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Port facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues


Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues



It enhances the availability and use of port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues.

It also sets out a regime of enforcement, including a system for inspections and for the exchange of information.


The directive covers:

  • all ships, regardless of their flag, which arrive at the port of an EU country, excluding warships and ships belonging to or operated by a state for non-commercial governmental purposes;
  • all ports within EU countries normally used by these ships.

EU countries must ensure that port reception facilities:

  • meet the needs of the ships using the ports without causing excessive delay;
  • are tailored to the size of the port and to the categories of ship calling there, since larger ports tend to have greater traffic and larger ships.

Waste reception and handling

A waste reception and handling plan must be drawn up in each port. These plans must be approved and assessed by the EU country concerned. The plans must be re-approved at least every 3 years.


Captains of ships (other than fishing boats and recreational craft authorised to carry no more than 12 passengers) bound for an EU port are required to notify certain information, in particular:

  • the date and the last port in which ship-generated waste was delivered;
  • the types and amounts of waste and residues to be delivered and/or remaining on board and the percentage of maximum storage capacity.


Ship-generated waste must be delivered to a port reception authority before leaving an EU port, unless the captain can prove that the vessel has sufficient dedicated storage capacity to reach the intended port of delivery. However, in this case, an EU country can still require ships to deliver their waste before leaving the port if it has reasonable grounds to believe that:

  • the intended port does not have adequate facilities; or
  • the intended port is not known;
  • and therefore there is a risk that the waste will be deposited at sea.


There is a 25 % minimum inspection requirement for ships operating in an EU port. EU countries must pay particular attention to ships which:

  • have not complied with the notification requirement;
  • are suspected of not having delivered their waste in accordance with the directive.

Waste fees

Ports must establish cost recovery systems to encourage the delivery of waste on land and discourage dumping at sea. All ships calling at an EU port will bear a significant part of the cost (set at 30 % by the European Commission) irrespective of the actual use of the facilities. The fees may differ depending on the category, type and size of the ship. The fees may also be reduced if the master of the ship can demonstrate that the ship’s environmental management, design, equipment and operation produces reduced quantities of ship-generated waste.


A final evaluation study published in 2015 by the Commission on the implementation of the directive found that it had been partially effective, efficient and coherent. It also identified a number of issues that could be addressed in a review of the directive.


It has applied since 28 December 2000. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 28 December 2002.


The protection of the marine environment can be enhanced by reducing discharges into the sea of ship-generated waste and the remnants of cargo material.


Directive 2000/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2000 on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues — Commission declaration (OJ L 332, 28.12.2000, p. 81–90)

The successive amendments to Directive 2000/59/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 24.02.2016