Legal and Policy Aspects:

 PERSGA has consistently encouraged its Member States to ratify and effectively implement legislation and Conventions relating to ship safety, pollution control and other critical navigation and maritime-related matters. It achieves this on the international, regional and national levels. 





The Contracting Parties shall:

“[develop] legal instruments providing the legal basis for co-operative efforts to protect and develop the Region on a sustainable basis…” (The Action Plan, Introduction, 3.3)

 “… establish national standards, laws and regulations as required, and shall endeavour to harmonize their national policies in this regard and for this purpose appoint the National Authority…” (Jeddah Convention, Article III “General Obligations”) 

“…co-ordinate their national plans for combating pollution in the marine environment by oil and other harmful substances in a manner that facilitates full co-operation in dealing with pollution emergencies…” (Jeddah Convention Article IX “Cooperation in Dealing with Pollution Emergencies”) 

International Conventions:

PERSGA particularly emphasises IMO Conventions and, as a result, 16 IMO Conventions have been ratified in the Region since 1999 (which represents a 26% increase).  This rate of ratification averages significantly higher than in other areas of the world during the same period.

Furthermore, PERSGA has helped foster a healthy regional awareness and momentum towards further ratifications, particularly of MARPOL 73/78.  When this key Convention is widely ratified, the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden will be designated a ‘special area’ under MARPOL. As of 2003, PERSGA’s Member State ratification records of IMO Conventions are as follows:



No. of IMO Conventions Ratified







Saudi Arabia








*  Excludes two Conventions ratified and then denounced when later versions of these Conventions were ratified

**  Includes one Convention that could have been denounced when a later version of the Convention was ratified

 Port State Control: 

‘Port State Control’ (PSC) was developed under the auspices of IMO as a means by which trained inspectors conduct random inspections of ships calling at their ports to determine if they are ‘safe’.  Rigorous PSC inspections carried out at ports in Europe, the Far East and the Americas, however, have caused ‘sub-standard’ ships to move to areas in the PERSGA region where, for many years, ports did not conduct any inspections. Such ships carry a higher risk of sinking or running aground because they are unseaworthy or are badly manned, and therefore pose a greater threat to the environment.

To address this, PERSGA has encouraged the improvement and expansion of Port State Control (PSC) inspections of ships in its Member States, and has conducted trainings for inspectors accordingly.  As a result, the Region has witnessed a marked increase since 1999 in the number of inspections conducted and the level of inspection competence. 

PERSGA is also working towards the implementation of an RSGA regional MOU regarding PSC.  Meetings were held to this effect between PERSGA and IMO staff in London in 2001, and a regional workshop was then convened in Jeddah in March 2002 between PERSGA and ROPME states. As a result, the Gulf States have established a MOU for the ROPME region, and are now considering the advantages of extending this to cover the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.