Spill Notification Point

Ministry of Information,
Communication & Transport
Marine Division
PO Box 487
Betio Tarawa

Tel: +686-26003/26468

Fax: +686-26193

Alternatively, spills may be reported to the nearest port authority.

Competent National Authority

Details as above.

Response Arrangements

No formal arrangements have been established for oil spill response. The focal point for government control during an oil spill is the Ministry of Information, Communication & Transport, Marine Division in Tarawa. The Betio Port Authority controls shipping movements to Tarawa, and would act as a notification point outside office hours. Other authorities with an interest in spills are the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Development (MENRD), and the Ministry of Works and Energy. MENRD are taking the lead in preparing a national contingency plan. A Marine Pollution Sub-Committee is being formed to take the lead in spill response.

Kiribati is a member of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and party to the SPREP Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution Emergencies in the South Pacific, which provides the legal framework through which marine spill contingency planning is addressed.  SPREP has prepared PACPOL, the Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Programme, which has drafted the Pacific Islands Regional Marine Spill Contingency Plan (PACPLAN).  This was endorsed by Members in September 2000 as the regional framework through which the SPREP Pollution Emergencies Protocol would be operationalised.  PACPLAN applies to spills where regional cooperation and/or supraregional assistance are required.  It does not cover Tier One and Tier Two spills.  At the national level, PACPOL has provided Kiribati with assistance in formulating its national plan, consistent with PACPLAN and international best practice.

Response Policy

No formal response policy has been determined, but the draft national contingency plan appears open to both chemical and containment/recovery options.  The prevalence of sensitive resources (corals, mangroves, fisheries and high levels of coastal habitation) would necessitate consultation with MENRD before any response option could be taken up.

No facilities for oily waste disposal exist locally, and wastes would have to be exported for final treatment and disposal.



No specialised response equipment exists in Kiribati. The Department of Public Works controls most civil works activities and may be able to provide limited labour and mechanical equipment, and volunteer labour would be readily obtainable.  Availability of vessels and aircraft for response is very limited, and no formal arrangements are in place for aerial reconnaissance.  Helicopters are occasionally available from tuna fishing operations. 

In order to assist each Pacific Island country and territory to establish the optimum equipment inventory for its situation, PACPOL is carrying out a review of marine spill combat needs in 2003 with funding from the International Maritime Organization and Canada.  Once the review is completed, the project will seek to secure sources of support to procure the necessary equipment, plus provide training in its use and long-term maintenance.


The local oil industry (Kiribati Oil Company and BP), supplying mainly gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels to the islands, has only limited resources (small quantities of sorbent) for dealing with small local spillages. In practice government agencies would call upon the industry for assistance, which would be provided through contacts with adjacent countries.

There are no specialist oil spill cleanup contractors locally available.

Previous Spill Experience

Only very minor fuel spills (non-persistent oils) have been previously reported in the commercial port.


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • Kiribati is not a party to any agreements.

Date of issue: July 2009

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