null Restrictions to the handling of vessels’ cargo and waste – decree submitted for comments

Restrictions to the handling of vessels’ cargo and waste – decree submitted for comments

Press release 04.05.2021 15.02 fi sv en

Boats in port. (Photo: Ilari Nackel / Shutterstock)

Environmental legislation concerning maritime transport is being reformed. Changes will be made to the relevant government decree, in particular to implement the EU Directive on port reception facilities for the delivery of waste from ships. The Ministry of Transport and Communications requests comments on the draft by 25 May.

The Act on Environmental Protection in Maritime Transport and its related government decree will be amended to meet the requirements of the updated Directive (EU) 2019/883 on ship waste. The Directive is set to improve how waste is received and handled in ports with the aim of reducing marine litter and the release of hazardous substances such as oil into water. Regulations for ship-to-ship transfers of harmful or dangerous cargo and fuel delivery will also be updated.

Updates to port waste management requirements

Waste management requirements will be specified with a decree. According to the proposed draft, ports may use a fixed receiving device or an on-demand receiving service to receive waste.

All ports will be obligated to prepare a waste management plan. The draft has been updated to include the Directive’s requirements for the content of port waste management plans.

The decree would determine how waste charges are adjusted according to how dangerous or costly the received waste is. In addition, it would specify short sea shipping, which can be used as grounds for reduced waste charges, according to the Directive.

The decree would mandate what emergency measures are required outside of port areas when harmful cargo or fuel was transferred between vessels. For example, ships transferring hazardous cargo or delivering fuel must arrange for an auxiliary vessel with sufficient damage prevention equipment. Further stipulations would be made regarding what information vessels must give to the authorities in advance when transferring cargo or delivering fuel.

Technical changes would also be made to the Government Decree on Environmental Protection in Maritime Transport.

Next steps

The amendments to the national legislation required by the Directive on ship waste must be in force on 28 June 2021. This is when the updated Act and Government Decree on Environmental Protection in Maritime Transport will come into force.

The update to the Act on Environmental Protection in Maritime Transport has been prepared by the Ministry of Transport and Communications since 2019. The government proposal was presented to the Parliament on 29 April 2021.

Additional information:

Laura Sarlin, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 447 7597, laura.sarlin(at)lvm.fi, Twitter @SarlinLaura

Päivi Antikainen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 382 7101, paivi.antikainen(at)lvm.fi, Twitter @PaiviAntikainen