Port reception facilities for ship generated waste: the European Commission adopts new Guidelines

On 1st April 2016 the “Guidelines for the interpretation of Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship generated waste and cargo residues” were published on the Official Journal of the European Union. By this document the Commission makes clear its interpretation on some of the key provisions of the Directive 2000/59/EC.

Specifically the Guidelines set out the main obligations on providing sufficient and adequate port reception facilities and how this should be reflected in the comprehensive waste reception and handling plans for each port in line with the requirements provided in Annex I of the Directive.

They then cover the main obligations on the actual use of those facilities, and in particular the delivery requirement for ship-generated waste to port reception facilities before a ship can depart from a port and the exception to that requirement when there is sufficient dedicated storage capacity for all ship-generated waste.

Finally, the Guidelines provide guidance on the application of exemptions from the main obligations provided in the Directive.

It should be noted that the Guidelines issued by the Commission neither amend or revise, in any way, the provisions under Directive 2000/59/EC, nor encroach on the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice in matters of interpretation.