EMSA Technical Recommendations on the Implementation of Directive on Port Reception facilities


Directive 2000/59/EC on Port Reception Facilities for Ship-Generated Waste and Cargo Residues (the PRF Directive) was adopted on 27 November 2000. This Directive aligns EU law with the international obligations of the MARPOL Convention and provides specific legal requirements for the provision and operation of Port Reception Facilities (PRF). The below recommendation document aims to assist users by providing recommendations on the implementation of Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues.

Since it came into force, the European Commission (DG MOVE), assisted by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), has been assessing the implementation of this Directive. This assessment process has recently led to a REFIT evaluation of the PRF Directive, which is one of the preliminary steps that have to be undertaken prior to a review of the Directive.

Certain provisions of the PRF Directive have been subject to different interpretations and practices when they have been implemented by Member States (MS). Consequently stakeholders are often confused over the PRF Directive’s requirements, which has impacted, to some extent, effective harmonised implementation, management, monitoring and enforcement.

The following areas are ones for which the Commission have identified that harmonisation can be achieved through the provision of interpretation and Technical Recommendations:

  1. The development, approval, monitoring and implementation of Waste Reception and Handling Plans (Article 5 and Annex I), whose main purpose is to ensure the adequacy of PRF.
  2. The implementation of Article 7 ‘delivery of ship-generated waste’, especially the second paragraph, whereby ships with “sufficient dedicated storage capacity” may be allowed to proceed without delivering their waste; and,
  3. The implementation of Article 9 ‘Exemptions’ for ships engaged in “scheduled traffic with frequent and regular port calls (…)”.

To promote harmonisation in the implementation of these Articles, whilst respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, the Commission has recently adopted Interpretative Guidelines for Directive 2000/59/EC (Commission Notice 2016/C 115/05 published on 1/4/2016, O.J. C115/5).

The Guidelines set out the European Commission’s understanding of certain provisions of the PRF Directive in line with current international and EU law. This document, builds on the Commission's interpretation and on good practice identified in the MS, to provide Technical Recommendations to MS on how best to implement the PRF Directive.

It is intended that these Technical Recommendations:

  1. will contribute towards a more uniform and harmonised application of the PRF Directive;
  2. will ensure more efficient use of resources during the application and enforcement of the PRF Directive;
  3. will help MS follow the requirements of the PRF Directive;
  4. can be used by the MS to develop new, or enhance any existing, guidance that the MS have developed to implement their national legislation; and,
  5. will be subject to revision in the light of their use and possible amendments to the PRF Directive.

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Source: EMSA



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