The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, drafted in London under IMCO auspices last fall is undoubtedly the most comprehensive and potentially promising step yet taken to prevent pollution to the seas by ships. While this convention is now open for ratification by nations, its very detailed nature has already caused studies to commence to identify the steps which must be taken to assure its practical and timely implementation.

This paper reviews first the essential provisions of the convention, stressing the technological elements relating to oil tankers. These elements include ships’ operational and equipment features, as well as fundamental design changes for new tankers ordered after December 31, 1975. In addition, questions of reception facilities ashore will be considered. The paper will include a status report in regard to each of these matters as of the date of this conference, rather than a recap of the many technical studies already done prior to the IMCO 1973 convention.

While Exxon studies on this subject must form the basis of the paper, to the extent possible, activities of various industry groups and governments toward bringing the IMCO 1973 convention effectively into force will be covered as well

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