What happened

There were recently two cases (Australia, China) as per GARD, where vessels were fined due to discharges related to MARPOL Annex V and garbage disposal outside 12 Nm off nearest land.

Root cause

’Nearest land’ in MARPOL does not necessarily mean the ‘nearest shoreline’. In Australia, the nearest land boundary extends around the outer edge of the GBR region. Other countries have established baselines which lie off their coasts and it is from these baselines that the minimum distance requirements apply.

Corrective action

Masters must make sure that environmental issues are considered in voyage and passage planning. Areas, where specific marine environmental measures apply, should be noted in the detailed passage plan. IMO’s circular MEPC.1/Circ.778/Rev.3 provides an overview of all Special Areas defined under MARPOL Annexes I, II and V and Emission Control Areas (ECAs) defined under MARPOL Annex VI. The circular also lists all IMO designated PSSAs and their associated protective measures.
Master must consult the local agents if there is any doubt surrounding the baselines and any designated areas adopted locally. And remember, while discharge of food waste may be permitted, the food must not be contained in a plastic garbage bag since plastic cannot be discharged into the sea under any circumstances.
Master must ensure that vessel procedure, such as the Garbage Management Plan, and nautical charts contain all relevant information and are up to date.
The Master must conduct a Bridge Team Meeting with all Navigating Officers and refresh them on the difference between Nearest land and Nearest baseline. Passage plans must clearly mention the area for determining the nearest baselines.
All Navigating Officers and new joiners must be aware of the Nearest land and Nearest baselines, especially when allowing disposal of food waste.

posted 19 Nov '18, 12:56

Nov. 19, 2018, 12:56 p.m.
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