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 Infopetro -> Laws & Regulation


Marine Environment Protection Law of the People''s Republic of China

  02/15/2008


Adopted at the 24th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Fifth National People''s Congress and promulgated by Order No.9 of the Standing Committee of the National People''s Congress on August 23,1982,and effective as of March 1, 1983.

Contents

Chapter I General Provisions
Chapter II Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environment by
Coastal Construction Projects
Chapter III Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environment by
Offshore Oil Exploration and Exploitation
Chapter IV Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environment by
Land-Sourced Pollutants
Chapter V Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environment by
Vessels
Chapter VI Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environment by
Dumping of Wastes
Chapter VII Legal Liabilities
Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1
This Law is formulated in order to protect the marine environment and
resources, prevent pollution damage, maintain ecological balance,
safeguard human health and promote the development of marine programmers.

Article 2
This Law shall apply to the internal seas and territorial seas of the
People''s Republic of China and all other sea areas under the jurisdiction
of the People''s Republic of China. All vessels, platforms, airborne
vehicles and submersibles, as well as all enterprises, institutions and
individuals engaged in navigation, exploration, exploitation, production,
scientific research or other activities in the sea areas under the
jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of China shall comply with this Law.
This Law shall also apply to the discharge of harmful substances and the
dumping of wastes done beyond the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the
People''s Republic of China that cause pollution damage to sea areas within
the jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of China.

Article 3
All units and individuals entering the sea areas under the jurisdiction of
the People''s Republic of China shall have the responsibility to protect
the marine environment and shall have the obligation to watch for and
report on actions causing pollution damage to the marine environment.

Article 4
The relevant departments under the State Council and the people''s
governments of the coastal provinces, autonomous regions, and
municipalities directly under the Central Government may, as the need to
protect the marine environment requires, establish special marine
reserves, marine sanctuaries and seashore scenic and tourist areas and
take corresponding measures to protect them. The designation of special
marine reserves and marine sanctuaries shall be subject to the State
Council for approval.

Article 5
The environmental protection department under the State Council shall be
in charge of the marine environmental protection of the whole country.
The state administrative department of marine affairs shall be responsible
for organizing investigations and monitoring of and exercising
surveillance over the marine environment and conducting scientific
research therein; it shall also be in charge of environmental protection
against marine pollution damage caused by offshore oil exploration and
exploitation and by the dumping of wastes into the sea. The Harbour
Superintendency Administration of the People''s Republic of China shall be
responsible for supervising, investigating and dealing with the discharge
of pollutants from vessels and for exercising surveillance over the waters
of the port areas; it shall also be in charge of environmental protection
against pollution damage caused by vessels. The state fisheries
administration and fishing harbour superintendency agencies shall be
responsible for supervising the discharge of pollutants by vessels in the
fishing harbours and for exercising surveillance over the waters thereof.
The environmental protection department of the armed forces shall be
responsible for supervising the discharge of pollutants by military
vessels and exercising surveillance over the waters of the naval ports.
The environmental protection departments of the coastal provinces,
autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central
Government shall be responsible for organizing, coordinating, supervising
and inspecting the marine environmental protection work in their
respective administrative areas and shall be in charge of environmental
protection against pollution damage caused by coastal construction
projects and land-sourced pollutants.

Chapter II Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environ- ment by Coastal Construction Projects

Article 6
Units in charge of coastal construction projects must, before drawing up
and submitting their project plan descriptions, conduct scientific surveys
of the marine environment, select suitable sites in the light of natural
and social conditions and formulate and submit Environmental Impact
Statements in accordance with relevant state regulations.

Article 7
Measures must be taken to protect the aquatic resources when building
harbours and oil terminals, as well as water conservancy facilities and
tidal power stations in estuaries. Dams to be built across fish and crab
migration routes shall be provided with appropriate fish passage
facilities.

Article 8
Facilities to receive and treat residual and waste oils, oil-polluted
water and other wastes, along with the necessary anti-pollution equipment
and monitoring and alarm devices, shall be installed at ports and oil
terminals.

Article 9
The development and utilization of tideland shall be subject to
comprehensive planning and strict administration. The reclamation of land
from the sea, or other projects to enclose sea areas, and the excavation
of sand and gravel shall be strictly controlled. For projects that are
definitely necessary, Environmental Impact Statements based on
investigative research and comparison of economic results must be prepared
and submitted for approval to the environmental protection departments of
the relevant provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities directly
under the Central Government. In the case of large-scale projects to
enclose sea areas, the statements must also be submitted to the
environmental protection department under the State Council for
examination and approval. It is forbidden to destroy seashore shelter belts, scenic woods, scenic rocks, mangroves and coral reefs.

Chapter III Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environ- ment by Offshore Oil Exploration and Exploitation

Article 10
Enterprises engaged in offshore oil exploitation or their competent
authorities shall, before drawing up and submitting their project plan
descriptions, prepare Environmental Impact Statements, which shall include
effective measures for the prevention of pollution damage to the marine
environment; the statements shall be submitted to the environmental
protection department under the State Council for examination and
approval.

Article 11
When offshore oil exploration and other offshore activities involve
explosive operations, effective measures shall be taken to protect fishery
resources.

Article 12
Oils used in the course of exploration and exploitation shall be put under
strict control so as to prevent accidents from oil leakage. Residual and
waste oils shall be recovered and must not be discharged into the sea.

Article 13
Oil-polluted water and oil mixtures from offshore oil rigs, drilling
platforms and oil extraction platforms may not be directly discharged into
the sea. When they are discharged after recovery treatment, the oil
content of the discharges may not exceed the standards set by the state.

Article 14
Offshore oil rigs, drilling platforms and oil extraction platforms may not
dispose oil-polluted industrial wastes into the sea. The disposal of other
industrial wastes may not cause pollution damage to fishing areas and
shipping channels.

Article 15
When testing offshore wells, oils and oil mixtures may not be discharged
into the sea, and the gas and oil shall be thoroughly flared so as to
prevent pollution of the sea.

Article 16
Offshore oil pipelines and oil-storage installations shall always be kept
in good condition, as required for the prevention of seepage, leakage and
corrosion, so as to prevent oil leakage accidents.

Article 17
In exploring and exploiting offshore oil resources, appropriate anti-
pollution facilities and equipment shall be made available, and effective
technical measures shall be taken to prevent blowouts or accidents from
oil leakage. Once a blowout or oil leakage accident occurs, the unit concerned shall immediately report it to the state administrative department of marine affairs, take effective measures to control and eliminate oil pollution and accept the investigation and handling of the case by the department.

Chapter IV Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environ- ment by Land-Sourced Pollutants

Article 18
The discharge of harmful substances into the sea by coastal units must be
conducted in strict compliance with the standards for discharge and the
relevant regulations promulgated by the state or the people''s governments
of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the
Central Government. No additional outlet for discharging sewage shall be allowed within marine sanctuaries, aquacultural grounds and seashore scenic and tourist areas. Those outlets already in existence before the promulgation of this Law, where the discharge of pollutants is not in conformity with the state standards, shall be improved within a prescribed period of time.

Article 19
It is prohibited to discharge waste water containing high-level
radioactive matter into the sea.
Any discharge of waste water containing low-level radioactive matter into
the sea, when really necessary, shall be carried out in strict compliance
with the state provisions and standards concerning radioactive protection.

Article 20
No medical sewage or industrial waste water carrying infectious pathogens
may be discharged into the sea before it has been properly treated and
strictly sterilized, with the pathogens therein exterminated.

Article 21
The discharge of industrial waste water and domestic sewage containing
organic and nutrient matter into bays, semi-closed seas and other sea
areas with low capacities of self-purification shall be controlled so as
to prevent eutrophication of the sea water.

Article 22
When discharging heated waste water into the sea, measures shall be taken
to ensure that the water temperature in the adjacent fishing areas is kept
within state water quality standards in order to avoid damage to the
aquatic resources by heat pollution.

Article 23
The use of chemical pesticides in coastal farmlands shall conform to the
state provisions and standards for the safe use of pesticides.

