International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) was adopted on 2nd November 1973 at IMO, and later updated in 1978 after numerous severe tanker accidents.
It applies to:

Regulatory Focus

MARPOL 73/78 has actually six technical Annexes, each addressing a potential source of pollution from ships:


The main certificates a vessel shall carry to show compliance with MARPOL Annexes are:

RINA performs plan approval, initial and periodical surveys, and, when delegated, issues the relevant certificates on behalf of the Flag Administration.


RINA is authorized to act on behalf of more than 110 Flag Administrations, to inspect and certify vessels compliance with MARPOL requirements. We have always been committed to environment protection with a wide range of services, additional class notations and software tools to enhance vessels’ environmental performance, and supporting the voluntary anticipated adoption of upcoming environmental regulations.


Do ships under 400 GT have to comply with MARPOL Annex VI?
Yes. The regulations of MARPOL Annex VI apply to all ships, except where expressly provided. This means that even though the ship may not need an IAPP Certificate due to its tonnage, the regulations still have to be complied with.

Is it possible to perform MARPOL verifications at the same time as other statutory activities?
Yes, the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) allows statutory surveys for different certificates to be carried out at the same time.

Are amendments to MARPOL retroactive?
Yes, they’re based on the Keel Laying date of the vessel, some amendments are applicable to existing ships.

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