Spill Notification Point

MRCC Brazil
Praça Barâo de Ladârio s/n
Ed. Alte. Tamandaré, 7 andar
CEP 20091-000 Rio de Janeiro RJ

+55 21 2104 6056/6038

Fax: +55 21 2104 6038

Alternatively, spills should be reported to the nearest port.

Competent National Authority

Instituto Brasiliero do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis (IBAMA) (Federal Environmental Agency)
Renovaveis (IBAMA) (Federal Environmental Agency)
SCEN Excerpt 2 – Headquarter Building
Pillar Box No.09577 – CEP 70818-900

Tel: +55 61 3316 1212

Response Arrangements

The National Oil Spill Contingency Plan for Brazil was enacted in October 2013. This sets out general provisions, including organisational structure and responsibilities, for spill response, with the intention of establishing a cooperative framework to reduce the response time for incidents with significant environmental impacts. Under the Plan, an evaluation and monitoring group, comprising representatives from the Federal Environmental Agency (IBAMA), National Oil Agency and Brazilian Navy, is responsible for assessing whether an incident is of national relevance, in which case the NCP would be triggered.

A technical document to accompany the NCP (the NCP Manual) describing accepted response methods, for example, the types of dispersant to be used and the possibility of in-situ burning, is to be issued by various agencies and ministries involved in the response (no further information available as at June 2014).

The operational contact point responsible for the receipt, transmission and processing of urgent reports on incidents involving harmful substances, including oil from ships is the MRCC Brazil, with the individual ports acting as alternative contact points.

In the event of a spill, IBAMA will usually devolve the clean-up response to the environment departments of the 18 coastal states and/or to the national oil company, Petrobras. The role of On-Scene Commander would normally be played by either the relevant Port Captain, or an employee from the local IBAMA office, the State Environmental Agency concerned or Petrobras.

In the state of Rio de Janeiro clean-up falls to the local state environment agency: Fundacao Estadual de Engenharia do Meio Ambiente (FEEMA) while in the State of Sao Paulo this rests with the state agency; Companhia Estadual de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental (CETESB). The other state departments are: Recife, CODEMA; Fortaleza, COMDEMA; Belo Horizonte, CETEC; Cuiba, CONDEMA; Sao Luiz, SERNAT; Maceio, CMA/SERPLAN; Salvador, CEPRAM; Curibata, SUREHMA; Florianopolis, FATMA; Brasilia, SEMA; Goiania, SEMAGO; Natal, CMA; Campo Grande, INAMB; Joao Pessoa, SUDEMA; Vitoria, DAASSEES; Amazonas, CODEAMA; Bahia, INEMA; and Porto Alegre, DMA. The area of jurisdiction of IBAMA and the coastal states extends to the 200-mile limit of Brazil's EEZ.

The main seaports are under the operational control of Port Captains, officers of the Brazilian Navy, answering to the Secretary of the Navy and drawing upon the Directorate of Ports and Coasts for technical advice. The ports of Rio de Janeiro, Belem, Manuas, Corumba, Rio Grande, Natal, Parmaiba, Paranagua, Sao Luis, Itajai, Vitoria, Fortaleza, Aracaju, Santos, Recife, Maceio, Salvador and Joao Pessoa are all defined as Class I ports by the Directorate and as such should possess local contingency plans. Arrangements, however, are often restricted to requesting assistance from the nearest Petrobras facility. The Port of Rio de Janeiro does possess its own local contingency arrangements which are participated in by all of the major stakeholders in the port. The plan is administered by FEEMA and Petrobras.

Petrobras maintains Tier 1 contingency plans at the majority of its facilities. A Tier 2 response is maintained at the Almirante Barraso Maritime Terminal at Sáo Sebastiáo and the facilities at Santos, Macaé, Ilha Grande Bay, D’Agua Island in Rio, Madre de Deus in Bahia and Fortaleza. In addition a Model Centre for the Prevention, Control and Combating of Oil Pollution in the Sea (Cempol) is located at Sáo Sebastiáo. Marine Pollution Prevention Centres (Centropols) are also located at Santos, Macaé, Ilha Grande Bay, D’Agua Island, Madre de Deus Terminal and Fortaleza. Training courses run at all these locations and are attended by Petrobras staff, port authorities, civil defence agencies, NGOs and other interested parties.  Petrobras has installed nine Oil Spill Response Centres (CDA – Centro de Defesa Ambiental) at strategic locations throughout Brazil.  The CDA located near to Sao Paulo International Airport is able to operate by itself or in conjunction with any other CDA when necessary to attend large-scale emergencies in-country or to support the company’s international operations.  Each of the CDAs operates with about 20 trained technicians, available 24 hours per day/seven days a week.

