The United Kingdom Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has issued a revised Marine Guidance Note on the implementation of the EU Port Reception Facility Directive (EC/2000/59).

Key requirements

The key requirements as summarized in the Marine Guidance are as follows:

  1. Ships must notify the harbor authority or terminal operator before entry into the port/terminal on the waste they will discharge, including information on types and quantities. The waste notification form is set out in Annex A. Ships do not have to notify about sewage if they intend to discharge it at sea in accordance with MARPOL.
  2. Ships must deliver their waste to port reception facilities before leaving the port or terminal, unless it is sewage or they have sufficient dedicated storage capacity for the waste that has accumulated and is expected to accumulate during the journey to the next port of call.
  3. Ships must pay a mandatory charge to significantly contribute to the cost of port reception facilities for ship generated waste, whether they use them or not.

What we see is a change in “philosophy” in the UK. Based on the UK MCA Guidance Note it seems that MCA will enforce the mandatory delivery of ship-generated waste prior to the vessel leaving the port. This clarification brings the UK implementation more in line with the “continental” implementation of the EU Directive.

Inadequacy reporting

The revised Marine Guidance Note also includes the alleged inadequacy reporting form as issued by IMO. When we check the reported alleged inadequacy database of IMO, we see that already more than 500 forms are sent in since 2005. The vast majority of ships are complaining that PRF’s outside European ports have deficiencies (not able to accept certain types of waste or unreasonable charges for use of facilities).


Based on these facts we may conclude that there is a need for a better enforcement of the MARPOL Convention with respect to the provision of adequate PRF’s and to the correct implementation of the different annexes of the Convention (including cargo residues).