The ‘A’ rated 170 million GT North P&I club has reminded its members that 2013 is the first full year of operation of new international garbage-disposal rules that greatly limit the dumping of garbage at sea. The reminder comes in the latest issue of the club’s loss prevention newsletter Signals, published today (16 January 2013).
According to North’s loss prevention manager Andrew Glen, ‘With very few specific exceptions, the new rules reverse the historical presumption that most garbage can be discharged at a suitable distance offshore. Shipowners thus need to ensure they have the right garbage-disposal procedures and policies in place and continue to keep the seas clean throughout 2013 and beyond.’
In July 2011 the International Maritime Organization adopted amendments to annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) in resolution MEPC.201(62), and issued guidelines for their implementation in resolutions MEPC.219(63) and MEPC.220(63).
Restrictions on the disposal of cargo residues and the discharge of hold wash water containing cargo harmful to the marine environment (HME) have been tightened in the revised regulations. ‘Not all shippers will be aware of their obligation to notify ship’s masters when cargo is HME, ’ says Glen. ‘Shipowners and masters should therefore ensure they are aware of the properties of cargo loaded to comply with the new discharge requirements.’
The revised annex also severely restricts the discharge of other forms of garbage into coastal waters and defined special areas. These include the North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Red Sea areas as well as the Gulfs area, wider Caribbean region and the Antarctic area. In the light of the new regulations North is recommending that all shipowners aim to use port reception facilities as the primary means of discharging all garbage.
‘To ensure timely transfer of large quantities of ship-generated garbage to port reception facilities, it is essential for shipowners or their agents to make arrangements for garbage reception well in advance, ’ says Glen. ‘Advice should be provided to the port on the type of garbage to be discharged, on whether it is separated and on the estimate amounts.’
North also flags up in Signals a further tightening of US discharge rules in December this year. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s existing programme of vessel general permits for discharges incidental to normal operation is being replaced by a more rigorous regime.
Other topics covered in the issue include preparing for the introduction of the Maritime Labour Convention in August, making better of use of voyage data recorders for navigation analysis and training, and a review of the current legal status of electronic bills of lading.
Issue 90 of Signals can be downloaded from the club’s website.
North is a leading marine mutual liability insurer providing P&I, FD&D, war risks and ancillary insurance to 130 million GT of owned tonnage and 40 million GT of chartered tonnage, with 4000 ships entered by 400 members worldwide. It is based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK with regional offices in Greece, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. The club is a leading member of the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG), with over 13% of the IG’s owned tonnage. The 13 IG clubs provide liability cover for approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage and, as a member of the IG, North protects and promotes the interests of the international shipping industry.