Assessing national OSR programmes

The assessment of the level of oil spill response preparedness and improvement programme

Although major spills are rare, pollution by oil at sea can have important consequences for the marine and coastal environments, negatively impacting coastal ecosystems and habitats, local communities as well as the activities that depend on them. Responding in an effective and timely manner to spills remains a challenge for national authorities in a context of an extremely dense maritime traffic in a practically enclosed Western Mediterranean basin. The existence of reliable national systems for preparedness and response, including a robust and flexible organisation, trained personnel, reliable equipment and up-to-date contingency plans for combating marine pollution incidents, is considered to be the single most important factor which determines the effectiveness and the success of response to marine pollution incidents.

One of the objectives of West MOPoCo is to allow Western Mediterranean coastal States to assess their national level of oil spill response planning and readiness capacities.  The Regional Association of Oil, Gas and Biofuels Sector Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARPEL)’s Readiness Evaluation Tool for Oil Spills (RETOS), developed in the framework of UN Environment’s Caribbean Environment Programme, will be used to the region through :


  • a Sub-regional Workshop on the assessment of the level of oil spill response planning and readiness management in the Mediterranean context, organized by REMPEC in Valletta, Malta 24-26 April 2019 (read more);
  • the self-assessment of National oil spill contingency planning by each beneficiary country, with the technical support from Cedre for France, ISPRA for Italy and ITOPF for Algeria, Malta, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia;
  • a gap and performance analysis will lead to the elaboration of an Improvement Programme;
  • a national restitution workshop on the oil spill contingency planning improvement programme, presenting the results of the evaluation and defining the implementation of the improvement programme.

Calendar of activities

National assessment workshops
  • Malta, 8-10 October 2019, facilitated by ITOPF
  • France, 21 October 2019, organised by Cedre
  • Italy, 30 October 2019, organised by ISPRA
  • Spain, 19 December 2019
  • Morocco, 14-16 January 2020, facilitated by ITOPF
  • Tunisia, 5-6 February 2020, facilitated by ITOPF
  • Algeria, 10-12 March 2020, facilitated by ITOPF

The results of the national self-assessments were presented and discussed during MEDEXPOL 2020:

Italy, Spain and Malta organised additional workshops to disseminate the results of the assessment and detail improvement programmes with their relevant administrations in 2020.

RETOS Manual v2.1-1.png IOSC Guidelines 2008-1.png Global Performance Analysis Results-RETOS-1.jpg
RETOS Manual v2.1
IOSC Guidelines 2008
Example of a Global Perfomance Analysis Results (Level A)                              

 Relevant project activities

  • Activity 4.1 The Mediterranean Manual and Readiness Evaluation Tool for Oil Spills
  • Activity 4.2 Assessment of National oil spill contingency planning: Gap and Performance analysis - Improvement Programme
  • Activity 6.2 Sub-regional training on the use of the Mediterranean Readiness Evaluation Tool for Oil Spills
  • Activity 6.3 National workshops on oil spill contingency planning improvement programme


Related news


Useful links

  • ARPEL Oil Spill Response Planning and Readiness Assessment Manual and related tables (RETOS ™ V 2.1 ) and 2008 IOSC guidelines are available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic on Arpel’s website :
  • The IOSC Guidelines 2008 are also available in French. The French version was developped during the West MOPoCo Project