Specifically, following the "trend" of banning open loop scrubbers from ports, the Ministry's announcement concerns all Bahraini flagged vessels and foreign flagged vessels calling Bahraini ports or operating in Bahraini waters.
- All seagoing Bahraini flagged vessels (150 GT and above) registered under Amiri decree no. 14/1978 with respect to law for registration of ship and determination of safety conditions thereof.
- All foreign flagged vessels visiting Bahraini waters.
Concerning the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems, the Ministry informs that:
- Under "Equivalents" principle, ships may use approved equivalent methods, such as EGCS "scrubbers", which clean the emissions before they are released into the atmosphere, provided it meet the requirements of IMO 2015 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems adopted by resolution MEPC.259(68).
- Each EGC unit (two schemes A and B are available) should be approved by flag authority or Recognized Organizations (RO) on behalf of the flag administration and issued with a Compliance Certificate by the flag administration or RO.
- In both Schemes, the condition of discharged washwater used in the scrubbing process is to be monitored and recorded.
Moreover, the discharge of EGCS washwater from open loop scrubbers is:
- Prohibited when ship is within limit of port of Bahrain including the anchorage area.
- Prohibited into Bahraini territorial waters and exclusive economic zone unless it can be proven that the discharge of washwater complies with the IMO 2015 guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems (MEPC.259(68)) and there is no negative impact on marine ecosystems.
Additionally, to proceed to the discharge of washwater within the waters of Bahrain, the master of any vessel should keep a permit from Marine Safety and Environment Protection Directorate. Thus, for the vessels that wish to discharge of washwater into the sea must submit their request to MSEPD before discharging and provide the additional information to the relevant authorities:
- IMO number
- Arrival port
- Arrival date
- EGCS Scheme A or Scheme B approval
- Make and Model of EGCS
- Open-loop, closed-loop or hybrid type system
- Results of all washwater testing that has been undertaken in accordance with 2015 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems.
- For washwater testing should be conducted upon commissioning of the EGCS and repeated every twelve months, as a minimum, for a period of two years. Ships may be directed not to discharge washwater from an EGCS in Bahraini waters if this data, or evidence that samples have been taken for analysis, cannot be provided to PMA.
Concluding, CAG reports that PMA strongly encourages the vessel to use the close loop mode (no discharge over board) when it sails within Bahraini waters.