Pollution Prevention


London Dumping Convention


Convention of the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Dumping Convention)

RECOGNIZING that the marine environment and the living organisms, which it supports, are of vital importance to humanity, and all people have an interest in assuring that it is so managed that its quality and resources are not impaired;

The capacity of the sea to assimilate wastes and render them harmless, and its ability to regenerate natural resources, is not unlimited;

States have, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction;

Marine pollution originates in many sources, such as dumping and discharges through the atmosphere, rivers, estuaries, outfalls and pipelines, and that it is important that States use the best practicable means to prevent such pollution and develop products and processes which will reduce the amount of harmful wastes to be disposed of,

To improve protection of the marine environment the States with a common interest in particular geographical areas should enter into appropriate agreements supplementary to this Convention;

Contracting Parties shall individually and collectively promote the effective control of all sources of pollution of the marine environment and pledge themselves especially to take all practicable steps to prevent the pollution of the sea by the dumping of waste and other matter that is liable to create hazards to human health, to harm living resources and marine life, to damage amenities or to interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea.

Contracting Parties shall, take effective measures individually, and collectively, to prevent marine pollution caused by dumping and shall harmonize their policies in this regard.


”Dumping” means:

(i) any deliberate disposal at sea of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea;

(ii) any deliberate disposal at sea of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea.

“Dumping” does not include:

(i) the disposal at sea of wastes or other matter incidental to, or derived
from the normal operations of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other
man-made structures at sea and their equipment, other than wastes or
other matter transported by or to vessels, aircraft, platforms or other
man-made structures at sea, operating for the purpose of disposal of
such matter or derived from the treatment of such wastes or other
matter on such vessels, aircraft, platforms or structures;

The disposal of wastes or other matter directly arising from
exploration, exploitation and associated off-shore processing of sea-bed
mineral resources will not be covered by the provisions of this Convention.

“Wastes or other matter” means material and substance of any kind, form or

“Special permit” means permission granted specifically on application in advance and
in accordance with conditions as per this convention.

“General permit” means permission granted in advance and in accordance with this convention.

In accordance with the provisions of this Convention Contracting Parties shall
prohibit the dumping of any wastes or other matter in whatever form or condition
except as otherwise specified below:

(a) the dumping of wastes or other matter fisted in Annex I is prohibited;

(b) the dumping of wastes or other matter listed in Annex II requires a prior special permit;

(c) the dumping of all other wastes or matter requires a prior general permit.

Any permit shall be issued only after careful consideration of all the factors set forth
in Annex III, including prior studies of the characteristics of the dumping site, as set
forth in sections B and C of that Annex.

No provision of this Convention is to be interpreted as preventing a Contracting Party
from prohibiting, insofar as that Party is concerned, the dumping of wastes or other
matter not mentioned in Annex I. That Party shall notify such measures to the

The provisions of article IV shall not apply when it is necessary to secure the safety of human life or of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea in cases of force majeure caused by stress of weather, or in any case which constitutes a danger to human life or a real threat to vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea, if dumping appears to be the only way of averting the threat and if there is every probability that the damage consequent upon such dumping will be less than would otherwise occur. Such dumping shall be so conducted as to minimize the likelihood of damage to human or marine life and shall be reported forthwith to the Organization.


Incineration at sea of industrial waste, as defined in paragraph below, and sewage sludge is prohibited.

The incineration at sea of any other wastes or other matter requires the issue of a special permit.

In the issue of special permits for incineration at sea Contracting Parties shall apply regulations as are developed under this Convention.

Industrial waste as from 1 January 1996.

“Industrial waste” means waste materials generated by manufacturing or processing operations and does not apply to:

(a) dredged material;
(b) sewage sludge;
(c) fish waste, or organic materials resulting from industrial fish processing
(d) vessels and platforms or other man-made structures at sea, provided that
material capable of creating floating debris or otherwise contributing to
pollution of the marine environment has been removed to the maximum
(e) uncontaminated inert geological materials the chemical constituents of which
are unlikely to be released into the marine environment;
(f) uncontaminated organic materials of natural origin.


Each Contracting Party shall designate an appropriate authority or authorities to:

(a) issue special permits which shall be required prior to, and for, the dumping of
matter fisted in Annex II;

(b) issue general permits which shall be required prior to, and for, the dumping of
all other matter;

(c) keep records of the nature and quantities of all matter permitted to be dumped
and the location, time and method of dumping;

(d) monitor individually, or in collaboration with other Parties and competent
international organizations, the condition of the seas for the purposes of this

Issue of Permits

The appropriate authority or authorities of a contracting Party shall issue prior special
or general permits in accordance with above in respect of matter intended for

(a) loaded in its territory;

(b) loaded by a vessel or aircraft registered in its territory or flying its flag, when the loading occurs in the territory of a State not party to this Convention.

In issuing permits, the appropriate authority or authorities shall comply with this convention, together with such additional criteria, measures and requirements, as they may consider relevant

Each Contracting Party, directly or through a Secretariat established under a regional
agreement, shall report to the Organization, and where appropriate to other Parties,
the information, and the criteria, measures and requirements it adopts.