Marine Intervention in Chemical Emergencies Network
When dealing with a Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) pollution incident, one of the priority requirements is the identification of the hazard and an assessment of the risk posed by a stricken vessel and its cargo to the public and responder safety, the environment and socioeconomic assets that a state or coastal community depend upon. The primary factors which determine the safety, environmental and socioeconomic impact of the released HNS material(s) relate to the chemical and physical properties of the material and its physical fate in the environment.
EMSA, in close cooperation with the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre), developed the "MAR-ICE Network" (Marine Intervention in Chemical Emergencies Network). This network of chemical experts will support EU States in responding to marine pollution emergencies by providing information on chemical substances.
The MAR-ICE Network is based on the voluntary ICE (Intervention in Chemical transport Emergencies) network, which provides a similar type of assistance for land-based chemical spills. All 27 EU Member States, the coastal EFTA States and the EU Candidate Countries can request assistance from the MAR-ICE Network for marine pollution emergencies involving chemicals in EU waters, in accordance with the service's operational procedures.
All incoming requests to the MAR-ICE Network for marine pollution emergencies are channelled though the MAR-ICE Focal Point, which acts as a single interface and first contact point to the network. This interface is accessible 24 hours/7 days a week, via contact numbers and a dedicated email address disseminated to the national maritime administrations.