North Sea Network meeting 2020

24 June 2020

The 2020 meeting of the North Sea Network of Investigators and Prosecutors (NSN) was held online on 11 June and was chaired by Dr. Ewald Brandt (Germany) and attended by participants from Belgium, Denmark, the European Union (European Commission and European Maritime Safety Agency –EMSA-), Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Bonn Agreement.

  • The Seminar on Publicity of Investigations and Convictions was postponed for next year to hold it back to back to NSN 2021. The meeting agreed on the draft agenda and delegates were encouraged to present cases and press releases of interest at the Seminar.
  • The Chair of NSN as well as other NSN experts will participate in the Bonn Agreement MARPOL Annex VI Experts’ Workshop to be held on 1Q 2021 to provide input for an effective enforcement.
  • The meeting considered the definition of ‘significant acute pollution’ under MSFD reporting and agreed to bring back to NSN 2021 court decisions which included the wording ‘significant pollution’ as in UNCLOS art. 220.
  • NSN thanked the Netherlands for drafting a new chapter on MARPOL Annex V offences for NSN´s "North Sea Manual on Maritime Pollution Offences" to be adopted next year after its revision by written procedure.
  • Belgium and Norway will work on a new chapter on MARPOL Annex VI offences for the Manual during 2021 to finalise it by NSN 2022 and considering the outcome of the Expert’s Workshop.
  • The Netherlands and Norway shared cases of interest for all MARPOL annexes which will feed into NSN’s database. Delegates were encouraged to provide to the Secretariat enforcement cases since the last NSN meeting. At NSN 2021 the Netherlands will be giving an update on the outcome of the ongoing investigation on the master’s responsibility of a pollution incident from a container ship in the North Sea.
  • The European Union presented the harmonised standard reporting format developed under the EU Ship Source Pollution Correspondence Working Group which included a table for enforcement cases. The Chair of NSN participated in this working group giving feedback to the template and proposed to make some refinements to the NSN database.