863 - 01/13 - Control of Bulk Cargo Residues - Worldwide

Under the revised MARPOL Annex V regulations cargo residues, including cargo hold wash water, are included under the definition of Garbage in MARPOL Annex V. As such, they must therefore be managed and recorded as part of the Garbage Management Plan. The new revisions of Annex V entered into force on the 1st January 2013.

Any cargo residue, as defined by Annex V Regulation 1.2, is not permitted to be discharged into the marine environment if it is classed as “harmful”. This does not include dust from surface areas after sweeping unless “harmful” detergents or additives are used.

Cargo residues may be discharged outside of Special Areas 12 nautical miles from the nearest land and whilst the ship is en route as long as they are not classed as “harmful”

Within Special Areas, cargo residues may be discharged 12 nautical miles from the nearest land when the ship is in transit between ports within the Special Area which do not have adequate reception facilities and the port of departure and port of destination is not the same.

Port reception facilities for the discharge of cargo residue will likely remain inadequate for some time after the Annex’s entry into force, and as such the below actions are strongly recommended in order to reduce practical or operational difficulties and also to reduce the risk of incurring penalties or detentions by authorities.

•   Ensure MARPOL Annex V and its requirements are followed transparently at all times.

•   Where cargo presents a risk to the environment; ensure the risks are fully declared and documented by the Shipper, and is available and understood on board.

•   Take all possible measures in order to plan discharge of cargo residues in advance, including establishing the adequacy of port reception facilities of ports included in the voyage

•   Where inadequate port facilities are found or do not match information provided, the ships Flag State, and national/international ship owner organisations should be informed.

For a simplified overview of the discharge provisions, please see follow the link to this table:

Simplified Overview


Further information may be found in the following documents:

MARPOL Annex V – Regulations 1.2, 1.12 & 4.1.3

Resolution MEPC.201(62) Revised MARPOL Annex V

Resolution MEPC.219(63) 2012 Guidelines for the Implementation of MARPOL Annex V

MEPC.1/Circ.791 Implementation of MARPOL Annex V: Provisional classification of solid bulk cargoes under the revised MARPOL Annex V between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2014

MEPC.1/Circ.469/Rev.1 Revised Consolidated Format for Reporting Alleged Inadequacies of Port Reception Facilities

Source of information: 

UK Chamber of Shipping 


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