The United Kingdom (UK) is a contracting party to the 1992 OSPAR Convention which regulates the protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic.
As one of the sixteen Contracting parties, the UK is committed to protecting the maritime area against the adverse effects of human activities.
All OSPAR Contracting Parties are required to provide a system of monitoring and inspection to assess compliance under the OSPAR Convention legislative framework guiding and regulating the protection of the marine environment in the North-East Atlantic region. In the UK, this is administered under the Offshore Chemical Regulations 2002 (OCR 2002, as amended 2011). In the Netherlands, this is administered under The Mining Regulation 2003 (as amended).
The OSPAR contracting parties are required to report annually on the use, discharge and spill of chemicals by the by the offshore Oil and Gas Industry. For Netherlands-based operations the OCNS team collects this information from the operators and analyse it against the information on the OCNS database to produce suitable reports for both the operators and for the State Supervision of Mines (SSM). For UK-based operations this information is collected by BEIS with the OCNS team being involved in the analysis.
Under the OSPAR Convention, it is required that registration and hazard assessment is completed on the chemicals used and discharged offshore by the Oil and Gas Industry as well as a process whereby operations permits are issued.