Pollution From Ships

Message to the Senate Transmitting an Annex to the Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships

February 9, 1987

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate, Annex V, Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships, an Optional Annex to the 1978 Protocol Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, (MARPOL 73/78). I also transmit for the information of the Senate the report of the Department of State on this Annex.

The MARPOL Protocol entered into force for the United States on October 2, 1983. Annex V and the other two Optional Annexes III and IV, which deal with pollution from packaged harmful substances and sewage, were transmitted only for the information of the Senate when the original MARPOL Convention was transmitted to the Senate on March 22, 1977, for its advice and consent to ratification.

Annex V prohibits (subject to limited exceptions) the disposal from ships into the sea of all plastics, including but not limited to synthetic ropes, synthetic fishing nets, and plastic garbage bags. It also restricts the discharge at sea of other types of garbage to specified distances from the nearest land.

The entry into force of Annex V of MARPOL 73/78 will be an important step in controlling and preventing pollution from discharges of ship generated garbage. I recommend that the Senate give early consideration to Optional Annex V of MARPOL 73/78 and give its advice and consent to ratification.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

February 9, 1987.