The IMO has issued MEPC.1/Circ.801 regarding adequate port reception facilities for cargoes declared as harmful to the marine environment under MARPOL Annex V.
At its sixty-fifth session (13 to 17 May 2013), the Committee acknowledged that, as aresult of the difficulties experienced by shippers, consequential problems are being experiencedby shipowners and operators in obtaining HME declarations and, when cargoes have beenclassified as HME, finding adequate reception facilities at receiving terminals.
In light of the above, the Committee agreed that, until 31 December 2015, cargo holdwashwater from holds previously containing solid bulk cargoes classified as HME may bedischarged outside special areas, providing:
.1 based upon the information received from the relevant port authorities, themaster determines that there are no adequate reception facilities either at thereceiving terminal or at the next port of call;
.2 the ship is en route and as far as practicable from the nearest land, but notless than 12 nautical miles;
.3 before washing, solid bulk cargo residue is removed (and bagged fordischarge ashore) as far as practicable and holds are swept;
.4 filters are used in the bilge wells to collect any remaining solid particles andminimize solid residue discharge; and
.5 the discharge is recorded in the Garbage Record Book and the flag State isnotified utilizing the Revised Consolidated Format for Reporting AllegedInadequacies of Port Reception Facilities (MEPC.1/Circ.469/Rev.2)
In addition, the Committee urged Parties to MARPOL Annex V to:
.1 ensure the provision of adequate facilities at ports and terminals for thereception of solid bulk cargo residues including those contained in washwater;
.2 ensure shippers within their jurisdiction provide complete and accurate cargodeclarations in accordance with MARPOL Annex V (and circularMEPC.1/Circ.791) and section 4 of the IMSBC Code; and
.3 notify the Organization for transmission to the Parties concerned of all caseswhere the facilities are alleged to be inadequate.
Further, ports and terminals receiving cargoes classified as HME are urged to provideadequate port reception facilities, including for residues contained in washwater. In the absenceof such facilities, to minimize residues discharged under paragraph 3, terminals should facilitatethe discharge of all solid bulk cargo residues ashore, including hold sweepings.
Member Governments are invited to bring the content of this circular to the attention ofthose interested, including port State control authorities, coastguard and maritime surveillanceservices, as appropriate
Find more information at IMO’s webistehttp://www.imo.org