Following Bulletin 889, the IMO has released a Circular which provides dispensation for discharging wash water containing HME.
The IMO Circular, MEPC.1 Circ. 810, provides dispensation for ships to discharge cargo wash water and residues which contain materials classed as Harmful to the Marine Environment (HME) until 31 December 2015 where Adequate Port Reception Facilities are deemed to be inadequate.
The Circular lists the criteria in which discharges may be permitted:
1) Based upon the information received from the relevant port authorities, the master determines that there are no adequate reception facilities either at the receiving terminal or at the next port of call;
2) The ship is en route and as far as practicable from the nearest land, but not less than 12 nautical miles;
3) Before washing, solid bulk cargo residue is removed (and bagged for discharge ashore) as far as practicable and holds are swept;
4) Filters are used in the bilge wells to collect any remaining solid particles and minimize solid residue discharge; and
5) The discharge is recorded in the Garbage Record Book and the flag State is notified utilizing the Revised Consolidated Format for Reporting Alleged Inadequacies of Port Reception Facilities (MEPC.1/Circ.469/Rev.2).
The circular also urges ports and facilities to provide adequate reception facilities.
The Circular, in full, can be found here
Source of Information:
Loss Prevention Department
UK P&I Club