade continue overall to increase, the problem may not yet have reached its peak. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 
The 1978 STCW Convention (with amendments: 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2006 and 2010) was the first to establish basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level. Previously the standards of training, certification and watchkeeping of officers and ratings were established by individual governments, usually without reference to practices in other countries. As a result standards and procedures varied widely, even though shipping is the most international of all industries. The Convention prescribes minimum standards relating to training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers which countries are obliged to meet or exceed. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) (added 23.07.2015)

Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREG) 
The 1972 Convention was designed to update and replace the Collision Regulations of 1960 which were adopted at the same time as the 1960 SOLAS Convention. One of the most important innovations in the 1972 COLREGs was the recognition given to traffic separation schemes - Rule 10 gives guidance in determining safe speed, the risk of collision and the conduct of vessels operating in or near traffic separation schemes. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015)
International Convention on Load Lines (CCL 66/88)
In accordance with the International Convention on Load Lines (CLL 66/88), all assigned load lines must be marked amidships on each side of the ships engaged in international voyages. The determinations of the freeboard of ships are calculated and/or verified by classification societies which issue International Load Line Certificates in accordance with the legislation of participating States. This Convention provides for the terms of ship’s surveys, issuance, duration, validity and acceptance of International Load Line Certificates, as well as relevant State control measures, agreed exemptions and exceptions. Read more at: (added 23.07.2015) 

Protocol Of 2005 To The Convention For The Suppression Of Unlawful Acts Against The Safety Of Maritime Navigation (SUA 1988)
The Convention criminalises the following behaviour: 
1. Seizing control of a ship by force or threat of force; 
2. committing an act of violence against a person on ship if it is likely to endanger the safety of the ship; 
3. destroying or damaging a ship or its cargo in such a way that endangers the safe navigation of the ship; 
4. placing or causing to be placed on a ship a device or substance which is likely to destroy or cause damage to the ship or its cargo; 
5. destroying or damaging a ship’s navigation facilities or interfering with their operation if it is likely to endanger the safety of the ship; 
6. communicating information which is known to be false, thereby endangering the safety of the navigation of a ship; 
7. injuring or killing anyone while committing 1-6; 
8. attempting any of 1-7; 
9. being an accomplice to any of 1-8; and
10. compelling another through threats to commit any of 1-9. 
The Convention sets out the principle of aut dedere aut judicare-that a state party to the treaty must either (1) prosecute a person who commits one of the offences or (2) send the individual to another state that requests his or her extradition for prosecution of the same crime. Read more at: (added 23.07.2015) 

Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf 
Concern about unlawful acts which threaten the safety of ships and the security of their passengers and crews grew during the 1980s, with reports of crews being kidnapped, ships being hi-jacked, deliberately run aground or blown up by explosives. Passengers were threatened and sometimes killed. In November 1985 the problem was considered by IMO’s 14th Assembly and a proposal by the United States that measures to prevent such unlawful acts should be developed by IMO was supported. Read more at: (added 23.07.2015) (added 23.07.2015) 

The IMO Ballast Water Management Convention 
The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water & Sediments was adopted by consensus at a Diplomatic Conference at IMO in London on Friday 13 February 2004. The Conference was attended by representatives of 74 States, one Associate Member of IMO; and observers from two intergovernmental organizations and 18 non-governmental international organizations. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015) 

The IMO Ballast Water Management Convention 
The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water & Sediments was adopted by consensus at a Diplomatic Conference at IMO in London on Friday 13 February 2004. The Conference was attended by representatives of 74 States, one Associate Member of IMO; and observers from two intergovernmental organizations and 18 non-governmental international organizations. Read more at: (added 05.05.2015)

Code Of Good Practice For Port State Control Officers Conducting Inspections Within The Framework Of The Paris Memorandum Of Understanding On Port State Control 
This document provides guidelines regarding the standards of integrity, professionalism and transparency that the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MOU) expects of all Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) who are involved in or associated with port State control inspections. Co-operating members are invited to apply the Code. The Port State Control Committee, as the Executive Body of the Paris MOU, may modify the Code. Read more at: (added 23.07.2015)



Oil in navigable waters act Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) Oil terminal dyes act Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

National Environmental protection - Management of solid and hazardous waste Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

Harmful waste - criminal provisions Read more at: (added 04.05.2015)

 National Environmental Protection - effluent limitation regulations Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

Environental impact Assessment decree Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

Related articles 

The Legislative and institutional framework of environmental protection in the oil and Gas sector in Nigeria Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

Environmental law in Nigeria Read more at: (added 04.05.2015)

 Environmental protection agencies - Case studies Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

Federal agencies 

Nigerian Port Authority act Read more at: (added 04.05.2015)

 Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act Read more at: (added 04.05.2015)

 National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency act 2007 Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency act Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

State agencies 

Cross river state (Callabar) - Environmental protection agency law (Cap E5) Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

Delta state Environmen sector (Warri) Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

Rivers state Environmental Protection Agency (Port Harcourt) Read more at: (added 04.05.2015) 

Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency law (Lagos) Read more at: (added 04.05.2015)

Prince Daniel Kanu 

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