Sri Lanka

Spill Notification Point

Marine Pollution Prevention Authority (MPPA) (for oil & HNS)
Marine Environment Protection Authority
758, 2nd Floor
Baseline Road
Colombo 9 

Tel: +94-11-2687520 (24hr) or +94-11-2690604 or +94-11-2690605

Competent National Authority

Contact details are as for spill notification point.

Response Arrangements

A National Contingency Plan was prepared by the Marine Pollution Prevention Authority (MPPA) in 1995 and revised in 1998 and 1999. It received Cabinet approval in 2000 and has undergone subsequent amendments. 

The MPPA is the national authority responsible for prevention, control, monitoring, mitigation and management of pollution in Sri Lankan waters and the restoration of the damaged environment.  The MPPA will take overall command particularly in larger spills at sea or where significant quantities of oil escape the port confines. Small spills of less than 100 tonnes, however, would be generally tackled by the Sri Lankan Port Authority with the MPPA acting in a monitoring role. If necessary, an Advisory Committee can be formed consisting of local oil industry representatives and government bodies. This committee provides the back-up to the On-Scene Commander appointed by the MPPA. In the event of a large spill additional support would be sought through the spiller or neighbouring countries. 

Response Policy

Both mechanical recovery techniques and dispersants can be used to tackle oil on water. The nature of most mechanical clean-up equipment limits its use to within the port or sheltered waters. Equipment has been purchased by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation in order to tackle spills from their offshore SBM off Colombo


Government & Private

Limited resources, restricted to responding to a spill within port or sheltered waters, are held at Colombo by the Port Authority. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has some containment and recovery equipment and also possesses oil storage barges. Both the Port Authority and the CPC have vessel mounted offshore dispersant spraying capability. Other equipment includes a small number of backpack dispersant sprayers for shoreline use. Limited stocks of dispersant are held by the private Colombo Dockyard Ltd.

The MPPA is able to call upon a large number of resource agencies to supply non-specialised support. In the event of a major spill it is envisaged that assistance will be sought from other countries. 

Previous Spill Experience

The KOMSOMOLETS AZERBAYDZHANA (1994) reportedly spilt 100 tonnes of fuel oil after grounding outside Galle harbour. No oil impacted the coastline.

Hazardous & Noxious Substances

The MPPA is the responsible authority for dealing with spills of HNS.  No national contingency plan for HNS or dedicated equipment is currently available.  Sri Lanka is in discussions with other South Asian countries about developing an MoU for HNS spills. In 2009 the Sri Lankan Navy responded to an incident involving the chemical tanker MT GRANBA which reported a leak of its cargo of sulphuric acid.  The vessel sank off Sri Lanka’s east coast in 3,800 metres of water. 


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force 

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme with Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the Maldives (established by UNEP).

Date of issue: June 2010

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