Spill Notification Point

For the Caribbean Sea:

Comando Naval del Caribe
Santo Tomás de Castilla Izabal

Tel: +502-7948 3127

Tel: +502-7948 3127

For the Pacific Ocean:

Comando Naval del Pacífico
Puerto Quetzal Escuintla

Tel: +502- 7881 1056 or +502- 7881 1057

Fax: +502- 7881 1056

For the Central Country: 

Departamento Marítimo
Ciudad Capital de Guatemala

Tel: +502 2334 4575

Competent National Authority

Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN)
(Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources)
20 Calle 28-58,
Zona 10,

Tel: +502 24230500

Response Arrangements

Although the ports of Guatemala are the overall responsibility of the Comision Portuaria Nacional (CPN), the competent authority for spill response is the Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN) (Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources). A port captain answerable to the navy is assigned the duty of policing the port and would be involved in any spill from a vessel in the port area. However, neither the limits of the port nor the responsibility for dealing with oil spills are clearly defined.

Although the navy has operational responsibility for dealing with spills at sea, it relies on technical advice from the Ministerio de Energía y Minas (MEM) (Ministry of Energy and Mines). A special unit was created by the Ministerio de la Defensa Nacional (Ministry of National Defence), called the Departamento Marítimo, to act as the focus within the government for pollution prevention and national oil spill contingency planning. There is no plan at present, but a project to formulate one is being undertaken. Following an earthquake in 1976, the government established the Comité Nacional de Emergencia (CONE) now called Coordinadora Nacional para la Reduccion de Desastres (CONRED) (National Coordination for Disaster Reduction) for dealing with natural and man-made disasters. It is possible that CONRED would come into play during a major oil spill.

Response Policy

There is no defined government policy for the combating of oil spills. There are no government resources dedicated to oil spill control and clean-up would concentrate on manual removal techniques.

Virtually all fishing on the Caribbean coastline is of a subsistence nature rather than commercial enterprise. A few shrimp trawlers operate from Puerto Barrios but the bulk of the fleet work on the Pacific coast. In general, fishing is of local importance in providing a living for a few coastal communities but the contribution to the national economy is small. Marine animals are protected by law. 



The government has no specialised clean-up equipment.


Private oil companies hold small quantities of boom, dispersant, spray gear and skimmers, primarily at terminals. In a recent spill, large quantities of equipment were flown to the country by a US clean-up contractor.

Previous Spill Experience

Guatemala has experienced some small spills such as the SHELL BARGE No 11 which sank in 1975 in Amatique Bay, spilling heavy fuel oil and the EDYTH L which collided with a berth in Puerto Barrios in 1992.


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force 

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • Noumea Convention (with states of the South Pacific Region).

Date of issue: June 2007

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