Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution
Area of application
1. This Convention shall apply to the Black Sea proper with the southern
limit constituted for the purposes of this Convention by the line joining
Capes Kelagra and Dalyan.
2. For the purposes of this Convention the reference to the Black Sea
shall include the territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zone of each
Contracting Party in the Black Sea. However, any Protocol to this
Convention may provide otherwise for the purposes of that Protocol.
For the purposes of this Convention:
1. “Pollution of the marine environment”means the introduction by man,
directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the marine
environment, including estuaries, which results or is likely to result in
such deleterious effects as harm to living resources and marine life,
hazard to human health, hindrance to marine activities, including fishing
and other legitimate uses of the sea, impairment of quality for use of
sea water and reduction of amenities.
2. a) “Vessel”means seaborne craft of any type. This expression
includes hydrofoil boats, air-cushion vehicles, submersibles, floating
craft whether self-propelled or not and platforms and other man-made
structures at sea.
b) “Aircraft”means airborne craft of any type.
3. a) “Dumping”means:
i) any deliberate disposal of wastes or other matter from vessels or
ii) any deliberate disposal of vessels or aircraft;
b) “Dumping”does not include:
i) the disposal of wastes or other matter incidental to or derived
from the normal operations of vessels or aircraft and their
equipment, other than wastes or other matter transported by or to
vessels or aircraft operating for purpose of disposal of such
matter or derived from the treatment of such wastes or other matter
on such vessels or aircraft;
ii) placement of matter for a purpose other than the mere disposal
thereof, provided that such placement is not contrary to the aims
of this Convention.
4. “Harmful substance”means any hazardous, noxious or other substance,
the introduction of which into the marine environment would result in
pollution or adversely affect the biological processes due to its
toxicity and/or persistence and/or bioaccumulation characteristics.
The Contracting Parties take part in this Convention on the basis of full
equality in rights and duties, respect for national sovereignty and
independence, non-interference in their internal affairs, mutual benefit
and other relevant principles and norms of international law.
This Convention does not apply to any warship, naval auxiliary or other
vessels or aircraft owned or operated by a State and used, for the time
being, only on government noncommercial service.
However, each Contracting Party shall ensure, by the adoption of
appropriate measures not impairing operations of such vessels or aircraft
owned or operated by it, that such vessels or aircraft act in a manner
consistent, so far as is practicable, with this Convention.
1. Each Contracting Party shall ensure the application of the Convention
in those areas of the Black Sea where it exercises its sovereignty as
well as its sovereign rights and jurisdiction without prejudice to the
rights and obligations of the Contracting Parties arising from the rules
of international law.
Each Contracting Party, in order to achieve the purposes of this
Convention, shall bear in mind the adverse effect of pollution within its
internal waters on the marine environment of the Black Sea.
2. The Contracting Parties shall take individually or jointly, as
appropriate, all necessary measures consistent with international law and
in accordance with the provisions of this Convention to prevent, reduce
and control pollution thereof in order to protect and preserve the marine
environment of the Black Sea.
3. The Contracting Parties will cooperate in the elaboration of
additional Protocols and Annexes other than those attached to this
Convention, as necessary for its implementation.
4. The Contracting Parties, when entering bilateral or multilateral
agreements for the protection and preservation of the marine environment
of the Black Sea, shall endeavour to ensure that such agreements are
consistent with this Convention Copies of such agreements shall be
transmitted to the other Contracting Parties through the Commission as
defined in Article XVII of this Convention.
5. The Contracting Parties will cooperate in promoting, within
International Organizations found to be competent by them, the
elaboration of measures contributing to the protection and preservation
of the marine environment of the Black Sea.
Pollution by hazardous substances and matter
Each Contracting Party shall prevent pollution of the marine environment
of the Black Sea from any source by substances or matter specified in the
Annex to this Convention.
Pollution from land-based sources
The Contracting Parties shall prevent, reduce and control pollution of
the marine environment of the Black Sea from land-based sources, in
accordance with the Protocol on the Protection of the Black Sea Marine
Environment Against Pollution from Land-Based Sources which shall form in
integral part of this Convention.
Pollution from vessels
The Contracting Parties shall take individually or, when necessary,
jointly, all appropriate measures to prevent, reduce and control
pollution of the marine environment of the Black Sea from vessels in
accordance with generally accepted international rules and standards.
