OMAR - The Competent Authority

Since the UK left the EU, the Offshore Major Accident Regulator (OMAR) is now the UK's Offshore Competent Authority (previously known as the Offshore Safety Directive Regulator (OSDR). How HSE regulate the offshore industry stays the same. Our guidance will be updated to reflect this change.

The Offshore Major Accident Regulator (OMAR) is the Competent Authority (CA) responsible for regulating offshore major accident hazards.  OPRED and HSE work in partnership as OMAR to deliver the CA functions.

The role of the CA is to oversee industry compliance with the respective offshore legislation and undertake related functions such as accepting, assessing, approving and/or inspecting relevant Safety Cases, Oil Pollution Emergency Plans, Well Notifications and other notifications. Reporting of incidents are included as are intervention planning and investigation work.

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is responsible for implementing offshore environmental legislation. HSE's Energy Division (ED) is responsible for implementing health and safety legislation for offshore oil and gas operations.

OPRED and HSE work closely together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for liaison between the two organisations and their regimes. Examples include a coordinated sign-off procedure for all new exploration and appraisal wells, and joint environmental and safety inspections where this is appropriate. The operational MoU is overseen by a high-level cross-Departmental group.

A Senior Oversight Board governs OMAR, providing organisation and direction, and a forum to agree, implement and monitor arrangements and pursue shared strategic regulatory goals.

Whilst OPRED and HSE will still have separate functions outside the scope of the arrangement, the functions of the CA will be delivered by the relevant sections of OPRED and HSE's ED, under a set of common operational arrangements.

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Updated: 2024-06-12