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Public Papers - 1989 - November

Message to the Senate Transmitting an Annex to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships


To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate, Annex III (Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Forms or in Freight Containers, Portable Tanks or Road and Rail Tank Wagons), an optional annex to the 1973 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, as modified and incorporated by the 1978 protocol relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78). I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with its attached analysis of Annex III.

MARPOL 73/78 is the global agreement to control pollution from ships. Annex III establishes uniform regulations for the transport of packaged harmful substances, including packaging, marking/labelling, documentation, and stowage requirements and, if necessary, quantity limitations. It complements the other annexes to MARPOL 73/78, which relate to the transport of oil (Annex I) and harmful substances carried in bulk (Annex II), and to ship-generated sewage (Annex IV) and garbage (Annex V).

The United States ratified MARPOL 73/78 on August 12, 1980, along with Annexes I and II, and it entered into force for the United States on October 2, 1983. U.S. ratification of Annex III at this time would bring the annex into force. Moreover, agreement has been reached that, once in force, the Parties will adopt U.S.-sponsored amendments to the annex that will strengthen its provisions and make it a more effective environmental instrument.

U.S. ratification of MARPOL Annex III will be an important step in minimizing pollution of the world's oceans from discharges of packaged harmful substances. I recommend the Senate give early consideration to Annex III of MARPOL 73/78 and give its advice and consent to ratification.

George Bush

The White House,

November 9, 1989.

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