China Maritime Compliance: Amended Marine Environmental Protection Law effective from 1 Jan 2024


( The amended Marine Environment Protection Law of China came into effect on 1 January 2024. It provides an institutional upgrading and strengthening of all aspects of the prevention and control of pollution from vessels into the sea.

The Law provides an institutional upgrading and strengthening of all aspects of the prevention and control of pollution from vessels into the sea. The major changes relate to Owners could be summarized as follows:

  1. Some requirements of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments are converted into the law for prevention of invasion of exotic organisms Vessels are not allowed to illegally discharge garbage, domestic sewage, oily sewage, sewage containing toxic and hazardous substances, pollutants, waste, ballast water and sediments, and other harmful substance into the sea areas under the jurisdiction of P.R.C. Vessels shall take effective measures to treat and dispose of ballast water and sediments in accordance with relevant regulations. When carrying out operations involving the discharge of pollutants, ballast water and sediments from vessels, it shall be monitored, recorded, and records are well-kept.
  2. Enhanced duties and obligations are imposed to shippers, cargo owners and agent of pollution-hazardous cargo Before delivering the pollution-hazardous cargo on board a vessel, the shipper shall truthfully inform the carrier of the official name of the cargo to be carried, its hazard and protective measures to be taken. The documentation, packaging, marking and quantity restriction of the pollution-hazardous cargo shall be in accordance with the regulations applicable to the delivered cargo.
  3. Enhanced requirements regarding the management of pollution from vessels The structure of vessels and anti-pollution equipment and devices equipped by the vessel shall comply with the relevant provisions for preventing marine environment pollution from vessels and shall be examined for qualification. When carrying out lightening operations of bulk liquid hazardous cargo, an operational plan shall be prepared and submitted to local maritime administration for approval in advance and take effective measures to ensure safety and prevent pollution.
  4. The management of hazardous materials of vessels are added Owners, operator, and manager of the vessel shall ensure a list of hazardous materials is being kept on board and have it updated continuously during the process of construction, operation, and maintenance. Before a vessel is dismantled, the list shall be supplied to companies engaged in ship dismantling service in advance.
  5. Vessels are encouraged to to use clean energy and shore power Vessel are encouraged to use new or clean energy sources to reduce emissions of air pollutants. Vessels shall take effective measures to improve energy efficiency and use shore power in accordance with relevant provisions if they are to use shore power.
  6. Establishment of Pollutant Emission Control Areas Ministry of Transport (MOT) of P.R.C. could set out pollution emission control areas, vessels that enter into these areas shall comply with the pollution discharge control measures.
  7. The law imposes higher penalty for breaches of the provisions. Please refer to the dowmloadable document below for the detailed breaches and penalties.




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