Response Policy

It is understood that updated information on the response policy in Brazil will be provided in a supplementary document to the 2013 NCP (no further details currently known, June 2014). Information from IBAMA from 2008 indicates that mechanical containment and recovery is the primary line of defence against oil spills in Brazil, with mechanical dispersion as a supplement.  The use of chemical dispersants is very restricted and regulated by the National Council for the Environment.  Petrobras maintains an internally approved list of dispersants which are tested for effectiveness by the company.  In-situ burning is prohibited.

In harbours, on beaches and other coastal waters, containment and recovery forms the main approach. Considerable lengths of coastline are, however, inaccessible and present difficulties for clean-up. Oily wastes can be disposed of to landfill near the clean-up site. 



FEEMA and CETESB have inshore containment and recovery and shoreline clean-up equipment for operation in their area of responsibility. Information on the other environmental agencies is not known.  Manpower and non-specialised equipment would be provided by other state agencies. 


Petrobras operates inshore containment and recovery and shoreline clean-up equipment and inshore dispersant spraying equipment. Each of the nine CDAs is equipped with special barges and boats, skimmers, sorbents and a minimum of 20,000 linear metres of containment or sorbent booms which, together with vehicles and communication devices, can be rapidly dispatched to any area in Brazil.  The largest equipment stock is held at the Sáo Sebastiáo terminal. SERMAPI has storage and skimming barges for harbour use. Aerial spraying equipment is unavailable, but commercial crop spraying aircraft or helicopters could be adapted for this purpose. Petrobras is a member of ARPEL, a reciprocal agreement between Latin American oil companies, based in Montevideo, and can call upon this organisation and its member companies for advice and resources.

Previous Spill Experience

The MARINA (1985) spilt 2,500 tonnes of Maya crude. The majority of oil was left to degrade naturally although some manual clean-up was performed. The CANOPUS (1995) spilt a small quantity of bunker fuel after grounding on a reef in Natal. The limited shoreline contamination was removed manually. MT VICUÑA (2004) suffered an explosion whilst discharging methanol in Paranaguá Port, Brazil.  It is estimated that up to 400 tonnes of IFO 180 were spilled, contaminating areas of high environmental sensitivity.  Much of the 4,000 tonnes of methanol remaining on board burnt in the fire, evaporated or dissolved in the water upon release.  Shoreline clean-up was undertaken using predominantly manual methods and some water flushing.  Natural cleaning and recovery was allowed to take place at some remote locations. The gas carrier GOLDEN MILLER (2013) suffered an explosion and fire during loading operations in the Port of Aratu, which led to some oiling of nearby shorelines and a naval base. Clean-up primarily involved manual scraping and wiping, flushing and pressure washing. 


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force 

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • Operative Network for Regional Cooperation among Maritime Authorities of South America, Mexico & Panama (ROCRAM).

Date of issue: June 2014

Terms & Conditions

These Country & Territory Profiles are provided in good faith as a guide only and are based on information obtained from a variety of sources over a period of time.  This information is subject to change and should, in each case, be independently verified before reliance is placed on it. Country & Territory Profiles may have been re-issued solely to incorporate additional or revised information under one heading only.  Each Profile has therefore not necessarily been completely verified or updated as at the stated Date of Issue.

ITOPF Limited (“ITOPF”) hereby excludes, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability to any person, corporation or other entity for any loss, damage or expense resulting from reliance on or use of these Country & Territory Profiles.

©ITOPF Limited 2018.

These Country & Territory Profiles may be reproduced by any means for non-commercial distribution without addition, deletion or amendment, provided an acknowledgement of the source is given and these Terms & Conditions are reproduced in full. 

These Country & Territory Profiles may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of ITOPF either for commercial distribution or with addition, deletion or amendment.