What is Annex I of the MARPOL Convention?
MARPOL is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978. (MARPOL 73/78, MARPOL is short for International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and 73/78 short for the years 1973 and 1978) It is one of the most important international marine environmental conventions.
MARPOL Annex I is the first implementation made by MARPOL 73/78, one of the most important international marine environmental conventions. The convention was designed to minimize pollution of the seas from ships. The objective of the convention 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 MARPOL Annex I began to be enforced on October 2, 1983, and it details the prevention of pollution by oil and oily water.
MARPOL Annex I continues to enforce the oil discharge criteria described in the 1969 amendments to the 1954 Oil Pollution Convention. It also introduces the idea of "special areas" which are considered to be at risk to oil pollution. Discharge of oil within them have been completely outlawed but there are a few minor exceptions.