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MCA releases consultation on amendments to the merchant shipping (prevention of pollution by garbage from ships) regulations 2020 and the merchant shipping (prevention of pollution by sewage from ships) regulations 2020

Published on: 26 October 2023

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The MCA has released a consultation on proposed changes to the merchant shipping (prevention of pollution by garbage from ships) regulations 2020 and the merchant shipping (prevention of pollution by sewage from ships) regulations 2020.


Primarily focussed on vessel operations, these changes will expand the category of ships that are required to carry a Garbage Record Book from those over 400 GT or 15 or more persons, to include every ship of 100 GT and above. 


The main objective of the proposed amendments to be implemented by the draft Regulations is to further reduce marine debris, in particular plastic waste coming from shipping. 


Regulation 10 of MARPOL Annex V currently requires every ship of 400 gross tonnage (“GT”) and above and every ship which is certified to carry 15 or more persons engaged in voyages to ports or offshore terminals under the jurisdiction of another Party to the Convention to be provided with a Garbage Record Book (“GRB”).


Regulation 10 of MARPOL Annex V has been amended so that it will require every ship of 100 GT and above and every ship which is certified to carry 15 or more persons engaged in voyages to ports or offshore terminals under the jurisdiction of another Party to the Convention to be provided with a GRB. 


This amendment also makes a corresponding revision to Regulation 10.3.6 of MARPOL Annex V to require ships of 100 GT or above to enter information in the GRB about specified discharges which currently only applies to ships of 400 GT or above.


The draft Regulations also amend the general application provision of both the 2020 Regulations and the Sewage Regulations to clarify the application of the requirements in those instruments to ships engaged on voyages in polar waters. These amendments do not represent a change in policy but are intended only to further facilitate enforcement by UK authorities, in particular in relation to any breaches of requirements in polar waters by non-UK ships.


The main objective of this change is to further reduce marine debris coming from ships.


Read more here - Consultation on amendments to the merchant shipping (prevention of pollution by garbage from ships) regulations 2020 and the merchant shipping (prevention of pollution by sewage from ships) regulations 2020. - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)