French Antilles

Spill Notification Point

CROSS AG - MRCC(AG : Antilles – Guyane)
BP 621 - 97261 Fort de France cedex
Martinique FWI

Tel: + 596 596 70 92 92 (24hr)

Fax: + 596 596 63 24 50

For spills in port, the relevant port authority should be notified

Competent National Authority

Monsieur Le Préfet de la Region Martinique Délégué du Gouvernement pour la coordination de l’action de l’Etat en mer aux Antilles

Tel: + 596 596 39 36 00 or +596 596 39 39 30


80, rue Victor Severe
97262 Fort de France

Monsieur Le Capitaine de Vaisseau
Commandant La Zone Maritime Antilles
Fort Desaix BP 606
97261 Fort de France Naval

Tel : + 596 596 39 51 60 + 596 596 39 56 51

Response Arrangements

Martinique & Guadeloupe constitute overseas administrative units (Departement d'Outremer) of France headed by a prefect (Préfet de Region) who also acts as the chief executive for maritime affairs (Préfet Maritime) and would oversee any spill response mounted in the islands. Arrangements for response are based on the French POLMAR system - POLMAR-Mer for the maritime regions and POLMAR-Terre for the shoreline.

The designated agency through which the Prefect may exercise civil authority is the Regional Board for Maritime Affairs (Direction Regionale des Affaires Maritime) whilst his military authority flows through Le Commandant de la Marine (COMAR).

In the event of an oil spillage within the jurisdiction of a port or harbour, the port authority would be responsible for overseeing and/or executing anti-pollution measures. In the case of a spill elsewhere the Maritime Prefect would mobilise the necessary resources, particularly le Service des Phares et Balises (the specialist department for lights and buoys) to deal with the incident unless the owner of the polluting vessel or installation was responding to the situation in an adequate manner. For a serious incident the Maritime Prefect has call upon civil, military and private resources either by contract or through a requisitioning procedure. In this event, the naval authorities through the Marine Nationale in Martinique would take a primary role in directing any response arrangements.

Additional assistance may be called from France (eg Centre de Documentation Recherche et d’Experimentations - CEDRE).

Response Policy

As in mainland France, the preferred cleanup technique is mechanical recovery, but the controlled use of dispersants is also accepted as an alternative approach.



The French Administration has established POLMAR stockpiles at Fort de France and Pointe-a-Pitre through the Marine Nationale and the Department for Lights and Buoys. The stockpiles include tugs, booms, skimming systems and barges, pressure cleaning units, sorbent, temporary storage and separation tanks. In addition, La Marine Nationale at Fort Saint-Louis have spray gear and dispersant. Half of this dispersant stockpile is located in Guadeloupe.


The Societe Anonyme de la Raffinerie des Antilles (SARA) an association of local oil companies at Fort de France have a small stockpile of boom and dispersant, operate vessels with dispersant spray gear and a tank truck. The local power station at Fort de France and Bellefontaine has booms, skimmers, dispersant, recovered oil storage tanks and operates a tank truck.

Previous Spill Experience

There have been no major spills in the waters of Guadeloupe & Martinique.

Hazardous & Noxious Substances

The competent authority for dealing with marine pollution involving HNS is one of the 3 Maritime Préfets.  Contingency arrangements for HNS spills are integrated within the “At sea pollution response” section of the ORSEC MARITIME plans. French Navy stockpiles include specific equipment for response to spills of HNS (ie protective suits, containers for leaking barrels, etc).  France also has some specialised equipment for surveillance, monitoring and evaluation of HNS pollution in the marine environment, including modelling software, sampling devices and instruments for measuring toxic atmospheres.  In the event of a spill, specialist advice would be provided by CEDRE, INERIS (National Institute for Risk Evaluation), CEPPOL, IFREMER and French navy firemen and laboratories. France has been involved in a number of HNS incidents, including IEVOLI SUN (2000, styrene, méthyléthylcétone), ECE (2006, phosphoric acid) and BOW EAGLE (1988, Ethyl acetate).


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force  The conventions are extended to the following dependent territories: Clipperton; French Guiana; French Polynesia; Guadeloupe; Martinique; Mayotte; New Caledonia; Reunion; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Southern and Antarctic Territories; Wallis and Futuna Islands and various Indian Ocean islands including Tromelin, Juan de Nova, Bassas de India, Glorieuse and Europa (see separate Profiles where appropriate).

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

Cartagena Convention (with states of the Wider Caribbean Region).

Date of issue: June 2008

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