Article 16 of the Environment Protocol provides for the Parties to “elaborate rules and procedures relating to liability for damage arising from activities taking place in the Antarctic Treaty area and covered by this Protocol”. At the 28th ATCM (Stockholm, 2005) an Annex was adopted on “Liability Arising from Environmental Emergencies”.
Annex VI deals with “environmental emergencies related to scientific research programmes, tourism and all other governmental and non-governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty area for which advance notice is required under Article VII(5) of the Antarctic Treaty”. The operators of such activities will be required to undertake reasonable preventative measures and to establish contingency plans for responses to incidents with potential adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment. In case of environmental emergencies, operators will be required to take prompt and effective response action; if they don’t they will be liable for its cost.
Annex VI will enter into force after its approval by the Consultative Parties that participated in the Stockholm ATCM.