What is Annex V of MARPOL 73/78 (Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from ships) and discharge regulations?

Written by Amit Sharma
  • Garbage means all kinds of victual, domestic and operational waste excluding fresh fish and parts thereof generated during the normal operation of the ship and liable to be disposed off continuously or periodically except those substance which are defined or listed in other annexes to the present convention.
  • Special area: means a sea area where for recognized technical reasons in relation to its ocean graphical and ecological condition and to the particular character of its traffic the adoption of special mandatory methods for the prevention of sea pollution by garbage is required.
Annex V(5) Special Areas :
  1. Mediterrean sea
  2. Baltic Sea
  3. Black Sea
  4. Red sea
  5. Gulf Sea
  6. North sea
  7. Antarctic Sea (South of latitude 600 South)
  8. Wider carribean region (including gulf of mexico and caribbean sea)

The revised Annex V which entered into force on 1 January 2013 now generally prohibits the discharge of all garbage into the sea, except as provided otherwise in regulations 4, 5, and 6 of the Annex, which are related to food waste, cargo residues, cleaning agents and additives and animal carcasses. Exceptions with respect to the safety of a ship and those on board and accidental loss are contained in regulation 7 of Annex V.

An overview of the revised MARPOL Annex V discharge criteria can be seen here.


Garbage Management plan

Garbage Management plan must be developed as per the guidelines of IMO & includes written procedures for minimizing, collecting, storing, processing and disposing of garbage, including the use of the equipment on board (regulation 10.2). The garbage management plan should designate the person responsible for the plan and should be in the working language of the crew.

  1. All ships of 100 GT and above; and
  2. Every ship certified to carry 15 persons or more must have a garbage management plan.
GMP (Garbage Management plan) Contents:
  • Designated person responsible to carry out the plan.
  • Be in working language of the crew.
  • Provide written procedure for collecting, storing, processing and disposal of garbage.
  • Certain written procedure for the use of equipment on board.
Garbage Record Book:-
  • Every ship of 400GT and above.
  • Every ship certified to carry 15 persons or more
  • Every fixed floating platform.
  • must have & maintain a GRB
GRB (Garbage Record Book) Contents:
  1. Each discharge operation or completed incineration shall be recorded in the GRB and signed for on the date of the incineration or discharge by officer in charge.
  2. The entry of incineration or discharge shall include date & time, position of the ship, description of the garbage and the estimated amount incinerated or discharged.
  3. GRB shall be kept on board at least for 2 years for inspection after it is fully complete.
  4. Each completed page of GRB shall be signed by the master of the ship.
Garbage color code :

Blue –  Flammable (paper, rags, cardboards)

Yellow –  Non flammable (Glass, bottle, metal)

Red – Plastic

Green-  Food waste

Black –  Ash (generated from incinerator)

About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.

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