PRF Directive fixed fee could result in an “unreasonable” amount of garbage

Container ships ESPO proposes to set a limit on the quantities to be covered by the fixed fee for waste

ESPO has criticised a plan set out in the new proposal on the revision of the Port Reception Facilities (PRF) Directive to further incentivise users of waste facilities in ports to deliver by introducing the 100% fixed fee (indirect fee) for garbage.

As part of the proposal, drawn up by the European Commission, each port will have to set up a fixed fee covering all quantities of waste without any limits or thresholds. The fixed fee could reflect the category, type and size of ship and the type of traffic, but ESPO believe this could see ships delivering unreasonable quantities of garbage, including dangerous waste and waste that has been passively collected in fishing nets.

ESPO stated: “ESPO believes that introducing a fee system whereby ships could deliver unreasonable quantities of garbage, including dangerous waste for a fixed fee would be a severe and unacceptable divergence from the ‘polluter pays’ principle.”

Limit on quantities

It added: “ESPO proposes to set a limit on the quantities to be covered by the fixed fee, allowing to charge on top of the indirect fee when unreasonable quantities of waste are delivered. Furthermore, dangerous waste, which usually needs special and costly treatment, should not be covered by the 100% indirect fee.”

ESPO proposes to maintain the voluntary application of reduced fees for vessels generating reduced quantities of waste. It said that the introduction of mandatory rebates would be an “unreasonable interference” with ports that award high performing ships based on their own priorities and wouldn’t take into account different port business and governance models. It also pointed out that rebates not corresponding to a real cost reduction have to be borne by the port authority.

ESPO also said that separate collection of waste should follows the same international norms and supports the proposal that scrubber waste is not made subject to any indirect fee.

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