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Summary of Treaty

Official Title Cooperation Agreement for the protection of the coasts and waters of the north-east Atlantic against pollution
Type of Agreement Multilateral
Place of Signature Lisbon
Date of Signature 17/10/1990
Date of Entry Into Force Pending
Duration Indefinite
Objective of Agreement To be prepared to deal with an incident of pollution at sea such as pollution caused by hydrocarbons or other harmful substances.
Remarks The accidents that polluted the French, Spanish, Moroccan and Portuguese coasts, including the Aragon’s shipwreck in Madeira in 1990, demonstrated the need for a regional agreement to combat marine pollution sea, covering the waters of the Northeast Atlantic. Thus in 1990 the Portuguese government made a proposal to the European Commission that it signed an agreement for the protection of the Northeast Atlantic’s coasts and waters. On 17 October, 1990, Portugal, France, Morocco, Spain and the European Community have signed the Lisbon Agreement.On 20 May, 2008, an Additional Protocol was signed that modified the southern limit. The legal framework of the Lisbon Agreement is constituted by the Agreement itself and by the Additional Protocol that must be interpreted and applied together as a single instrument. The Lisbon Agreement is essentially a mechanism to ensure cooperation between the Contracting Parties in the case of giving a pollution incident. The Agreement establish the obligation to the Contracting Parties to create their own intervention agencies and to set their own national plans of action. An International Centre is set up by the agreement. The International Centre havng its seat at Portugal, is assisting those States which are Parties to react swiftly and effectively to pollution incidents. Annex 2 contains guidelines for defining the functions of the International Action Centre. 'pollution incident' means an event or series of events having the same origin and resulting in a discharge or a danger of a discharge of hydrocarbons or other harmful substances which has occasioned or may occasion damage to the marine environment, the coast or the related interests of one or more of the Parties, and requiring emergency action or an immediate reaction of some other kind; 'hydrocarbons' means oil in all its forms in particular crude oil, fuel oil, muds, hydrocarbon residues and other refined products; 'other harmful substances' means all substances other than hydrocarbons, including harzardous waste, the release of which into the marine environment may be harmful to human health, ecosystems or living resources, coasts or the related interests of the Parties. The Lisbon Agreement is not yet in force because not all parties have deposited their instruments of ratification.
Relation and Association with Other Agreements -Additional Protocol to the Cooperation Agreement for the Protection of the Coasts and Waters of the North-East Atlantic against Pollution
OJ Reference L 267, 28/10/1993, p. 22
Depositary Portugal
Contracting Parties European Economic Community, France, Morocco, Portugal, Spain
Authentic Texts Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Subject Matters Environment
Accession Article 23 Agreement
Consultation Article 12 Agreement
Entry into force conditions Article 22 Agreement
Territorial application Article 3 Agreement
Management Regular Meetings
International Centre
Other Links
Date of Signature 17/10/1990
Ratification Status R
Conclusion Decision 93/550/EEC: Council Decision of 20 October 1993 concerning the conclusion of the cooperation Agreement for the protection of the coasts and waters of the north-east Atlantic against pollution; OJ L267 of 28/10/1993, p.20
Competence Mixed
Voting Right(s)
Vote variable (according to circumstances) 1 or several voices (FAO) Article 16 Agreement
Legal Basis Treaty EEC: Article 130

Last Update :   04/08/2011