European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) along with several collaborators, recently amended their cooperation agreement, expanding the MAR-ICE service and provide an additional level of support when dealing with chemical emergencies at sea.
In fact behind the three-party Cooperation Agreement is EMSA, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre).
For the records, the three organisations have been collaborating since 2008, when they first established the network of chemical experts called “MAR-ICE network,” which aims to strengthen information transfer on chemical substances involved in maritime pollution emergencies in EU waters.
The purpose of this network is to provide, upon request and through a single contact point, the member states of the European Union and the coastal states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) with product-specific information on chemicals involved in marine pollution incidents, by contacting experts in chemical companies who are familiar with the substance(s) involved.
Through the MAR-ICE service expansion, an expert from the chemical industry will provide advice and assistance on-site at the operational centre of the requesting country dealing with the response operations (MAR-ICE ‘level-2’), strengthening the information and advice already provided remotely by the network (MAR-ICE ‘level-1’).
What is more, collaborators goal to increase the level of expert emergency support made available to EU countries dealing with maritime chemical emergencies, in line with the type of on-site expertise provided by the chemical industry for land-based chemical transport incidents.
Having rapid and direct access to a chemical expert who can provide and clarify relevant information on chemical substances is of paramount importance and through the MAR-ICE service, this is made available 24/7 across the EU.