Port reception facilities
Continuing the pressure on port states, port authorities and terminals to develop and maintain adequate reception facilities is seen as a vital element associated with the elimination of all ship sourced discharges into the seas.
INTERTANKO has actively engaged, and will continue to engage, with port authorities to ensure that adequate reception facilities for all ship sourced discharges are provided at a reasonable cost and with no delay to the tanker.
Unfortunately, many of these ports and terminals either do not have adequate reception facilities to meet Members’ tankers needs or if they do, they are extremely expensive or require considerable time to use, delaying the tanker.
Members are urged to tap into the information provided on the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) to check for service providers at those ports their ships call at regularly. Members can then instruct their agents to get quotes from more service providers, enabling better-informed decisions to be made. Members can register for the GISIS Port Reception Facilities site via the following link: https://webaccounts.imo.org/Common/PublicRegistration.aspx
Importance of reporting and follow-up
Providing ships with adequate port reception facilities (PRF) is essential if the industry as a whole is going to achieve its zero discharge objective. Without such facilities provided by port states, the industry is forced to consider alternative means of disposing wastes accumulated in routine ship and cargo handling operations.
This basic concept of pollution prevention has been recognised by the international regulatory community and is ingrained in the spirit and obligations of the IMO's Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
Under MARPOL, as well as numerous national and regional regulations, port states are obligated to provide adequate reception facilities for ships commonly using their ports. "Adequacy" as used in MARPOL means that PRF meet the needs of ships using the ports without causing undue delay. The IMO has concluded that “adequate facilities can be defined as those which: mariners use; fully meet the needs of the ships regularly using them; do not provide mariners with a disincentive to use them; and contribute to the improvement of the marine environment. 
The PRF provided by the port must (i) meet the needs of the ships normally using the port; and (ii) allow for the ultimate disposal of ships’ wastes to take place in an environmentally appropriate way. 
Arrangements to facilitate the discharge of residues, mixtures and all types of waste without causing undue delay to ships, such as prior notification of substances and quantities expected for discharge, piping or equipment required for discharge etc., should be made between the ship and the reception facility.
Formalities for the use of facilities should be as simple and expeditious as possible. Costs for receiving and processing wastes should be covered in such a way that fees, if charged, would not provide a disincentive for the use of the reception facilities.
 Section 3.2 of Guidelines for Ensuring the Adequacy of Port Waste Reception Facilities (Resolution MEPC.83(44).
 Section 3.3 of Resolution MEPC.83(44).
Reporting Alleged Inadequate Reception Facilities
Continued, consistent and accurate reporting on alleged inadequacies of PRF by Flag States in GISIS, as well as any follow-ups by Port States on such reports, are essential in identifying existing challenges and consequently tailor the work and support of IMO in fully addressing MARPOL-related issues.
Members are reminded to keep the Secretariat in copy when you lodge PRF inadequacy reports with your Flag States, which enables us to track responses and engage the relevant Member States on your behalf where appropriate.
The IMO form to submit to the Administration can be downloaded here.
The form should also be sent to the Secretariat by copying us (environment@INTERTANKO.com) in your submission to the Flag States.
Sources of additional information
- INTERTANKO Analysis of Alleged Inadequate Port Reception Facilities (PRF) for 2021.
- INTERTANKO Guidance on Waste Management for Tankers (2nd edition) (available to INTERTANKO Members)
- Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) website
- MARPOL Consolidated Edition - available to purchase (includes all Articles, Protocols, Annexes, and Unified Interpretations)
- Guidelines for the implementation of MARPOL Annex V (2017) - available to purchase
- Consolidated guidance for port reception facility - providers and users (MEPC.1/Circ.834/Rev.1)
- Port Reception Facilities - How to do it (2016) - available to purchase
- Guidelines for ensuring the adequacy of port waste reception facilities (resolution MEPC.83(44))
- Guidelines for reception facilities under MARPOL Annex VI (2011) (resolution MEPC.199(62))
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