Covering its operation from January 2011 to June 2013

Second review and evaluation of the MAR-ICE NetworkEMSA has publisheda second review and evaluation report of the MAR-ICE Network covering its operation from January 2011 to June 2013.

The MAR-ICE Network was created in 2008 through a 3-Party Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)between the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), the Centre of Documentation, Research andExperimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre) and the European Maritime Safety Agency(EMSA) and became operational in January 2009. The MAR-ICE MoU has been extended in 2011 until October 2014.

A first report evaluating the service provided by the Network during its first two years of operation(January 2009 to December 2010) was published by EMSA's on 2011. This is the second reportevaluating the Network's operations from January 2011 to June 2013.

During this period, the MAR-ICE Network has been activated regarding four real incidents involving Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) as well as during four pollution response exercises, as shown in the table below:

Real incidents during which the MAR-ICE Network was activated (January 2011- June 2013)
Requesting entity &date of request Substance(s) involved inincident Request made to MAR-ICE Network
Norwegian Coastal Administration (04.03.2011) 41 t of Portland cement released in a harbour Request for information regarding immediatemeasures to be taken and risk evaluation
SASEMAR, Spain (11.03.2011) Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) Request for information about Diammonium Phosphate, in particular regarding the product' s reactivity, hazards, PPE, precautions, detection and bulk transport risks
Federal Public Service Environment, Belgium (28.10.2011) 1000 t of Ferro-Silicon (FeSi), (UN1408) carried in bulk

- Concerns about product reacting with water and gas that may be generated

- Request for advice on monitoring of presence ornot of explosive gas concentrations, analysis of dangerous cargo involved and assessment of risk for responders and environment

MUMM, Belgium (31.07.2012) Hazardous cargo on board the disabled container vessel MSC Flaminia Request for assistance with risk assessment of dangerous cargo on board the disabled vessel for intervening personnel & the marine environment

Evaluation of the MAR-ICE Network

The MAR-ICE Network and the expert information and advice service it provides, is highly appreciated by the EU Member States, coastal EFTA/EEA States and coastal EU Candidate countries and is considered providing a real added value. The service is free of charge to the relevant national adminstrations, rapidly available to all as a first or additional information source for chemical spills (or the threat there of) in case of emergencies. Furthermore the service does not only provide a direct link to the chemical company knowledge able about the product (manufacturer), but also additional useful marine related information and advice, when available.

In particular, Cedre's role as the Network's Contact Point has proven very beneficial as Cedre has vast experience and expertise relevant to chemical marine pollution response and has taken the initiative toprovide this complementary information in an efficient and timely manner to the requesting party.

On several occasions to date, the EU Member States, coastal EFTA/EEA States and coastal EU Candidate countries have expressed highly positive feed-back in regard to the service provided through the MAR-ICE Network and have strongly supported its continuation and further development. This support to the service provided is also evident in the written feed-back requested by EMSA and received by there questing parties after each activation.

In addition to the desire for continuation of the MAR-ICE Network expressed by the Member States,both Cedre and Cefic have recently expressed their willingness to continue with the MAR-ICE Service. EMSA, Cefic and Cedre are currently evaluating the posibility of the Network also providing expert advice on site of a maritime incident.

Conclusions

The MAR-ICE Network and its service of providing remotely expert information and advice in case of marine chemical emergencies to national maritime administrations has been well received by the EU Member States, coastal EFTA/EEA States and coastal EU Candidate countries. Cedre has performed its tasks well and Cefic has supported the service among its members.

Both Cefic and Cedre have made a positive assessment of the service and expressed their willingness to continue the MAR-ICE Network. Currently the possibility of also providing expert advice on site of an incident is being assessed by the MAR-ICE partners. Based on the positive feed-back, the results of this second review and the willingness of the MAR-ICE partners Cefic and Cedre to continue the service, EMSA aims to maintain the provision of the current service through the MAR-ICE Network also beyond 2014.

Click here to read theEMSA 2nd Evaluation Report of MAR-ICE Network.

Source: EMSA