About eMARS

The Major Accident Reporting System (MARS and later renamed eMARS) was first established by the EU’s Seveso Directive 82/501/EEC in 1982 and has remained in place with subsequent revisions to the Seveso Directive in effect today. The purpose of the eMARS is to facilitate the exchange of lessons learned from accidents and near misses involving dangerous substances in order to improve chemical accident prevention and mitigation of potential consequences.

MARS contains reports of chemical accidents and near misses provided to the Major Accident and Hazards Bureau (MAHB) of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre from EU, OECD and UNECE countries (under the TEIA Convention). Reporting an event into eMARS is compulsory for EU Member States when a Seveso establishment is involved and the event meets the criteria of a “major accident” as defined by Annex VI of the Seveso III Directive (2012/18/EU). For non-EU OECD and UNECE countries reporting accidents to the eMARS database is voluntary. The information of the reported event is entered into eMARS directly by the official reporting authority of the country in which the accident occurred.

NEW! eMARS “Dashboard” of Selected eMARS Statistics – Just click on the image of the pie chart above to enter.

The Dashboard introduces the ability for users to view or reproduce results from four standardized queries on eMARS database taken directly from reports online in real time, using existing classifications used by the reporting form and/or defined by the legislation. As eMARS is further developed, it is expected that more such interactive query options will be available. Please note the following conditions and limitations regarding eMARS queries:

  • The structure of the database as well as the high variability of information associated with any one event limits fields on objects that can be queried in this manner.
  • For some charts in the dashboard one can choose to eliminate certain categories from the chart by clicking on the name of the category (e.g., “release” in the top left chart). One can also choose a period of years (up to 10 years) other than the default. The new time period will be automatically applied to all charts in the dashboard.
  • Prior to the Seveso II Directive, the classifications “upper tier” and “lower tier” did not exist. After Seveso II was established, some sites could not be definitively classified until the early 2000s.
  • “Near misses” are events that do not qualify as major accidents under Seveso. Although the Directive recommends reporting near misses, reporting them is voluntary.  “Other events” are usually accidents in transport or accidents reported by non-EU OECD countries.
  • Statistics on event locations are not available. This is standard practice for databases of this type where anonymity helps to encourage sharing information.
  • The eMARS site also offers the possibility to download an Excel file (click “get all accidents” in the search form) of a limited number of data fields on all events in the database or a filtered subset. For more specific queries (e.g., on substances, processes) users may  have to apply filters, data mining techniques and read through free text descriptions of events to extract information.
  • It should be noted that there is normally a substantial delay from the time when an accident occurs to when a report is published in eMARS. Typical lagtime can be anywhere from 12 to 30 months, but occasionally shorter or longer. These lagtimes are  most commonly due to delays in releasing the final investigation report pending resolution of legal and technical issues, and to a lesser extent, the time necessary to translate the report into English.  This means that users of the dashboard should avoid using statistics of the most recent 3 years without this caveat because the numbers are likely to change (usually in an upward direction).


To view or search events in the database, click on the “eMARS” logo (above) or the following link: https://emars.jrc.ec.europa.eu/?id=4. Access is open to the public without a password. The log-in section is for the reporting community (only) to access the eMARS reporting tool. eMARS currently functions properly using the following browsers: Internet Explorer- up through version 9.0, Google Chrome and Mozilla. These options will be updated as new IT programming developments are introduced in 2014.

Please note that although the JRC takes care in reviewing the information inserted by the competent National Authorities, neither the JRC nor the European Commission can accept any liability for the use made of the data stored in eMARS. For further information please read the Disclaimer note.

For feedback or more information on eMARS, contact emars@jrc.ec.europa.eu.


You also may be interested in the following other open source sites for chemical accident data and analysis: