Spill Notification Point

Dirección Nacional Marítima (DIMAR)
Unidad Nacional de Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres (UNGRD)
Avenida Calle 26 No. 92-32 Edificio Gold - piso 2Bogotá, Colombia

Tel: +571 5529696 – 01 8000 113200

Spills may also be reported to the nearest port captain:

Capitanía de Puerto de Rioacha

Tel: +57 311 5311234, +57(5) 7272488, +57(5) 7270492

Capitanía de Puerto de Barranquilla

Tel: +57 3115310024, +57(5) 3885131

Capitanía de Puerto de Cartegena

Tel: +57 (5) 6643237, +57 (5) 6646125, +57 (5) 6649282 ext. 3533, +57 3115310028

Capitanía de Puerto de Coveñas

Tel: +57(5) 2880199, +57(5) 2880221, +57(5) 2880303, +57 3115311246

Capitanía de Puerto de Buenaventura

Tel: +57 3115310034, +57 (2) 2423702, +57 (2) 2434447

Capitanía de Puerto de Tumaco

Tel: +57(2) 7275796, +57 (2) 7272788

Capitanía del Puerto de San Andrés

Tel: +57 3115310017, +57(8) 5125613, +57 (8) 5122380 Ext 116

Capitanía de Puerto de Turbo

Tel: +57 3115311257, +57 (4) 8279372 Ext 101-106, +57 (4) 8279371

Capitanía de Puerto de Puerto Bolívar

Tel: +57(5) 3506511, +57 3115311239

Capitanía de Puerto de Santa Marta

Tel: +57 3115310032, +57 (5) 4210739, +57 (5) 4210711, +57 (5) 4311876

Competent National Authority

Unidad Nacional de Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres (UNGRD)

Avenida Calle 26 No. 92-32 Edificio Gold - piso 2, Bogotá, Colombia

Tel: +571 5529696


Dirección General Marítima-DIMAR

Carrera 54 No. 26-50 CAN

Tel: +57 (1) 2200490 EXT. 2441


Response Arrangements

The Colombian National Contingency Plan for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances was developed by governmental and private bodies and adopted in 1999.  An updated version, adopted in 2016, is available on the website of Unidad Nacional de Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres (UNGRD).  

DIMAR (the Colombian maritime authority) has overall responsibility for response to marine spills.  Spills in port would normally be controlled by the Capitanias de Puerto (Harbour Masters) who are under the authority of DIMAR, but elsewhere the Navy and Coastguard would coordinate the response, in collaboration with DIMAR.

All public and private organisations that handle hydrocarbons, products or harmful substances are obliged to have contingency plans in place that fit in with the schemes developed under the NCP.  These plans must be known and approved by UNGRD and other maritime and environmental authorities.

Response Policy

Dispersant application is an accepted spill response option if conditions make mechanical recovery impossible and provided that the spilled oil is dispersible. In most ports a rapid approval procedure between operators and environmental and maritime authorities facilitates early dispersant usage in oil spills.

In situ burning is also considered an accepted spill response option.



The national oil company Ecopetrol holds equipment which is stockpiled at various locations, including Cartagena, Coveňas, Buenaventura and Tumaco. Ecopetrol is also a member of ARPEL and Clean Caribbean & Americas (CCA) and has agreements of mutual cooperation with the state oil companies of Venezuela (PDVSA) and Ecuador (PETROECUADOR).

The Navy has vessels which could be used in an emergency. The national army, air force, and navy would provide transport, communication links, surveillance, and other expertise. 


Other operating oil companies have stockpiles of equipment which could be made available in the event of an emergency.

Previous Spill Experience

There have been a number of marine oil spills in Colombia, particularly in Tumaco, Cartagena and Coveňas. In 1976 fire broke out on the SAINT PETER, when it was fully loaded with 34,000 tonnes of crude oil.  The crew abandoned ship and the vessel sank two days later off Punta Manglares.  An oil spill of some 10,000 tonnes spread for over 200 miles off the Ecuador-Colombia border causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of fish. In 1983 the EPTANISSOS spilt 330 tonnes of Venezuelan crude into the Caribbean Sea. The bulk of the oil either drifted out to sea or was dispersed using chemicals. The DAEDALUS (1996) spilt 430 tonnes of Ecuadorian crude in the Tumaco inlet. LPG carrier TOURAINE (2001) suffered a collision in Cartagena Bay spilling approximately 90 tonnes of IFO 380.  Clean-up was supported by resources and expertise from Ecopetrol, and included booming and skimming in near-shore areas, as well as manual collection of oil in fringing mangroves and on man-made foreshores. In 2003 coal carrier ALMA ATA was struck by a lightering barge whilst moored at the coal terminal at Santa Marta, Colombia, spilling an estimated 168 tonnes of HFO 380 which oiled approximately 20 km of coastline. Manual clean-up was undertaken by the coal company with around 200 local men and fishermen. In recent years, there have been a number of smaller ship-source incidents, but the main cause of spills has been terrorist activity against pipelines.  These have caused pollution on land and in river systems.


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force 

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

Cartagena Convention with states of the Caribbean region (1985).

Convention with states bordering the South East Pacific "Agreement on the regional cooperation for the combat against the contamination of the southeastern Pacific by hydrocarbons and other injurious substances in case of emergency" (1981)

Member of Operational Network for Regional Cooperation of Maritime Authorities of South America (ROCRAM),

Date of issue: June 2021

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