Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirteenth Report


Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions


  1. The Committee asked for a memorandum on the following points:

    (a)   In Part 1 of the Schedule explain the significance of the asterisks to some of the entries.

  2. By way of background, the Schedule re-enacts the substances listed in the Protocol relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Marine Pollution by Substances other than Oil 1973, as amended. The list is drawn from the International Maritime Organisation's list of noxious liquid substances, a definition of which is found in the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous or Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 3010) ("substances listed as such in MEPC Circular 2/CIRC.1 or a Category A, B, C or D substance in the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk" (the IBC Code)).

  3. The asterisk in the IBC Code in relation to the entry for benzene and mixtures containing 10% benzene or more draws attention to a footnote explaining that the entry relates to "mixtures where there is no other component with safety hazards and where the pollution category is C or less". It is accepted that this information, and thus the asterisk, is not necessary for the purpose of listing polluting substances. As regards the other entries with asterisks, see the answer to question (b) below.

    (b)   In Part 1 of the Schedule explain what is meant by the entries relating to Noxious liquids, such as "Noxious liquid, N.F., n.o.s. (trade name . . . , contains . . . ) S.T.I, Cat. A*".

  4. These entries relate to substances which are not specifically listed elsewhere in the list, by relation to their pollution category. The asterisk refers to a footnote which provides an explanation of the entries, as follows.

    (i)   N.F. means having a flash point exceeding 60% (Close Cup). (F means having a flash point not exceeding 60%).

    (ii)   n.o.s. means not otherwise specified.

    (iii)   "trade name" . . . "contains" . . . means that the ship's written documentation must provide the trade name of the substance and one or two principal components.

    (iv)   "S.T" means ship type (S.T.I. indicates the ship must comply with the most stringent precautions (or be the safest type): it is in effect a condition of carriage).

    (v)   "Cat.[egory] A" etc., indicates the pollution category of the substance in the IBC Code.

    (vi)   "m.p." means melting point.

  5. Again it is accepted that not all the information listed (in particular the bracketed phrases, the ship type and the asterisk) is necessary for the purposes of these Regulations, which merely provide the "trigger" for the Secretary of State's intervention powers, and a general description of the substance would suffice. It was thought preferable to follow the wording of the Protocol, and the IBC Code, which is generally well known to those involved in the transport of these substances. The wording will be reconsidered at the time of implementation of the next revision of the Protocol.

10th November 1997

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