July 29, 2005
New ship sewage regulations take effect
Revised international regulations for the prevention of pollution by sewage from ships enter into force on August 1, 2005.Ê
The revised MARPOL Annex IV regulations prohibit the discharge of sewage by ships within a specified distance of the nearest land, unless they have an approved sewage treatment plant or system in operation.
The revised MARPOL Annex IV will apply to new and existing ships of 400 gross tonnage and above, or ships which are certified to carry more than 15 persons, engaged in international voyages.
Existing ships will be required to comply with the provisions by September 27, 2008.
The annex requires ships to be equipped with either a sewage treatment plant, a sewage comminuting and disinfecting system or a sewage holding tank.
The discharge of sewage into the sea will be prohibited at a distance of 12 nautical miles, or less, from the nearest land.Ê
Exceptions apply when the ship has an approved sewage treatment plant in operation or when discharging comminuted and disinfected sewage using an approved system at a distance of more than three nautical miles from the nearest land.
When a Party to Annex IV requires ships under its flag and other ships operating in its waters, to comply with the discharge requirements, it must ensure adequate facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of sewage are provided.