Visits to Member States concerning Port Reception Facilities
With well over 600 individual EU ports handling around 90% of EU external trade, around 40% of trade between EU countries, and considerable through trade, waste management is a serious business in the European Union. Firstly, appropriate methods need to be in place to manage the waste and, secondly, ships must be encouraged to use these facilities rather than to discharge waste into the sea.
With these things in mind, the European Community set in place Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities with the aim of substantially reducing discharges of ship-generated waste and cargo residues into the sea. The Directive is especially aimed at reducing illegal discharges from ships using ports in the Community, by improving the availability and use of port reception facilities, thereby enhancing the protection of the marine environment. This is not a new concept and was previously addressed by the Marpol 73/78 Convention in 1973, although Member States are still encountering difficulties in fully implementing the requirements. In addition to all of this, the overall situation is changing, with more and more through traffic, particularly oil tankers, travelling through EU waters without calling at ports to discharge their waste. With EMSA's assistance, it will be necessary to continually adjust EU legislation to take changing transport patterns into account.
Currently, EMSA is assisting the European Commission in:
- establishing an appropriate information and monitoring system to enable improved identification of ships
- monitoring the operational implementation of the Directive and evaluating whether the goals have been met
- assessing fee systems applied in Member States; evaluating the strengths and weaknesses
- proposing common criteria for more harmonised EU fee collection within an overall incentive based waste management system
- providing elements for common criteria for "green ships" (ships with minimised waste production) and proposing a reduced fee structure for vessels meeting these criteria
Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues
The cycle of visits to the Member States in relation to Directive 2000/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2000 on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues, as amended, was initiated in 2007 and completed in 2011.
Article 1 of the Directive states:
The purpose of this Directive is to reduce the discharges of ship-generated waste and cargo residues into the sea, especially illegal discharges, from ships using ports in the Community, by improving the availability and use of port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues, thereby enhancing the protection of the marine environment.
The objective of the visits was to view and document the system in place in the Member State used for implementing the requirements of the Directive. The examined in particular the following:
- The way in which the Directive has been transposed and implemented in operational terms.
- The provisions for ensuring that all vessels within the scope of the Directive deliver their ship-generated waste and cargo residues to port reception facilities.
- The measures for ensuring that vessels which are excluded from the scope of the Directive, deliver their ship-generated waste and cargo residues in a manner consistent, in so far reasonable and practicable, with the Directive.
- That the availability of port reception facilities in the ports of the Member State are adequate to serve the needs of the vessels normally using the port without causing undue delay to the vessels has been ensured.
- That appropriate reception and handling plans have been developed and implemented for each port of the Member State.
- That an approval and monitoring mechanism for the reception and handling plans is operated by the Member State.
- That the required notifications are sent, received, reviewed, and verified as well as establishing that this system is monitored by the Member State.
- That the Member State has ensured that the costs of the port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues, including the treatment and disposal of the waste, is recovered through the collection by a fee system which is fair, transparent, non-discriminatory and reflects the costs of the facilities in place.
- That a system of exemptions is in place.
- That a system of enforcement is in place and that sanctions are imposed for non-compliance.