National Contingency Plan
The purpose of this plan is to ensure that there is a timely, measured and effective response to incidents. The owners and masters of ships and the operators of offshore installations bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that they do not pollute the sea.
Harbour authorities are likewise responsible for ensuring that their ports operate in a manner that avoids marine pollution, and for responding to incidents within their limits. However, ships, offshore installations and harbour authorities may face problems that exceed the response capabilities that they can reasonably maintain (especially in the provision of counter pollution equipment).
Similarly, coastal local authorities may face incidents that require equipment or expertise beyond their capabilities. Therefore, the MCA may need to use national assets in the response to a marine pollution incident.
This plan sets out the circumstances in which MCA deploys the UK’s national assets to respond to a marine pollution incident to protect the overriding public interest. It also describes how MCA manages these resources.