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Australian legislative updates to MARPOL Annex V discharge requirements

The new update supersedes the 2017 Guidelines for the implementation of MARPOL Annex V

Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is a mandatory guidance for seafarers to stay updated about the international standards of discharge requirements. The new updates for discharge around Australian waters will be implemented complementary to the relevant Acts, Marine Orders and Standards, and seafarers should read and apply all in tandem.

Key updates in the 2022 version
Based on the new update, the Garbage Record Books are now divided into two parts, with Part I applicable for all ships and Part II applicable for ships that carry solid bulk cargoes. The two parts cover a wide range of different wastes, such as:

Part I
Food wastes
Domestic wastes
Cooking oil
Incinerator ashes
Operational wastes
Animal carcass(es)
Fishing gear

Part II
Cargo residues (non-harmful to the marine environment)
Cargo residues (harmful to the marine environment)

Another notable update for the guidance is the addition of exceptions to the prohibition of garbage discharge. For general garbage, exceptions include situations where the discharge of garbage is necessary for the safety of the ship and those on board, or saving a life at sea. Accidental loss of garbage due to damage to a ship or its equipment has also been taken into consideration and updated into the guidelines.

Seafarers should also note another update regarding the exceptions. If any human-made contraptions designed to catch fish or any other traps, which are a threat to the marine environment and navigation, are lost or discharged from the ship and cannot be reasonably retrieved, a report of the approximate position and reasons for the loss should be sent to the nearest port authority or the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra and must still be recorded in the garbage record book.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority


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