• contingency plan;
  • IMO conventions;
  • oil spill;
  • oil spill management;
  • regulatory framework

An oil spill in July 2003 from the tanker Tasman Spirit attracted considerable public and media attention in Pakistan. This paper focuses on the experience of a developing country such as Pakistan in dealing with a major oil spill and its impact on bringing about change in the national regulatory framework. A major outcome has been the ratification of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1992, which came into force in March 2006 in Pakistan. The convention provides a compensation mechanism for victims incurring oil pollution damages from maritime casualties involving oil laden ships. Several additional changes are still required to improve the country's ability to cope with marine oil spills. These include the development of a comprehensive domestic regulatory framework, implementation of an effective contingency plan, and capacity building of all relevant agencies.