Article 24
No unit may discard or pile up tailings, slags, cinders, garbage and other
wastes along seashores and beaches without the approval of the
environmental protection departments of the coastal provinces, autonomous
regions, or municipalities directly under the Central Government. Those
who have been approved by law to set up waste yards and treatment
facilities along seashores and beaches shall build dikes to prevent the
wastes from entering the sea.

Article 25
The environmental protection departments of the coastal provinces,
autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central
Government and the river system administrative departments shall
strengthen their control over rivers that empty into the sea to prevent
them from being polluted and ensure the quality of the water in the
estuaries.

Chapter V Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environment by Vessels

Article 26
No vessel may, in violation of the provisions of this Law, discharge oils,
oil mixtures, wastes and other harmful substances into the sea areas under
the jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of China.

Article 27
Any oil tanker with a gross tonnage of 150 tons or more or any other
vessel with a gross tonnage of 400 tons or more shall be fitted with
appropriate antipollution equipment and facilities.
Any oil tanker with a gross tonnage of less than 150 tons and any other
vessel with a gross tonnage of less than 400 tons shall be fitted with
special containers for recovery of residual and waste oils.

Article 28
Any oil tanker with a gross tonnage of 150 tons or more or any other
vessel with a gross tonnage of 400 tons or more shall carry on board an
Oil Record Book.

Any vessels carrying more than 2,000 tons of oil in bulk as cargo shall
hold a valid "insurance or other financial security certificate for civil
liability against oil pollution damage," or a "credit certificate for
civil liability against oil pollution damage," or furnish other financial
credit guarantees.

Article 29
The discharge of oil-polluted water from an oil tanker with a gross
tonnage of 150 tons or more or any other vessel with a gross tonnage of
400 tons or more must be conducted in compliance with the state standards
and provisions for vessel sewage discharge and shall be truthfully
recorded in the Oil Record Book.

Article 30
The discharge of hold-washings and other residues by vessels carrying
noxious or corrosive goods must be conducted in compliance with the state
provisions for vessel sewage discharge and shall be truthfully recorded in
the Logbook.

Article 31
The discharge of radioactive substances from nuclearpowered vessels or
vessels carrying such substances must be conducted in compliance with the
provisions of Article 19 of this Law.

Article 32
Vessels, when bunkering or loading and unloading oil, must observe
operating instructions and take effective measures to prevent oil spills.

Article 33
Shipbuilders and ship repairing, scrapping and salvaging units shall be
provided with anti-pollution equipment and facilities. During operations,
preventive measures shall be taken against pollution of the sea by oils,
oil mixtures and other wastes.

Article 34
In case pollution has resulted from an abnormal discharge of oils, oil
mixtures or other harmful substances, or from the spilling overboard of
noxious or corrosive goods, the vessel concerned shall immediately take
measures to control and eliminate such pollution and shall report the
matter to the nearest harbour superintendency administration for
investigation and settlement.

Article 35
If a vessel is involved in a marine accident which has caused, or is
likely to cause, a serious pollution damage to the marine environment, the
Harbour Superintendency Administration of the People''s Republic of China
shall have the power to compel action to avoid or minimize such a
pollution damage.

Article 36
All vessels have the obligation to guard against pollution of the sea.
Upon discovering violations of regulations or occurrences of pollution,
they shall immediately report them to the nearest harbour superintendency
administration; fishing boats may also report such occurrences to the
nearest fisheries administration and fishing harbour superintendency
agency.

Article 37
In the event of pollution caused by a vessel navigating, berthing or
operating in a sea area under the jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of
China, officers from the Harbour Superintendency Administration of the
People''s Republic of China shall board the vessel in question to examine
and handle the case. Officers from relevant government departments
authorized by the Harbour Superintendency Administration may also board
the vessel to conduct examinations and report the results thereof to the
Administration for settlement.

Chapter VI Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environ- ment by Dumping of Wastes

Article 38
No unit may dump any kind of waste into the sea areas under the
jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of China without the permission of
the state administrative department of marine affairs.
Units that need to dump wastes must file an application with the state
administrative department of marine affairs and the dumping may be carried
out only after a permit has been granted by the department.

