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The waste notification has been aligned with MARPOL Annex 5 via secondary legislation and the European Parliament has accepted the changes on 15 September 2015. Once published in the European Journal, the new revised Annex 5 (?) will enter into force in12 months and 20 days, i.e. on 1 January 2017.

Waste segregation on board cargo vessels

The waste notification aligned with MARPOL Annex 5

The waste notification has been aligned with MARPOL Annex 5 via secondary legislation and the European Parliament has accepted the changes on 15 September 2015. Once published in the European Journal, the new revised Annex 5 (?) will enter into force in12 months and 20 days, i.e. on 1 January 2017.

However, there is still a problem with MARPOL Annex 6. Annex 6 was not included in the original text and for therefore the overall Port Waste Reception Directive should be revised and the issue on the electronic signature should be resolved.

The Directive revised in 2016

The Commission will revise the EC/2000/59 and will issue new waste legislation as part of a Maritime Package in 2016. The Commission plans to take short term and longer term actions.

In the short term, the Commission will publish interpretative guidelines, consisting of the explanation of certain definitions and concepts on the one hand, and of technical guidelines developed by EMSA on the other. The first set will deal with adequacy (article 4), 5 waste management plans (article 5), notification (article 6), exemptions (article 9), and monitoring and enforcement (article 11). The second set will cover issues such as adequacy and storage capacity.

In the longer run, the Commission will extend the Directive especially MARPOL Annex, which means that the waste notification will be changed once again. The idea is to align the more technical parts of waste collection and the provision of reception facilities with the ISO- standards 16304 on Ships and Marine Technology. And in order to reinforce the Directive’s Enforcement, the Commission will support the development of a new Thetis module. Thetis is a database used by Port State Control responsible for monitoring ships’ waste.

The Commission also wants to include some of the recommendations from different existing reports as well as from a new EU-study on marine litter. Interesting to know is that 80% seems to originate from land-based sources and 20% from sea bed sources (offshore, fishing, tourism and the shipping industry).

And finally, the Commission wants to stimulate the segregated collection of waste in order to go for more material recovery. This is one further step in a ship’s garbage management plan should indicate how waste is segregated.

Fall in oily waste disposal in Flanders

Waste statistics from the main ports show that the consolidated volumes of oily waste are no longer growing as a result of 2 driving forces.

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First, the crisis in shipping forces ship-owners to reduce their speed and as such their fuel consumption. The mega container ships, which normally consume on average about 180tons of fuel in 24 hours, consume now at reduced speed only about 100 tons of fuel per 24 hours. This means that oily waste production - such as sludge representing between 1 and 2% of the fuel consumption volumes – may drop up to 75% per ship.

And secondly, the enforcement of an (Sulphur) Environmental Controlled Area (S)ECA (North Sea - Baltic Sea) where low sulphur fuels are used. In this ECA zone, ships are allowed to burn only ultra low sulphur fuels (0.1%) generating significantly less oily waste (which makes these fuels so expensive).

The shipping waste sector will face an even further reduction in oily waste disposal, when the global sulphur reduction (0.5%) will come into force in 2020 (or 2025, depending on the outcome of an additional study on the availability of low sulphur fuels).