Spill Notification Point
General Directorate of the Merchant Marine of Honduras Marine Environment Protection Department
Edificio PIETRA, Col. Florencia Sur,
Bloque C, 1ra Calle,
1 y 4ta Ave. Contigüo a ALUPAC; Apdo. Postal 3625, Tegucigalpa, MDC.,
Tel: 504 2239 8228 / 8334 / 8346
Mobile: 504 9916 5024
Competent National Authority
The National Contingency Plan for Spills of Oil and Hazardous and Noxious Substances was updated in September 2014. A copy is available on RAC REMPEITC’s website (http://cep.unep.org/racrempeitc/National%20OPRC%20Plans/honduras/Honduras%20-%20PNCH%20ULTIMA%20VERSION%20Sept%202014.pdf/view). Responsibility for developing and updating the Plan is charged to a technical committee under the guidance of the General Directorate of the Merchant Marine of Honduras (DGMM), the national authority responsible for marine pollution response. The committee comprises technical personnel from DGMM, the Permanent Commission of Contingencies (COPECO) and the Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mining (SERNA). The Plan is integrated into the Natonal Risk Management System (SINAGER).
Honduras has adopted the tiered approach to spill response. For Tier 1 incidents, it is expected that the operator of the relevant facility or shipowner would respond with their own resources, under the supervision of the DGMM. For Tier 2 spills a wider range of stakeholders can be involved led by DGMM with COPECO as the response agency and/or Ocean Pollution Control SA (OPC) Honduras, a private entity designated as national OSRO in the NCP. Tier 3 spills require significant resources from national and international sources. COPECO would facilitate the clearance of equipment through Customs in an emergency situation.
In 2018 new oil spill response requirements for tank and non-tank vessels came into effect. Since 26th May, all vessels must nominate an oil spill response organisation (OSRO) which has been approved by the Honduras maritime authorities to secure the availability of private personnel and equipment necessary to remove, to the maximum extent practicable, a worst-case discharge, and to mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of such a discharge. OPC Honduras (currently the only approved OSRO in Honduras) has agreed to contract on a RESPONSECON form in the event of a spill.
 A standard contract for the hire of specialised spill response services and equipment
To date, Honduras does not have a national policy on the use of dispersants or in-situ burning. Dispersant use would need to be approved by the DGMM. (Information from RAC REMPEITC 2015)
Government & Private
It is understood that no government equipment exists. OPC Honduras maintains boats and equipment and a permanent alert service through its Response Operations Centre (NOC) located in Puerto Cortes. Details of the equipment it holds are contained in the NCP.
Previous Spill Experience
Honduras has experienced a number of minor incidents involving bunker fuel which have been cleaned by the owner.
Hazardous & Noxious Substances
HNS preparedness and response is covered by the NCP. ITOPF is not aware of Honduras having any experience of ship-source HNS-related incidents. HNS importers in the country would likely be called upon to provide equipment and materials in the event of a spill. OPC Honduras also has some equipment, including Hazmat suits.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
Cartagena Convention - the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region (a comprehensive, umbrella agreement for the protection and development of the marine environment with states of the Wider Caribbean Region).
Date of issue: August 2018