Revised MARPOL Annex V “Regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships”

I would like to share with readers some interesting information concerning the revised MARPOL Annex V. You may also get all this info straight from the DNV Technical Newsletter (19.10.2012).

This newsletter lists the main changes in the revised MARPOL Annex V, adopted on 15 July 2011 in resolution MEPC.201(62), which will enter into force on 1 January 2013.

The main changes in the revised MARPOL Annex V are as follows:

  • Practically all discharges of waste into the sea are prohibited, including cooking oil and  all plastics, even in the form of incinerator ash.
  • The only discharges allowed are:

Outside special areas:

– >3nm from the nearest land for comminuted/ground food waste (able to pass through a screen with openings no greater than 25mm);
– >12nm from the nearest land for food waste and cargo residues that are not harmful to the marine environment;
– Cleaning agents which are not harmful to the marine environment (contained in cargo hold, deck and external surfaces wash water);
– Animal carcasses (as far as possible from the nearest land and in accordance with IMO guidelines).

Inside special areas:

– >12nm from the nearest land for comminuted/ground food waste (able to pass through a screen with openings no greater than 25mm);
– >12nm for cargo residues that are not harmful to the marine environment (only if the ship is not transiting outside the special area between ports and no adequate reception facilities are available at those ports);
– Cleaning agents which are not harmful to the marine environment (contained
in deck and external surfaces wash water);

  • An “en route” clause has been introduced, meaning that most allowable discharges are only permitted while the ship is en route.
  • A Revised Garbage Record Book (new categories and different recording requirements).
  • Every vessel of 100 GT and above or carrying 15 persons or more shall carry a Garbage Management Plan.
  • Ships 12 metres in length or more and fixed or floating platforms are to display placards notifying crew and passengers of the MARPOL Annex V requirements.
  • Discharges of any garbage from fixed or floating platforms and from any ship alongside or within 500m of a fixed or floating platform are prohibited.

Further extensive guidance on the revised MARPOL Annex V can be found in the 2012 Guidelines for the Implementation of Annex V (MEPC.219(63) adopted on 2 March 2012).

Ship owners are reminded that the revised Annex V entails that:

  • Crews should be instructed on the forthcoming requirements.
  • A revised Garbage Management Plan must be produced and implemented on board.
  • Placards on board must be renewed so as to display the revised garbage disposal requirements.
  • The Garbage Record Book must be updated in accordance with the new recording requirements.

DNV introduces a new Statement of Compliance

In light of the new requirements coming into force, DNV is introducing a new Statement of  Compliance with respect to Annex V (Garbage Pollution Prevention). The Statement of  Compliance confirms that the equipment on board the ship is in accordance with the new revised Annex V (e.g. Garbage Management Plan, placards, Garbage Record Book,  containers, processing equipment, etc). It is to be issued after a successful initial survey and will be renewed on every renewal survey (subject to the five-yearly survey scheme).
Since Annex V does not prescribe any sort of certification, the aforementioned Statement of Compliance can help owners demonstrate compliance to any interested party, such as port state control or harbour authorities, etc.

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