Spill Notification Point

Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (for Oil & HNS)
Maritime Search & Rescue Service
Hryniewickiego 10
81-340 Gdynia

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)

Response Arrangements

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. 

Response Policy

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

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* 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

Terms & Conditions

These Country & Territory Profiles are provided in good faith as a guide only and are based on information obtained from a variety of sources over a period of time.  This information is subject to change and should, in each case, be independently verified before reliance is placed on it. Country & Territory Profiles may have been re-issued solely to incorporate additional or revised information under one heading only.  Each Profile has therefore not necessarily been completely verified or updated as at the stated Date of Issue.

ITOPF Limited (“ITOPF”) hereby excludes, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability to any person, corporation or other entity for any loss, damage or expense resulting from reliance on or use of these Country & Territory Profiles.

©ITOPF Limited 2018.

These Country & Territory Profiles may be reproduced by any means for non-commercial distribution without addition, deletion or amendment, provided an acknowledgement of the source is given and these Terms & Conditions are reproduced in full. 

These Country & Territory Profiles may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of ITOPF either for commercial distribution or with addition, deletion or amendment.