Key Environmental Legislation

Ship Repair waste management activities are subject to a number of National, European and International legislation and statutory and non-statutory guidance documents. Of these, we have described key pieces of legislation below.

MARPOL Regulations
The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. The regulations key objective is to regulate and minimise pollution from ships. The MARPOL Convention was adopted on 2 November 1973 by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). MARPOL has been updated by amendments through the years, with the most recent change in 1997, when a Protocol was adopted to amend the Convention and a new Annex VI was added which entered into force on 19 May 2005. The MARPOL Convention currently includes six technical Annexes.

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  • Annex I - Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil (entered into force 2 October 1983):Implements mandatory requirements for new and existing oil tankers to be fitted with double hulls.
  • Annex II Regulations for the Control of  Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk  (entered into force 2 October 1983): Details the discharge criteria for some 250 substances. The discharge of their residues is allowed only to reception facilities until certain concentrations and conditions (which vary with the category of substances) are complied with.
  • Annex III Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form (entered into force 1 July 1992): Contains general requirements for the issuing of detailed standards on packing, marking, labelling, documentation, stowage, quantity limitations, exceptions and notifications.
  • Annex IV Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships (entered into force 27 September 2003): Contains requirements to control pollution of the sea by sewage.
  • Annex V Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships (entered into force 31 December 1988): Deals with different types of general wastes and prohibits the discharge of all garbage into the sea, except as provided otherwise, under specific circumstances.
  • Annex VI Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships (entered into force 19 May 2005):Sets limits on sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances; designated emission control areas set more stringent standards for SOx, NOx and particulate matter. In 2011, after extensive work and debate, IMO adopted ground breaking mandatory technical and operational energy efficiency measures which will significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from ships; these measures were included in Annex VI and are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013.

Animal By-products (Enforcement) (Wales) Regulations 2011
These Regulations enforce, in Wales, the laying down of health rules for animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption. The Regulations came into force on 4 March 2011 and include in their scope a way of disposing catering waste from international means of transport including all aircraft, ships, yachts, boats, vehicles and pleasure craft belonging to commercial companies, private individuals or the armed forces. The new regulations provide clarification on the implications of these Regulations for food waste landed in ports. The obligations vary according to the categorisation of the material, the higher risk animal by-product is categorised as Category 1 material, next in risk is Category 2 and then Category 3 material.

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The Regulations differentiate between waste from food which originated within the European Union and that which originated from outside. It stipulates that there shall be different methods and disposal routes for EU and non-EU food waste and that if the two waste streams are mixed, then the whole amount of waste shall be disposed of at the higher treatment level. DEFRA guidance states that any vessel which has been outside the EU during its voyage will be deemed to have International Catering Waste (ICW) on board regardless as to whether provisions were taken on within or outside of the EU. Catering waste is defined in the regulations as ‘All waste food, including used cooking oil originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens including central kitchens and household kitchens’. All foodstuffs in stores, which are destined for human consumption on board a vessel are determined to be part of the catering facilities.

Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011
The new Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 came into force on 29 March 2011. They update some aspects of previous waste controls implemented under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 imposes a Duty of Care on all persons in the waste management chain to take all reasonable measures to ensure that waste is safely and legally disposed of. The waste must be safely contained, may be transferred only to authorised persons and a Waste Transfer Note (WTN), containing specified information must be completed by the two parties when waste changes hands. WTNs must be kept for a minimum of two years whilst Consignment notes are to be kept for a minimum of three years.

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In summary, the new waste regulations implement the revised Waste Framework Directive and;

  • require businesses to confirm that they have applied the waste management hierarchy when transferring waste and to include a declaration on their waste transfer note or consignment note;
  • introduce a two-tier system for waste carrier and broker registration, which includes those who carry their own waste, and introduces a new concept of a waste dealer;
  • make amendments to hazardous waste controls and definition; and
  • exclude some categories of waste from waste controls, notably animal by-products whilst include a small number of radioactive waste materials.
  • As of 28 September 2011, whenever waste is passed on to someone else, the waste producer is now required to declare on the waste transfer note, or consignment note for hazardous waste, that they have applied the waste management hierarchy.

Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Port Waste Reception Facilities) Regulations 2003
Directive 2000/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues is implemented in the UK through the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Port Waste Reception Facilities) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/No: 1809) as amended by the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Port Waste Reception Facilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2009. The 2003 Regulations as amended are applicable to any harbour or terminal within the UK. Every harbour authority and terminal operator is required by the Regulations to provide waste reception facilities adequate to meet the needs of ships normally using the harbour or terminal in question, without causing undue delay to ships. The Port of Swansea, like many other UK ports, operates on a landlord basis and as such it falls to the terminal operator (Swansea Drydocks Ltd) to produce a port waste management plan and have appropriate reception facilities.

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The major requirements of the Regulations as amended are as follows:

  • Ships must notify the harbour authority or terminal operator before entry into the port/terminal of the waste they will discharge, including information on types and quantities. Ships do not have to notify about sewage if they intend to discharge it at sea in accordance with MARPOL.
  • Ships must deliver their waste to port reception facilities before leaving the port or terminal, unless it is sewage or they have sufficient dedicated storage capacity for the waste that has accumulated and is expected to accumulate during the voyage to the next port of call.
  • Ships must pay a mandatory charge to significantly contribute to the cost of port reception facilities for ship generated waste, whether they use them or not.
  • Recreational craft authorised to carry, or designed to carry no more than 12 passengers and fishing vessels must deliver their waste (other than sewage) to port reception facilities but are exempted from the requirement to notify before entry into port and the requirement to pay a mandatory charge.

The Ballast Water Management Convention
The IMO developed and adopted “The International Convention for The Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004” (Ballast Water Management Convention) with the aim of protecting the marine environment from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water carried by ships. According to IMO estimates, ships carry some 3 billion tons to 10 billion tons of ballast water globally each year. Generally, the aim of all parties subject to the BWM convention is to “prevent, minimize and ultimately eliminate the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens through the control and management of ships' ballast water and sediments”. The convention will come into effect 12 months after at least 30 countries representing 35 per cent of the combined tonnage of the global commercial fleet have ratified the convention. But that condition has not been met to date. While 35 countries had signed the convention by 31 July 2012 according to IMO, these nations account for only 27.95 per cent of the global tonnage, falling short of the required quorum. Nevertheless, the industry is expecting the ballast water convention to come into effect in the near future; the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) believes this will happen in less than two years.

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