The OSPAR Acquis: Decisions, Recommendations & Agreements

The OSPAR Acquis - the Decisions, Recommendations and Other Agreements that constitute the accumulated body of OSPAR measures and actions

The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic ("OSPAR Convention") replaces the former Oslo and Paris Conventions.

Decisions, Recommendations and all Other Agreements adopted under those former Conventions continue to be applicable unless they are terminated by new measures adopted under the OSPAR Convention. Any Decisions, Recommendations and Other Agreements adopted under the Oslo and Paris Conventions that were considered to no longer apply under the OSPAR Convention were revoked by OSPAR Decision 98/1.

Maintaining the OSPAR Acquis

The latest list of Decisions, Recommendations and Other Agreements applicable within the framework of the OSPAR Convention is available here.

At its meeting in 2009, OSPAR agreed that there was no need for the OSPAR Commission to carry out annual reviews of this list. The Secretariat keeps the list up to date as new or amended measures are agreed. The OSPAR Committees review the applicability of any Decision, Recommendation or Other Agreement that relate to their area of responsibility and inform the meeting of the Commission as appropriate (at least every 5 years) of any that need to be updated, or that are proposed to be set aside. Those Decisions, Recommendations and Other Agreements that are set aside are indicated by blue shaded text in the List of Decisions, Recommendations and Agreements.

The Commission reviewed the acquis in 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2017/18.

Implementation of OSPAR measures

Under the North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy (NEAES) 2010-2020 the OSPAR Commission was guided by its vision of a clean, healthy and biologically diverse North-East Atlantic Ocean, used sustainably. In seeking to deliver this vision the OSPAR Commission has harmonised policies and strategies and drawn up measures and actions to protect the marine environment. These are captured in the OSPAR Measures and Actions Programme (MAP), which maintains an overview of the implementation of the measures in the OSPAR aquis. This information is maintained in the OSPAR MAP Matrix.

In 2015 OSPAR published an overview of the ‘Existing OSPAR measures in support of MSFD programmes of measures’ (Publication 2015/665). This document provides a regional overview of OSPAR measures that support the achievement of good environmental status in marine waters under the EU MSFD.

OSPAR 2020 agreed a progress report on implementation of OSPAR measures in support of the review of North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy 2010-2020. The report builds on the information maintained in the OSPAR MAP Matrix.

Implementation successes

OSPAR’s measures and actions programme over the period 2010-2020 focused on:

  • the development of measures for the protection and conservation of biodiversity identified for priority action with programmes of action adopted for 40 species and 16 habitats and 3 rounds of implementation reporting completed;
  • consolidation of OSPAR’s network of marine protected areas, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction, which has resulted in 550 MPAs being nominated to the OSPAR MPA network, with annual implementation reporting through a data call to also maintain up to date information about the MPAs in an OSPAR MPA database;
  • the establishment of a risk-based approach for the management of produced water discharges from the offshore oil and gas industry to complement the OSPAR harmonised mandatory control system for offshore chemicals and promote the shift towards a reduction in the use of more hazardous substances;
  • the full implementation of the ban on the dumping or leaving in place of disused offshore installations;
  • the full implementation of the measure on the application of the BAT and BEP in nuclear facilities have resulted in a reduction of discharges from the nuclear sector
  • successfully phasing out all mercury cell chlor-alkali plants in the OSPAR Maritime Area as a result of its Contracting Parties fully implementing PARCOM Decision 90/3 on reducing atmospheric emissions from existing chlor-alkali plants;
  • development and implementation of the Regional Action Plan on marine litter, including measures on fishing for litter and sustainability education programmes for fishers.

OSPAR has also maintained a watching brief on the measures being taken by other competent authorities in the fields of management of land-based sources of hazardous substances and nutrients, the management of fisheries and other human activities with the potential to impact biodiversity. Where needed OSPAR brought matters of importance to the attention of the relevant authorities.

Strategy for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (NEAES) 2030

In 2021, at the Ministerial Meeting held in Cascais, Portugal, a new Strategy for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (NEAES) 2030 (OSPAR Agreement 2021-01) was adopted, together with an Implementation Plan to guide the work to deliver the Strategy.

View All AgreementsView All DecisionsView All Recommendations

Found 292 Decs, Recs & Ags:

Common Interpretation on which chemicals are covered and not covered by the Harmonised Mandatory Control System under OSPAR Decision 2000/2. Updated in 2008

Adopted:
2002, Amsterdam
Reference Number:
Agreement 2002-06
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Offshore Industry
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Recommendation 2002/1 on Discharge Limit Values for Existing Aluminium Electrolysis Plants. This measure has been "set aside" - see OSPAR 10/23/1, Annex 5

Adopted:
2002, Amsterdam
Reference Number:
OSPAR Recommendation 2002/1
Type:
Recommendation
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

CEMP Guidelines on Quality Assurance for Biological Monitoring in the OSPAR Area. Revised in 2018-19

Adopted:
2002, Amsterdam
Reference Number:
Agreement 2002-15
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Biodiversity, Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication, Other
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR List of Substances of Possible Concern. Update 2007.

