What are regulations for discharge of wash water in special areas per MARPOL ?

Regulations for discharge of wash water:
  1. While disposing Cargo residues and Wash down water, the Chief should ensure that MARPOL 73/78 are strictly followed.
  2. MARPOL 73/78 Annex V requires that all ships of 400 GT and above have an approved Garbage Management Plan and a Garbage record book.
  3. Cargo residues, wash water and wash water containing chemicals which are Harmful to the Marine Environment (HME) must be identified as such and disposed of in the correct manner. From 1 January 2013,
  4. New requirements under MARPOL annex V have come into force, which specifically apply to the disposal of cargo residues and wash water in to the marine environment. All persons involved in the cargo chain must familiarise themselves with these requirements. They basically state that:
    • No discharge of cargo residues should occur less than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land, or the nearest ice shelf.
    • No discharge of cargo residues should occur within the MARPOL defined ‘Special Areas’.
    • No discharge of any cargo residues specified as HME.
    • Hold wash water should be discharged to a suitable reception facility (RF).
Key points for disposal are:

Due to a reported lack of adequate reception facilities at present, MEPC Circular 8104 allows the discharge of HME cargo residues contained in hold wash water until 31 December 2015 outside Special Areas providing that:

  • Based on the information from the relevant port authorities, the master determines that there are no adequate RFs at the receiving terminal or at the next port of call.
  • The ship is en-route and as far as practicable (but at least 12 nautical miles) from the nearest land.
  • Before washing solid bulk cargoes are removed (and bagged for discharge ashore) as far as practicable (and the holds swept).
  • Filters are used in the bilge wells to collect any remaining solid particles.
  • The discharge is recorded in the garbage record book with the flag state notified utilising the revised consolidated format for reporting alleged inadequacies of port reception facilities stated in MEPC.1/ Circ.469/Rev.2.
  • It is still a requirement for receiving terminals to provide adequate port reception facilities for this waste stream, the circular only provides flexibility for ship owners and operators in the case when receiving terminals have failed to meet their obligations under the Annex.