Regional coordination in relation to ship generated waste

2 October 2019

Briefing note on OSPAR actions in relation to marine Litter and their overlap with the revision of the Directive on port reception facilities for the delivery of waste from ships

With the adoption of the EU’s new Port Reception Facilities (PRF) Directive (Directive 2019/833, repealing the current Directive 2000/59/EC), Action 30 of the OSPAR Regional Action Plan (RAP) on Marine Litter is complete.

Action 30, led by Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, aimed to “ensure regional coordination on the implementation of EU Directive 200/59/EC in relation to MARPOL Annex V ship generated waste” and further specified what such a coordination could include.

During the revision process of Directive 2000/59/EC, OSPAR organised a meeting for OSPAR Contracting Parties, including both OSPAR/EIHA HODs and their transport colleagues directly responsible for the negotiations on the revision of the Directive in the Council of Ministers, and other stakeholders. The meeting, hosted by the Belgian Ministry of Environment in Brussels in March 2018, tried to identify whether there was a common understanding within OSPAR countries on the options for the revision of the PRF Directive.

Following this, in September 2019 an OSPAR delegation was invited by the Rapporteur of the Transport Committee of the European Parliament to highlight the overlap between the proposed PRF Directive and the existing OSPAR commitments in the RAP. The aim of this briefing was to highlight these overlaps and to provide background information on the relevance of sea-based sources of marine litter, based on OSPAR’s monitoring and assessments, in order to support the on-going debate on the proposed PRF Directive within the European Parliament.

One of the key issues addressed by several OSPAR Contracting Parties was that the new PRF Directive should require a cost recovery system providing a sufficient incentive for ships not to discharge garbage at sea. The newly adopted revised PRF Directive will require EU Member States to implement a 100% indirect fee system for MARPOL Annex V waste (other than cargo residues), in order to ensure a right of delivery without any additional charges based on the volume of waste delivered.

A summary note providing more information on the work completed by OSPAR to support, and provide information towards, the revision of this important EU Directive can be accessed here.

The new PRF Directive (Directive 2019/833) entered into force on 28 June 2019, and EU Member States are to implement the requirements of the Directive in their national law within two years (by 28 June 2021).