A look behind the curtain

Ports and ships’ masters, owners and operators alike can find some guidance for practical measures to adhere to Marpol Annex V requirements in the Port Reception Facilities (PRFs) module on the IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) database.

It also provides information on the facilities available for the reception of ship-generated waste at ports around the world.

The document is intended to be a practical users’ guide for ships’ crews who seek to deliver residues/wastes ashore and for port reception facility providers.

It provides a basis for establishing best practice procedures, with an eye toward improving the integration of PRFs into a more comprehensive waste management scheme in which final disposal of MARPOL residues/wastes occurs in a safe manner.

The GISIS says it is based “on the fundamental requirements established in MARPOL and the guidance provided in the [IMO’s] Comprehensive Manual on Port Reception Facilities (1999) and the Guidelines for Ensuring the Adequacy of Port Waste Reception Facilities (Resolution MEPC.83[44]). Building on the manual and the guidelines, this guide suggests how modern environmental management systems and procedures can assist with the improvement of MARPOL residue/waste delivery ashore.”

The PRF database has been established with the stated objectives:

1. to disseminate the current information on port reception facilities to the maritime community on a global basis through the Internet

2. to establish a Web-based method for the regular updating of the information

3. to facilitate user-friendly searches through the database

Following a simple registration process, users can browse or specifically search for relevant facilities at ports, view cases of “alleged inadequacies” of reception facilities reported to the IMO and can also access contact points to make such reports.

Additionally, the module contains the “Guide to Good Practice for Port Reception Facility Providers and Users” Word document, downloadable in English, French and Spanish.

Contained within its appendices are sample forms for providing advanced notification for waste delivery to PRFs, receipt of waste delivery following use of PRFs and reporting alleged inadequacies of PRFs.

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