If the planned activity is of such a scale or such a nature that it may have a major, harmful effect on the environment in the Antarctic (sudden pollution) should a mishap occur, you must have the equipment, expertise and contingency plans required to deal with it. In addition, you must have insurance to cover the costs incurred in tackling sudden pollution.
The contingency plans must be attached to the notification and must include, for example:
- procedures for warning of environmental emergency
- procedures to assess the scale of environmental emergency and plans for countermeasures
- knowledge about available resources and how these can be mobilised
- procedures for documentation and training
In many cases, the person responsible for the activity, for instance the cruise operator, already has contingency plans. If so, it is sufficient to present the existing plans and documentation.
Insurance or guarantee
The person responsible for the activity must have insurance cover or be able to present an alternative form of guarantee for his liability for costs associated with damages resulting from environmental emergency if sufficient countermeasures have not been taken.
Chapter 7 of the Regulations regulates responsibility in the event of environmental emergency and demands effective response action if an environmental emergency occurs as a result of the activity. Should countermeasures not be put in place, you could be judged financially responsible.
The insurance cover or indemnity has a ceiling which is laid down in § 31 of the Regulations and which varies according to the category the activity belongs to.
Many operators already have liability insurance attached to their activity which satisfies this requirement for insurance. This particularly applies to ship-based operators. In such cases, it is sufficient to present documentation of existing insurance arrangements.
We advise you to contact the Norwegian Polar Institute for further guidance if the activity is of such a nature that it may result in sudden pollution.