Just what can and cannot be discharged into the sea?
With the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution serving as a constant reminder of the responsibilities that face the global maritime industry, the treatment of waste management on ships now faces unprecedented scrutiny.
Keeping cargo holds clean is one thing – but it’s now incumbent upon owners and operators to pay just as much attention to the very cleaning products being used to keep these areas pristine – which is why helping these owners and operators stay within the boundaries of current MARPOL regulations is hugely important.
Specifically, we are referring to the MARPOL Annex V Resolution MEPC 201 (62) which came into effect at the start of 2016. This decrees that no waste should be discharged from a vessel into the sea, unless specifically authorised. Furthermore, all discharges must be recorded in the vessel’s Garbage Record Book.
Crucially, the Directive extends to cleaning agents, additives and residues contained in cargo holds. Unless ship owners are able to demonstrate that any of these substances are not harmful to the marine environment (HME), then they mustn’t be released into the oceans. Instead, all wash waters must be disposed of at a port reception facility.
And the onus is on owners to comply. It’s for each vessel to prove that any cleaning products and their agents are not HME and, upon inspection, they need to have the evidence to hand for the relevant Port State Control authorities.
Whilst the regulations may seem harsh, most neutral observers would say there is an absolute justification for ensuring they are properly implemented, to minimise pollution of our seas.
As a leading equipment manufacturer and services supplier to the global maritime industry, at Eazychem we are all-too-aware of the burden that this can place upon owners and operators, the overwhelming majority of whom take waste management very seriously and who are always striving “to do the right thing.”
As specialist providers of cleaning products for cargo holds, we are well-placed to offer all the help and advice ship owners need to ensure that they stay compliant and within the law.
For a start, all our chemical products are accompanied by Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), itemising their composition, degree of compliance and whether or not they are HME classified. We can also advise on how to keep the amount of wash water in check, thereby reducing costs. Yes, we have the required and current IMO approvals granted on all our registered tank cleaning chemicals.
And to further assist ship owners and operators with waste management on ships, we have created the Eazychem Mariwaste Press, a user-friendly marine grade garbage compactor, designed to minimise the cost of handling “soft” waste such as paper, cardboard, plastic and metal packaging. For further information go to https://www.eazychem.co.uk/product/mariwaste-press/
With the right tools at your disposal, guiding your ship’s waste management procedures should be perfectly straightforward, so that you adhere to international regulations – and, at the same time, help maintain the integrity of our oceans.