Under which international instrument is a SOPEP required, and which ships must have one?

MARPOL Annex I requires a SOPEP, approved by the flag State Administration, to be carried by all tankers of 150 GT and above, and other ships of 400 GT and above, whether on an international voyage or not. (Under UK law any UK ship issued with an IOPPC or UKOPPC must have a SOPEP. )

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What is a SOPEP, and what is it designed to do?