Spill Notification Point

Direccion de Inspeccion y Seguridad Maritima
(Maritime Survey & Safety Division)
Ministerio del Transporte
Avenida Rancho Boyeros y Tulipan

Tel: +53 7 819 498 or +53 7 816 607

Fax: +53 7 335 118

Competent National Authority

Defensa Civil Oficina Nacional para Casos de Desastres
(National Civil Defence Office) Calle 18 , ESO.A 7MA Avenida Miramar

Tel: +53-7 203 6464

Fax: +53-7 810366

Ministerio Ciencia, Technologia y Medio Ambiente Direccion Politica Ambiental
Capitolio Prado y San Jose 10200 Habana Vieja Havana

Tel: +53 7 570 606

Fax: +53 338 054/338 654

Response Arrangements

Under the Cuban State National Contingency Plan, overall responsibility for oil spill response resides with National Civil Defence. However, the lead agency is dependent upon the size and location of the spill. Response to a Tier 1 spill within port or terminal limits is the responsibility of the facility authorities. The Chief of Municipal Civil Defence would be informed of actions taken, but in the case of small spills is unlikely to take further action, although an official from the Maritime Survey & Safety Division of the Ministry of Transport may monitor operations on his behalf.

If the oil moves away from the facility, or if the spill originates outside the limits or is a larger Tier 2 spill, responsibility transfers to the Municipal Civil Defence Council. Other agencies also have a role to play and a command post manned by members of an Advisory Group would be established. This Advisory Group is led by the chief of the appropriate Municipal Civil Defence authority who is responsible for the overall co-ordination of all operations. The Advisory Group includes local representatives from Nave Caribbe (state marine services company), Maritime Safety and the Coastguard, the harbourmaster, pilots, fire brigade reservists, CIMAB (Centro Ingenieria y Manejo Ambiental de Bahias i Costas) and Cuba Petróleo, CUPET (the national oil company). Shoreline cleanup would be undertaken under the direction of the Director of Community Services. If the response requires resources from outside the immediate area, overall responsibility transfers to the Provincial Civil Defence Council.

In the event of a very serious Tier 3 incident, requiring a response at a national level, responsibility for the incident passes to the National Civil Defence Office, and the national representatives of the various agencies would also be involved.

CUPET is responsible for responding to spills from CUPET installations and for providing assistance in the event of a spill from a vessel or facility in the vicinity of a CUPET installation. A CUPET Contingency Plan has been developed to cover Cuba as a whole with specific plans for certain facilities and areas. Plans for the larger terminals are being reviewed with the help of outside consultants.

The US armed forces have developed contingency plans for the Guantanamo Bay base.

Response Policy

There does not appear to be any specific response policy although evidence from previous spills suggests that dispersant application is not a primary option. Liquid waste oil can be treated through slops systems at the major terminals. Solid waste can be disposed of by a combination of incineration and landfill under the direction of CIMAB. 



Manpower for shoreline cleanup would be made available through the National Civil Defence Office. Surveillance aircraft and helicopters can be provided by the armed forces.


CUPET has five regional 24hr response centres sited at Cienfuegos, Havana, Matanzas, Nuevitas & Santiago de Cuba. These include dedicated skimming vessels, skimmers, boom and vacuum trucks. CUPET has links for the exchange of equipment and expertise with PEMEX (Mexico), PDVSA (Venezuela) and the Costa Rican national oil company.

The US armed forces have sufficient equipment to respond to a 3000 gallon spill at the Guantanamo Bay base.

Previous Spill Experience

The PRINCESS ANNE MARIE (1980) spilt 5700 tons of crude at Cabo Corrientes. The majority of this dispersed at sea. The AIDA (1992) spilt approximately 2 tons of HFO, the MARE PRINCESS (1993) 30 tons of IFO and the STAVANGER OAK (1993) approximately 10 tons of diesel oil at Cienfuegos. The former two were cleaned using mechanical containment and recovery techniques and manual shoreline cleaning while the latter mainly dispersed naturally. All these spills led to large claims for fisheries damage.


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force 

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • Cartagena Convention (with states of the Wider Caribbean Region).
  • Operative Network for Regional Cooperation among Maritime Authorities of South America, Mexico, Panama & Cuba (ROCRAM).

Date of issue: June 2008

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