Mediterranean Reception Facility Seminar

A three-day seminar on the current state of Mediterranean port reception facilities took place in Malta this week, providing a forum during which were revealed the results of a three-year study on the availability of such facilities in the region.

The seminar, organised by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), represented the final stage of the push to increase the availability of reception facilities in the region to local and international shipping. The programme drew key players on this issue together with the IMO and European Commission, presenting an overview of the current regulatory status.

INTERTANKO’s Environment Manager, Tim Wilkins, rounded up the first day’s discussions presenting the views of the shipping industry. He explained the ongoing frustration of the shipping industry over this issue, but also noted that, with the continuing willingness of the port and shipping associations, their Reception Facility Forum may help provide direction in seeking solutions to the problem.

There was a positive response to INTERTANKO’s suggestion that the European Directive should be amended to provide further guidance to states on a harmonised fee system, and that the IMO should also begin to consider the technical problems associated with this issue.

With representatives from all states surrounding the Mediterranean present, it was good to note the general concurrence with the Association’s views on the need for basic information on waste facilities and fee systems within ports. Having been noted by the IMO, the concept of an up-to-date database, accessible to the shipping industry, was one which received plenty of support.

Much of the seminar focused on the European Commission funded, detailed study on the availability of port reception facilities, carried out in four phases, in which concrete recommendations were given to each state surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. With these proposals now in the public domain, and the results of the extensive study provided to all the Mediterranean states, it will be interesting to monitor the progress of actual implementation of these recommendations.

INTERTANKO’s continued support of the work of REMPEC was noted at the seminar, and it was stressed that information from the industry on the state of the facilities in this region is still vital to monitor implementation and development by the Mediterranean ports.

Contact: Tim Wilkins