Security, Marine Environment and Marine Incidents

  • Maritime security

The International Ship and Port-facilities Security Code (ISPS Code) is a set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities. It was developed in response of the perceived threats to ships and port facilities. The ISPS Code is part of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and compliance is mandatory for all Contracting Parties to SOLAS.

Oman been a Party to the SOLAS Convention has enacted and implemented the ISPS Code on its ships and in its port facilities since 2004. Click here

The issuance of the International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) has been delegated to the recognized organizations (ROs) however, the Port Facility Security Certificate is issued by the DGMA.


  • Marine pollution prevention

Oman has a long coastline, some of which is particularly vulnerable to pollution. Having a long coastline, Oman is economically dependent on its sea-lanes and port operations – resulting in a continual risk of pollution to the marine environment.

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), to which Oman is a Party to its annexes I to V, is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

The Convention includes regulations aimed at preventing and minimizing pollution from ships - both accidental pollution and that from routine operations - and currently includes six technical Annexes. Special Areas with strict controls on operational discharges are included in most Annexes.

1. Annex I covers prevention of pollution by oil from operational measures as well as from accidental discharges; the 1992 amendments to Annex I made it mandatory for new oil tankers to have double hulls and brought in a phase-in schedule for existing tankers to fit double hulls, which was subsequently revised in 2001 and 2003.

2. Annex II details the discharge criteria and measures for the control of pollution by noxious liquid substances carried in bulk; some 250 substances were evaluated and included in the list appended to the Convention; the discharge of their residues is allowed only to reception facilities until certain concentrations and conditions (which vary with the category of substances) are complied with.

In any case, no discharge of residues containing noxious substances is permitted within 12 miles of the nearest land.

3. Annex III contains general requirements for the issuing of detailed standards on packing, marking, labelling, documentation, stowage, quantity limitations, exceptions and notifications.

For the purpose of this Annex, “harmful substances” are those substances which are identified as marine pollutants in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) or which meet the criteria in the Appendix of Annex III.

4. Annex IV contains requirements to control pollution of the sea by sewage; the discharge of sewage into the sea is prohibited, except when the ship has in operation an approved sewage treatment plant or when the ship is discharging comminuted and disinfected sewage using an approved system at a distance of more than three nautical miles from the nearest land; sewage which is not comminuted or disinfected has to be discharged at a distance of more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land.

5. Annex V deals with different types of garbage and specifies the distances from land and the manner in which they may be disposed of; the most important feature of the Annex is the complete ban imposed on the disposal into the sea of all forms of plastics.

6. Annex IV sets limits on sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances; designated emission control areas set more stringent standards for SOx, NOx and particulate matter. A chapter adopted in 2011 covers mandatory technical and operational energy efficiency measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.



  • Marine Incidents

Master or person in charge of an Omani ship is required to report marine accidents and serious incidents to the DGMA as soon as possible.

A report of marine incidents must be made by the master or owner where:

1. The vessel is involved in a marine incident that has affected, or is likely to affect the safety, operation or seaworthiness of the vessel
2. The vessel is involved in, or causes a marine incident that involves:

  • The death of a person
  • Serious injury to a person
  • The loss of a vessel
  • The loss of a person from the vessel
  • Significant damage to a vessel
  • Loss of cargo of a vessel.

Additionally, a report of dangers to navigation must be made by the master where:
1. The master meets with, or is informed of any serious danger to navigation on or near his or her course
2. A serious danger to navigation includes, but is not limited to any of the following:

  • dangerous ice
  • a dangerous derelict
  • a tropical storm
  • sub-freezing air temperature associated with gale force winds causing severe ice accretion on superstructures
  • Winds of force 10 on the Beaufort scale for which no storm warning has been received.

Similarly, if a person on the vessel gives birth, dies or disappears or a seafarer is injured or contracts an illness that incapacitates him or her from the performance of his or her duty, the master must:
1. Record the incident in the vessel’s official logbook
2. Give a written report as soon as practicable.

Note: The above reporting requirements applies to all ships in Omani waters and Omani ships anywhere.


For Omani ships on international or domestic voyages, the Master is required to report of:
1. An accident that causes the death of, or serious personal injury to, any person;
2. An accident that causes an employee who performs work in connection with the undertaking to be incapacitated from performing work for a period of 5 or more successive days; and
3. A dangerous occurrence, which is an occurrence that could have caused the death of, or serious personal injury to, any person at a workplace.