Alphabetical index
This page is available in 5 languages

We are migrating the content of this website during the first semester of 2014 into the new EUR-Lex web-portal. We apologise if some content is out of date before the migration. We will publish all updates and corrections in the new version of the portal.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Port facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues

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


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 [See amending acts].


The Directive pursues the same aim as the 73/78 Marpol Convention on the prevention of pollution by ships, which all the Member States have signed. However, in contrast to the Convention, which regulates discharges by ships at sea, the Directive focuses on ship operations in European Union ports. It addresses in detail the legal, financial and practical responsibilities of the different operators involved in delivery of ship-generated waste and cargo residues.


This Directive covers:

  • all ships, whatever their flag, including fishing vessels and recreational craft, putting in at a Member State port, apart from warships and ships belonging to or operated by a State for non-commercial governmental purposes;
  • all Member State ports.

Port reception facilities

Member States must ensure that port reception facilities are provided which meet the needs of the ships using them without causing abnormal delays. These facilities must be tailored to the size of the port and to the categories of ship calling there.

Waste reception and handling plans

A waste reception and handling plan must be drawn up in each port. These plans must be approved and assessed by the Member State it relates to. The plans must be re-approved at least every three years.


Captains of ships (other than fishing boats and recreational craft authorised to carry no more than 12 passengers) bound for a Community port are required to notify certain information, in particular the date and the last port in which ship-generated waste was delivered and the quantity of waste remaining on board.

Delivery of ship-generated waste

Unless exempted, all ships are required to deliver their ship-generated waste before leaving a Community port, unless the captain can prove that his vessel has adequate storage capacity. Ships which do not deliver their waste without providing valid reasons for exemption are not allowed to leave the port until such delivery has taken place.

Fees for ship-generated waste

Ports must establish cost recovery systems to encourage the delivery of waste on land and discourage dumping at sea. All ships calling at a Member State port will bear a significant part of the cost (which the Commission interprets as meaning at least 30%), whether they use the facilities or not. This cost recovery system comprises this built-in, fixed element and, possibly, a variable element according to the amount and type of waste actually delivered.


Ships operating in an EU port may be inspected. There is a 25 % minimum inspection requirement. Inspections are carried out on ships which have not complied with the notification requirement and on those suspected of not having delivered their waste as a priority.

Where it is proven that a ship has put to sea without having delivered its waste and without benefiting from an exemption, the next port of call is alerted. Moreover, the ship will not be authorised to leave the second port without the situation having been assessed.

Accompanying measures

This Directive provides for a series of accompanying measures. In particular, it provides for ships that have been unduly delayed owing to the inadequacy of reception facilities, while they themselves meet the requirements to which they are subject, must receive compensation.


Every three years, Member States must send the Commission a status report on the implementation of the Directive, following which the Commission must submit an evaluation report on the operation of the system to Parliament and the Council.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 2000/59/EC



OJ L 332 of 28.12.2000

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 2002/84/EC



OJ L 324 of 29.11.2002

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008



OJ L 311 of 21.11.2008

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

Last updated: 20.10.2010
Legal notice | About this site | Search | Contact | Top