Revised MARPOL Annex V sets new regulatory requirements regarding the disposal of garbage from ships and will come into force on 1 January 2013. The new amendments prohibit the disposal of almost all kinds of garbage at sea with the exemption under specific requirements of food waste, animal carcasses, cargo residues contained in wash water and environmental friendly cleaning agents. As a result of these regulations more and more ships will dispose their ship-generated waste to reception facilities ashore. MARPOL Annex V applies to all ships.
Generally, discharge is restricted to food wastes, identified cargo residues, animal carcasses, and identified cleaning agents and additives in washwater which are not harmful to the marine environment. Garbage discharge regulations do not apply when the discharge of garbage from a ship was a necessary action for the purpose of securing the safety of a ship and those on board or saving life at sea. In such cases an entry should be made in the Garbage Record Book, or in the ship’s official log-book for ships of less than 400 gross tonnage.