Detailed guide: Oil and gas: OSPAR EMS Recommendation

Updated: Addition of EMS Public Statements for 2016


The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (the OSPAR Convention) was opened for signature at the ministerial meeting of the former Oslo and Paris Commissions in Paris on 22 September 1992. The convention entered into force on 25 March 1998 and has since been ratified by the UK in addition to Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland. It has also been approved by the European Community and Spain.

Reporting requirements

In line with the convention and reporting requirements, all operators controlling the operation of offshore installations on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) should have in place an environmental management system (EMS) designed to:

  • achieve the general objectives of the OSPAR Offshore Strategy
  • achieve the environmental goals of the prevention and elimination of pollution from offshore sources and of the protection and conservation of the maritime area against other adverse effects of offshore activities, and
  • maintain continual improvement in environmental performance

The EMS should:

  • be implemented at a strategic level and integrated into corporate plans and policies
  • identify the organisation’s impacts on the environment and set clear objectives and targets to improve its management of these aspects and the organisation’s overall environmental performance
  • be designed to deliver and manage compliance with environmental laws and regulations on an ongoing basis, and to quickly initiate corrective and preventative action in cases of legal non-compliance
  • deliver good resource management
  • incorporate assured performance metrics that demonstrate the above and can be communicated in a transparent manner

Further information about the requirements on operators:

EMS Public statements

Please direct all general enquiries to:

Environmental Management Team:

Offshore Inspectorate: