Huatai Marine received Clubs’ inquiries about administrative fines faced by their entered ships for dumpling food wastes in Chinese waters and provides relevant regulations and interpretations on disposal of food wastes from ships.
ccording to Huatai’s database, about 23% of the fines for garbage disposal handled in2020-2022were for illegally dumping food wastes. Most of them occurred in the Bohai Sea, accounting for 70%, and the Yellow, East and South China Seas each accounted for 10%.
The maximum fine was CNY 70,000, while the lowest fine was CNY 30,000. The average fine per case was CNY43,000.
Characteristics of Cases Related to Administrative Fines on Discharging Wastes
Through analysis of the above cases, it was noted that such fines were mostly occurred when MSA officers conducted inspections and found that the location of garbage discharge contained inthe ship’s Garbage Record Book failed to meet the minimum distance requirements from the nearest land to the garbage disposal location.
Since 2020, China MSA has adopted remote PSC inspection instead of on-board inspection due to the restriction of epidemic prevention. More attention has therefore been paid to the validity of relevant certificates and the correctness of official records of ships, as well as to the inspection of ships for non-compliance through these records.
The main reason for the illegal discharge of garbage is that some crew members are not clear about the position of the ship, ordo not know the baseline coordinates of China’s territorial sea, or lack of understanding that the Bohai Sea is inland water where dumping of food wastes is prohibited.
Loss Prevention Suggestions
- Crew members scheduled to call at a Chinese port or sailing off the Chinese coasts are advised to pay attention to the above-mentioned no discharge area.
- Vessel shall keep accurate record with regards to discharging or processing garbage in accordance with the requirements stipulated in paragraph 3.1-3.4, regulation 10, Annex V of the MARPOL Convention 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978. Garbage Record Book shall be retained onboard for a period at least of 2 years from the date of the last entry was made in it, and be readily available for verification, inspection by the competent authority.
- When vessels are scheduled to call at Chinese ports or are sailing off the coast of China, navigation officers are suggested to plot the China baseline geographic coordinates according to the Declaration of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the People’s Republic of China directly on their operational ECDIS in order to visually display the area prohibited from discharge on the ECDIS and to avoid violations due to the distance between vessel’s position and the nearest territorial sea baselines fail to comply with discharge requirements.