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Regulations on the disposal of food wastes in Chinese waters

Club’s correspondents in China (Huatai Marine) have issued a circular outlining the regulations on the discharge of food wastes in Chinese waters and the administrative fines for non-compliance.

According to Huatai’s database, approximately 23% of garbage disposal fines handled in 2020-2022 were for illegally dumping food waste. The Bohai Sea accounted for 70% of them, with the Yellow, East, and South China Seas each accounting for 10%. The maximum fine was CNY 70,000, and the minimum was CNY 30,000. The average fine was CNY43,000 per case.

As per an analysis of the above-mentioned cases, such fines were mostly imposed when MSA officers conducted inspections and discovered that the location of garbage discharge contained in the ship’s Garbage Record Book did not meet the minimum distance requirements from the nearest land to the garbage disposal location.

Since 2020, China MSA has adopted remote PSC inspection instead of onboard inspection due to the Covid-19 restrictions. More emphasis has thus been placed on the validity of relevant certificates and the accuracy of official ship records, as well as the inspection of ships for non-compliance through these records. Lack of crew understanding was noted to be the major contributory cause in most of such cases.

Members with ships calling at Chinese ports or sailing off Chinese waters are recommended to ensure that their crew are briefed, and coordinates of the baseline are plotted on the chart to visually display the area(s) prohibited from discharge, and to avoid violations due to the distance between vessel’s position and the nearest territorial sea baselines fail to comply with discharge requirements.

Furthermore, it is recommended that accurate recordkeeping is maintained in accordance with the requirements stipulated in paragraphs 3.1-3.4, regulation 10 of MARPOL Annex V. Garbage Record Book shall be retained onboard for a period of at least 2 years from the date of the last entry was made in it, and be readily available for verification, inspection by the local authorities.
Source: Standard Club

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