Euroshore presented its views on the new legislative proposal of the EU Commission at European Maritime Days in Bourgas.
The new legislative proposal based on the MARPOL Convention comprises a few good principles such as mandatory delivery when leaving for a non-EU port, waste fractions that should be recycled etc. However, meanwhile the position text of the Member States has swept out these EU principles and everything is watered down to the “international standards”.
Euroshore argued that the principle of mandatory discharge when leaving for a non-EU port should be kept in the Directive. Too many ships still leave EU ports without delivering their ship generated waste ashore. Sometimes PRF’s in these ports are mentioned in the GISIS-database, but the question is, in what way are these port reception facilities “adequate” in the treatment of waste. Principally we don’t see why waste from international shipping should be treated more favourably then land based waste. Meanwhile Europe has installed legislation in which for example e-waste is not allowed to be exported to countries as Ghana, where it is handled by young kids in shameful working and environmental conditions.
Another issue are the cargo residues. Under the MARPOL Convention, ships are still allowed to discharge wash waters with cargo rests into the sea, under certain conditions. However, these wash waters can be perfectly handled ashore in state-of-the-art treatment installations. For the waste collectors it is a riddle, that EU authorities still accept that seagoing vessels are allowed to dump their wash waters with cargo residues, where the other transport modes (truck, rail and inland navigation) are following a very strict legal regime.
Euroshore pleads for an EU approach that demonstrates more ambition in the direction of a “zero discharge”. The sustainability of the seas is at risk. Plastic soap, legal discharges of oil and chemicals, dumping of wash waters with cargo residues…. All this waste can perfectly collected and treated in a responsible way in EU seaports.