In its position paper, ESPO welcomes the Commission proposal to build on the substantial progress achieved under the existing Directive. The existing Directive decreased significantly waste discharges at sea. The minimum fixed fee, which has to be paid by all ships calling at EU ports, regardless of whether they use the waste facilities or of the quantities they deliver, has delivered. As a result, only 2.5% of oily waste is delivered at waste facilities in ports.


European ports support the proposal’s objectives to increase efficiency and reduce administrative burden. The new Directive should, however, also ensure that an efficient regime for managing ship waste is encouraged, in line with the "polluter pays" principle.

ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost, noted:

European ports recognise that providing the right incentives is essential and port authorities are certainly willing to contribute. However, introducing a fee system whereby ships could deliver unreasonable amounts of garbage, including dangerous waste for 100% fixed fee, would be a severe and unacceptable divergence from the ‘polluter pays’ principle. It risks to discourage tackling waste at the source by reducing waste volumes onboard, which has been the cornerstone of the EU waste policy.

ESPO proposed to set a limit on waste covered by the 100% fixed fee. The fixed fee should cover normal quantities of waste delivered by a certain type and size of ship. Ports should be able to charge on top of that if unreasonable quantities are delivered. Moreover, dangerous waste should not be covered by the 100% indirect fee. European ports also welcome that new types of waste, such as scrubber waste, have been addressed by the proposal.

The proposal is currently being discussed in the Council and the European Parliament.

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