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Marine Intervention in Chemical Emergencies Network

To support the affected coastal States in the response to maritime incidents involving chemicals or hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) EMSA focuses on the rapid provision of expert information and advice on chemical substances to support the requesting party’s decision making process during an emergency.

In close cooperation with the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre, France), EMSA established a network of experts (MAR-ICE Network) who provide upon request product-specific information and specialist advice on chemicals involved in maritime emergencies, remotely (MAR-ICE level 1) and on-site at the requester’s command centre (MAR-ICE level 2). The MAR-ICE Network is available 24/7 to EU Member States, EFTA coastal States, and coastal EU Candidate Countries via a dedicated contact point and is based on the voluntary ICE (Intervention in Chemical transport Emergencies) network, which provides a similar type of assistance for land-based chemical incidents.

National authorities benefit from 24/7 access to a  chemist specialised on marine pollution response, whom they  can consult for professional information, documentation and advice on chemical products and their associated risks. The service can be activated via contact numbers and operational procedures which have been distributed to national maritime administrations and which are also available on EMSA’s password-protected extranet.

Key aspects of the MAR-ICE Network

The MAR-ICE network offers remotely product and incident-specific information and expert advice within 1 hour of the request and more detailed information shortly thereafter.

The information provided includes:

• Relevant substance-specific documentation
• Additional expert advice on specific product properties and hazards through direct contact with a knowledgeable chemical company.

Furthermore, and on a case-by-case basis, the service provides:

• Risk assessment for responders and the environment

• Drift and weathering modelling results, indicating areas potentially impacted by the released chemical

• Advice on response methods and options.

National authorities benefit from rapid access to a network of marine pollution response and chemical experts, via a dedicated single-contact point (MAR-ICE Contact Point). The specialist product and incident-specific information and advice provided and their associated risks and complement existing information sources at national or regional level

Key aspects of MAR-CIS

MAR-CIS information sheets have been developed for 213 chemical substances. The data for each substance can be easily viewed and exported by the database user.

The main information categories covered in MAR-CIS include:
• Substance identification; substance physical and chemical properties
• Shipping information (maritime transportation codes, GESAMP profile)
• Hazards and risks
• Emergency measures

The MAR-CIS information sheets have been provided to the relevant national competent authorities.
In the near future, access to MAR-CIS will also be possible through:

  • A dedicated MAR-CIS web portal
    • A MAR-CIS application for mobile devices
    • EMSA’s Central Hazmat Database (CHD), containing a list of dangerous or polluting goods that have to be notified in the European Union’s maritime information and exchange system (SafeSeaNet) and relevant details from the applicable International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Conventions and Codes.

The MAR-CIS information sheets aim to facilitate rapid access to specialist product-specific information on chemicals and they complement existing information sources at national or regional level.