European waste facilities come under fire

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

12 January 2016


The latest shot in the long running row over adequacy of reception facilities in ports has been fired by the European Community Shiponwers’ Associations (ECSA) which has produced a seven page position paper on the subject of port reception facilities in EU member states. Port reception facilities have been a bone of contention globally for close on 40 years ever since it became illegal for tankers to undertake tank washing and discharge of slops at sea under MARPOL in the 1970s. The lack of reception facilities which ports are obliged to ensure under MARPOL and the extortionate charges sometimes made have been cited as reasons for the continued use of so called magic pipes. Since the early days of regulation on oily wastes, garbage and cargo wastes have been added to the list of illegal discharges and wash water from scrubbers may soon be another. In the paper ECSA highlight several of the deficiencies that are encountered in ports in the EU and are critical of the lack of standardised rules and transparency in charges. The organisation believes that a revision of the Port Reception Facilities Directive 2000/59/EC is imperative and has called for an exchange of views on current practices in the European Sustainable Shipping Forum sub-group, and assess whether there are good practices to promote at EU-level.