What is a Special Area, as defined in MARPOL Annexes I and V?

A sea area where for recognized technical reasons in relation to its oceanographical and ecological condition and to the particular character of its traffic the adoption of special mandatory methods for the prevention of sea pollution by oil is required.Β 

This basically means an environmentally-sensitive sea area in which special restrictions are imposed on discharges of pollutants from ships. Designation of waters as a special area represents international recognition that they deserve special protection from pollution from ships. (For questions on discharges in Annex I and Annex V Special Areas see Section H. )


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Why have some Special Areas been adopted, but have not come into effect?

A revised MARPOL Annex VI was adopted in 2008 and entered into force in July 2010. To which ships and platforms does it apply?