In the EMSA premises in Lisbon, Mr Willem de Ruiter, Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), Mr Joachim Krueger, Executive Director of the Energy, HSE and Logistics Programme of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and Mr Pierre Maille, Chairman of the Board of the Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre), signed an agreement between the three organisations establishing the “M-ICE Network” and the framework for closer co-operation in the field of chemical marine pollution response.
The signature of this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covers the framework for co-operation of the three organisations in establishing a network of chemical experts called “Marine ICE" or "M-ICE network", aiming to strengthen information transfer on chemical substances involved in marine pollution emergencies in EU waters.
The purpose of this network is to provide, upon request, the Member States of the European Union and the coastal states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) with remote product specific information on chemicals involved in marine pollution, by contacting experts from chemical companies knowledgeable about the substance(s) involved.
This new service is based on the voluntary ICE (Intervention in Chemical Transport Emergencies) emergency response network, which provides similar assistance to national Authorities in land based chemical spills during transport. This network is available 24/7 and has been operated by Cefic since 1992. With this agreement, the three organisations aim to apply the ICE experience to the development and implementation of a similar service for marine incidents involving chemical releases EU-wide.
The service will be accessible to requesting parties, via a single interface to be provided by Cedre, whose key mission is an around the clock national advisory service, providing those in charge of pollution response with information on the pollutants, their behaviour, the related risks and the best response methods and techniques.
The establishment of this network is part of EMSA’s implementation of its “Action Plan on Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) Pollution Preparedness and Response”, which was adopted in June 2007 and reflects the Agency’s pollution response tasks as stipulated in Regulation (EC) N° 1406/2002/EC.