Reception Facilities Forum launched

This week INTERTANKO hosted and chaired the first meeting of the Reception Facilities Forum, whose establishment it proposed at a conference on ‘Waste Reception Facilities in Europe’ in Gothenburg in November 2003 (see Weekly NEWS No. 48/2003). With participants representing the European Sea Ports’ Organisation (ESPO), the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Harbour Masters’ Association (EHMA) together with INTERTANKO. INTERCARGO, ICS and BIMCO, the meeting benefited from a full contingent of both users and providers of reception facilities.

As the inaugural meeting of the Forum, this was very much a session focused on developing aims and objectives. Provisional Terms of Reference were developed as follows:

The Reception Facilities Forum aims for cleaner seas by the reduction of marine pollution. To reduce marine pollution the Forum will increase the availability and adequacy of port waste reception facilities and also increase the use of these facilities. These objectives will be achieved by: 

  • bringing together those parties responsible for the use and provision of port waste reception facilities
  • enhancing communication and cooperation between the facility users and providers
  • identifying technical problems between facility users and providers, and proposing solutions to these problems
  • addressing regulatory issues on local, national, regional and international levels and providing feedback to the regulatory bodies on implementation issues
  • collecting relevant data in order to act as a resource on international port reception facilities

The Forum endeavours to ensure the provision and use of port reception facilities on an international basis in accordance with MARPOL and other instruments.

A positive discussion on the focus of the Forum concluded that it was essential to share problems between the users and providers in a constructive manner.

The second meeting of the Forum, due to be held in March, will be a data-collecting exercise where key problem areas will be identified and acted on. This will form the basis of the Forum’s work programme. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) will also play a key role in the Forum as will other regulatory bodies. EMSA in particular has welcomed its establishment as it will enable it to relay feedback regarding the EU Directive directly from the industry to the Commission.

With the IMO having expressed its support for the development of the Forum and recognising that the issue is indeed global, the next meeting will also consider reception facilities outside Europe focusing more on the question of availability as opposed to adequacy.

In addition, informal discussion with the port organisations present demonstrated that operational problems encountered by INTERTANKO members can be highlighted and solutions sought and proposed.

Contact: Tim Wilkins