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On 2 October 1994, the oil tanker Cercal struck a rock while entering the harbour of Porto (Portugal). The breach in the vessel resulted in the release of around 2,500 tonnes of Arabian light crude oil into the sea.

In the aftermath, the European Parliament decided that this incident was in part due to the fact that the construction of vessels with segregated ballast tanks was not mandatory, in particular in the case of vessels transporting hazardous substances.

Thus on 27 October 1994, the European Parliament asked the Commission, in collaboration with the Portuguese State, to conduct an inquiry into the environmental consequences of this disaster, as well as the vulnerability of the Portuguese coast. The Parliament also requested that the Commission take the necessary measures to prevent this type of accident and to improve the safety of maritime transport.


Name: Cercal

Date: 2 October 1994

Location: Portugal

Accident area: port of Porto

Cause of spill: collision

Type of pollutant: Arabian light crude oil

Quantity spilled: 2,500 tonnes

Ship type: oil tanker

Flag: Panama

Last update: April 2011

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