Ban on the discharge of sewage from cruise ships into the Baltic Sea

News article 22.04.2016 18.10 fi en

Cruise ships at the Baltic Sea (picture: LVM)

The International Maritime Organization IMO decided today on 22 April 2016 on the entry into force of the regulations concerning the special area of the Baltic Sea. By these regulations the discharge of raw sewage from passenger ships and ferries directly into the sea is banned. All the Baltic Sea states are unanimous in support of the decision.

New ships have to comply with the regulations as from 1 June 2019, while for existing cruise ships the time limit is 1 June 2021. Ships coming from outside the Baltic Sea special area and sailing directly to St. Petersburg have a further two-year transition period until 1 June 2023.

"Cruise ships sailing in the Baltic Sea are a very positive addition to the whole area also with regard to Finnish tourism industry. However, we must also make sure that they are not a burden to the highly vulnerable ecology of the Baltic Sea. We are really happy about the understanding now reached in the IMO”, says Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.