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International protocol on marine pollution incidents by hazardous and noxious substances becomes applicable to HKSAR

     The Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-Operation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, 2000 (OPRC-HNS Protocol) has been extended to cover the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

     A Government spokesman said today (January 10) that the HKSAR is joining the global endeavour against pollution incidents by hazardous and noxious substances at sea to further fulfill our responsibility to protect the marine environment. "We were glad to receive confirmation from the International Maritime Organization last month through the Central Government that the extension took effect on December 6, 2012", he said.

     To implement the requirements of the Protocol, the Government has prepared an interdepartmental joint response plan and the Marine Department has procured additional equipment with a view to enhancing our overall preparedness against pollution incidents, he added.

     The OPRC-HNS Protocol entered into force in June 2007. It aims to provide a global framework for collaboration and exchange on matters relating to pollution incidents by hazardous and noxious substances at sea.

     As at December 2012, 28 states had become party to the Protocol.

Ends/Thursday, January 10, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:02


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