You are at :

Operational discharge

Deliberate discharges of oil from ships at sea result from various maintenance operations.

Licit and illicit discharge

Discharging oily waste at sea is not always illegal.

Coastal State response

Vessels caught illegally discharging waste no longer go unpunished.

Protected areas

Special maritime zones enable coastal States to participate more actively in the protection of the natural environment.


Every year, France draws up a report of operational discharge in its surveillance zones.

Port waste reception facilities

The alternative to discharge at sea.

Detecting illegal discharge

Visual aerial detection. Remote sensing. Tools of the future.

Pollution report

Once the offence has been detected, the information must be transferred to the relevant authorities.

Evidence and case law

Once an offence has been reported, the offender must be prosecuted and proven guilty.

Prosecuting the offender

Inspection, detention and sentence.

Convictions in France

The reinforcement of France's policy of repression against operational discharge.

Convictions in other States

Convictions for voluntary discharge of oil in the States which take legal action against offenders

Conventions and legislation

Presentation of international and European texts which govern operational discharge.

Prerogatives and responsibilities of each State

Cooperation between States involved is essential within the limits of the prerogatives and responsibilities of each State.


With increasingly hefty fines, a significant drop in the number of cases detected has been observed in recent years.

This site uses third-party services that can use cookies or similar technologies, to collect information for statistical purposes or to provide you with content tailored to your interests.