Brussels – An evaluation of the Port Reception Facilities directive has found that it has been effective in increasing volumes of ship generated garbage delivered to ports, but that wide variety of cost recovery systems used across Europe are restricting the potential effectiveness in preventing ship waste dumping.

The report, recently released by consultants Panteia for the European Commission, found that although most ports have implemented a cost recovery system in line with the requirements of the Directive, the incentive for waste delivery is varied, and the method of calculating waste delivery fees is often not transparent to port users. The report shows that the type of cost recovery system in PRFs influence volumes of waste delivered, but the consultants failed to recommend that a future revision of the directive prescribe a single cost recovery system for all ports in Europe.

The Port Reception Facilities Directive is a key policy for tackling marine litter from ships, and the long awaited revision will be an important opportunity to improve the law to ensure that all waste from ships is delivered in ports.

Another key issue the evaluation highlighted was the lack of separate collection for ship generated waste. Many shipping companies oblige their crew to segregate waste, but very few ports offer separate collection to ensure the waste is recycled. As the report says: ‘the PRF Directive does not directly contribute to efficient collection, handling, re-use, recycling and environmentally sustainable disposal of ship-generated waste’ as required by EU waste law.

Other key recommendations for a revision of the directive include: explicitly encourage waste reduction on board ships, reporting on waste delivery statistics to the EU for monitoring, systematic stakeholder consultation in the development of port waste handling plans, higher levels of transparency on waste delivery cost calculation, updated requirements on inspections, mandatory reporting on actual quantities of waste delivered, and finally, that the different approaches implemented in the various European sea basins be brought closer together. Seas At risk fully supports these recommendations as necessary to preventing marine litter from shipping, and has previously recommended the same in the 2014 report ‘reducing ship generated marine litter – recommendations to improve the PRF Directive.’

The new legislative proposal for the revision of the port reception facilities directive can be expected in 2017.

Ex-Post evaluation of Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues

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