Reception facility problems in Italy

Since the adoption of the European Directive on port waste reception facilities, European Member States have been interpreting and implementing its requirements in various ways. Although the Directive has been welcomed by INTERTANKO on the basis of requiring the installation of facilities in all Member States, it appears that the interpretation of the requirements has given rise to some serious problems. In particular an Italian decree has recently led to the closure of several facilities in Italian ports.

Under the Italian decree number 182 of 24 June (which entered into force on 22 July 2003) port reception facility companies are obliged to register on a national list of facilities. This formalises what was once an unregulated industry but one which enabled Italy to meet its obligations under MARPOL. The new bureaucracy has now meant that many of the companies are no longer able to function without being registered. This has forced a number of facilities to close down at key terminals, not least at Augusta in Sicily where Exxon and ERG have now suspended oily waste reception. INTERTANKO has taken up the issue and approached the Italian authorities regarding this interpretation and its ability to fulfil its obligations to provide reception facilities under the EU Directive and also under MARPOL.

A translation of the decree is being sought from the Ministry for the Environment and Territory together with an explanation of the implementation of the Directive and further consequences arising from it. Additionally, this problem will also be brought to the attention of the European Commission.

Contact: Tim Wilkins