Adopted:
2002, Amsterdam
Reference Number:
Agreement 2002-17
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

Guidance on How to Apply the Safety Net Procedure for the Inclusion of Substances in the OSPAR List of Substances of Possible Concern

Adopted:
2002, Amsterdam
Reference Number:
Agreement 2002-10
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Recommendation 2001/1 for the Management of Produced Water from Offshore Installations. Consolidated text

Adopted:
2001, Valencia
Reference Number:
OSPAR Recommendation 2001/1
Type:
Recommendation
Work Area(s):
Offshore Industry
Language:
English
View
Download

Programme for the More Detailed Implementation of the OSPAR Strategy with regard to Radioactive Substances. This measure has been "set aside" - see OSPAR 10/23/1, Annex 5

Adopted:
2001, Valencia
Reference Number:
Agreement 2001-03
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Radioactive Substances
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Decision 2001/1 on the Review of Authorisations for Discharges or Releases of Radioactive Substances from Nuclear Reprocessing Activities. This measure has been "set aside" - see OSPAR 10/23/1, Annex 5

Adopted:
2001, Valencia
Reference Number:
OSPAR Decision 2001/1
Type:
Decision
Work Area(s):
Radioactive Substances
Language:
English
View
Download

Procedure for Publication of OSPAR Reports

Adopted:
2001, Valencia
Reference Number:
Agreement 2001-13
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Biodiversity, Human Activities, Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication, Offshore Industry, Radioactive Substances, Other
Language:
English
View
Download

Agreement on those parts of the OSPAR Maritime Area to which the Comprehensive Procedure will be applied

Adopted:
2001, Valencia
Reference Number:
Agreement 2001-05
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Decision 2000/2 on a Harmonised Mandatory Control System for the Use and Discharge of Offshore Chemicals (as amended by OSPAR Decision 2005/1)

Adopted:
2000, Copenhagen
Reference Number:
OSPAR Decision 2000/2
Type:
Decision
Work Area(s):
Offshore Industry
Language:
English
View
Download

OSPAR Recommendation 2000/3 on Emission and Discharge Limit Values for the Manufacture of Emulsion PVC (e-PVC) from Vinyl Chloride Monomer. Consolidated text. This measure has been "set aside" - see OSPAR 10/23/1, Annex 5

Adopted:
2000, Copenhagen
Reference Number:
OSPAR Recommendation 2000/3
Type:
Recommendation
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

Staff Regulations of the Secretariat of the OSPAR Commission. Update 2022

Adopted:
2000, Copenhagen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2000-14
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Language:
English
View
Download

OSPAR Decision 2000/1 on Substantial Reductions and Elimination of Discharges, Emissions and Losses of Radioactive Substances, with Special Emphasis on Nuclear Reprocessing

Adopted:
2000, Copenhagen
Reference Number:
OSPAR Decision 2000/1
Type:
Decision
Work Area(s):
Radioactive Substances
Language:
English
View
Download

OSPAR Recommendation 2000/1 on Best Environmental Practice (BEP) for the Reduction of Inputs of Agricultural Pesticides to the Environment through the Use of Integrated Crop Management Techniques. This measure has been "set aside". See OSPAR 19/20/1, paragraph 12.4

Adopted:
2000, Copenhagen
Reference Number:
OSPAR Recommendation 2000/1
Type:
Recommendation
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Recommendation 2000/2 on Best Environmental Practice (BEP) for the Use of Pesticides on Amenity Areas. This measure has been "set aside". See OSPAR 19/20/1, paragraph 12.4

Adopted:
2000, Copenhagen
Reference Number:
OSPAR Recommendation 2000/2
Type:
Recommendation
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

Procedure for Committees to decide on issues of a technical or scientific nature and to adopt "other agreements" that have no budgetary consequences for OSPAR

Adopted:
2000, Copenhagen
Reference Number:
Agreement 2000-17
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Biodiversity, Human Activities, Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication, Offshore Industry, Radioactive Substances, Other
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Decision 2000/3 on the Use of Organic-phase Drilling Fluids (OPF) and the Discharge of OPF-Contaminated Cuttings.

Adopted:
2000, Copenhagen
Reference Number:
OSPAR Decision 2000/3
Type:
Decision
Work Area(s):
Offshore Industry
Language:
English
View
Download

Agreement of Cooperation between IMO and OSPAR - English only

Adopted:
1999, Kingston upon Hull
Reference Number:
Agreement 1999-15
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Language:
English
Download

Format and Procedures for Reporting Basic Information on National Monitoring Programmes in the Maritime Area. This measure has been "set aside" - see OSPAR 10/23/1, Annex 5

Adopted:
1999, Kingston upon Hull
Reference Number:
Agreement 1999-03
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication, Other
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Recommendation 99/1 on the Best Available Techniques for the Manufacture of Emulsion PVC (e-PVC). Consolidated text. This measure has been "set aside" - see OSPAR 10/23/1, Annex 5

Adopted:
1999, Kingston upon Hull
Reference Number:
OSPAR Recommendation 99/1
Type:
Recommendation
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

Memorandum of Understanding between European Environment Agency and OSPAR

Adopted:
1998, Sintra
Reference Number:
Agreement 1998-22
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Biodiversity, Human Activities, Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication, Offshore Industry, Radioactive Substances, Other
Language:
English
View
Download

OSPAR Decision 98/5 on Emission and Discharge Limit Values for the Vinyl Chloride Sector, Applying to the Manufacture of Suspension-PVC (s-PVC) from Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM). Consolidated text. This measure has been "set aside" - see OSPAR 10/23/1, Annex 5

Adopted:
1998, Sintra
Reference Number:
OSPAR Decision 98/5
Type:
Decision
Work Area(s):
Hazardous Substances & Eutrophication
Language:
English
Download

OSPAR Decision 98/3 on the Disposal of Disused Offshore Installations

Adopted:
1998, Sintra
Reference Number:
OSPAR Decision 98/3
Type:
Decision
Work Area(s):
Offshore Industry
Language:
English
Download

Meaning of certain concepts in Annex V to the 1992 OSPAR Convention

Adopted:
1998, Sintra
Reference Number:
Agreement 1998-15.2
Type:
Agreement
Work Area(s):
Biodiversity, Human Activities
Language:
English
View
Download