Regulating Pollution from Ships
Book chapter, 2016
This chapter begins with a short history of the regulation of ship operations including the regulation of pollution from ships, and then proceeds to its main focus of explaining the basic international legal framework for regulating pollution from ships, the main actors involved in the international regulatory process, and the process of creating environmental regulations for ships via the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The regulation of ship operations has a long history, although the specific regulation of pollution from ships is a relatively recent phenomenon. Over the course of history, the freedom to use the seas in various ways (the principle of freedom) has been balanced by the interests of sovereign States (the principle of sovereignty). As is demonstrated in this chapter, to explain the regulation of pollution from ships at the international regulatory level, a basic understanding of international law and international law of the sea is necessary. However, the regulation of the pollution from ships should also be viewed as a result of negotiations among States with different interests and with different economic and environmental conditions. In this regard, two divisions can be helpful in understanding how the international instruments that regulate pollution from ships are created via IMO: the first is between coastal States, flag States and States with maritime interests, and the second is between developed States and developing states.