The latest amendments to MARPOL Annex V will come into force on 1 March 2018 and require vessels to implement changes regarding handling, management and record keeping of garbage onboard.
The current version of MARPOL Annex V entered into force on 1 January 2013 and prohibits the discharge of all garbage into the sea in general. In 2013 the prohibition of discharge of residues from solid bulk cargoes classified as harmful to the marine environment (HME), was added. Additional amendments to MARPOL Annex V were adopted in October 2016 and will be effective from 1 March 2018. These amendments include:
- Inclusion of specific criteria for classifying solid bulk cargoes as HME, along with a requirement for shippers of solid bulk cargoes, other than grain, to declare whether or not the cargo is classified as HME in accordance with the criteria.
- A new format for the Garbage Record Book, splitting the book into Part I and II. Part I shall be used to record discharges of garbage from all types of vessels and includes the new garbage category e-waste. Part II shall be used to record discharges of cargo residues from vessels carrying solid bulk cargoes, covering both HME and non-HME cargo residues.
- Along with an up to date Garbage Record Book, receipts obtained from receptions facilitiesmust also be kept on board for a period of two years.
The 2012 Guidelines for the implementation of MARPOL Annex V has been revoked and replaced by the new 2017 Guidelines, aligning it with the MARPOL amendments and the relevant requirements of the Polar Code.
To comply with MARPOL Annex V, operators must ensure that vessels have the required new format of the Garbage Record Book onboard from 1 March 2018. Furthermore, vessels’ Garbage Management Plans and Placards posted onboard should also be reviewed and revised as necessary.
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As no list of substances that are harmful to the marine environment (HME) under MARPOL Annex V exists, operators must continue to verify that shippers’ cargo information states whether or not the cargo in question is harmful to the marine environment (HME).
Compliance with MARPOL Annex V demands the crew to be familiar with the current garbage disposal requirements and have a clear understanding of the conditions permitting certain discharges. The “Consolidated Guidance for Port Reception Facility providers and users” (MEPC.1/Circ.834) is intended to be a practical users’ guide for vessels’ crew who seek to deliver MARPOL residues/wastes ashore and provides a basis for establishing best practice procedures.