Article 39
Units that have obtained permits for dumping wastes shall dump wastes at
the designated place, within the time limit and in accordance with the
conditions specified in the permit. Wastes to be dumped shall be verified
by the approving department after their loading. Wastes to be dumped by
means of vessels shall be supervised and verified by the harbour
superintendency administration at the port of departure.

Article 40
Units that have obtained permits for dumping wastes shall make a detailed
record of such operations and present a written report to the approving
department thereafter. Vessels that have finished the said dumping must
present a written report to the harbour superintendency administration at
the port of departure.

Chapter VII Legal Liabilities

Article 41
In the case of a violation of this Law that has caused or is likely to
cause pollution damage to the marine environment, the competent
authorities prescribed in Article 5 of this Law may order the violator to
remedy the pollution damage within a definite time, pay a pollutant
discharge fee, pay the cost for eliminating the pollution and compensate
for the losses sustained by the state; they may also give the violator a
warning or impose a fine. An involved party contesting the decision may
file a suit in a people''s court within 15 days after it has received the
written decision. If a suit has not been filed and the decision has not
been carried out upon the expiration of that period, the competent
authorities shall request the people''s court to enforce the decision in
accordance with the law.

Article 42
Units or individuals who have suffered damage caused by marine
environmental pollution shall be entitled to claim compensation from the
party which caused the pollution damage. Disputes over the compensation
liability and the amount of compensation may be settled by the competent
authorities. If a party contests the decision, the matter may be settled
either by resorting to the procedures specified in the Civil Procedure Law
of the People''s Republic of China (for Trial Implementation) or by filing
a suit directly with the people''s court.

Article 43
Compensation liability may be exempted if pollution damage to the marine
environment cannot be avoided, despite prompt and reasonable measures
taken, when the pollution damage is caused by any of the following
circumstances:
(1) acts of war;
(2) irresistible natural calamities; or
(3) negligence or other wrongful acts in the exercise of the functions of
departments responsible for the maintenance of beacons or other
navigational aids. In the case of pollution damage to the marine
environment resulting entirely from the intentional or wrongful act of a
third party, that party shall be liable for compensation.

Article 44
In cases where violations of this Law result in pollution damage to the
marine environment and cause heavy losses to public or private property or
deaths or injuries to persons, those who are directly responsible may be
prosecuted for criminal responsibility by judicial organs in accordance
with the law.

Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions

Article 45
For the purpose of this Law, the definitions of the following terms are:
(1) "Pollution damage to the marine environment" means any direct or
indirect introduction of substances or energy into the marine environment
which results in deleterious effects such as harm to marine living
resources, hazards to human health, hindrance to fishing and other
legitimate activities at sea, impairment of the useful quality of sea
water and degradation of environmental quality.
(2) "Fishing areas" means spawning grounds, feeding grounds, wintering
grounds and migration channels of fish and shrimp as well as aquacultural
grounds of fish, shrimp, shellfish and aquatic plants.
(3) "Oils" means any kind of oil and its refined products.
(4) "Oil mixtures" means any mixtures containing oil.
(5) "To discharge" means to drain pollutants into the sea, including
pumping, spilling, releasing, gushing and pouring.
(6) "To dump" means to dispose of wastes or other harmful substances into
the sea from vessels, airborne vehicles, platforms or other means of
transport, including the abandonment of vessels, airborne vehicles,
platforms and other floating apparatus.

Article 46
Where existing provisions concerning marine environmental protection
contradict this Law, this Law shall prevail.

Article 47
The environmental protection department under the State Council may, in
accordance with this Law, formulate rules for its implementation, which
shall be put into effect after being submitted to and approved by the
State Council.

The relevant departments under the State Council and the standing
committees of the people''s congresses and people''s governments of the
coastal provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under
the Central Government may, in accordance with this Law, work out concrete
measures for its implementation, taking into consideration the actual
conditions prevailing at the departments or localities concerned.

Article 48
This Law shall come into force as of March 1, 1983.



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