MARPOL 73/78 is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978.
Objectives of MARPOL
MARPOL 73/78 is one of the most important international marine environmental conventions. It was designed to minimize pollution of the seas, including dumping, oil and exhaust pollution. Its stated object is: to preserve the marine environment through the complete elimination of pollution by oil and other harmful substances and the minimization of accidental discharge of such substances.
The original MARPOL Convention was signed on 17 February1973, but did not come into force. The current Convention is a combination of 1973 Convention and the 1978 Protocol. It entered into force on 2 October1983. As at 31 December2005, 136 countries, representing 98% of the world's shipping tonnage, are parties to the Convention.
All ships flagged under countries that are signatories to MARPOL are subject to its requirements, regardless of where they sail, and member nations are responsible for vessels registered under their respective nationalities.