Call for IMO database on local and regional EGCS discharge water restrictions

As the IMO is working on a harmonised approach to the sensitive subject of restricting discharge water from exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, there has been a call for developing a centralised database detailing local/regional restrictions/conditions on the discharge water from EGCS.

At present, bans on open loop scrubber discharges have been implemented unilaterally in various ports and countries, and it can be difficult for ship operators using such systems to obtain a clear overview over where restrictions apply.

Such a database would presumably be managed by the IMO, and would require all member States to report on specific restrictions in ports and/or clearly designated waters under their jurisdiction.

Restrictions or bans on using open loop scrubbers have been reported in certain ports or territorial waters, including China (territorial waters), Singapore (within port limits), Malaysia (territorial waters), Pakistan (within port limits) UAE (Fujairah and Abu Dhabi port limits), Bahrain (within port limits), Egypt (Suez Canal), Gibraltar (local waters), Spain (port of Algeciras), Portugal (port waters), France (certain ports), Belgium (ports and inland waters), Ireland (port waters in Cork, Dublin and Waterford), Scotland (ports on the Forth and Tay), Norway (heritage fjords), Sweden (port of Brofjorden), Germany (seaports adjacent to inland waterways and inland waterways), Lithuania (port waters) Bermuda (territorial waters), Panama (the Panama Canal) and the USA (Connecticut port waters and Californian waters)

In addition, there are reports that certain conditions for ships to use scrubbers have been indicated or are under discussion in Hong Kong, Australia, India, Estonia and Latvia.

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