Spill Notification Point
Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (for Oil & HNS)
Maritime Search & Rescue Service
Tel: +48 58 620 55 51 or +48 58 661 0197 or +48 58 621 68 11
Fax: +48 58 660 76 40
Competent National Authority
Ministry of Transport, Construction & Maritime Economy
Maritime Transport and Shipping Safety Department
4/6 Chalubi?skiego St. 00- 928 Warsaw
Tel: +48 22 630 1000 or +48 22 630 1639
Fax: +48 22 630 1497 or +48 22 830 02 61 (24 hrs)
Under the Act of Maritime Areas and Administration, the ministry responsible for maritime economy acts as the general competent maritime authority. It delegates responsibility for oil spill preparedness and response to the Director of the Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) Service based in Gdynia. This is a government service, which acts under the direct supervision of the Minister for Transport, Construction & Maritime Economy. The SAR Service maintains the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, the national contact point for spill response. Spills in port areas are the responsibility of the port authority under the direction of the local maritime office. The National Contingency Plan was developed by the Maritime Search & Rescue Service and local contingency plans are coordinated by the SAR Service and approved by the Director of one of three regional maritime offices.
The National State Fire Service has responsibility for operational response for pollution on land, including beach and coastal clean-up.
Mechanical containment and recovery are the primary response options. The use of dispersants is limited in accordance with the Helsinki Commission and requires specific permission from the local maritime authorities (harbour masters).
Sufficient temporary storage capacity is available, according to the NCP. The Gdansk Refinery is also prepared for waste oil disposal.
Government & Private
The Maritime SAR operates several vessels equipped for at sea containment and recovery. Other equipment is also stockpiled for a nearshore response and is located at Gdynia, Swinoujscie and Ustka. The main ports have limited spill response equipment but would in all likelihood call on the SAR for additional support in the event of an incident. Limited vessel dispersant spraying capability and limited dispersant stock is available is Poland.
Previous Spill Experience
There have been no major spills in Polish waters.
Hazardous & Noxious Substances
The competent authority for dealing with marine pollution involving HNS is the Director of the relevant Maritime Office (either Gdynia, Slupsk or Szczecin), assisted by the Maritime Search and Rescue Service. In case of an incident, there would be direct operational cooperation with the chemical response team from the Provincial State Fire Service units of the cities of Gdansk, Gdynia and Szczecin. Poland’s capability for responding to marine incidents involving HNS is rather limited and mainly relies on the same resources as for oil pollution response. A National System for Detection and Warning of Hazardous Contamination (SWS) is in preparation. The NCP and port/facility contingency plans for large harbours cover response to HNS. As part of local contingency planning, a threat identification analysis has been made for particular chemicals, including the type of chemical and probable quantity involved, which covers the ports of Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin and Swinoujscie. Additionally, there is a list of HNS cargo handling terminals which are obliged to have their own preparedness and response systems. For areas with heavy traffic, the VTS systems are established where the Dangerous Goods Manifest is obligatory. The Maritime SAR are able to search and recover HNS in packaged form. Poland has a number of over drums for the containment of chemicals and has access to multipurpose 20’ containerised storage tanks for about 70 different chemicals. Poland has some specialised equipment for monitoring HNS spills at sea. Poland’s main response vessel has an installation for detecting some substances but it is not gas tight. Some navy vessels have gas tight citadels and are prepared for quick escape from a hazardous atmosphere. Poland has not been involved in any previous marine incidents with HNS, but did conduct a national table top exercise in 2007. (Information from EMSA, 2008)
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- Helsinki Convention (with countries bordering the Baltic Sea).
- Bilateral agreement with Russia.
- Bilateral agreement with Germany.
Date of issue: December 2011