Navigation and Decommissioning Legislation

Amendments to number of treaties to make the use of the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) mandatory came into force on 1st January 2016. The treaties amended are:MARPOL Annexes I through to VI; MARPOL Annexes I through to VI;
International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969; and
Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) The cold water coral Lophelia pertusa is known to exist on some offshore installations. If the coral is present and the installation upon which it is located is to be returned to shore it will be necessary to discuss with Defra the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Signed in 1973; CITES entered into force on 1 July 1975.
MARPOL – carriage of stability instruments Amendments to MARPOL Annex I, the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying have been implemented. Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (BCH Code) and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code), on mandatory carriage requirements for a stability instrument for oil tankers and chemical tankers.These amendments took came into force on 1st January 2016.
OSPAR Decision 98/3 This decision requires that decommissioning will normally remove the whole of the installation but there are some possible exceptions for large structures. However, the provisions of OSPAR decisions 98/3 do not apply to pipelines. There are no international guidelines on the decommissioning of disused pipelines. This Decision entered into force on 9 February 1999, and replaced Decision 95/1 of the Oslo Commission concerning the Disposal of Offshore Installations.
UN Convention on the Continental Shelf 1958 The Convention on the Continental Shelf was an international treaty implemented to codify international law relating to continental shelves. After entering into force 10 June 1964, the treaty established the rights of a sovereign state over the continental shelf surrounding it.
Coast Protection Act 1949 Amending the law relating to the protection of the British coast against erosion and encroachment by the sea, to provide for the restriction and removal of works detrimental to navigation, to transfer the management of Crown foreshore from the Minister of Transport to the Commissioners of Crown Lands, and for purposes connected with the matters covered, receiving Royal Assent in November 1949.
Coast Protection (Variation of Excluded Waters) (England) Regulations 2015 These Regulations vary the paragraph of the Full Text of Schedule 4 to the Coast Protection Act 1949 that applies to the River Wear and remake regulations applying in England which have previously varied other paragraphs of that Schedule.
Continental Shelf Act 1964 An Act making provisions for the exploration and exploitation of the continental shelf, enabling effect to be given to certain provisions of the Convention on the High Seas done in Geneva on 29 April 1958, and for matters connected with those purposes. This Act received Royal Assent in April 1964.
Marine Licensing (Delegation of Functions) (Amendment) Order 2015 This Order amends the Marine Licensing (Delegation of Functions) Order 2011, allowing the Secretary of State, with reference from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) in certain circumstances to determine a marine licence application.
Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) (Scottish Inshore and Offshore Regions) Amendment Order 2012 This order, which came into force the date it was made (2 February 2012) makes provision that a marine licence is not required in Scottish inshore or offshore waters for the purpose of retrieving objects from the seabed which have been accidentally deposited there. Notice of the intention to carry out the recovery of dropped objects must however be given to the Scottish Ministers.
Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 The 2010 Amendment Regulations make various insertions for new enactments (e.g. new Birds Directive) and also devolve certain powers to Scottish Ministers. Cited as the Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (Amendment) Regulations 2010, these Regulations came into force on 1 April 2010.
Petroleum Act 1998 These Regulations consolidate with amendments the provisions of the Petroleum (Production) Regulations 1982 (as amended) in relation to (a) applications to the Secretary of State for petroleum production licences in respect of seaward areas and (b) applications to the Secretary of State for petroleum exploration licences in respect of seaward areas and landward areas below the low water line. Petroleum Licensing (Exploration and Production) (Seaward and Landward Areas) Regulations 2004 entered into force on 5 March 2004. Petroleum Licensing (Production) (Seaward Areas) Regulation 2008 entered into force on 6 April 2008.
Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996

These regulations, which came into force on 11 April 1996, require operators to ensure that adequate arrangements are in place for dealing with incidents and emergencies involving a pipeline, particularly in the event of:

  • An accidental loss of fluid
  • The discovery of a defect in the pipeline or of damage to it
  • Any other emergency affecting the pipeline.

In addition, if the pipeline is defined by Regulation 18 (Schedule 2) as a “Major Accident Hazard Pipeline” in that it is carrying fluids which are; flammable in air, have a boiling point below 5ºC at 1 bar absolute, and are conveyed in the pipeline as a liquid; flammable in air and are to be conveyed in the pipeline as a gas at above 8 bar absolute; or have a vapour pressure greater than 1.5 bar absolute when in equilibrium with vapour at either the actual temperature of the liquid or at 20ºC. Then a Major Accident Prevention Document and Emergency Procedures must be prepared by the pipeline operator – See “COMAH“. NOTE: The main focus of these regulations is Health and Safety, however through provision of contingency planning for this purpose, management of environmental risks can be incorporated.

The Offshore Production and Pipelines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulation 1999 as amended The 1999 Regulations implemented the  EC Directive on the assessment and effects of certain public and private activities on the environment.  The 1999 Regulations came into force on the 14 March 1999. The 2007 amendment implemented the requirements of the Public Participation Directive and came into force on 16 April 2007.
UK Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 The UK Marine and Coastal Access Act of 2009, which gained Royal Assent on 12 November 2009, with particular relevance to biodiversity and nature conservation, this piece of legislation makes provision for the designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in the territorial waters adjacent to England and Wales and UK offshore waters. Operators will need to apply for a marine licence to undertake certain licensable marine activities as per paragraph 66.