Cooperation in combating pollution in emergency situations
The Contracting Parties shall cooperate in order to prevent, reduce and
combat pollution of the marine environment of the Black Sea resulting
from emergency situations in accordance with the Protocol on Cooperation
in Combatting Pollution of the Black Sea by Oil and Other Harmful
Substances in Emergency Situations which shall form an integral part of
Pollution by dumping
1. The Contracting Parties shall take all appropriate measures and
cooperate in preventing, reducing and controlling pollution caused by
dumping in accordance with the Protocol on the Protection of the Black
Sea Marine Environment Against Pollution by Dumping which shall form an
integral part of this Convention.
2. The Contracting Parties shall not permit, within areas under their
respective jurisdiction, dumping by natural or juridical persons of
non-Black Sea States.
Pollution from activities on the Continental Shelf
1. Each Contracting Party shall, as soon as possible, adopt laws and
regulations and take measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of
the marine environment of the Black Sea caused by or connected with
activities on its Continental Shelf , including the exploration and
exploitation of the natural resources of the continental shelf.
The Contracting Parties shall inform each other through the Commission of
the laws, regulations and measures adopted by them in this respect.
2. The Contracting Parties shall cooperate in this field, as
appropriate, and endeavour to harmonize the measures referred to in
paragraph 1 of this Article.
Pollution from or through the atmosphere
The Contracting Parties shall adopt laws and regulations and take
individual or agreed measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of
the marine environment of the Black Sea from or through the atmosphere,
applicable to the airspace above their territories and to vessels flying
their flag or vessels and aircraft registered in their territory.
Protection of the marine living resources
The Contracting Parties, when taking measures in accordance with this
Convention for the prevention, reduction and control of the pollution of
the marine environment of the Black Sea, shall pay particular attention
to avoiding harm to marine life and living resources, in particular by
changing their habitats and creating hindrance to fishing and other
legitimate uses of the Black Sea, and in this respect shall give due
regard to the recommendations of competent International Organizations .
Pollution by hazardous wastes in transboundary movement
The Contracting Parties shall take all measures consistent with
international law and cooperate in preventing pollution of the marine
environment of the Black Sea due to hazardous wastes in transboundary
movement, as well as in combatting illegal traffic thereof, in accordance
with the Protocol to be adopted by them.
Scientific and technical cooperation and monitoring
1. The Contracting Parties shall cooperate in conducting scientific
research aimed at protecting and preserving the marine environment of the
Black Sea and shall undertake, where appropriate, joint programmes of
scientific research, and exchange relevant scientific data and
2. The Contracting Parties shall cooperate in conducting studies aimed
at developing ways and means for the assessment of the nature and extent
of pollution and of its effect on the ecological system in the water
column and sediments, detecting polluted areas, examining and assessing
risks and finding remedies, and in particular, they shall develop
alternative methods of treatment, disposal, elimination or utilization of
3. The Contracting Parties shall cooperate through the Commission in
establishing appropriate scientific criteria for the formulation and
elaboration of rules, standards, and recommended practices and procedures
for the prevention, reduction and control of pollution of the marine
environment of the Black Sea.
4. The Contracting Parties shall, inter alia, establish through the
Commission and, where appropriate, in cooperation with international
organizations they consider to be competent, complementary or joint
monitoring programmes covering all sources of pollution and shall
establish a pollution monitoring system for the Black Sea including, as
appropriate, programmes at bilateral or multilateral level for observing,
measuring, evaluating and analyzing the risks or effects of pollution of
the marine environment of the Black Sea.
5. When the Contracting Parties have reasonable grounds for believing
that activities under their jurisdiction or control may cause substantial
pollution or significant and harmful changes to the marine environment of
the Black Sea, they shall, before commencing such activities, assess
their potential effects on the basis of all relevant information and
monitoring data and shall communicate the results of such assessments to
6. The Contracting Parties shall co-operate as appropriate, in the
development, acquisition and introduction of clean and low-waste
technology, inter alia, by adopting measures to facilitate the exchange
of such technology.
7. Each Contracting Party shall designate the competent national
authority responsible for scientific activities and monitoring.
References and Further Reading
About the Author/s and Reviewer/s