SAR calls for strengthened ship waste rules
Brussels, 16th September 2011. In response to the European Commission’s consultation on Port Reception Facilities, SAR has called for a list of regulatory improvements in order to better protect against oily waste discharges and the build of marine litter from ship waste dumping.
In the response to the Consultation on Directive 2000/59/EC, a Seas At Risk associated Position Paper has outlined how ships continue to discharge waste illegally and that there are many cases where the provision of facilities remains poor, particularly for oily waste (EMSA, 2010).
One of the main problems with the use of port reception facilities (PRF) in Europe concerns the financial disincentives that ships face. In many cases a ship will pay directly for the amount of waste they discharge. By incorporating the cost of PRF use in the general harbour dues which all ships pay, one very obvious and substantial reason for ships choosing to dump at sea is removed. At present the Directive only requires a partial inclusion of PRF fees in harbor dues with savings still to be made by ships that choose to dump at sea instead.
Seas At Risk’s key recommendations to prevent ship waste dumping include:
A clear, more uniform and fully implemented PRF system across European ports;
Mandatory discharge of waste at reception facilities;
The provision of adequate facilities to handle and recycle all types of waste;
Stricter control and enforcement through better and more frequent monitoring;
Removal of direct fees for discharging waste;
Better notification procedures between vessels, port authorities, waste operators and inspection agencies;
Fishing vessels to report lost or abandoned fishing gear to the coastal state where the loss has occurred and to the state whose flag the ship is entitled to fly ;
Introduce mandatory educational programmes for seafarers to enhance knowledge and awareness of marine environmental issues;
Economic incentives for clean shipping through fee differentiation;
Port authorities should assume a more active and central role in the waste management regime;
Member States must be obliged to report all waste delivered at PRFs;
The Consultation closed in mid September. It is expected that the current review of the Directive will lead to a European Commission Proposal to amend the Directive.
Photograph by Steve Mcpherson
SAR Position Paper in connection with the 2011 public consultation on the Port Reception Facilities Directive
SAR response to the 2011 public consultation on the Port Reception Facilities Directive