Spill Notification Point

Dirección General para la Prevención y Atención de Desastres (DGPAD) del Ministerio del Interior

Calle 13 # 32-69 Edificio Laboratorio Bogotá D.C. Website:

Tel: +57 13649090 or +57-13203838
Fax: +57 13751077

Spills may also be reported to the nearest port captain:

Puerto Bolívar
Tel: +57-53506511/+57-53506512
Fax: +57-53502151
Tel: +57-53492572/+57-53492807
Fax: +57-53492626
San Andrés
Tel: +57-85125613/+57-85120703
Fax: +57-85127077
Tel: +57-27272788/+57-27272650
Fax: +57-27272785
Santa Marta
Tel: +57-54210739/+57-54210728
Fax: +57-54210711
Tel: +57-56648740/+57-56642583
Fax: +57-56644303
Tel: +57-22423702/+57-22417868
Fax: +57-22434447

Competent National Authority

Dirección General para la Prevención y Atención de Desastres, Ministerio del Interior - DGPAD (Directorate for the Prevention and Attention of Disasters, Ministry of the Interior) - contact details as for the spill notification point.

Response Arrangements

The Colombian National Contingency Plan for responding to spills of oil, products and harmful substances at sea and continental waters was developed by governmental and private bodies involved in the management of oil and noxious substances.  It was coordinated by DGPAD with technical support from the Dirección General Maritima (DIMAR), a part of the Department of the Navy, and the national oil company, Compa?ia Colombiana de Petróleos (ECOPETROL).  The Plan was adopted by Decree number 321 in 1999.  It identifies six regions, including one on the Atlantic coast and one on the Pacific coast.

The National Contingency Plan (NCP) integrates all the local contingency plans to create a strategy for dealing with spills of all sizes in the main ports of the country.  Spills in port would normally be controlled by the Capitanias del Puerto (Harbour Masters) who are under the authority of DIMAR, but elsewhere the Navy and Coastguard would coordinate the response.

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 DGPAD 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.



The national oil company ECOPETROL holds equipment, consisting predominantly of booms, skimmers and dispersants which are stockpiled at various locations, including Cartagena, Cove?as, 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 Public Forces would provide transport, communication links, surveillance and other expertise. 


Other operating oil companies like OCENSA in Cove?as 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 and Cartagena. In 1976 fire broke out on the SAINT PETER , when she 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.  In recent years 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



CLC FundSuppHNS*Bunker
'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force  

Regional and 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).

Date of issue: July 2008

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