The European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO) has said that it welcomed steps towards better enforcement and reduced administrative burden under the new Port Reception Facilities Directive, as agreed between the European Parliament and the Council during their third trilogue meeting on December 12th, but regretted that the ‘polluter pays’ principle had not been implemented fully.
The new Directive will be transposed in a two year period after its official adoption; it will streamline administrative procedures, address discrepancies between EU and international law, and will target at higher level of environmental protection.
However, all ships will pay a flat fee irrespective of the waste they generate under the new system, ESPO said that a cap on the quantities covered by this flat fee would discourage the generation and delivery of unreasonable quantities of waste.
The Parliament and the Council have improved the proposal of the Commission and a cap on the quantities that can be delivered for a flat flee has been introduced. However, ESPO said that it was still likely that either the ports or responsible ships would pay for unreasonable quantities of garbage delivered by other ships.
Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO’s Secretary General, said that “polluter pays principle has been the cornerstone of the European waste policy. Both land-based industry and households are encouraged to reduce waste generation at the source and pay on the basis of the waste quantities produced and delivered. Unfortunately, the new law does not include any provisions to prevent an increased waste generation onboard and to make ships pay for the delivery of unreasonable amounts at the ports. We see in the adoption of recital 18 a small opening for Member states to adapt the flat fee in case unreasonable amounts of garbage are being delivered”.