Spill Notification Point
Solomon Islands Maritime Authority SIMA
PO Box G32
Tel: + 677 21535
Competent National Authority
National Disaster Management Office (NDMO)
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology
PO Box 21, Honiara,
The Solomon Islands Maritime Authority SIMA (previously Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration SIMBA) is responsible for coordinating the response to marine pollution incidents of oil and other hazardous and noxious substances (HNS).
A draft national contingency plan (NCP) exists from 2007 - (http://www.sprep.org/attachments/Solomon_Islands_Draft_NATPLAN_July2007.pdf).
In the event of a spill, a National Oil Pollution Committee (NOPC), comprising government representatives as well as the General Manager of the Ports Authority and oil company representatives, may be convened. This would provide oversight on the response operation, in coordination with the National Disaster Council through the National Disaster Management Office. An On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC), led by SIMA, would coordinate participating response stakeholders.
The Solomon Islands follow the tiered approach to spill preparedness and response. In the event of a spill within the designated limits of a harbour, the harbour master is responsible for organising the response. If a spill occurs within oil industry facilities, the terminal manager or operator is responsible (Tier 1 incidents).
Oil companies operating in the Solomon Islands are expected to develop and maintain local spill contingency plans for their facilities and to establish and maintain stockpiles of response equipment appropriate to their level of risk.
Tier 2 incidents fall within the capacity of national resources under the authority of SIMA. For Tier 3 incidents, ie major spills beyond the national capacity, regional assistance would be sought. The Solomon Islands is a member of SPREP (Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme) which has developed PACPOL (Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Program) and through that, PACPLAN (Pacific Islands Regional Marine Spill Contingency Plan) which provides the framework for cooperative regional responses to major marine spills in the Pacific Islands region. Under PACPLAN, Australia has been allocated as the primary source of assistance to the Solomon Islands should the spill be of a magnitude and/or severity that requires additional help.
According to the draft contingency plan, the use of dispersants should only occur under strict supervision by competent environmental and scientific authorities and in accordance with the SPREP Environmental Guidelines on the Use of Oil Spill Dispersants, which takes into account the IMO dispersant guidelines.
The draft NCP also states that no disposal facilities are available to cater for oily waste on the Solomon Islands. Therefore, waste collected would be kept in storage for disposal either through export or other locally approved methods. In recent cases, due to the lack of suitable waste handling capacity, SIMA ruled that all waste from a spill and associated clean-up should be exported.
Government & Private
It would be expected that the oil industry, ports and power stations would provide equipment necessary to respond to spills from their facilities. Information from the draft NCP is that equipment co-owned by Markwarth Oil Limited and South Pacific Oil Limited (SPOL) is stored on Ports Authority land and maintained by SPOL. There is an arrangement for access to the equipment by the Ports Authority. No further information is known at present.
In the event that the spill magnitude activates the PACPLAN, Australia via the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (as the assigned SPREP Metropolitan Member Government for the Solomon Islands) would supply personnel, equipment and technical advice as requested.
Previous Spill Experience
SOLOMON TRADER, a general cargo vessel, ran aground off Rennell Island in 2019, resulting in a spill of IFO 380 which impacted approximately 5km of shoreline to varying degrees. AMSA was mobilised under the PACPLAN. Clean-up operations were completed within five months of the spill.
Hazardous & Noxious Substances
The general procedures and arrangements for oil spills would be followed in the event of a chemical incident. External assistance may be requested via SPREP under PACPLAN and MOUs.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
Party to the Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution Emergencies in the South Pacific Region (SPREP Pollution Protocol) of the Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region (SPREP Convention, also known as the Noumea Convention)
Date of issue: December 2020