The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has recently published a new edition of its ‘Guidance for the Preparation and Implementation of Garbage Management Plans as Required by MARPOL Annex V’. This second edition is intended to help shipping companies comply with the latest requirements of the IMO regulation regarding treatment and disposal of garbage from ships.
ICS Deputy Secretary General, Simon Bennett said: “Following the entry into force of some important amendments to MARPOL Annex V in 2017 and 2018 respectively, it is essential to provide updated advice to shipping companies on the latest requirements for ships to prepare and implement Garbage Management Plans.”
He added, “While the vast majority of garbage found at sea originates from land, it is no longer acceptable, with very limited exceptions, for any merchant ship to dispose of garbage at sea because of the seriously damaging effects on the marine environment.”
Garbage dumped at sea can be as harmful as oil or chemicals. Plastics in particular can take years to degrade, and fish and other marine life can easily confuse plastics with food. “As well as doing great harm to marine life and threatening biodiversity, dangerous toxins can enter the food chain, ultimately being consumed by humans.”, Bennett explained.
Some of the latest changes to the global regulation include amendments to make the environment-related provisions of the IMO Polar Code, which are applicable to Annex V, mandatory. A definition for the new ‘E-waste’ garbage category is also included, along with new criteria to establish whether or not ‘cargo residues’ are harmful to the marine environment, and a new format of the Garbage Record Book which has been divided into two parts.
ICS recommends that a copy is carried on board every ship. Details of how to obtain the book are on the ICS website