Spill Notification Point

Marine Assistance Services (MAS)
Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, JRCC
Joint Operations Centre (JOC)
Defence Command Denmark
Carl Nielsensvej 6-8
DK-8000 Aarhus

Tel: +45 72 85 03 71

Fax: +45 72 85 03 84

In port, vessels must contact the relevant port authority.

Competent National Authority

Defence Command Denmark (for oil and HNS)
Naval Staff
Maritime Environment Element
Herningvej 30
DK-7470 Karup J

Tel: +45 72 81 20 71

Response Arrangements

On 1 January 2000, responsibility for response to pollution by oil and other harmful substances at sea and in coastal waters was transferred from the Ministry of the Environment and Energy to the Ministry of Defence, which devolved the task to Defence Command Denmark.

The Maritime Assistance Service (MAS) is an integrated part of JOC, functioning as a central maritime contact point for shipping in and around Danish territorial waters. It handles communication between the Danish coastal state, ships' captains requiring assistance, and other players such as shipowners, salvage companies, port authorities etc. MAS is on 24 hour alert to deploy rapid assistance and professional support for ships in connection with combating pollution, fire and explosions on board, collision and grounding.

National contingency arrangements are the responsibility of the JOC, which is in overall charge of pollution incidents. In the event of a spill, or potential spill, it decides whether a combating operation should be launched and, if so, which response methods should be used, or decides upon countermeasures to prevent pollution from taking place. In major incidents the JOC would appoint a Supreme On Scene Commander or an On Scene Commander. To support the JOC, a committee consisting of representatives from relevant authorities and organisations may be established. Aerial surveillance operations are carried out by the Royal Danish Airforce, in close coordination with the Navy. Offshore operations are carried out using spill response vessels provided by the Navy, the Royal Danish Administration of Navigation and Hydrography, private tug companies etc and using aircraft from the Royal Danish Airforce.

The Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA, part of the Ministry of Defence) and regional or local councils are responsible for shoreline clean-up. Local councils are responsible for combating pollution in ports and harbours. The Danish Environment Protection Agency and regional or local councils are responsible for the restoration of beaches, depending on the extent and nature of the pollution.

The Danish EPA, under the Ministry of the Environment and Energy, administers legislation concerning environmental protection (the Danish Act for the Protection of the Marine Environment) and environmental regulation of offshore activities. Oil drilling and producing companies must have their own contingency plans and some equipment in place. These plans must be approved by the EPA. With regard to illegal discharges at sea, Defence Command Denmark is responsible for the enforcement of the Danish Act for the Protection of the Marine Environment.

Response Policy

Mechanical recovery of oil at sea is the favoured approach where possible. The use of chemical dispersants is allowed in Denmark as a last resort, following prior official authorisation from the EPA, on a case-by-case basis. In the Danish North Sea sector, Denmark recognises a limited scope for dispersant use, when mechanical recovery is not possible and when particularly sensitive resources are threatened. In the Baltic Sea sector, dispersant use is not supported. In practice, oil spill dispersants have not been used in Danish waters for the past 10 years (EMSA, 2010).



The navy operates four spill response vessels equipped with a variety of boom, skimmers, pumps and other equipment based at naval bases. Two are ice class and able to operate in open waters. Recovered oil storage barges are also maintained by the navy, based at Copenhagen, Korsoer and Frederikshavn. Other vessels and resources from the Royal Danish Navy and the Royal Danish Administration of Navigation and Hydrography amongst others may be utilised as required. The Royal Danish Air Force can provide aircraft for surveillance operations.

DEMA maintains five bases of equipment for near- and on- shore response located at Thisted (northern Jutland), Herning (central Jutland), Haderslev (southern Jutland/western Funen), Næstved (Sealand/eastern Funen), Knudsker (Borland). Each centre is equipped with various booms, towing & anchoring equipment & a power pack. In addition, sorbents and PPE are also included.

Denmark does not hold any dispersant stockpiles. The Danish Navy and Air Force do not maintain vessel or aircraft dispersant application capability.


Tugs may be available from commercial towage and salvage companies. Plant and equipment may be available from local hire/construction companies.

Previous Spill Experience

There have been a number of spill incidents off the Danish coasts, the most significant being the BALTIC CARRIER (2001), IBN ROCHD (1984) and the JAN (1985). Most incidents have occurred close to the coast and in rough sea conditions and consequently most of the clean-up took place on shore.

Hazardous & Noxious Substances

The competent authority for dealing with marine pollution involving HNS has been delegated to Defence Command Denmark, Naval Staff. Denmark's capability for responding to marine incidents involving HNS is very limited and mainly relies on the same resources as for oil pollution response. With the existing resources, only recovery of undamaged drums and containers can be undertaken. Denmark does not specifically cover HNS in its NCP, but has made a risk assessment which includes marine transport of HNS. Denmark has been involved in one previous HNS incident, the DANA OPTIMA (1984, Dinitrobutylphenol). (Information from EMSA, 2008)


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force 

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • Bonn Agreement (with countries bordering the North Sea).
  • Helsinki Convention (with countries bordering the Baltic Sea).
  • Copenhagen Agreement (with Finland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden).
  • SweDenGer Agreement with Sweden and Germany covering the southwesternern Baltic Sea

  • DenGer Agreement with Germany covering the Wadden Sea and the southern Baltic Sea.

  • Bilateral agreement with Canada covering Baffin Bay, Davis Strait etc.
  • Member of the European Community Task Force.

Date of issue: October 2015

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