International Spill Control Organization (ISCO)

International Spill Control Organization (ISCO)

International Spill Control Organization (ISCO) aims to raise worldwide preparedness and co-operation in response to oil and chemical spills, to promote technical development and professional competency, and to provide a focus for making the knowledge and experience of spill control professionals available to IMO, UNEP, EC and other organisations. ISCO is a not-for-profit organisation incorporated in London in 1984 and dedicated to improving world-wide preparedness for response to oil and chemical spills. ISCO is a truly international organization, currently with membership in 36 countries around the world - Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, India, Israel, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, UK, United Arab Emirates and USA.

Company details

Balbithan House, Kintore, Inverurie , Aberdeenshire , AB51 0UQ United Kingdom


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Business Type:
Nonprofit organization (NPO)
Industry Type:
Oil Spills
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

What ISCO is doing ….

Consultative Status at IMO -

  • Through its consultative status at IMO, ISCO gives the spill response community a voice and input to the work of IMO in safeguarding the marine environment.
  • Through its involvement in IMO, ISCO alerts the spill response community on new developments, some of which present opportunities for ISCO members.
  • ISCO contributes to the work of the IMO OPRC-HNS and other Working Groups, collating information and submitting recommendations for improving response to spills, including HNS spills and to Subsea Oil Recovery. The emphasis is on the collation of experiences, problems solved and lessons learned by spill responders – information that is often not published or presented at conferences. This information will be valuable in the drafting of new response guidelines and manuals. Contributors have an incentive to contribute to this work because their inputs will be acknowledged, raising individual or company profiles with governments, oil and shipping industries, insurance interests and others.
  • ISCO is committed to supporting IMO’s Technical Co-operation Programme, finding qualified individuals who can help third world countries to implement OPRC and other conventions. Day rate, travel and subsistence costs are payable to selected candidates.

Consulative Status at IOPC Funds

  • ISCO represents its members, attending meetings and providing the organisation with support by contributing spill response experience, knowledge and expertise.

Sourcing help –

  • Spill scenarios are often unique – presenting very specific problems and requiring innovative approaches or application of methodologies that aren’t in the textbook. ISCO has the contacts that can help you to quickly find the expertise or specialised equipment you need to find in a hurry.
  • ISCO encourages co-operation between spill responders and can help members find the right partner with complementary skills and know-how to meet new challenges.
  • ISCO assists governments and other organisations in sourcing emergency support and resources in major pollution incidents. At the touch of a button, ISCO can alert all of its members (and others if necessary) to urgent requirements and, at the same time, act as a filter, summarising available assistance and passing on only the appropriate information. This prevents vital channels of communication becoming clogged up with sales calls.

Spill Response Contracts

  • ISCO in co-operation with BIMCO established a working group to develop standard spill response contracts with a view to speeding response by removing delays resulting from need for often extended negotiations between contractors and other parties. The ISCO-BIMCO working group participants also included representatives of the International Group of P&I Clubs, the International Salvage Union, the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, and the Spill Control Association of America. 
  • The new contracts were launched at the International Oil Pollution Conference in 2017 and have since been introduced to the IMO MEPC. They are now being adopted by leading response contractors, governments and other stakeholders.
  • The 'RESPONSECON' contracts have application for both inland and marine spills, are free to use, and can be downloaded from ISCO and BIMCO websites. 

The ISCO Website –

  • Listing of ISCO Members amd Membership Information
  • International Directory – for sourcing consultants, equipment and materials manufacturers and suppliers, response organisations, and providers of training courses.
  • News – ISCO’s weekly newsletter with international, regional and national news, articles and other features for the spill response community. 

And, in the “Members Only” part of the ISCO website –

  • Technical & Reference Sections – Oil spill response, chemical spill response, and CBRN / Homeland Defence – articles and features.
  • IMO Section – OPRC and HNS Protocol, Reports, IMO News, Work Group Pages
  • ISCO Pages – “What’s New”, Meeting reports, Complete member listings and background information, ISCO constitution.

The ISCO Newsletter –

ISCO’s weekly newsletter is focused on international, regional and national news that is of interest to professionals, companies and organisations involved in oil and chemical spill control, and the emerging field of CBRN incident response.

Through the Newsletter and its other activities, ISCO is disseminating information on new developments – technical advances, legislation, events and other matters that affect the international spill response community.

In Association with ISAA –

ISCO supports and co-operates with the International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA) - the world’s only independent accreditation body working with governments, the response community and other stakeholders to raise standards of spill response.
ISAA undertakes the independent assessment and accreditation of spill response companies and organisations, and organises training events, workshops and seminars.

ISCO (International Spill Control Organization) aims to raise worldwide preparedness and co-operation in response to oil and chemical spills, to promote technical development and professional competency, and to provide a focus for making the knowledge and experience of spill control professionals available to IMO, UNEP, EC and other organisations.

  • To act as a world forum for professionals involved in spill control and related disciplines.
  • To represent ISCO members, providing a single contact point between members and the IMO, other agencies of the United Nations, other international and regional organisations, national governments and other groups.
  • To support the activities of the International Maritime Organisation and to promote the dissemination of its work.
  • To represent ISCO members in the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee and its technical working group on OPRC and the OPRC HNS Protocol implementation.
  • To disseminate information on the prevention, mitigation and remediation of oil and hazardous materials spills into the environment.
  • To provide assistance to members seeking to develop their knowledge base and build expertise in spill control and related disciplines.
  • To promote the maintenance of high professional and ethical standards.
  • To assemble and maintain up-to-date information on the resources available within the membership of ISCO, including the special expertise that ISCO can contribute to the imo and other organisations.
  • To undertake other activities that can enhance effective international co-operation and efficiency in major spill events calling for co-ordinated international response.
  • To encourage in various countries and regions the formation of national or regional associations.
  • To influence the establishment of testing facilities, and to encourage common standards for equipment and materials used in spill control.
  • To support the work of the international spill accreditation organisation in raising professional standards in the spill response industry.
  • To sponsor or organise conferences, exhibitions and conferences for the benefit of members.


  • ISCO's first priority was achieved when, at the end of 2007, ISCO was recognised by IMO as a NGO with Consultative Status.
  • Similar application will be made to other relevent international organisations
  • Work will be completed on the ISCO web site, making it a user-friendly source of information and assistance to members
  • Work will be progressed on the creation of the ISCO member database which will provide information on member capabilities to IMO, ITOPF and other organisations
  • Correspondence work groups will be set up to progress ideas and projects – for example, how ISCO members in different countries can have a role in 'homeland security' measures
  • Useful downloadable material will be collated for inclusion in the web site members' area – useful forms, templates, protocols, safety procedures, and reference data for use in spill control operations.
  • Other ideas suggested by members with the objective of ensuring that ISCO is the best source of practical help to its members.